Two clear leaders in third Rookie of Year poll

July 2nd, 2019

Rays second baseman and Mets first baseman both received 44 of 49 first-place votes and remain comfortably atop's third Rookie of the Year poll. No clear challenger has emerged for either.

In some ways, this is precisely what was expected of both. Alonso, the National League leader, entered Spring Training with the expectations that come with being a top prospect in New York.

No sweat. He entered July with 28 home runs -- second in the NL, trailing only Christian Yelich -- and was named an All-star on Sunday. Alonso is fifth in fWAR (3.4) and sixth in wOBA (.409) and OPS (.999).

At a time when some regression would be expected, the 24-year-old batted .307 with nine home runs in 28 games in June. While Alonso has led the last two Rookie of the Year polls and has a big lead on July 1, Padres shortstop , back from the injured list, finished second and could eventually challenge.

Lowe, the AL front-runner, had different expectations. After playing 43 games last season, the Rays signed Lowe to a six-year, $24 million extension that includes two team options worth an additional $20.5 million.

Lowe, 24, originally was projected in a utility role, but has settled in nicely at second base. He's 17th in the AL in fWAR (2.3) and 26th with a .354 wOBA. He has been on top of all three polls, with Orioles All-Star lefty John Means and Red Sox second baseman finishing second and third. reporters were asked to rank their top three choices in each league, with five points for a first-place vote, three for second place and one for third.

Here's a breakdown of the top three finisher in each league (stats through June):


1) Brandon Lowe (44 first-place votes)
He leads AL rookies in home runs (15), doubles (17) and RBIs (47). Nine of his 15 home runs have either tied a game (two) or given the Rays a lead (seven). Seven go-ahead home runs are tied for sixth most in the AL. His 15 homers are fourth most for a Rays rookie over an entire season, trailing Evan Longoria (27 in 2008), Jonny Gomes (21 in 2005), Steven Souza Jr. (16 in 2005). His 103 strikeouts are third most in the Majors.

2) John Means (5 first-place votes)
Among AL pitchers with at least 10 starts, Means is third with a 2.50 ERA and is the first Orioles rookie since 1966 to make the AL All-Star team (Andy Etchebarren). Means has induced 61 swings and misses on his changeup this season, ninth most among lefties, according to STATS, LLC.

3) Michael Chavis (0 first-place votes)
He has hit 14 home runs since his debut on April 19, tied with Xander Bogaerts for the Red Sox lead and tied for second among AL rookies. His 44 RBIs in 63 games are third most on the Sox in that time. He has hit three of the Red Sox four longest home runs this season, including a 459-footer on May 3.

Others receiving votes: Spencer Turnbull, Oscar Mercado, Yordan Alvarez, Daniel Vogelbach, Eloy Jimenez.


1) Pete Alonso (44 first-place votes)
He has already broken the NL rookie record for most home runs before the All-Star break and is fourth on the all-time MLB list. He's one of four players to hit 28 home runs in his first 82 games. His 28 home runs are 14 more than any other NL rookie, and his 64 RBIs are 27 more than anyone else. Among all NL players, he's fifth in fWAR (3.4) and sixth in wOBA (.409).

2) Fernando Tatis Jr. (2 first-place votes)
His numbers are the stuff of video games. Since returning from the IL on June 6, he has batted .383 with five homers, four doubles and three triples. His 26 runs in June were the most for a Padres rookie in a month, breaking Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar's record of 23 in September 1988. Tatis is the first Padres player to reach double-digit home runs before his 21st birthday.

3) Mike Soroka (3 first-place votes)
He's 9-0 since losing his first start, and the Braves have won 11 of those 13 games. Since the All-Star Game began in 1933, no rookie pitcher in Braves history has won more games in the first half. Lou Fette (1937) and Jair Jurrjens (2008) also won nine. Since April 24, Soroka leads the NL in wins (nine) and is third in ERA (2.15) and batting average (.207).

Other receiving votes: Nick Senzel, Bryan Reynolds.