Alonso, Lowe pace Rookie field in latest poll

July 23rd, 2019

Pete Alonso of the Mets and Brandon Lowe of the Rays continue to hold big leads in this season’s Rookie of the Year races. In the latest poll of reporters, each received 35 of 41 first-place votes, and neither player appears close to being challenged.

Alonso surely can begin clearing room on his favorite trophy shelf after a weekend in which his legend grew even more. He wasn’t in the starting lineup against the Giants on Saturday, but came off the bench to deliver a three-run pinch-hit homer in the sixth inning.

He leads MLB rookies in, well, almost everything, including home runs (33), doubles (21), walks (42) and hits (95). He’s steadily playing his way onto National League Most Valuable Player ballots as well.

The NL MVP Award is a two-man race between Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers and Christian Yelich of the Brewers, but Alonso is third in the NL in home runs and fifth in OPS.

Lowe, who has won all four Rookie of the Year surveys, remained atop the American League poll despite missing his 17th straight game Monday because of a shin contusion. He began the day still leading AL rookies in hits and was second in doubles, homers and RBIs.

As for the challengers, Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and Braves pitcher Mike Soroka finished second and third in the NL, respectively, for a second straight poll. However, the AL runner-up this time around was Astros rookie designated hitter Yordan Alvarez. He didn’t have a top-five finish in the three previous polls, but 10 home runs in his first 29 career games has gotten the entire sport’s attention.

This poll was conducted by asking reporters to rank their top three choices in each league with five points for a first-place vote, three points for second and one point for third.


Brandon Lowe (35 first-place votes) -- He was leading AL rookies in hits and was second in doubles and home runs and third in OPS among players with at least 100 at-bats at the beginning of play Monday. He was projected to be a super utility player in the mold of Ben Zobrist, but has made 56 of his 67 starts at second base.

Yordan Alvarez (6 first-place votes) -- Since his debut on June 9, Alvarez is tied for third in the AL in RBIs, fourth in OPS and fifth in slugging as play began Monday. He set a new MLB record with 35 RBIs across his first 30 games, with Albert Pujols having previously held the mark with 34 in 2001. Alvarez's 92.9-mph average exit velocity is tied for 10th among all AL hitters.

John Means (0 first-place votes) -- Among starters with at least 15 starts, Means is fourth in the AL with a 2.95 ERA. He has induced 71 swings and misses on his changeup this season, ranking ninth in the Majors among left-handers on changeups. He’s the first Orioles rookie since 1966 to be named to the AL All-Star team.

Others receiving votes: Oscar Mercado, Michael Chavis, Ty Buttrey


Pete Alonso (35 first-place votes) -- His 75 RBIs have already broken the previous Mets rookie record of 74 by Darryl Strawberry in 1983. Alonso's 56 extra-base hits are also a Mets rookie record. With 33 home runs in 98 career games, he is close to the MLB record within a player's first 100 games (37 by Mark McGwire in the AL, 34 by Bellinger in the NL).

Fernando Tatis Jr. (6 first-place votes) -- Speaking of legend, this 20-year-old’s home run Saturday measured 468 feet, the longest by a Padres non-outfielder in the Statcast era. His .984 OPS would be the fifth-highest in the Majors if he had enough plate appearances to qualify.

Mike Soroka (0 first-place votes) -- His streak of 10 consecutive winning decisions was snapped Saturday. He was just the ninth Braves pitcher since 1900 with 10 straight winning decisions, and the first since Greg Maddux in 2001. He has allowed five home runs in 102 1/3 innings, and in 17 starts this season, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer 12 times.

Other receiving votes: Chris Paddack, Alex Verdugo, Bryan Reynolds