The Rookie of the Year Award is baseball's annual glimpse into the future, designating impressive youngsters who could go on to significantly impact baseball in the years to come. Many have gone on to enjoy multiple All-Star seasons and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, while others ultimately fell short of the promise they originally displayed.
The future is uncertain, but with some hindsight and time, we can look back and appreciate just how good many of these rookies were. Some fundamentally changed the sport with new approaches, outstanding courage or just awe-inspiring talent. Others came from out of nowhere to be linchpins for championship clubs. The point is, the Rookie of the Year is an exciting award in the moment, but it's also just as fun to look back and see how legends began.
That's what we're doing below, with a ranking of each and every Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) Rookie of the Year Winner dating back to the first national honor, given to Jackie Robinson, way back in 1947.
First, a quick look into our process: We compiled each winner's average Wins Above Replacement (WAR) totals from three main sources (Baseball-Reference, Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus) to begin with a loose "ranking." From there, players were sorted subjectively based on their statistics, contributions to their team and their historical impact on the game as a whole. And the key word here is subjective as no one is likely to agree on a ranking of 150 names, but we did our best here to create an accurate picture of the cream of the crop through history. (For 2020, the effects of a 60-game schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic were taken into consideration for those winners' rankings).
(Note: Runners-up are listed in all years except in occasional instances where the winner was unanimous and no second-place finisher was named.)
Here are the rankings, from Nos. 1 to 150:
1. Jackie Robinson, 1947 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: .297 BA, 29 SB, 31 2B
Robinson's rookie campaign resonates beyond statistics, as he had to endure substantially more than any other freshman in history. Robinson's courage changed baseball forever, opening up opportunities to countless players from all walks of life. But Robinson certainly earned his Rookie of the Year Award, too, drawing twice as many walks as strikeouts, batting nearly .300 and leading the NL in steals while playing a central role for a pennant-winning Dodgers club.
Runner-up: Larry Jansen, NYG (21-5, 3.16 ERA)
2. Ichiro Suzuki, 2001 AL (Mariners)
Key stats: .350 BA, 242 H, 56 SB
Ichiro's 242 hits as a rookie still stand as the 10th-highest single-season total in history, and his .350 average is the highest by any post-Integration rookie. But Ichiro was more than an extremely skilled hitter; his speed (an MLB-most 56 steals) and cannon arm from right field made him a phenom -- and an MVP. Plus, he did it all in a new country, resetting Americans' expectations for Japanese-born players.
Runner-up: CC Sabathia, CLE (17-5, 4.39 ERA)
3. Mike Trout, 2012 AL (Angels)
Key stats: 30 HR, 49 SB, .963 OPS (168 OPS+)
The advanced metrics say Trout is the best rookie ever by a wide margin, and it was clear early in the 2012 season that the 20-year-old could be a generational talent -- if not more than that. Trout brought power, speed (he went 49-for-54 on steal attempts) and defense at a premium position, establishing himself as one of the game's most well-rounded players. Not bad for a player who began that season in Triple-A, and wasn't even the most anticipated rookie in Spring Training.
Runner-up: Yoenis Céspedes, OAK (23 HR, 82 RBI)
4. Fred Lynn, 1975 AL (Red Sox)
Key stats: .331 BA, .967 OPS (162 OPS+), 47 doubles
The other rookie to claim a league MVP alongside Ichiro, Lynn helped elevate the Red Sox to pennant winners with his dazzling all-around game. The 23-year-old paced the AL with a .566 slugging percentage, 47 doubles and 103 runs scored and finished second to Rod Carew in the batting race, while also displaying some of the best center-field defense ever played at Fenway Park.
Runner-up: Jim Rice, BOS (22 HR, 102 RBI)
5. Aaron Judge, 2017 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: 52 HR, 127 BB, 128 runs, 1.049 OPS (171 OPS+)
When you break the rookie home run record while also leading your league in runs and walks, you're going to land somewhere near the top of this list. Judge shattered Joe DiMaggio's homer record for Yankees freshmen and rewrote expectations for what a 6-foot-7 player could do -- and for what we could expect from Statcast™ exit velocity readings.
Runner-up: Andrew Benintendi, BOS (20 HR, 90 RBI)
6. Albert Pujols, 2001 NL (Cardinals)
Key stats: .329 BA, 37 HR, 130 RBI, 1.013 OPS (157 OPS+)
Pujols had to wait until the 13th round of the 1999 Draft to hear his name, and had to impress the Cardinals' brass in Spring Training two years later to make the big league roster. By June, Pujols already had 20 homers and was clearly one of the NL's best overall hitters. His 130 RBIs are an NL rookie record.
Runner-up: Roy Oswalt, HOU (14-3, 2.73 ERA)
7. Dwight Gooden, 1984 NL (Mets)_
Key stats: 17 wins, 2.60 ERA (137 ERA+), 276 SO_
Flashing the most potential of any rookie pitcher since Bob Feller, Gooden took baseball by storm in '84. His 276 strikeouts shattered Herb Score's previous rookie record of 245, but his peripherals were arguably even more impressive; at 19 years of age, "Doc" paced the Majors in FIP (1.69), WHIP (1.07) and hits per nine innings (6.6). When he was on, he appeared untouchable.
Runner-up: Juan Samuel, PHI (15 HR, 69 RBI)
8. Pete Alonso, 2019 NL (Mets)
Key stats: 53 HR, 120 RBI, .583 SLG, .941 OPS (148 OPS+)
The Mets bucked against recent industry trends and started their rookie slugger on Opening Day despite service-time considerations, and Alonso rewarded their faith with a historic campaign. The first baseman broke Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record while also becoming the first freshman to win the Majors’ homer crown outright. On his way there, the “Polar Bear” quickly became a folk hero and team leader in Queens.
Runner-up: Mike Soroka, ATL (13-4, 169 ERA+)
9. Mark McGwire, 1987 AL (Athletics)
Key stats: 49 HR, 118 RBI, .618 SLG, .987 OPS (164 OPS+)
McGwire would likely have been higher on this list before Judge broke his rookie home run record, but Big Mac's power numbers at age 23 still astound. His .618 slugging percentage led the Majors, and his 344 total bases were second-most in the AL behind George Bell.
Runner-up: Kevin Seitzer, KC (.323 BA, 207 H)
10. Dick Allen, 1964 NL (Phillies)
Key stats: .939 OPS (162 OPS+), 13 3B, 125 R
Allen burst onto the scene with prodigious power, leading the Senior Circuit in runs, triples, extra-base hits and total bases while placing in the league's top five in several other major offensive categories. Allen's 8.8 bWAR remains the record for any NL rookie.
Runner-up: Rico Carty, MIL (.330 BA, 22 HR)
11. Mike Piazza, 1993 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 35 HR, 307 total bases, .932 OPS (153 OPS+)
Piazza raised expectations for rookie catchers, tying Rudy York's 56-year-old record for homers by a first-year backstop while also breaking York's precedent with 112 RBIs.
Runner-up: Greg McMichael, ATL (19 SV, 2.06 ERA)
12. Tony Oliva, 1964 AL (Twins)
Key stats: .323 BA, 43 2B, 374 total bases
Oliva's .328 average made him the first rookie in modern history to win a batting title, and he also paced the AL in hits, runs and doubles. His 374 total bases led the Majors and is tied with Hal Trotsky (1934) for the most by any first-year player.
