A great deal of what we do at MLB Pipeline is look into the future. Evaluating prospects, after all, is all about projecting what players will be down the road. That’s been a challenge given the unusual nature of the 2020 season, with the only performances happening at the big league level.
But now that we’re nearly at the end of the regular season, we can take a closer look at just how prospects who got called up -- and there were a lot of them -- actually performed. In previous years, we’ve put out a Prospect Team of the Year. In lieu of that, we present the 2020 All-Rookie Team. The following first and second teams were chosen based on what they did this season, without long-term value being discussed. Members of these All-Rookie teams have graduated off of prospect lists unless specifically noted.
C: Sean Murphy, A’s
.231/.365/.433, 39 G, 6 HR, 17 R, 13 RBIs
Murphy leads all rookie catchers in total bases (45), homers (6) and RBIs (13) while also helping guide a pitching staff that stands fifth in the American League in ERA (3.69).
1B: Jared Walsh, Angels
.309/.337/.679, 28 G, 8 HR, 17 R, 23 RBIs
His power output has been astounding to watch as he joined an impressive all-time group of American League hitters with an RBI and a run scored in at least nine games. He leads all rookie first basemen in homers (8), SLG (.679), OPS (1.016) and extra-base hits (tied with 13).
2B: Jake Cronenworth, Padres
.304/.373/.513, 49 G, 4 HR, 25 R, 20 RBIs
Cronenworth has played his way to the top of the NL Rookie of the Year race and tops all NL second basemen who qualify, not just rookies, in SLG (.513), OPS (.886) and extra-base hits (22), while placing second in average (.304).
3B: Alec Bohm, Phillies
.333/.404/.489, 40 G, 4 HR, 22 R, 22 RBIs
Bohm didn’t make his big league debut until Aug. 3, but he easily leads all rookie third basemen in average (.333), OBP (.404), RBIs (22), total bases (69) and extra-base hits (14).
SS: Willi Castro, Tigers
.336/.374/.531, 32 G, 5 HR, 16 R, 20 RBIs
Castro has done nothing but rake since coming up on Aug. 12, topping rookie shortstops in pretty much every offensive category. He’d be third in the American League in hitting if he had enough ABs to qualify.
OF: Kyle Lewis, Mariners
.272/.376/.461, 54 G, 11 HR, 36 R, 28 RBIs
While he’s come back down to Earth a bit after a scorching start, Lewis is still very much at the forefront of AL Rookie of the Year talk as he’s tied among all rookies with 11 homers and tops all of them with 88 total bases, all while playing a solid center field.
OF: Luis Robert, White Sox
.225/.297/.444, 52 G, 11 HR, 30 R, 30 RBIs
The tools have been on display all year – he’s swiped eight bases and played an outstanding defensive center field – while tying with Lewis for the rookie home run lead, leading AL rookies in XBH (19) and trailing only Lewis among all rookies in total bases (83).
OF Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles No. 5/MLB No. 94
.314/.373/.505, 30 G, 5 HR, 11 R, 21 RBIs
He’s hit pretty much wherever he’s been, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone he’s put up numbers since making his big league debut on Aug. 21. That .314 average leads all rookie outfielders and he’s among the best of that crop in a host of other categories, including total bases, an impressive feat given how late his debut was.
SP: Tony Gonsolin, Dodgers
1-2, 1.77 ERA, 40 2/3 IP, 40 K, .175 BAA, 0.79 WHIP
Gonsolin has allowed more than one earned run in just two of his eight starts this year, leading to that sparkling 1.77 ERA and his 5.71 K/BB ratio leads all rookie starters in 2020.
SP: Sixto Sánchez, Marlins No. 1/MLB No. 20
3-2, 2.75 ERA, 36 IP, 31 K, .244 BAA, 1.08 WHIP
He didn’t come up until Aug. 22, but so far he’s made that J.T. Realmuto trade look good, showing off electric stuff and filling up the strike zone (1.75 BB/9) while helping solidify a rotation during the Marlins’ surprising playoff chase.
