While some of the best in baseball battle it out for the Cy Young and MVP awards, we get a glimpse of the future in the Rookie of the Year races.
This year’s Rookie of the Year favorites include top Orioles prospect Gunnar Henderson and Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida for the American League, and a pair of NL studs in Corbin Carroll and Jordan Walker. I’ll break down those MLB futures below and offer a few value picks as well:
Who Will Win AL Rookie Of The Year?
Odds as of March 22, 2023
Why Henderson Leads AL Rookie Of The Year Odds
Henderson is MLB’s consensus top prospect, with a future MLB MVP tag already hovering over his head.
The Baltimore infielder looked as advertised in his 34-game taste of the bigs last year, but we care more about what he will be in 2023. He’s a five-tool guy, with the potential to hit .300, slug 30 homers, steal 20-plus bases and throw 90 MPH across the diamond. If he’s not pushing for an all-star game this year, I’d be surprised.
If there’s one nitpick with Henderson, it’s the glove. Scouting reports grade him as an above-average defensive infielder, but he posted slightly negative metrics playing 2B/SS/3B in MLB last year.
Value Pick: Grayson Rodriguez (+1000)
Yoshida looked great in the WBC and Volpe could be the Yankees’ starting shortstop in a month. But we’re going to go a bit deeper for an AL value pick.
If Rodriguez didn’t get hurt last year, he would’ve made his debut alongside all of Baltimore’s other young studs. Instead, he gets 2023 all to himself. In 17 minors starts last year (75.2 innings), he had an absurd 109 strikeouts, a solid walk rate, and allowed just two homers. If the command translates to MLB, G-Rod’s strikeout rates and hard-contact suppression will make him one of the best young arms in baseball. (Insert obligatory “if he stays healthy” qualifier for all pitching prospects here.)
Orioles No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez struck out Rafael Devers in his start today 👀— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) March 18, 2023
Who Are NL Rookie Of The Year Betting Favorites?
Odds as of March 22, 2023
Carroll and Walker Lead NL ROY Race
It’s been a big spring for Carroll and Walker. The Diamondbacks’ outfield prospect, Carroll, got the bag with an eight-year, $111-million long-term contract and Walker has been perhaps the best hitter in the league this spring, with a .956 OPS through his first 16 preseason games.
Although the pair are tied in odds here, I’d lean to Carroll if you’re picking between the faves. The Cardinals love slow-playing their hitting prospects, and Walker doesn’t really have an obvious position at the MLB level with a couple of MVP candidates manning the corners in Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. Arizona, on the other hand, moved Dalton Varsho in the offseason to clear playing time for Carroll, and he’s expected to break camp and maybe hit leadoff on Opening Day.
Value Pick: Francisco Alvarez (+1500)
The Mets announced Alvarez will start this season in the minors, but everything that made him a 2023 breakout candidate last month remains true.
The kid rakes, with a .260 average and 27 homers in just 112 minor-league games last year. Slide him into the stacked Mets lineup and opposing pitchers will be forced to pitch to Alvarez — can’t walk him when you have Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso and company coming up.
The 21-year-old is currently blocked at the MLB level. But he’s a slump or injury away from becoming the starting catcher on a World Series hopeful. If he can get into 90-plus games this year, he can deliver on this ROY value.
How To Read MLB Rookie Of The Year Odds
The above charts feature the odds for each top rookie in the American League and National League. At your sportsbook of choice, the betting lines for the Rookie of the Year odds could look something like this:
Gunnar Henderson +350
Masataka Yoshida +400
Anthony Volpe +750
This means that Henderson is the ROTY favorite since he has the lowest odds and the highest chance of winning the prop, according to oddsmakers. If you were to bet $100 on the Orioles infielder and he won, you would get a payout of $450 – your original $100 is returned along with your winnings of $350.
AL & NL Rookie of the Year History
|Year||AL ROTY||NL ROTY|
|2022||Julio Rodriguez||Michael Harris II|
|2021||Randy Arozarena||Jonathan India|
|2020||Kyle Lewis||Devin Williams|
|2019||Yordan Alvarez||Pete Alonso|
|2018||Shohei Ohtani||Ronald Acuna Jr.|
|2017||Aaron Judge||Cody Bellinger|
|2016||Michael Fulmer||Corey Seager|
|2015||Carlos Correa||Kris Bryant|
|2014||Jose Abreu||Jacob deGrom|
|2013||Wil Myers||Jose Fernandez|