Runner-up: Wally Bunker, BAL (19-5, 2.69 ERA)
13. José Abreu, 2014 AL (White Sox)
Key stats: 36 HR, .581 SLG, .964 OPS (173 OPS+)
Abreu defected from Cuba in August 2013 and took the AL by storm months later, immediately setting rookie records with 10 homers and 32 RBIs by the end of April. He finished with 36 homers, a White Sox rookie record, and an MLB-best .581 slugging percentage.
Runner-up: Matt Shoemaker, LAA (16-4, 3.04 ERA)
14. Fernando Valenzuela, 1981 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 8 shutouts, 180 strikeouts, 2.48 ERA
"Fernandomania" remains the most memorable storyline from the '81 season, as L.A.'s 20-year-old from Mexico rode his screwball and an MLB-most eight shutouts to become the first to win both a Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award in the same season.
Runner-up: Tim Raines, MON (.304 BA, 71 SB)
15. Shohei Ohtani, 2018 AL (Angels)
Key stats: 22 HR, .925 OPS (152 OPS+), 63 SO in 51.2 IP
Ohtani ranked among the AL's top hitters in limited time as a designated hitter, and also showed electric stuff as a pitcher. No other Rookie of the Year winner has showcased that kind of skillset. Many wondered whether Ohtani could compete in the Majors after a tough Spring Training, but the Japanese import became the first player since Babe Ruth to pair 10 pitching appearances on the mound with 20 homers at the plate.
Runner-up: Miguel Andújar, NYY (27 HR, 47 2B)
16. Mark Fidrych, 1976 AL (Tigers)
Key stats: 19 wins, 2.34 ERA (159 ERA+), 24 complete games
Fidrych became an overnight sensation in Detroit thanks to the combination of his hair, his passion on the mound and most of all, his talent. His 24 complete games, unlikely to be matched again, are the most of any post-World War II rookie.
Runner-up: Butch Wynegar, MIN (.260 BA, 69 RBI)
17. Frank Robinson, 1956 NL (Reds)
Key stats: 38 HR, 122 R, .558 SLG
Robinson broke Wally Berger's then-rookie record with 38 round-trippers while showing little fear of National League pitchers, garnering a league-high 20 hit-by-pitches.
18. Carlton Fisk, 1972 AL (Red Sox)
Key stats: .909 OPS (162 OPS+), 22 HR, 9 3B
Fisk emerged as the rare offensive threat at catcher, leading the AL with nine triples while hitting .293 and playing Gold Glove defense behind the plate. He became the first unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year.
19. Ryan Braun, 2007 NL (Brewers)
Key stats: 34 HR, 97 RBI, .634 SLG
Braun dominated NL pitchers, averaging a homer for every 13 at-bats and posting a league-best .634 slugging percentage that ranks second to Rudy York (.651 in 1937) among rookies who have logged at least 350 at-bats in a season.
Runner-up: Troy Tulowitzki, COL (.291 BA, 24 HR)
20. Corey Seager, 2016 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: .308 BA, 71 extra-base hits, .877 OPS (134 OPS+)
Seager's 134 league-adjusted OPS+ tied the high mark for post-Integration NL rookie shortstops, and he set Los Angeles Dodgers rookie records for hits and doubles.
Runner-up: Trea Turner, WSH (.342 BA, 33 SB)
21. Hideo Nomo, 1995 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 236 SO, 2.54 ERA (149 ERA+), 5.8 H/9
With a forkball and a windup from another planet, Nomo made NL hitters look silly while blazing a path for Japanese stars of the future.
Runner-up: Chipper Jones, ATL (23 HR, 86 RBI)
22. Nomar Garciaparra, 1997 AL (Red Sox)
Key stats: 30 HR, 209 H, 11 3B
Garciaparra transformed power expectations for shortstops, beginning with his 30 homers and .534 slugging percentage in '97, both of which remain the standard for rookies at the position.
Runner-up: Jose Cruz, SEA/TOR (26 HR, 68 RBI)
23. Jose Fernandez, 2013 NL (Marlins)
Key stats: 2.19 ERA (176 ERA+), 187 SO, 5.8 H/9
Fernandez stuck out eight Mets in his MLB debut and later posted 14- and 13-strikeout performances in the second half as he quickly made believers out of observers across the league. His 5.8 hits per nine innings rate led all qualified Major League pitchers.
Runner-up: Yasiel Puig, LAD (.319 BA, 19 HR)
24. Walt Dropo, 1950 AL (Red Sox)
Key stats: .322 BA, 34 HR, 144 RBI
Dropo turned down offers in professional basketball and football to swing the bat for the Red Sox, and immediately showed off his athleticism. His 144 RBIs are still second to Ted Williams' 145 in 1939 among rookies.
Runner-up: Whitey Ford, NYY (9-1, 2.81 ERA)
25. Kerry Wood, 1998 NL (Cubs)
Key stats: 233 SO, 6.3 H/9, 3.40 ERA
Introducing some of the most unhittable stuff in recent memory to the NL, the 21-year-old Wood tied an MLB record with 20 strikeouts against the Astros on May 6 -- just the fifth start of his career.
Runner-up: Todd Helton, COL (.315 BA, 25 HR)
26. Orlando Cepeda, 1958 NL (Giants)
Key stats: .312 BA, 25 HR, 38 2B
Just 20 years old, Cepeda earned his "Baby Bull" moniker by leading the NL in doubles while also placing in the league's top 10 in average, slugging, homers, RBIs, runs, steals and total bases.
27. Tim Salmon, 1993 AL (Angels)
Key stats: 31 HR, 82 BB, .918 OPS (143 OPS+)
Salmon racked up 17 homers by the All-Star break, but was somehow not voted to the 1993 All-Star Game. In fact, Salmon never played in a Midsummer Classic despite three separate Top-20 finishes in AL MVP voting.
Runner-up: Jason Bere, CWS (12-5, 3.47 ERA)
28. Willie McCovey, 1959 NL (Giants)
Key stats: .354 BA, .656 SLG, 13 HR in 52 G
"Stretch" put NL pitchers on notice while compiling the smallest resume of any Rookie of the Year winner, knocking an extra-base hit once every seven at-bats.
29. Yordan Alvarez, 2019 AL (Astros)
Key stats: 1.067 OPS (173 OPS+), .655 SLG 27 HR, 78 RBI in 87 G
A truncated season kept Álvarez from appearing even higher, but the eye-popping numbers he put up made for a great modern-day impression of Willie McCovey. Álvarez ranked among the Majors’ best hitters after debuting in June, making a dangerous Astros lineup even deeper by providing serious pop in its center. The Cuban native’s 178 weighted runs created plus finished as the second-highest by any rookie with 300-plus plate appearances, trailing only Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1911.
Runner-up: John Means, BAL (12-11, 131 ERA+)
30. Gary Peters, 1963 AL (White Sox)
Key stats: 19 wins, 2.33 ERA (150 ERA+), 4 shutouts
Peters, a southpaw, paced the AL with a 2.33 ERA over 243 innings, and his 2.34 FIP in '63 suggests he earned every bit of his 19 victories.
Runner-up: Pete Ward, CWS (.295 BA, 22 HR)
31. Johnny Bench, 1968 NL (Reds)
Key stats: 244 total bases, 40 2B, 82 RBI
Ushering in a golden age of backstops alongside Fisk and Thurman Munson, Bench became the first catcher to win a Rookie of the Year Award, while also becoming the first rookie catcher to earn a Gold Glove.
