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Baseball America 2020 Rookie Of The Year Watch: Week 5



Below is the fifth 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 26.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Kyle Lewis, OF, Mariners

Lewis remains the MLB rookie leader in batting average (.360), on-base percentage (.446), OPS (1.014), runs (25), hits (40), walks (18) and RBI (19) and is tied for the lead in home runs (7). At the halfway point of the season, the AL Rookie of the Year award remains his to lose.

2. Luis Robert, OF, White Sox

Robert is tied for the rookie lead home runs (7) and extra-base hits (14). His .867 OPS and stellar play in center field would make him the top candidate in most years, but Lewis just isn’t slowing down.

3. James Karinchak, RHP, Indians

Only 11 relievers have ever won Rookie of the Year. All but one—Scott Williamson—led their team in saves the year they won it. Karinchak has a 0.54 ERA in 15 appearances and has struck out 31 of the 60 batters he’s faced, a performance so dominant he’s put himself in the ROY conversation anyway despite not being the Indians closer.

RISING

Jordan Romano, RHP, Blue Jays

Romano has been dominant all season and received the Blue Jays’ two most recent save opportunities, which he converted. With a 0.64 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 14 innings, he’s in position to raise his profile if he continues to rack up saves.

SLEEPER

Jose Trevino, C, Rangers

Trevino is known for his defense but is delivering on offense, too. The 27-year-old backstop has become the Rangers’ primary catcher since he was recalled Aug. 14. He’s hit .333 with an .896 OPS in 13 games and was elevated to the No. 3 spot in the Rangers’ order Wednesday.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Jake Cronenworth, INF, Padres

Cronenworth’s legend grew when he hit the Padres’ fifth grand slam in six games last week to do his part for “Slam Diego”. Cronenworth’s .342/.402/.608 slash line is the best among NL rookies in each category, and his 14 extra-base hits (8 doubles, 2 triples, 3 home runs) are tied with Robert for most among all rookies.

2. Dustin May, RHP, Dodgers

May continues to deliver in the Dodgers rotation and has been one of their steadiest starters as they’ve raced out to MLB’s best record. The 22-year-old has a 2.79 ERA through six starts and leads all NL rookies in innings pitched (29).

3. Devin Williams, RHP, Brewers

Just as Karinchak has put up video-game numbers in relief in the AL, Williams has done the same in the NL. Williams has a 0.77 ERA through 11 appearances and has struck out 25 of the 47 batters he’s faced—the highest strikeout percentage (53.2 percent) in the majors among pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched.

RISING

Luis Garcia, 2B, Nationals

The Nationals were aggressive promoting the 20-year-old to the majors after a subpar year at Double-A, but he’s rewarded that faith quickly. Garcia has 13 hits in 11 games to start his career, good for a .317/.333/.439 slash line.

SLEEPER

Ryan Castellani, RHP, Rockies

Castellani took a big step forward in summer camp and has carried that over into his ML debut. The 24-year-old righthander has stepped into the Rockies rotation and posted a 3.54 ERA through four starts, going deeper into outings each successive start.

Jake Cronenworth Dustinbradfordgetty

Data Missing: Top MLB Rookies Receive 'Incomplete' Grade In 2020

If Baseball America had chosen its Rookie of the Year on Sept. 1, it would have been a three-player race. Here's how the race shifted.

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