SP: Dane Dunning, White Sox No. 7
2-0, 3.19 ERA, 31 IP, 33 K, .190 BAA, 1.03 WHIP
Dunning went over two years between competitive starts, missing all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. But you wouldn’t know it based on how he’s pitched in Chicago, throwing strikes, missing bats and becoming a mainstay in a rotation of the staff with the third-lowest ERA in the AL.
SP: Dustin May, Dodgers
2-1, 2.77 ERA, 52 IP, 39 K, .223 BAA, 1.10 WHIP
While he hasn’t missed as many bats as anticipated, he sure has been effective, with an ERA that would put him in the top 10 of all NL pitchers if he had enough IP to qualify.
SP: Ian Anderson, Braves No. 3/MLB No. 35
3-1, 2.36 ERA, 26 2/3 IP, 35 K, .147 BAA, 1.05 WHIP
He’s only had five starts, but they’ve been impactful ones for the playoff-bound Braves. His .147 BAA would lead all NL pitchers if he qualified and his 11.81 K/9 rate would put him in the top 10 as well.
RP: Devin Williams, Brewers
3-1, 0.36 ERA, 25 IP, 52 K, .072 BAA, 0.60 WHIP
Name another pitcher in baseball who has been more dominant than this Brewers reliever. Go ahead, we’ll wait. He’s never given up more than one hit in an outing this season, and his strikeout rate (18.72 per nine) and percentage (55.3) are in the top one percent of all MLB pitchers. Much of it comes from that changeup, which hitters are 1-for-59 against with 41 K’s (62.7 percent whiff rate).
RP: James Karinchak, Indians No. 17
0-2, 1 SV, 2.52 ERA, 25 IP, 48 K, .160 BAA, 1.16 WHIP
Karinchack has struck out an eye-popping 17.28 per nine this season, a rate that keeps up with Williams. Hitters have gone 3-for-58 (.052) against the reliever with two strikes, appearing in nearly all of his games in the seventh inning or later.
C: Ryan Jeffers, Twins No. 6
.265/.357/.449, 24 G, 3 HR, 5 R, 7 RBIs
1B: Bobby Dalbec, Red Sox No. 3
.281/.352/.656, 18 G, 7 HR, 10 R, 13 RBIs
2B: Nick Madrigal, White Sox No. 3/MLB No. 37
.348/.383/.382, 25 G, 0 HR, 6 R, 10 RBIs
3B: Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pirates No. 2/MLB No. 38
.323/.397/.585, 19 G, 3 HR, 11 R, 8 RBIs
SS: Andrés Giménez, Mets No. 3/MLB No. 83
.265/.339/.381, 46 G, 2 HR, 21 R, 11 RBIs
OF: Sam Hilliard, Rockies
.239/.302/.489, 30 G, 6 HR, 12 R, 10 RBIs
OF: Mauricio Dubon, Giants
.285/.342/.365, 48 G, 2 HR, 19 R, 15 RBIs
OF: Nick Solak, Rangers
.264/.319/.347, 53 G, 2 HR, 25 R, 21 RBIs
SP: Jesús Luzardo, A’s
3-2, 3.86 ERA, 56 IP, 59 K, .256 BAA, 1.23 WHIP
SP: Kwang Hyun Kim, Cardinals
2-0, 1.59 ERA, 34 IP, 21 K, .187 BAA, 0.97 WHIP
SP: Cristian Javier, Astros No. 4
4-2, 3.33 ERA, 48 2/3 IP, 48 K, .181 BAA, 0.99 WHIP
SP: Justus Sheffield, Mariners
4-3, 3.75 ERA, 50 1/3 IP, 47 K, .246 BAA, 1.29 WHIP
SP: Brady Singer, Royals
3-5, 4.40 ERA, 57 1/3 IP, 56 K, .230 BAA, 1.26 WHIP
RP: Matt Foster, White Sox No. 26
5-1, 2.45 ERA, 25 2/3 IP, 30 K, .178 BAA, 0.90 WHIP
RP: Josh Staumont, Royals
2-1, 1.57 ERA, 23 IP, 36 K, .185 BAA, 1.35 WHIP
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly MLB Pipeline Podcast.