Runner-up: Jerry Koosman, NYM (19-12, 2.08 ERA)
32. Tom Seaver, 1967 NL (Mets)
Key stats: 16 wins, 2.76 ERA (122 ERA+), 18 CG
Seaver remarkably won 16 games for a Mets club that lost 101, signaling that brighter times were ahead for the nascent franchise.
Runner-up: Dick Hughes, STL (16-6, 2.67 ERA)
33. John Montefusco, 1975 NL (Giants)
Key stats: 15 wins, 2.88 ERA, 215 SO
Montefusco homered in his first Major League at-bat in 1974, and then came back to lead the NL in strikeouts per nine in his first full season in '75. He would throw a no-hitter on Sept. 29, 1976, against the Braves.
Runner-up: Gary Carter, MON (.270 BA, 17 HR)
34. Buster Posey, 2010 NL (Giants)
Key stats: .305 BA, 43 extra-base hits, .862 OPS (133 OPS+)
Posey established himself as the cleanup hitter on the eventual World Series-champion Giants while also guiding the Majors' best pitching staff at age 23.
Runner-up: Jason Heyward, ATL (18 HR, 72 RBI)
35. Hanley Ramirez, 2006 NL (Marlins)
Key stats: .292 BA, 46 2B, 51 SB
The 22-year-old Ramirez arrived in Miami via a trade with the Red Sox and promptly became the fifth Major Leaguer since the turn of the century to pair 45 doubles with 50 stolen bases, joining Craig Biggio, Lou Brock, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker.
Runner-up: Ryan Zimmerman, WSH (20 HR, 110 RBI)
36. Ronald Acuña Jr., 2018 NL (Braves)
Key stats: .293 BA, 26 HR, .917 OPS (144 OPS+)
Acuna entered the year as baseball's top position-player prospect and lived up to the hype. The 20-year-old went on a tear in the second half, becoming the youngest player on record to homer in five consecutive games during a white-hot stretch in August.
Runner-up: Juan Soto, WSH (22 HR, .923 OPS)
37. Alvin Davis, 1984 AL (Mariners)
Key stats: 27 HR, 116 RBI, .888 OPS (147 OPS+)
Davis began his career by reaching base in 47 straight games and homered in his first two big league contests. He finished '84 within the AL's top five in RBIs and on-base percentage.
Runner-up: Mark Langston, SEA (17-10, 3.40 ERA)
38. Kris Bryant, 2015 NL (Cubs)
Key stats: 26 HR, 31 2B, 99 RBI
Bryant lived up to his top-prospect billing in '15, recording two homers and six RBIs on Independence Day and later crushing a 495-foot homer at Wrigley Field while helping the Cubs capture their first postseason berth in seven years.
Runner-up: Matt Duffy, SF (.295 BA, 77 RBI)
39. Jon Matlack, 1972 NL (Mets)
Key stats: 15 wins, 2.32 ERA (145 ERA+), four shutouts
Matlack began the '72 season 6-0 with a 1.95 ERA as he emerged as the last cog of New York's "Big Three" aces beside Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. He'd help the "Ya Gotta Believe" Mets claim an improbable NL pennant one year later.
Runner-up: Dave Rader, SF (.259 BA, 41 RBI)
40. Tommie Agee, 1966 AL (White Sox)
Key stats: 22 HR, 27 2B, .773 OPS (127 OPS+)
Agee broke out as a superb two-way player at age 23, serving as the White Sox lone representative at the All-Star Game and capturing a Gold Glove award for his defense in center field.
Runner-up: Jim Nash, KCA (12-1, 2.06 ERA)
41. Herb Score, 1955 AL (Indians)
Key stats: 245 strikeouts, 16 wins, 2.85 ERA
Score's 245 punchouts stood as the rookie mark until Dwight Gooden came along, and his 16 wins and 2.85 ERA helped him hold his own in a rotation that also included Early Wynn, Bob Lemon and an aging Bob Feller.
Runner-up: Billy Klaus, BOS (.283 BA, 60 RBI)
42. Evan Longoria, 2008 AL (Rays)
Key stats: 27 HR, 85 RBI, .874 OPS (127 OPS+)
Longoria's arrival marked a transformational year for the Rays as the franchise reached its first World Series. His play impressed Tampa Bay enough to offer him a six-year contract by the middle of April.
Runner-up: Alexei Ramirez, CWS (.290 BA, 77 RBI)
43. Don Newcombe, 1949 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 17 wins, 3.17 ERA (130 ERA+), 5 shutouts
Newcombe was one of the first African-American pitchers to find success in the Majors, leading the Dodgers' pennant-winning staff with 17 wins and recording an NL-most five shutouts.
Runner-up: Del Crandall, BSN (.263 BA, 34 RBI in 67 G)
44. Thurman Munson, 1970 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: .302 BA, .801 OPS (126 OPS+), 33 caught stealing throws
Munson's emergence gave the Yankees a cornerstone for the rest of the 1970s, with the young catcher serving as a stalwart both at the plate and behind it.
Runner-up: Roy Foster, CLE (23 HR, 60 RBI)
45. Scott Rolen, 1997 NL (Phillies)
Key stats: 59 extra-base hits, 92 RBI, 30 double plays turned
Rolen's combination of power and stellar defense at third base made him a unanimous pick over an impressive cast of fellow rookies including Vladimir Guerrero, Livan Hernandez and Andruw Jones.
Runner-up: Livan Hernandez, FLA (9-3, 3.18 ERA)
46. Cal Ripken Jr., 1982 AL (Orioles)
Key stats: 28 HR, 93 RBI, 284 total bases
Baseball wasn't used to a shortstop of Ripken's stature, but the coach's son proved he could hit for power and hold his own at the athletically demanding position. Ripken also began his famous consecutive games played streak with a start against Toronto on May 30.
Runner-up: Kent Hrbek, MIN (23 HR, 92 RBI)
47. Bryce Harper, 2012 NL (Nationals)
Key stats: 22 HR, 26 2B, 98 R
Harper's 57 extra-base hits and 254 total bases each set records for any player before his age-20 season. He also became the youngest player to homer since Adrián Beltré in 1998.
Runner-up: Wade Miley, ARI (16-11, 3.33 ERA)
48. Craig Kimbrel, 2011 NL (Braves)
Key stats: 46 SV, 2.10 ERA, 14.8 K/9
The Braves gave Kimbrel a shot to close after a successful September callup audition in 2010, and he proceeded to set an MLB rookie record for saves. Kimbrel reached 100 career strikeouts in just 59 1/3 innings and strung together a 38 1/3 scoreless innings streak from mid-June through early September.
Runner-up: Freddie Freeman, ATL (21 HR, 76 RBI)
49. Cody Bellinger, 2017 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 39 HR, 97 RBI, .581 SLG
Bellinger became the first rookie to hit 10 homers in a 10-game span, hit for the cycle on July 15 and broke the NL rookie record with his 39th long ball on Sept. 22. He also showed versatility by manning both first base and the outfield.
Runner-up: Paul DeJong, STL (.285 BA, 25 HR)
50. Carlos Correa, 2015 AL (Astros)
Key stats: 22 HR, 22 2B, .857 OPS (135 OPS+)
Correa logged just 99 games for Houston, but made his presence felt by setting numerous franchise rookie marks while also becoming the first rookie shortstop on record to hit 10 homers within his first 45 career games.
