The hottest rookies of the past two weeks

September 29th, 2021

The Rookie of the Year races are coming down to the wire, with Randy Arozarena and Luis Garcia the top contenders in the American League and Jonathan India and Trevor Rogers battling it out in the National League. But only one of those four made our final edition of our Rookie Hot List.

Our rankings are based on performances from Sept. 15-28, with the Marlins and Nationals claiming two spots each. All the players have graduated from our organization Top 30 Prospects lists unless otherwise noted.

1. Jesús Sánchez, OF, Marlins
After going 1-for-25 in his 2020 big league debut, Sánchez has rebounded for a solid .253/.322/.498 rookie season with 14 homers in 62 games. He's finishing strong, going deep in three straight games against the Braves Sept. 10-12 right before the latest Hot List period started, and batting .326/.400/.651 with four homers over the last two weeks.

2. Jarred Kelenic, OF, Mariners
Kelenic's mid-May arrival in Seattle couldn't have been more hyped, but he didn't look like one of the best hitting prospects in the game when he struggled to make contact in his first month, nor again when he returned in mid-July. He's enjoying the best month of his young big league career in September and has hit .273/.385/.636 with four homers in his last 13 games, though his overall line still stands at .176/.260/.347 with 14 blasts in 89 contests.

3. Eli Morgan, RHP, Indians
Morgan is an undersized right-hander with a fastball that hovers around 90 mph, but the 2017 eighth-rounder from Gonzaga compensates with an outstanding changeup and fine command. He's coming off the best back-to-back starts of his big league career, allowing one run in six innings against the Yankees before blanking the White Sox with a one-hitter over six frames. He has gone 4-7 with a 5.27 ERA and a 79/22 K/BB ratio in 83 2/3 innings.

4. Frank Schwindel, 1B, Cubs
A 2013 18th-round pick of the Royals out of St. John's, Schwindel came to the Cubs off waivers from the Athletics and got his first opportunity to play regularly in the Majors after Chicago dealt Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees. He has been one of the best hitters in the game since, batting .340/.386/.566 in the last two weeks and .355/.403/.640 with 13 homers in 51 games with the Cubs.

5. Luis Garcia, RHP, Astros
Garcia has stopped missing bats but still has remained successful, allowing just one run in 11 1/3 innings over his last two starts despite walking six and fanning just three. He leads all rookie pitchers in wins (11) and ranks second in ERA (3.23), innings (150 1/3) and strikeouts (161).

6. Nick Fortes, C, Marlins (unranked on Marlins Top 30)
A defensive-minded backup drafted in the fourth round out of Mississippi in 2018, Fortes has made the most of his opportunity since getting his first big league callup on Sept. 18 after Jorge Alfaro went down with a calf injury. He homered in three of his first 11 plate appearances and has hit .364/.440/.773 in 23 trips to the plate.

7. Keibert Ruiz, C, Nationals
The prize of the Max Scherzer/Trea Turner trade with the Dodgers in July, Ruiz has taken over as the Nationals' regular catcher in September and has batted .378/.425/.595 with two homers in his last nine games. He's hitting .272/.322/.420 with three homers in 26 contests overall.

8. Josh Rogers, LHP, Nationals
After getting rocked for an 8.65 ERA in brief trials with the Orioles in 2018-19, Rogers got released at the end of May this year and signed with the Nationals four days later. The 2015 11th-round pick (by the Yankees) out of Louisville moved into Washington's rotation this September and has logged a 2.08 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings over his last three starts. He has gone 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in his five starts with the Nats.

9. Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals
The Cardinals' winning streak stands at 17 and counting, and Carlson has contributed by hitting at a .308/.333/.615 clip with three homers during the last two weeks. One of the top NL Rookie of the Year candidates entering the season, he has batted .261/.337/.423 with 16 homers in 144 games.

10. Camilo Doval, RHP, Giants
As the Giants try to hold off the Dodgers for the NL West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Doval has done his part by not surrendering a run in 12 September outings, including 7 2/3 shutout frames while collecting three wins and a save in the last two weeks. He's 5-1 with that save and six holds in 26 appearances and sports a 3.38 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 26 innings.