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Though the baseball season is still relatively young, a few players have started to stand out as MLB Rookies of the Year candidates in each league. It’s impossible to say who will get the honors this year, but these five players have started to emerge as some of the favorites.
Kris Bryant is a powerful player with a great chance of winning this honor. During spring training, Bryant hit nine home runs in 40 at-bats. Despite his remarkable performance at spring training, the Chicago Cubs sent Bryant to play with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.
It didn’t take long for him to be called up as he joined the Major League team in April and had massive coverage. Despite his first game being a little disappointing, he made his mark in May, when he hit his first MLB home run. Bryant has settled in and has seven home runs and is hitting nearly .300. If he can keep this up, he’ll have an excellent chance at Rookie of the Year honors.
Pederson might have a tough time competing against the overall performance of Bryant, but the 23-year-old outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers has considerable talent offensively and defensively. His power has been shown and he hit his first MLB grand slam on May 1. The 448-foot homer was the longest by a Dodger since 2012. It was also the first grand slam by a Dodger since Yasiel Puig hit one in 2013.
Pederson has 17 homers this year, but his average is in the .230s, well below what some other NL rookies are performing at. In the minors, Pederson was one of the top outfielders. He has excellent defensive skills, so that should help him in his quest to be Rookie of the Year. Fans can keep up to date with the growing competition between Pederson, Bryant and others with daily matchup or prediction reports that some websites offer daily.
Pederson isn’t the only LA Dodger in this discussion. Guerrero, who grew up playing baseball in Cuba, defected from the country and moved to Haiti. He caught the attention of MLB scouts and started with the Dodgers in 2014.
Guerrero has plenty of experience against a diverse group of players. A versatile player, he’s hit 10 home runs this year and is batting .284.
In April, Guerrero was named the NL’s Rookie of the Month. This will definitely put him in the mix for the overall award at the end of the year and should have Dodger fans excited.
Souza had a memorable career in the minors. Last season, while playing in the Washington Nationals organization, he was a Triple-A All-Star, and was named the Rookie of the Year and MVP for the International League. He was traded to Tampa Bay. He’s been known as a strong hitter through his career. Though struggling with his average, Souza has shown power, including a three-run shot to help Tampa Bay beat the Rangers in early May.
Though Souza may not be mentioned in all the other names between the NL and AL, he’s somebody who could make a push for this award.
A strong second baseman drafted by Detroit in 2012, Travis joined the Toronto Blue Jays this past fall. He was playing strong with the organization until an injury set him back (and he’s currently on the disabled list), but should he get healthy, there’s no denying his chances at being Rookie of the Year.
His debut game with the Blue Jays featured a solo home run, and he was named the team’s Rookie of the Month for April. Should Travis return to the team healthy, he could make a strong push for the AL’s rookie honors.
The rookies above are only a handful of those who could contend for Rookie of the Year honors. Others will have time to come into contention as well as the season is still young. Who are your picks at this time for this honor?