Runner-up: Francisco Lindor, CLE (.313 BA, .835 OPS)
51. Bob Hamelin, 1994 AL (Royals)
Key stats: 24 HR, 65 RBI, .987 OPS (147 OPS+)
The 1994 strike kept Hamelin from posting even better numbers, but the designated hitter finished the year fifth the AL in slugging and OPS while averaging one homer for every 13 at-bats. Injuries would keep him from duplicating that kind of production again.
Runner-up: Manny Ramirez, CLE (17 HR, 60 RBI)
52. Stan Bahnsen, 1968 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: 2.05 ERA (140 ERA+), 17 wins, 10 CG
Bahnsen arrived late to Spring Training after an army commitment, and then proceeded to lead the Yankees' rotation in ERA. He shut out the reigning AL champion Red Sox at Fenway Park with 12 strikeouts on Aug. 1.
Runner-up: Del Unser, WAS (146 H, 66 R)
53. Jeff Bagwell, 1991 NL (Astros)
Key stats: 242 total bases, .294 BA, .824 OPS (139 OPS+)
The fruit of one of the most lopsided trades in history, Bagwell changed positions and showed a major power improvement from his time in the Minors while finishing fifth in the NL with a .387 OBP.
Runner-up: Orlando Merced, PIT (.275 BA, 83 R)
54. Jacob deGrom, 2014 NL (Mets)
Key stats: 2.69 ERA (128 ERA+), 9.2 K/9, 0.4 HR/9
deGrom allowed just one run against the crosstown rival Yankees in his debut, and later tied Jim Deshaies' MLB record by striking out the first eight Marlins hitters he faced on Sept. 15.
Runner-up: Billy Hamilton, CIN (141 H, 56 SB)
55. Jose Canseco, 1986 AL (A's)
Key stats: 33 HR, 117 RBI, 15 SB
Canseco set the bar for his "Bash Brother" McGwire the following season, becoming the first (and still only) rookie in modern history to hit 30 homers, drive in 100 runs and steal 15 bases.
Runner-up: Wally Joyner, CAL (.290 BA, 100 RBI)
56. Michael Fulmer, 2016 AL (Tigers)
Key stats: 3.06 ERA (139 ERA+), 0.9 HR/9, 132 SO
Flashing a plus, mid-90s fastball, Fulmer struck out 11 Rays on May 21 and later compiled a 33 1/3 scoreless innings streak. He joined Jake Arrieta along the way as the second pitcher to pitch four straight scoreless outings of at least six innings while allowing three or fewer hits.
Runner-up: Gary Sánchez, NYY (20 HR, 42 RBI in 53 G)
57. Earl Williams, 1971 NL (Braves)
Key stats: 33 HR, 87 RBI, .491 SLG
Williams remarkably made his first professional appearance at catcher in mid-June -- and stayed behind the plate the rest of the season. He was more accomplished as a power hitter, homering into the upper decks at both Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and Veterans Stadium.
Runner-up: Willie Montanez, PHI (30 HR, 99 RBI)
58. Gil McDougald, 1951 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: .306 BA, 41 extra-base hits, .884 OPS (142 OPS+)
McDougald finished among the AL's top 10 in slugging and on-base percentage (min. 400 PA) while splitting time at second and third base for the World Series-champion Yankees.
Runner-up: Minnie Minoso, CLE/CWS (14 3B, 31 SB)
59. Jack Sanford, 1957 NL (Phillies)
Key stats: 19 wins, 188 SO, 3.08 ERA (124 ERA+)
The Phillies right-hander struck out 188 batters to lead the Majors, while also permitting an NL-best 7.4 hits per nine innings and completing 15 of his starts.
Runner-up: Ed Bouchee, PHI (.293 BA, 76 RBI)
60. Eric Hinske, 2002 AL (Blue Jays)
Key stats: 24 HR, 38 2B, 272 total bases
Toronto acquired Hinske in December 2001 and threw him right into the No. 2 spot in the everyday lineup, where he knocked 64 extra-base hits.
Runner-up: Rodrigo Lopez, BAL (15-9, 3.57 ERA)
61. Dave Righetti, 1981 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: 2.05 ERA (174 ERA+), 1 HR allowed in 105 1/3 IP
Righetti only logged 15 starts in his rookie year (he wasn't brought up until late May), but he also allowed more than three runs in just two of them. Opponents managed just 21 extra-base hits (including just one homer) in 422 plate appearances.
Runner-up: Rich Gedman, BOS (.288 BA, 59 H in 62 G)
62. Carlos Beltran, 1999 AL (Royals)
Key stats: .293 BA, 22 HR, 108 RBI
Beltran was the Royals' No. 3 hitter in the lineup by the middle of the season, blending power at the plate with 27 steals and excellent defense in center field.
Runner-up: Freddy Garcia, SEA (17-8, 4.07 ERA)
63. Benito Santiago, 1987 NL (Padres)
Key stats: .300 BA, 18 HR, 21 SB
Santiago set a new mark for rookies and catchers with a 34-game hit streak, and set career highs in hits, doubles and batting average to earn a Silver Slugger Award.
Runner-up: Mike Dunne, PIT (13-6, 3.03 ERA)
64. Dontrelle Willis, 2003 NL (Marlins)
Key stats: 14 wins, 3.30 ERA (127 ERA+), two shutouts
First attracting attention with his unorthodox leg kick, Willis' talent began catching eyes when he went 5-0 with a 1.04 ERA in June. He emerged as a major contributor to the Marlins' surprise '03 World Series championship.
Runner-up: Scott Podsednik, MIL (.314 BA, 43 SB)
65. David Justice, 1990 NL (Braves)
Key stats: 28 HR, 78 RBI, .908 OPS (143 OPS+)
Justice had big shoes to fill after Dale Murphy was traded to Philadelphia, but he filled in ably, jumping out to a lead in the NL's RBI race before a back injury sidelined him in June. Justice came back to play through the ailment and finished with 28 dingers.
Runner-up: Delino DeShields Sr., MON (.289 BA, 42 SB)
66. Ron Kittle, 1983 AL (White Sox)
Key stats: 35 HR, 100 RBI, .818 OPS (118 OPS+)
Kittle was a remarkable story as a former steelworker who debuted at nearly 25 years of age, and though he struck out an MLB-most 150 times, his power helped propel the "Winnin' Ugly" White Sox to their first postseason appearance in 24 years.
Runner-up: Julio Franco, CLE (80 RBI, 32 SB)
67. Geovany Soto, 2008 NL (Cubs)
Key stats: .285 BA, 60 extra-base hits, 86 RBI
Soto got his feet wet in the 2007 NLDS, hitting a homer in Game 2, before fully settling in the following year. The catcher knocked two three-run homers on April 30 against the Brewers and was later selected as the NL's starting backstop in the All-Star Game.
Runner-up: Joey Votto, CIN (.297 BA, 24 HR)
68. Al Bumbry, 1973 AL (Orioles)
Key stats: .337 BA, 11 3B, .898 OPS (154 OPS+)
Originally used only as a pinch-runner, Bumbry paced the Junior Circuit with 11 triples (including three in one game against Milwaukee) and hit .337 to make the most of his 110 games for Baltimore.
