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2020 MLB Rookie Of The Year Watch: Kyle Lewis, Luis Robert Separate From The Pack

Rookieoftheyearwatchweek2

Below is the second edition of our weekly Rookie of the Year stock watch. Please note this is not a re-ranking of the BA Top 100 prospects or BA's preseason rookie rankings, but rather a snapshot of where the Rookie of the Year races stand at various points in time throughout the season.

All statistics are through August 5.


AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners

The race between Lewis and Luis Robert for AL Rookie of the Year is shaping up to be a great one. Lewis leads Robert in batting average (.385), on-base percentage (.439), slugging percentage (.577), runs (9), home runs (3) and RBI (10) for now and added another highlight-reel catch to his growing collection last week. It’s not just in the context of rookies that Lewis is dominating—he leads the entire major leagues in hits (20).

2. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox

Robert trails Lewis in most categories, but his prodigious talent has been apparent for all to see. BA’s preseason favorite for Rookie of the Year has already moved to the top of the White Sox order and become a power-speed force with a .354/.415/.542 slash line, five extra-base hits and four stolen bases through 12 games. While Lewis leads the majors in hits, Robert isn’t far behind—he’s tied for third with 17. With more than three-quarters of the season still to play, Robert is well within striking distance of Lewis.

3. Jesus Luzardo, LHP, Athletics

Luzardo made his first career start on Tuesday and delivered five scoreless innings with only two hits allowed, two walks and five strikeouts. The No. 9 prospect on the BA Top 100 needed time to build up after testing positive for COVID-19 during intake testing at summer camp, but he showed the dominance he’s capable of in his first start and will be in the A’s rotation for good moving forward.


RISING

Randy Dobnak, RHP, Twins

The feel-good story of last season is showing he was more than just a flash in the pan. Dobnak leads all rookie starters with a 0.60 ERA through three starts and is currently riding a 12-inning scoreless streak. He’s not missing a ton of bats (8 K in 15 IP), but he’s not allowing many hits (.173 opponent average), either.

SLEEPER

Cristian Javier, RHP, Astros

Javier went 26-11, 2.22 with 512 strikeouts and 163 walks in 377 innings in a brilliant minor league career, but his command-over-stuff profile left scouts uncertain how much success he’d have against major league hitters. So far, that hasn’t been a problem. Javier has established a foothold in the Astros rotation with a 1.42 ERA in three appearances and, most notably, 11 strikeouts in 12 innings to show his stuff plays. Carlos Correa, for one, gave Javier a ringing endorsement after his most recent start.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers

May is beginning to live up to his “Gingergaard” moniker, gaining 2-3 mph on his stuff across the board and looking more and more like Noah Syndergaard with his 96-100 mph power sinker low-to-mid-90s breaking ball. May is 1-0, 2.63 through three starts and leads all NL rookies with 15 strikeouts, including one that made him a viral sensation.

2. Andres Gimenez, INF, Mets

The baby-faced 21-year-old has played above his age and stature in his first taste of the big leagues. Gimenez jumped straight from Double-A and has made the transition look easy, leading all National League rookies in hits and holding his own at third base, second base and shortstop defensively. With Robinson Cano on the injured list and Jeff McNeil and Amed Rosario both nursing injuries, Gimenez has started four of the last five games and become an indispensable contributor in the Mets infield.

3. Nico Hoerner, 2B, Cubs

Hoerner has fallen into an 0-for-12 slump that has depressed his season numbers, but the Cubs keep running him out there and his long track record of hitting suggests he’ll turn it around. He made his first career start in center field on Wednesday, a testament to his athleticism and the Cubs’ desire to get him in the lineup any way they can.

RISING

Jake Cronenworth, 1B, Padres

Cronenworth has taken over as the Padres’ everyday first baseman with Eric Hosmer on the injured list and been a revelation. The natural shortstop has made a dazzling array of defensive plays at first base while hitting .318/.348/.727, highlighted by five extra-base hits in seven games. He’s moved into the No. 5 spot in the Padres lineup and has played his way into playing time even after Hosmer returns.

SLEEPER

Logan Webb, RHP, Giants

After getting hit around in his major league debut last season, Webb is 1-0, 2.13 through three starts this year and has solidified himself as part of the Giants’ rotation plans. He’s still allowing more hits (14) and walks (5) than ideal for the number of innings he’s pitched (12.2), but he’s shown a proclivity for wiggling out of trouble, most importantly, keeping runs off the board. He allowed only one run over five innings at Coors Field on Wednesday, leading the Giants over the Rockies and picking up his first win of the season.

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May pitched a career-high six innings with a career-high eight strikeouts to lead the Dodgers to a 5-2 win over the Padres on Tuesday.

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