Rookie of the Year Award races have new leaders

September 3rd, 2018

Outfielder of the Braves and third baseman of the Yankees are the new -- and latest -- front-runners in our Rookie of the Year Award poll. But don't go clearing trophy space just yet: Both races are close, and neither is near being settled.

If you're looking for a snapshot into how much young talent has emerged this season, this race might be it. Each league has had three leaders during the six ballots cast by MLB.com's members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

First, the American League race. led the poll once, four times and now Andujar. But it could hardly be closer. Andujar has just a five-point lead over Torres and an eight-point lead over Ohtani.

In the National League, it's Acuna with a 36-point lead over Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, who led three previous polls. Dodgers pitcher led the first two.

Cardinals rookie outfielder bears watching. He finished third in the NL poll, far behind the front-runners. But this is his first top-five placing, and given how he's playing and how hot his team is, he could make a run at the top spot.

Another note on the Cards: It's an indication of the organization's commitment to young players that three St. Louis players -- Bader and pitchers and -- have all received votes.

Here's a breakdown of the voting:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Miguel Andujar, Yankees (93 points)

Andujar is putting together a rookie season that will stand nicely alongside almost any in franchise history. He began play Tuesday with 38 doubles, most for a Yankee since had 41 in 2013. Andujar leads all Major League rookies in an assortment of categories, including hits and RBIs. He is hitting .337 since the All-Star break and is the first Yankee since Joe DiMaggio to have at least 65 extra-base hits in his first 131 career games (DiMaggio had 88).

Gleyber Torres, Yankees (88 points)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone has been rewarded for hanging with Torres through six tough weeks. Torres has bounced back nicely, beginning play Tuesday having hit .386 since Aug. 18. His on-base average is .478 in that stretch. Torres was named AL Rookie of the Week on Monday for hitting .478 with three home runs, five walks and 10 RBIs.

Related

Shohei Ohtani, Angels (85 points)

Ohtani has succeeded in doing what almost no one thought possible. He's a two-way player and performing both tasks at a high level. Ohtani's return to the mound on Sunday was a significant step in his recovery from right elbow pain. He's the first player in Major League history with at least 15 home runs as a hitter and 50 strikeouts as a pitcher in the same season.

Others receiving votes:, Royals; Joey Wendle, Rays

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves (136 points)

This one almost seems inevitable given Acuna's steady progression into the upper echelon of Major League players. He was moved to the leadoff spot after the All-Star break and began play Tuesday hitting .335 with 16 home runs and 36 runs in his past 43 games. That home-run total is tied for first in the NL since the break.

Juan Soto, Nationals (100 points)

The 19-year-old has passed every test since his May 20 debut. Soto began Tuesday leading all rookies with a .419 OBP and a .936 OPS. Despite the late start, he also leads NL rookies in walks and is third in home runs with 16.

Harrison Bader, Cardinals (16 points)

Bader brings an element of speed and defense the Cardinals haven't had in a while. He leads all NL rookies with 13 stolen bases. Per Statcast™, Bader leads MLB in Outs Above Average (19) and five-star catches (7).

Others receiving votes: Jack Flaherty, Cardinals; , Giants; , Marlins; , Phillies.