Runner-up: Pedro Garcia, MIL (15 HR, 54 RBI)
69. Chris Sabo, 1988 NL (Reds)
Key stats: .271 BA, 40 2B, 46 SB
Sabo's passion inspired manager Pete Rose to start him for the injured Buddy Bell on Opening Day, and he responded by becoming the first Live Ball Era rookie to pair 40 doubles with 40 steals.
Runner-up: Mark Grace, CHC (.296 BA, .371 OBP)
70. Bob Allison, 1959 AL (Senators)
Key stats: 30 HR, 85 RBI, 9 3B
Though he was more a slugger than a runner, Allison led the AL with nine triples and placed sixth in the Junior Circuit with 30 dingers.
Runner-up: Jim Perry, CLE (12-10, 2.65 ERA)
71. Dustin Pedroia, 2007 AL (Red Sox)
Key stats: .317 BA, 39 2B, 230 total bases
Pedroia endeared himself to Red Sox fans with a 13-game hitting streak and a stellar defensive play to preserve Clay Buchholz's no-hitter, becoming a sparkplug for the '07 World Series champs.
Runner-up: Delmon Young, TB (.288 BA, 93 RBI)
72. Eddie Murray, 1977 AL (Orioles)
Key stats: .283 BA, 27 HR, 88 RBI
Most Major Leaguers would have taken Murray's rookie line in any year of their careers. But this turned out to be the only time Murray struck out more than 100 times, and it was his lowest OPS for another dozen years.
Runner-up: Mitchell Page, OAK (21 HR, .926 OPS)
73. Vince Coleman, 1985 NL (Cardinals)
Key stats: 110 SB, 10 3B, 20 2B
Speed, speed and more speed. That's what Coleman brought to Whitey Herzog's Cardinals as he swiped a rookie-record 110 bases, still the third-highest single-season total in modern history.
Runner-up: Tom Browning, CIN (20-9, 3.55 ERA)
74. Darryl Strawberry, 1983 NL (Mets)
Key stats: 26 HR, 74 RBI, .848 OPS (134 OPS+)
Strawberry introduced prodigious power and an intimidating presence to what would soon become a powerhouse in Queens, placing in the NL's top 10 in homers and slugging despite spending the first month in the Minors.
Runner-up: Craig McMurty, ATL (15-9, 3.08 ERA)
75. Derek Jeter, 1996 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: .314 BA, 41 extra-base hits, 14 SB
Jeter homered on Opening Day to set the tone, and the young shortstop made for a dynamic option batting either in the leadoff spot or turning over the bottom of Joe Torre's lineup.
Runner-up: James Baldwin, CWS (11-6, 4.42 ERA)
76. Bob Horner, 1978 NL (Braves)
Key stats: 23 HR, 63 RBI, .852 OPS (124 OPS+)
Atlanta selected Horner with the first overall Draft pick in '78 and he bypassed the Minors altogether, holding his own with 23 homers in just 89 games to tie Ron Cey for the most of any NL third baseman that season.
Runner-up: Ozzie Smith, SD (.258 BA, 40 SB)
77. Jim Gilliam, 1953 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 251 total bases, 21 SB, 17 3B
Gilliam led the Majors with 17 triples out of the Dodgers' leadoff spot, igniting an offense that ran away with the NL pennant.
Runner-up: Harvey Haddix, STL (20-9, 3.06 ERA)
78. Rafael Furcal, 2000 NL (Braves)
Key stats: .394 OBP, 40 SB, 20 2B
Walt Weiss' injury enabled Furcal to jump from Class A ball to the roster of a powerhouse, and he fit right in as a dynamic sparkplug for another NL East champion club in Atlanta.
Runner-up: Rick Ankiel, STL (11-7, 3.50 ERA)
79. Andre Dawson, 1977 NL (Expos)
Key stats: 19 HR, 21 SB, 249 total bases
Dawson's rare blend of power and speed earned him star status in Montreal, where he would roam the outfield for a decade.
Runner-up: Steve Henderson, NYM (.297 BA, .852 OPS)
80. Randy Arozarena, 2021 AL (Rays)
Key stats: 20 HR, 20 SB, .815 OPS (131 OPS+)
Arozarena was a unique Rookie of the Year candidate, considering that he had already appeared in two prior seasons and made himself an October legend by setting single-year postseason records for homers (10), hits (29) and total bases (64) in 2020. He backed up that performance as one of the top performers for the first 100-win club in Rays franchise history, becoming the 11th rookie with 20 homers and 20 steals since MLB defined rookie status in 1958.
Runner-up: Luis Garcia, HOU (3.48 ERA, 167 SO)
81. Steve Sax, 1982 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: .282 BA, 49 SB, 23 2B
Sax drew early comparisons to Pete Rose thanks to his hustle on the basepaths, and by season's end he led the Dodgers in hits, runs and steals.
Runner-up: Johnny Ray, PIT (.281 BA, 63 RBI)
82. Pat Listach, 1992 AL (Brewers)
Key stats: .290 BA, 54 SB, 93 R
Called up in April, Listach helped Milwaukee get into postseason contention with a .290 average and the second-most steals in the AL behind Kenny Lofton.
Runner-up: Lofton, CLE (.285 BA, 66 SB)
83. Curt Blefary, 1965 AL (Orioles)
Key stats: 22 HR, 88 BB, .851 OPS (139 OPS+)
Blefary finished third in the AL in OBP and ninth in slugging percentage to become an instant contributor to the O's offense.
Runner-up: Marcelino Lopez, CAL (14-13, 2.93 ERA)
84. Ryan Howard, 2005 NL (Phillies)
Key stats: .288 BA, 22 HR, .924 OPS (133 OPS+)
Jim Thome's elbow injury made the rookie Howard the Phillies' everyday first baseman, and his play ultimately convinced Philadelphia to trade Thome away in the offseason. Howard rewarded them with a home run crown and an MVP campaign in '06.
Runner-up: Willy Taveras, HOU (.291 BA, 34 SB)
85. Jason Bay, 2004 NL (Pirates)
Key stats: 26 HR, 82 RBI, .907 OPS (132 OPS+)
Bay was traded to Pittsburgh in August 2003, missed the first month of '04 as he recovered from surgery and was still the NL's most productive rookie. His 26 homers set a Pirates rookie record.
Runner-up: Khalil Greene, SD (.273 BA, 15 HR)
86. Mike Hargrove, 1974 AL (Rangers)
Key stats: .323 BA, .395 OBP, 42 SO in 477 PA
Hargrove emerged a superb contact hitter and a tough out in the Rangers' lineup, showing a rare ability to avoid strikeouts for a first baseman.
Runner-up: Bucky Dent, CWS (.274 BA, 136 H)
87. Willie Mays, 1951 NL (Giants)
Key stats: 20 HR, 219 total bases, .828 OPS (120 OPS+)
Mays famously began his career 0-for-12 before hitting a towering homer off Warren Spahn. He improved the rest of the year to help the Giants complete their historic comeback over the Dodgers, though his best was clearly still yet to come.
Runner-up: Chet Nichols, BSN (11-8, 2.88 ERA)
88. Jonathan India, 2021 NL (Reds)
Key stats: 21 HR, 34 2B, .376 OBP
India flipped a switch after the Reds moved him into their leadoff spot in June, setting the tone with 21 homers, 34 doubles and a .376 on-base percentage that ranked sixth in the NL. He joined Frank Robinson (1956) as only the second rookie in Reds history to score at least 98 runs and club at least 57 extra-base hits.
