Favorites are becoming clear in ROY race

September 9th, 2022

The young stars in Seattle and Atlanta aren't going anywhere -- with a month to go in the regular season, and are the strong Rookie of the Year favorites.

J-Rod and Strider have a commanding lead in the MLB.com Rookie of the Year poll for the fourth straight time, with Rodríguez receiving nearly all the first-place votes in the American League and Strider receiving the majority in the National League.

The Mariners and Braves are also the only teams with a pair of rookies in the top five in each league, with Rodríguez's teammate George Kirby joining him at No. 5 in the AL and Strider's teammate Michael Harris II joining him at No. 2 in the NL.

A panel of MLB.com voters was asked to rank the top five Rookie of the Year candidates in each league based on what's happened so far and what they expect will happen over the rest of the 2022 season. Rookies received vote points on a 5-4-3-2-1 scale -- five points for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on, with 42 voters participating.

Here are the results. (All stats are through Wednesday.)


1. Julio Rodríguez, Mariners (40 first-place votes)

Rodríguez is up to 23 home runs and 24 stolen bases on the season, making him one of five 20-20 players in the Majors, along with Kyle Tucker, Marcus Semien, Adolis García and fellow star rookie Bobby Witt Jr.

2. Adley Rutschman, Orioles (2 first-place votes)

Rutschman continues to lead the way for the surprising Orioles, with an OPS over .900 since he started heating up in mid-June. He's also already emerged as one of the top defensive catchers in baseball and ranks second at the position with 4.0 Wins Above Replacement since his debut.

3. Bobby Witt Jr., Royals

Witt's 20 home runs and 27 stolen bases make him an electric power-speed threat just like Rodríguez. Those 27 steals rank fourth in the Majors, and the 20 homers are tied for the Royals' team lead with Salvador Perez.

4. Steven Kwan, Guardians

Kwan moves up one spot from the last Rookie of the Year poll to No. 4. He's batting .289 and is one of six qualified hitters with more walks (51) than strikeouts (50), along with Juan Soto, Alex Bregman, Luis Arraez, Yandy Díaz and Alejandro Kirk.

5. George Kirby, Mariners

Kirby breaks into the top five to give the Mariners two Rookie of the Year contenders down the stretch. The 24-year-old right-hander is 6-3 with a 3.15 ERA and 109 strikeouts in his 20 starts and was just named the AL Rookie of the Month for August.

Others receiving votes: Jose Miranda (MIN), Jeremy Peña (HOU), Félix Bautista (BAL), Joe Ryan (MIN), Jhoan Duran (MIN), Reid Detmers (LAA), Brock Burke (TEX)


1. Spencer Strider, Braves (31 first-place votes)

In his first start of September, Strider made the biggest statement yet in his Rookie of the Year campaign -- he struck out 16 over eight scoreless innings against the Rockies, the most strikeouts in a game by any pitcher this year and a Braves record for a nine-inning game. The 23-year-old right-hander is now 10-4 with a 2.69 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 120 2/3 innings this season.

2. Michael Harris II, Braves (11 first-place votes)

Meanwhile, Strider's teammate Harris is the reigning NL Rookie of the Month. The 21-year-old center fielder batted .337 with a .990 OPS, four homers and five steals in August. That brings Harris up to a .310 batting average, .884 OPS, 15 home runs and 16 stolen bases in his rookie season.

3. Brendan Donovan, Cardinals

Donovan moves into the top three after finishing fourth in the last Rookie of the Year poll. After a little bit of a slump in July, the 25-year-old utilityman is batting .321 in 26 games since the beginning of August.

4. Jake McCarthy, D-backs

McCarthy is a new entry into the top five NL rookies. The 25-year-old outfielder is batting .323 with an .877 OPS in his 51 games over the last three months. He has a 125 OPS+ for the season with a .288 average, seven homers and 15 stolen bases.

5. Seiya Suzuki, Cubs

Over the last month, Suzuki is batting .301 with an .823 OPS, bringing him back into the top five of the Rookie of the Year poll. The Cubs outfielder has a 111 OPS+ and 11 home runs in 2022.

Others receiving votes: Christopher Morel (CHC), Oneil Cruz (PIT), Alexis Díaz (CIN), Edward Cabrera (MIA), Nolan Gorman (STL), Bryson Stott (PHI), Nick Lodolo (CIN), Alek Thomas (ARI), Andre Pallante (STL), Vaughn Grissom (ATL), Joey Bart (SF), Graham Ashcraft (CIN), Emmanuel Rivera (ARI)