In May and June, it looked like Jeremy Pena of the Houston Astros could compete with him, but by the All-Star break, he was the best candidate with some difference.
Now, thanks to Baltimore Orioles’ Adley Rutschman and his rapid development, the race is, once again, closely contested.
Bettors, however, still favor the Mariners’ young slugger, according to FOX.
Who are you putting your 💰on for AL Rookie of the Year?
— FOX Bet Live (@FOXBetLive) August 25, 2022
At the moment, Rodriguez may still be the slight favorite, but if the Orioles end up making the playoffs, watch out.
Baltimore has been one of the top teams in MLB since Rutschman was called up in late May.
He has helped transform a dormant franchise into a true playoff contender.
He is, without a doubt, the Orioles’ best player.
A Very Close Race Between Two Outstanding Rookies
Julio might also be the Mariners’ best player, but it’s a lot closer.
If we go to Wins Above Replacement (WAR), which is a cumulative stat, we find that Rutschman leads all rookies with 3.6.
Rodriguez is second with 3.5, but the Orioles catcher has played almost 30 fewer games.
The backstop is hitting .257/.367/.452 with eight homers and 50 runs, while playing some game-changing defense behind the plate.
Rodriguez is at .271/.328/.475, and his power-speed juice (20 homers, 23 stolen bases) may give him the slight edge over Rutschman.
In any case, the race should be very entertaining from here on.
Rodriguez and Rutschman, however, are on a race of their own.
Who will come out on top?