Runner-up: Trevor Rogers, MIA (2.64 ERA, 157 SO)
89. Joe Black, 1952 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 15 wins, 15 SV, 2.15 ERA (171 ERA+)
Black became the second pitcher to match 15 wins with 15 saves in a season, serving as a crucial bullpen workhorse for the pennant-winning Dodgers.
Runner-up: Hoyt Wilhelm, NYG (15-3, 2.43 ERA)
90. Al Dark, 1948 NL (Braves)
Key stats: .322 BA, 39 2B, 85 R
Dark would later show unusual power for a shortstop in his era, but he began as a superior contact hitter, finishing third in NL MVP voting while stoking Boston to an unlikely NL pennant.
Runner-up: Gene Bearden, CLE (20-7, 2.43 ERA)
91. Huston Street, 2005 AL (A's)
Key stats: 23 SV, 1.72 ERA (254 ERA+), 2.75 FIP
A College World Series hero with the University of Texas, Street zoomed up through the ranks to become Oakland's closer at age 21 and post the league's second-lowest relief ERA behind Mariano Rivera.
Runner-up: Robinson Canó, NYY (.297 BA, 14 HR)
92. Justin Verlander, 2006 AL (Tigers)
Key stats: 17 wins, 3.63 ERA (125 ERA+), 124 SO
Verlander's best was still very much to come (he threw his first no-hitter the following year), but the flamethrower became the first Tigers rookie to win 10 games by the All-Star break and spurred Detroit to the AL pennant.
Runner-up: Jonathan Papelbon, BOS (35 SV, 0.92 ERA)
93. Gregg Olson, 1989 AL (Orioles)
Key stats: 1.69 ERA (224 ERA+), 27 SV, 1 HR allowed in 85 IP
Olson became the first reliever to win the AL Rookie of the Year after setting the league's freshman record with 27 saves and striking out 90 hitters in 85 innings.
Runner-up: Tom Gordon, KC (17-9, 3.64 ERA)
94. Tom Tresh, 1962 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: .286 BA, 20 HR, 26 2B
Tresh arguably peaked in his first year, batting a career-best .286 and driving in 93 while manning the high-profile position of Yankees shortstop.
Runner-up: Buck Rodgers, LAA (.258 BA, 61 RBI)
95. Marty Cordova, 1995 AL (Twins)
Key stats: 24 HR, 84 RBI, .839 OPS (115 OPS+)
Cordova logged six seasons in the Minors before making the most of his first big league season, beating out an impressive class including Garret Anderson, Shawn Green, Troy Percival and Andy Pettitte for AL Rookie of the Year honors.
Runner-up: Garret Anderson, CAL (16 HR, .505 SLG)
96. Bake McBride, 1974 NL (Cardinals)
Key stats: .309 BA, 30 SB, 220 total bases
McBride use his speed and contact skills to become St. Louis' first Rookie of the Year in nearly two decades.
Runner-up: Greg Gross, HOU (.314 BA, .393 OBP)
97. Chris Coghlan, 2009 NL (Marlins)
Key stats: .321 BA, .390 OBP, 84 R
Coghlan racked up 47 hits in August, including eight straight multi-hit games to set a Marlins record, and then followed with 50 hits in September to finish with the sixth-best batting average in the NL.
Runner-up: J.A. Happ, PHI (12-4, 2.93 ERA)
98. Sam Jethroe, 1950 NL (Braves)
Key stats: 35 SB, 257 total bases, 18 HR
Jethroe was already an established Negro Leagues star by the time he burst onto the NL scene to lead the Senior Circuit in steals. He remains the oldest player to win a Rookie of the Year at age 33.
Runner-up: Bob Miller, PHI (11-6, 3.57 ERA)
99. Gary Matthews, 1973 NL (Giants)
Key stats: .300 BA, 10 3B, .812 OPS (121 OPS+)
Matthews blended average at the plate with speed on the bases and in the outfield, edging out Expos righty Steve Rogers for the '73 honor.
Runner-up: Rogers, MON (10-5, 1.54 ERA)
100. Lou Whitaker, 1978 AL (Tigers)
Key stats: .285 BA, .361 OBP, 95 double plays turned
Establishing one of the most famous double-play combos alongside shortstop Alan Trammell, Whitaker got on base early and often for the '78 Tigers.
Runner-up: Paul Molitor, MIL (.273 BA, 30 SB)
101. Sandy Alomar Jr., 1990 AL (Indians)
Key stats: .290 BA, 26 2B, 66 RBI
Alomar, who was blocked by another former Rookie of the Year catcher in Benito Santiago in San Diego, flourished once he arrived in Cleveland, becoming the first freshman backstop to start an All-Star Game while also capturing a Gold Glove for his defense.
Runner-up: Kevin Maas, NYY (21 HR, .535 SLG)
102. Pat Zachry, 1976 NL (Reds)
Key stats: 14 wins, 2.74 ERA (128 ERA+), 8 HR allowed in 204 IP
Zachry led the Big Red Machine's rotation with a 2.74 ERA before he became a part of the "Midnight Massacre" trade that sent Mets ace Tom Seaver to Cincinnati a year later.
Runner-up: Shared award with Butch Metzger, SD
103. Billy Williams, 1961 NL (Cubs)
Key stats: .278 BA, 25 HR, 86 RBI
None other than Rogers Hornsby predicted that Williams would win a batting title, and in '61 Williams showed the swing that would eventually ensure Hornsby was right.
Runner-up: Joe Torre, MIL (.278, 42 RBI)
104. Roy Sievers, 1949 AL (Browns)
Key stats: 28 2B, 91 RBI, .869 OPS (125 OPS+)
Sievers excelled on a 101-loss Browns club, finishing sixth in the AL with 91 RBIs and seventh with 28 doubles.
Runner-up: Alex Kellner, PHA (20-12, 3.75 ERA)
105. Harvey Kuenn, 1953 AL (Tigers)
Key stats: .308 BA, 209 H, .356 OBP
Kuenn's 167 singles set a then-rookie record, while his 209 hits overall paced the Majors.
Runner-up: Tom Umphlett, BOS (.283 BA, 59 RBI)
106. Wally Moon, 1954 NL (Cardinals)
Key stats: .304 BA, 29 2B, .806 OPS (110 OPS+)
Moon outplayed fan favorite Enos Slaughter in Spring Training and took advantage of his opportunity, putting up career highs in hits, runs and steals while besting fellow rookies Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks in a competitive NL race.
Runner-up: Ernie Banks, CHC (19 HR, 79 RBI)
107. Neftalí Feliz, 2010 AL (Rangers)
Key stats: 40 saves, 2.73 ERA (165 ERA+), 0.88 WHIP
Feliz set a then-rookie record with 40 saves while flashing a fastball that was clocked as high as 103 mph, bolstering Texas' back end as the club captured its first pennant.
Runner-up: Austin Jackson, DET (.293 BA, 103 R)
108. Angel Berroa, 2003 AL (Royals)
Key stats: .287 BA, 52 extra-base hits, 21 SB
Berroa brought a power bat that was relatively rare for a young shortstop, while supplying traditional speed on the bases as well. He beat out Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui by four points in one of the closest AL ROY races on record.
