By: Noah Wright
The AL rookie class has actually been surprisingly weak. The season started with so many promising youngsters. Eloy Jimenez, Vlad Guerrero Jr., and Michael Chavis entered the year as some of MLB’s best prospects. Yusei Kikuchi, a Japan League all-star, was the biggest international signing, and was seen as a guy with ace level potential. While none of them are doing horrible (except for Kikuchi who is doing awful), none really look like prime Rookie Of The Year candidates.
For a while, Rays’ infielder Brandon Lowe looked like the leading candidate for Rookie Of The Year. However he has missed a significant chunk of time which has led the door open for more players to take the ROY advantage.
If you look at it, Astros’ DH/LF/1B Yordan Alvarez is probably one of the best ROY candidates. After an outstanding 3 home run game on the tenth, Alvarez is batting a video game like .353/.432/.743 in 192 plate appearances. His 3 home run game makes it 17 for the year. Before the game, Alvarez had a 189 OPS+. Most of his plate appearances have come out of the DH spot, and only 43 innings have come from left field.
Now that’s great and all, but there is another name who should get more attention than he is. That’s Yankees’ outfielder Mike Tauchman. Tauchman was acquired by the Yankees from the Rockies duringSpring Training for a minor leaguer. After the game last night is batting a strong .305/.387/.588 with 12 home runs through 212 plate appearances. Entering the day, he had a 150 OPS+. Sure, he’s no Yordan Alvarez with the bat, but his overall numbers isn’t something to scoff at. Tauchman has also put up gold glove level numbers in the outfield. At all 3 outfield spots, Tauchman has 12 DRS, 4.6 UZR, and 1.0 dWAR.
Tauchman might not win Rookie Of The Year for the American League. But he more than deserves attention. Plus since Alvarez technically isn’t qualified for the award yet, Tauchman should currently be in the lead for the award. Tauchman has put on a show with the bat, and glove, and at the very least, should finish in the top 3 of voting.