Yankees, Dodgers phenoms lead new ROY poll
Once or twice over the years, we may have been guilty of overhyping a few Yankees prospects. Every kid was going to be the next Mantle or the next DiMaggio. Hey, that's part of the fun of this stuff.
Not all of them were. Between 1971 and 2016, the Yanks had just one American League Rookie of the Year Award winner -- Derek Jeter, in 1996.
This time, we might be underselling them. First, there are kids dotted up and down Aaron Boone's lineup card. Now comes our latest AL Rookie of the Year Award poll, from 37 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
There are Yankees running first and second -- this, after Aaron Judge won it last season. In the long history of the New York Yankees, they've never had back-to-back AL Rookie of the Year Awarrd winners.
Yanks second baseman Gleyber Torres got 34 of 37 first-place votes to outdistance teammate Miguel Andujar. Shohei Ohtani of the Angels, who led our previous poll, dropped to third place (71 points) after being sidelined indefinitely with an elbow injury.
In the National League, Dodgers righty Walker Buehler continues to lead the poll, this time with 139 points. Nationals 19-year-old outfielder Juan Soto, who wasn't on the grid when the first poll was taken, finished second with 77 points, and Marlins third baseman/right fielder Brian Anderson was third. Buehler got 20 of 36 first-place votes, Soto nine and Anderson seven.
Our 37 voters were asked to rank their top three players, with a first-place vote being worth five points, three points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote. Therefore, the maximum number of points a player could get was 185. Here's a look at the voting:
- Gleyber Torres, Yankees (177 points)
Torres made his Major League debut in the Yanks' 19th game, and he made an immediate impact by hitting .323 in April and getting his average as high as .344 on May 10 before cooling off a bit. Only 21, he has impacted games with speed, power, etc. Torres is piling up strikeouts and will be forced to adjust as pitchers figure out his weaknesses. But his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.
2. Miguel Andujar, Yankees (80 points)
Andujar started slowly, going 3-for-28 in his first seven starts. So where was the guy who tore it up in Spring Training? That's when he started to hit, and he hasn't stopped. Andujar has a chance for 20 home runs and 50 doubles in his rookie season. Best of all, because the Yanks' lineup is so deep, he'll have a chance to go through the growing pains that are almost certain to come.
3. Shohei Ohtani, Angels (71 points)
Just when Ohtani had pretty much proven he can do the thing we thought no one would ever do again -- be a bona fide two-way player -- his right elbow got sore. The Halos still hope he can come back in some role at some point. Regardless, Ohtani has already done enough to have an entire sport excited about the possibilities.
Others receiving votes:Max Stassi, Astros; Hector Velazquez, Red Sox; Brad Keller, Royals.
- Walker Buehler, Dodgers (139 points)
Buehler began the season as a top prospect who provided the Dodgers with nice depth for a rotation that was supposed to be one of baseball's best. When injuries hit the rotation, he became critical to help the club get back on track. The Dodgers won six of Buehler's nine starts, and he compiled a solid 2.63 ERA. He has been sidelined since June 8 with a rib microfracture, and a timetable for his return is uncertain.
2. Juan Soto, Nationals (77 points)
None of baseball's new generation of young talent has been more impressive than this 19-year-old. Soto homered in his first start on May 21 and has not had consecutive hitless games this month. He has future superstar written all over him, and the future may be now.
3. Brian Anderson, Marlins (68 points)
Anderson is one of the real bright spots for a club that is completely invested in a youth movement. He has the kind of speed that can win games, and he has had his batting average around .300 and his OPS close to .800 for most of this month.
Others receiving votes:Austin Meadows, Pirates; Christian Villanueva, Padres; Harrison Bader, Cardinals; Jack Flaherty, Cardinals; Jordan Hicks, Cardinals; Dan Winkler, Braves; Caleb Smith, Marlins.