Runner-up: Matsui, NYY (.287 BA, 106 RBI)
109. Joe Charboneau, 1980 AL (Indians)
Key stats: 23 HR, 87 RBI, .846 OPS (129 OPS+)
The Tribe's eccentric outfielder endeared himself to Cleveland fans with both his personality and his hitting, but injuries forced him out of the sport two years later after just 201 career games.
Runner-up: Dave Stapleton, BOS (.321 BA, 45 RBI)
110. Bob Grim, 1954 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: 20 wins, 3.26 ERA (107 ERA+), eight CG
Grim became the first Yankees rookie to win 20 games since Russ Ford in 1910, earning eight of them in relief, but arm troubles derailed what looked to be a promising career.
Runner-up: Jim Finigan, PHA (.302 BA, .381 OBP)
111. Tony Kubek, 1957 AL (Yankees)
Key stats: .297 BA, 21 2B, .335 OBP
The versatile Kubek manned five different positions in the field in his rookie year before going on to hit two homers in Game 3 of the '57 World Series.
Runner-up: Frank Malzone, BOS (15 HR, 103 RBI)
112. Wil Myers, 2013 AL (Rays)
Key stats: .293 BA, 13 HR, .831 OPS (131 OPS+)
Runner-up: José Iglesias, BOS/DET (.303 BA, 16 2B)
113. Ron Hansen, 1960 AL (Orioles)
Key stats: 22 HR, 86 RBI, 233 total bases
Hansen went hitless in 23 scattered at-bats before surpassing expectations in his first full season by knocking 22 homers and appearing in 153 games at shortstop.
Runner-up: Chuck Estrada, BAL (18-11, 3.58 ERA)
114. Rod Carew, 1967 AL (Twins)
Key stats: .292 BA, 22 2B, 51 RBI
Carew's acumen for high average was clear from the get-go, and his contact ability netted him the first of 18 consecutive All-Star Game selections.
Runner-up: Reggie Smith, BOS (15 HR, 61 RBI)
115. Walt Weiss, 1988 AL (A's)
Key stats: 2.4 dWAR, 431 assists, 979 fielding pct.
Weiss' .633 OPS ranked far below league average, but he made up for it with dazzling defensive play at shortstop. His 2.4 defensive WAR rating ranked only behind the White Sox Ozzie Guillen among AL players.
Runner-up: Bryan Harvey, CAL (17 SV, 2.13 ERA)
116. Andrew Bailey, 2009 AL (A's)
Key stats: 1.84 ERA (239 ERA+), 26 SV, 0.88 WHIP
A long shot to make the roster, Bailey played himself into Oakland's closer role and broke the franchise's rookie save record.
Runner-up: Elvis Andrus, TEX (128 H, 33 SB)
117. Devin Williams, 2020 NL (Brewers)
Key stats: 0.33 ERA (1 ER in 27 IP), 53% K-rate
Williams came out of nowhere to become the best reliever on both his team (which already featured super-fireman Josh Hader) and in his league in a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic. Wielding baseball's most unhittable pitch in his "Airbender" changeup, Williams recorded a 53% strikeout rate that ranks among the best single-season rates in modern history.
Runners-up: Alec Bohm, PHI (.881 OPS) and Jake Cronenworth, SD (.831 OPS)
118. Chuck Knoblauch, 1991 AL (Twins)
Key stats: .281 BA, 24 2B, 25 SB
The 22-year-old Knoblauch proved to be a key contributor to the Twins' World Series champion club, flashing the contact skills and hustle that would later define his career.
Runner-up: Juan Guzman, TOR (10-3, 2.99 ERA)
119. Bobby Crosby, 2004 AL (A's)
Key stats: 34 2B, 22 HR, 64 RBI
Taking over Oakland's shortstop position for the departed former MVP Miguel Tejada, Crosby led AL rookies in hits, doubles and walks to fall one vote shy of a unanimous selection.
Runner-up: Shingo Takatsu, CWS (19 SV, 2.31 ERA)
120. Scott Williamson, 1999 NL (Reds)
Key stats: 2.41 ERA (194 ERA+), 10.3 K/9, 1.04 WHIP
Williamson made just five appearances in Triple-A before proving he was ready for the big stage. The righty made the All-Star team and piled up 19 saves while providing 93 1/3 innings of quality relief.
Runner-up: Preston Wilson, FLA (.280 BA, 26 HR)
121. Frank Howard, 1960 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 23 HR, 77 RBI, 208 total bases
Standing 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds, the mighty Howard showed the first glimpses of his power before going on to become one of the most prolific right-handed sluggers of his era.
Runner-up: Pancho Herrera, PHI (.281 BA, 17 HR)
122. Alfredo Griffin, 1979 AL (Blue Jays)
Key stats: .287 BA, 10 3B, 21 SB
Alfredo arrived in Toronto via trade after several cups of coffee with the Indians and made the most of opportunity, placing within the AL's top five in singles (second), triples (fifth) and assists at shortstop (fifth) to take home co-Rookie of the Year honors with Twins infielder John Castino.
Runner-up: Shared award with Castino, MIN
123. Ben Grieve, 1998 AL (A's)
Key stats: .288 BA, .386 OBP, 89 RBI
Baseball's top-ranked prospect delivered on the hype, getting on base nearly 39 percent of the time while driving in 89 runs.
Runner-up: Rolando Arrojo, TB (14-12, 3.56 ERA)
124. Raul Mondesi, 1994 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: .306 BA, 16 HR, .516 SLG
Mondesi showed flashes of the all-around player he would become, matching average and power at the plate with solid right-field defense and 11 stolen bases.
Runner-up: John Hudek, HOU (16 SV, 2.97 ERA)
125. Kyle Lewis, 2020 AL (Mariners)
Key stats: 11 HR in 206 AB, .801 OPS (126 OPS+)
Lewis ranked among MLB's hitting leaders before cooling off in September, but he still finished as the first rookie to lead his team in batting average, home runs, runs and walks (albeit in a season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic) since Mark McGwire in 1987. A handful of spectacular home run robberies in center field helped make his freshman campaign more memorable.
Runner-up: Luis Robert, CHW (11 HR, 31 RBIs in 56 games)
126. Don Schwall, 1961 AL (Red Sox)
Key stats: 15 wins, 3.22 ERA (129 ERA+), 0.4 HR/9
Schwall began the year 13-2 for a Red Sox team that finished 10 games under .500, and pitched three innings of one-run ball in that summer's All-Star Game at Fenway Park.
Runner-up: Dick Howser, KCA (.280 BA, 37 SB)
127. Lou Piniella, 1969 AL (Royals)
Key stats: .282 BA, 21 2B, 68 RBI
Piniella became the first batter in Royals franchise history when he stepped to the plate on April 8, and he remained one of Kansas City's best hitters throughout the season, pacing the club in hits and doubles.
Runner-up: Mike Nagy, BOS (12-2, 3.11 ERA)
128. Pete Rose, 1963 NL (Reds)
Key stats: .273 BA, 9 3B, 101 R
Rose earned his famous "Charlie Hustle" nickname from Whitey Ford in the spring of '63, and while Ford meant it as sarcastic put-down, Rose wore the name as a badge of honor. His hustle endeared himself to BBWAA voters, too.
Runner-up: Ron Hunt, NYM (.272 BA, 10 HR)
129. Todd Worrell, 1986 NL (Cardinals)
Key stats: 36 SV, 2.08 ERA (176 ERA+), 74 appearances
Worrell captured both the Rookie of the Year and the Rolaids Relief Man awards after leading the Senior Circuit with 36 saves.
