Baltimore Orioles

A Dive Into the AL ROTY Race

With less than two weeks left in the MLB regular season, it’s about time we start looking towards the awards. The MLB has a flux of young talent, and in the American League it’s talents such as Orioles Ryan Mountcastle who has surprised many. Despite Mountcastle’s greatness so far, he only has 77 Major League at bats. That’ll be the conundrum heading into the award voting this year is the amount of at bats each player gets. There are only a few rookies with real, ample time in the American League and one is Mariners’ outfielder Kyle Lewis, and he’s been electric.

In 166 at bats this season, Lewis holds a statline of .295/.390/.494, which is good enough to go for an .884 OPS and 146 OPS+. He’s hit 10 homeruns, driven in 27 runs, stolen three bases and has given Seattle stellar defense.

His main competition is going to be White Sox Luis Robert, but it bodes well for Robert that his team is a contender and Lewis’ isn’t, similarly to Acuna vs Soto in 2018. Robert has meant more to the Southsiders than their big free agent acquisition Edwin Encarnacion, who is one of the greatest power bats in baseball history. Robert has a .255/.318/.509 statline, but has provided solid defense as well.

With 11 homeruns, a 122 OPS+ and 28 RBI on the season, Robert has been a major cog for arguably the best offensive team in baseball. He has 15 walks to 56 Ks, has stolen six bases in 161 AB. Robert has a 122 wRC+, .214 ISO and .313 BAbip to go against Lewis’ 145 wRC+, .94 ISO and .368 BABIP.

As of this writing, Lewis has the edge but a strong two weeks from Robert could easily change that. Lewis has been an overall more complete hitter, despite Robert’s better power numbers. This should be an exhilarating race to watch down the stretch.

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