2018 AL AWARDS PREDICTIONS – AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Adam: I have no doubt where many of you reading this, or my counterpart for that matter will go. Either first-class prospect Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar. Both of those options are fair. Torres may be punished a miss a few weeks to buy one more year of team control. Andujar may work out or he may not. We will have to wait and see if his defense has improved enough to hold down the hot corner. Now I did predict that both would be in the 2018 Yankees starting lineup. However, I think another Yankee has the best chance to take home Rookie of the Year. Chance Adams, at the time of this writing, did not get traded and he is ready to come up. He is a four-pitch stud with a 31-7 Minor League record (walks are a bit of a concern but he can dodge that). Depending on the health of the top-5, Adams could see 12-18 starts and if it is the latter he could be the top Yankee rookie in 2018.
But when asked to peg an AL Rookie of the Year candidate, we all know it is like throwing a dart at the wall. Brent Honeywell should be in the Rays rotation to start the year and Jake Bauers could be manning first base, Francisco Mejia could be in Cleveland before the end of April, Franklin Barreto might be the man in Oakland, or even Willie Calhoun could be roaming the outfield in Texas. So if you ask me to peg one I will say Chance Adams could be the Yankees Rookie of the Year but will fall short to Brent Honeywell, the soon to be rotation staple in Tampa Bay.
Rich: This is one award the Yankees should definitely compete in. Players like Gleybar Torres and Miguel Andujar should be among the best rookies in 2018. Rookie of the Year is the hardest one to predict before each season – it all depends on when the player gets called up (in Torres’ case he might miss the first couple of weeks or month while the Yankees keep him in the minors to not only ensure he is healthy after Tommy John surgery but also a time-served/player eligibility concern), but it also depends on how the players do. No one would have predicted that Aaron Judge would have been in the hunt for ROY last season, but not only was he in the hunt, it wasn’t even a contest. There are some great young players on many teams that will make their debuts in 2018, but I am going to go out on a limb and say Miguel Andujar produces for the Yankees at third base all season long and just nudges out Torres in a close Rookie of the Year battle.