Runner-up: Robby Thompson, SF (.271 BA, 47 RBI)
130. Kazuhiro Sasaki, 2000 AL (Mariners)
Key stats: 37 SV, 3.16 ERA (146 ERA+), 11.2 K/9
Sasaki pitched for 10 seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB) before transforming Seattle's bullpen with a devastating splitter nicknamed "The Fang."
Runner-up: Terrence Long, OAK (.288 BA, 18 HR)
131. Rick Sutcliffe, 1979 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 17 wins, 3.46 ERA (105 ERA+), 242 IP
Sutcliffe kicked off a run of four straight Rookie of the Year winners from the Dodgers as he led L.A.'s staff in wins and innings pitched.
Runner-up: Jeffrey Leonard, HOU (.290 BA, 47 RBI)
132. John Castino, 1979 AL (Twins)
Key stats: .285 BA, 52 RBI, 31 double plays turned at 3B
Castino's glove, which helped turn an AL-most 31 double plays from third base, garnered him a share of the '79 Rookie of the Year Award with Toronto's Alfredo Griffin.
Runner-up: Shared award with Griffin, TOR
133. Jim Lefebvre, 1965 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 12 HR, 21 2B, 201 total bases
Lefebvre manned second base for the '65 NL champions, and went 4-for-10 over three World Series games against the Twins.
Runner-up: Joe Morgan, HOU (14 HR, 20 SB)
134. Ted Sizemore, 1969 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: .271 BA, 202 total bases, 69 R
The Dodgers switched Sizemore from catcher to the infield, and he played his way into Walter Alston's regular lineup with consistent hitting.
Runner-up: Coco Laboy, MON (18 HR, 83 RBI)
135. Jeremy Hellickson, 2011 AL (Rays)
Key stats: 2.95 ERA (128 ERA+), 189 IP, 2 CG
Hellickson slotted right into a strong Rays rotation that boasted five different 10-game winners, with his strong ERA bested only by staff ace James Shields.
Runner-up: Mark Trumbo, LAA (29 HR, 87 RBI)_
136. Carl Morton, 1970 NL (Expos)
Key stats: 18 wins, 3.60 ERA (114 ERA+), 284 2/3 IP
Morton claimed 18 of the last-place Expos' 73 wins and compiled 10 complete games to emerge as Montreal's workhorse.
Runner-up: Bernie Carbo, CIN (21 HR, 1.004 OPS)
137. Eric Karros, 1992 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 20 HR, 30 2B, 88 RBI
Karros hit his first career homer in his first at-bat of the season, setting the tone for a powerful rookie campaign in Los Angeles.
Runner-up: Moises Alou, MON (.282 BA, 56 RBI)
138. Harry Byrd, 1952 AL (A's)
Key stats: 15 wins, 3.31 ERA (119 ERA+), 15 CG
Byrd became a workhorse for the A's down the stretch, starting five games on two days' rest while coming out of the bullpen several times, too. Through all the work, Byrd still compiled a 2.78 ERA in the second half.
Runner-up: Clint Courtney, SLB (.286 BA, 118 H)
139. Jerome Walton 1989 NL (Cubs)
Key stats: .293 BA, 24 SB, 64 R
Walton compiled a 30-game hitting streak on his way to becoming the first Cub to win Rookie of the Year in 27 years.
Runner-up: Dwight Smith, CHC (.324 BA, 52 RBI)
140. Jason Jennings, 2002 NL (Rockies)
Key stats: 16 wins, 4.52 ERA (106 ERA+), 185 1/3 IP
Jennings homered and tossed a shutout in his MLB debut, and the ERA he posted as a rookie who called Coors Field home -- in the height of the Steroid Era -- deserves recognition.
Runner-up: Brad Wilkerson, MON (20 HR, .370 OBP)
141. Todd Hollandsworth, 1996 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: .291 BA, 59 RBI, .785 OPS (113 OPS+)
Hollandsworth gave the Dodgers a record five straight Rookie of the Year winners after leading all NL freshmen outright in hits, doubles, and RBIs.
Runner-up: Edgar Renteria, FLA (.309 BA, 16 SB)
142. Luis Aparicio, 1956 AL (White Sox)
Key stats: 21 SB, 250 putouts, 474 assists
Aparicio was one of the engines who helped the "Go Go Sox" go, beginning in his rookie campaign when he stole an AL-most 21 bags and led the league's shortstops in both putouts and assists.
Runner-up: Rocky Colavito, CLE (21 HR, .903 OPS)
143. Bill Virdon, 1955 NL (Cardinals)
Key stats: .281 BA, 17 HR, 68 RBI
St. Louis moved the great Stan Musial to first base so that Virdon could play the outfield, and he rewarded that decision with a solid season at the plate.
Runner-up: Jack Meyer, PHI (16 SV, 3.43 ERA)
144. Ozzie Guillen, 1985 AL (White Sox)
Key stats: .980 fielding pct., 9 3B, .273 BA
Guillen's fearless baserunning and defensive wizardry at shortstop reminded South Siders of Aparicio, and he followed his Venezuelan counterpart's footsteps by claiming Rookie of the Year.
Runner-up: Teddy Higuera, MIL (15-8, 3.90 ERA)
145. Steve Howe, 1980 NL (Dodgers)
Key stats: 17 SV, 2.66 ERA (134 ERA+), 2.83 FIP
Howe set a Dodgers rookie record with 17 saves, giving L.A. a solid back-end lefty for its title run the following year.
Runner-up: Bill Gullickson, MON (10-5, 3.00 ERA)
146. Tommy Helms, 1966 NL (Reds)
Key stats: .284 BA, 23 2B, 49 RBI
Helms, a natural shortstop, adjusted well to his new position at third base while hitting .284 at the plate.
Runner-up: Sonny Jackson, HOU (.292 BA, 49 SB)
147. Butch Metzger, 1976 NL (Padres)
Key stats: 11 wins, 16 SV, 2.92 ERA (112 ERA+)
Metzger harnessed the control issues that had plagued him in his Major League stints, pairing 89 strikeouts with 52 walks over 123 1/3 innings to share co-Rookie of the Year honors with Cincinnati's Pat Zachry.
Runner-up: Shared award with Zachry, CIN
148. Chris Chambliss, 1971 AL (Indians)
Key stats: .275 BA, 20 2B, 48 RBI
Greater fame lay ahead in the Bronx for Chambliss, who played through a leg injury to rack up 114 hits in 111 games in his rookie campaign for Cleveland.
Runner-up: Bill Parsons, MIL (13-17, 3.20 ERA)
149. Ken Hubbs, 1962 NL (Cubs)
Key stats: .260 BA, 90 R, 49 RBI
Hubbs became the first rookie to win a Gold Glove Award for his play at second base. His career was tragically cut short by a fatal plane crash in Utah prior to the '64 season.
Runner-up: Donn Clendenon, PIT (.302 BA, 16 SB)
150. Albie Pearson, 1958 AL (Senators)
Key stats: .275 BA, 25 2B, .354 OBP
One of the smallest players to take a Major League field at 5-foot-5, 140 pounds, Pearson set the table for Washington with a solid knack for getting on base.
Runner-up: Ryne Duren, NYY (19 SV, 2.02 ERA)