We’re one month into the six-month season, and I felt that it’s time for a way-too-early look at the awards field. True, a lot can happen in the next five months, but as of this moment, which players have really helped their case for these major hardware come November. First up is the Rookie of the Year. In the American League last year, it came down to a pair of highly touted shortstops–Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. Let’s see how the field shapes up after a month into the 2016 season!
Tyler White: White has been on fire the first month of the season, even garnering Player of the Week honors earlier this month. Through 20 games, White is batting a solid .261 with 5 HRs, 13 RBIs, and 4 doubles. Although striking out 22 times already, White has an OBP of .329, helped with his 7 walks.
Byung-ho Park: A former KBO MVP, Park has definitely flashed his power in April. Park is batting .241 with 5 HRs, 7 RBIs, and 4 doubles. Park also has struck out quite a bit–20 times in 17 games, but that was expected coming into a new league for Park.
Nomar Mazara: Mazara was called up when Shin-Soo Choo was placed on the disabled list and Mazara is playing like he doesn’t want to be sent back down when Choo inevitably returns. Through 15 games, Nomar is batting .345 with 2 HRs, 7 RBIs, 7 walks, and 2 doubles. He has an OBP of .415 and leads all rookies in AVG, OBP, and OPS. He already has 19 hits in the majors.
Joey Rickard: Through 20 games, Rickard has definitley been a pleasant surprise for the AL East-leading Orioles. Rickard has 24 hits including 2 home runs and 5 doubles. He’s batting .286 and has also scored 9 runs for the O’s
Others of Note:
Byron Buxton: Although winning the starting center fielder job in Spring Training, Buxton has struggled in the big leagues. He was recently sent back down to Triple-A after batting .156 and striking out 24 times in 17 games.
Tyler Naquin: Naquin might eventually have to be sent down to Triple-A, but for now, Naquin has impressed at the big league level. In 17 games, he’s batting .333 and has 13 hits. He has yet to hit a home run and has only driven in 2 runs.
Jose Berrios: Berrios made his MLB debut this week and is expected to remain a part of the Twins’ rotation. For now, after one start where he gave up 5 runs in 4 innings, he’ll need to improve upon that to be in the mix later in the season.
So, that’s a wrap! Make sure to check back soon to look at the NL Rookie of the Year field before we move on to the Cy Young and MVP. As of now, which AL rookie has surprised you the most? Which one will end up as the eventual winner?