Red Sox: Andrew Benintendi, MY rookie of the year
By Zach Remson
Let’s compare him to the last Red Sox player to win that honor: Dustin Pedroia.
Pedey’s rookie season saw him slash .317/.380/.442 with 8 HRs and 7 SBs. Better average, but Benny’s got him beat on the power side. Pedey tacked on a strong showing in the postseason that year, slashing .283/.348/.483 with 2 HRs on the way to a Red Sox World Series win.
Pedroia’s a great comparison to Benny’s ROY campaign. He didn’t lead the league in home runs, hits, or RBIs. He didn’t turn in six straight months of dominance: he was batting .182 at the end of April.
And despite all that, he still won the ROY by a landslide. He finished with 24 out of 28 first place votes.
While there are a few qualified players gunning for this year’s ROY, it has mostly been a two man race all season. It looked like Yankee’s star Aaron Judge was going to run away with the record when he hit 30 home runs before the break.
However, the second half has not been so kind to Judge. Since July 14th he’s slashed .181/.342/.349 with 7HRs, bringing his season line down from .329/.448/.691 to a mere .279/.412/.578. He’s been benched, he’s been moved down the lineup, and he’s collected one very bad MLB record.
He’s still leading Benny is a lot of stats, but his grip on the top spot is slipping. Benintendi is preparing to over take him in a few statistics. He’s only ahead by 9 RBIs (82-73), 1 point of batting average (.279-.278), and has 91 more strikeouts (178-87).
Benny already has the edge with 18 SBs to Judge’s 7, and Benny has been caught one time less than Judge. Yes, Judge will finish the season with more home runs than Benintendi (and most of the American League), but he’s also likely to finish the season leading in strikeouts.
As Judge continues to skid, the media is heaping more and more pressure on his back. Putting the pressure of missing the playoffs on Judge might not be the best thing to get his bat going again. If the Yankees do in fact miss out on October baseball and Benny Biceps has a Pedroia like October, a lot of voters minds could be changed.
I firmly believe that Benintendi has been the best rookie in the MLB this season. He’s more versatile than Judge, has been more consistent than Judge, and has not disappeared for half of the season like Judge. If the season ended today, I would take Benny over Judge 100 times out of 100.
Next: Red Sox: Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo named 2017 IL All-Stars
There’s no disputing that Judge will get first place votes in November. But if he continues this slide and Benny continuous to soar, this race is not over. Don’t let anyone tell you the ROY is locked up; this race is just getting interesting.
Stats up to date as of Aug 31.