2015 was the Year of the Rookie. So many young phenoms made their mark on baseball than ever before. Both leagues were packed with young studs. In the American League, Carlos Correa led an impressive bunch that included Miguel Sano, Francisco Lindor, Mark Canha, and James McCann, So what will 2016 bring us? Who’ll succeed Carlos Correa as the ROY? Let’s take a look at the 2016 AL candidates…
Byron Buxton, Twins: Made his debut in 2015, but he faced the injury bug and couldn’t contribute to the Twins. Figures to be the starting CF for the Twins in 2016. Currently the #2 prospect in MLB.
Byung-ho Park, Twins: Signed by the Twins in the offseason out of the Korean Baseball Organization, Park has displayed his immense power and attempts to add that dynamic power bat to pair with 2015 outstanding rookie Miguel Sano. He was a 2x KBO MVP and has hit over 50 HRs in the hitter-friendly KBO for the past two seasons.
Jose Berrios, Twins: Currently the #20 prospect in MLB, Berrios doesn’t have much left to prove in the Minor Leagues where he’s compiled a 2.87 ERA. Berrios might not make it to the big leagues in 2016, but if he does, he’ll be up there in contention for the ROY.
Blake Snell, Rays: Another starting pitcher stud out of the Rays organization, Snell, the #41 prospect in MLB, has compiled a 1.41 ERA in his time in the minor leagues. He could figure to join the likes of David Price, Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Nate Karns, etc. as eccentric starters to come out of the Rays farm system.
Joey Gallo, Rangers: Gallo, making his powerful debut in 2015, is currently the #6 prospect in the Major Leagues. Originally a third baseman, Gallo moved to left field due to the presence of Adrian Beltre at the hot corner for the Rangers. While his on-base and batting average number took a dip while playing in the MLB, Gallo continued to smash dingers and provided a powerful presence in a lineup that features Josh Hamiton and Adrian Beltre.
A.J. Reed, Astros: Currently the #91 prospect in the majors, Reed is a classic Astros player: high power numbers but also a high number of strikeouts. Reed mashed a home run in 1 in every 15 at bats in 2015. Reed could get called up during the summer and could make a mark with his high power numbers. If he gets his strikeout numbers down, Reed could be a powerful player in the dynamic Astros lineup.
EARLY FAVORITE: Byron Buxton
What do you think? Are there any other AL rookies that you think could contend with these boys in 2016? Who do you think will win the award?