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Julio Rodriguez or Adley Rutchman: AL Rookie of the Year

East Coast Bias ? you won’t find it here. Well at least not in this little column. The American league rookie of the year race is shaping up. and the cream has risen to the top. two top ballplayers I mentioned coming into the season Adley Rutchman and Julio Rodriguez both have legit shots at a once in a ballplayers lifetime chance at immortality. 

Rookie of the year is my favorite award. Ever since Fred Lynn won it in 75’ along with the MVP. My Father explained to me what a rookie was and how Lynn could go onto win multiple MVPs but he could only take ROTY once. We all know how that turned out. MVP’s, Silver Sluggers, and Gold Gloves oh my. These bits of hardware can be collected and dreamt of through a player’s career. You only get one shot at Rookie Of the Year. While neither of these kids will be in the MVP race this is still the most special award in my book. 

The @JRODshow44 got started early today. — MLB (@MLB) September 1, 2022

The case for Rodríguez

Through 114 games, the 21-year-old  is hitting .266/.328/.475 (133 OPS+) with 21 doubles, three triples, 22 home runs, 66 RBI, 69 runs, 23 steals. I wont get into WAR numbers as I could give a hang. I rate ballplayers on the field with my eyes not by matrix or metrics. He’s a dynamic base runner who is fourth in steals and within striking distance of the lead. To be quite honest if he went for it a 30-30 season could be had for the rookie center fielder. Oh did I mention he his glove he tracks a ball like a 10 year vet. Also he was named to the All Star Team. Not too shabby. 

Must see if you’re an Adley fan… — Manda Lynn (@MandaLynn8288) August 28, 2022

The case for Rutschman

Adley , I love that name Adley. In 82 games, the catching phenom is slashing an amazing .254/.353/.452 (120 OPS+) with 26 doubles, a triple, 8 home runs, 25 RBI, 49 runs. He’s struck out only 59 times while working 43 walks, this has  pushed him ahead in on-base percentage here by a  margin you can’t sneeze at. while giving him the nod in OPS too. Also a factor in Adley is the O’s catcher. This isn’t something to take lightly . While patrolling center field is one thing, running a pitching staff is another. And Baltimore’s staff has done more than just take the hill this year. when Rutchman is behind the dish there is a significant drop in the staff’s ERA. 3.65 compared to 4.45 when anyone else is calling a game for the birds. This has to factor into many voters’ consideration. 

Julio Rodriguez. – All-Star – 20-20 Club – 2x Rookie of the Month – 1x AL Player of the week Rookie of the year. — Cam (Extend Meetch) (@Camden0044) August 24, 2022

Rodriguez has played in more games 114 and of course has more AB 443 than Adley 82 and 340. That will skew the numbers we are looking at. That’s why so many look at the metrics. I’m looking at my TV. I’m looking at what I see on the field. And what a player brings to his club every night. I haven’t made my mind up yet. There is still baseball to be played for both these teams trying to hold onto wildcard spots. Who does the most down the stretch will determine who gets my IBWAA Vote. 

As always you can follow / give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph297 

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