The Yankees have TWO of the top 3 rookies in the American League this year — Miquel Andujar and Gleyber Torres. Final numbers:
|Shohei Ohtani||326||22-61-.285||.361||.925||10||4-2 3.31 in 51 IP (63 K’s)|
It’ll be a close vote for AL Rookie of the Year. The Yankees won 100 games and it was due in large part to the rookie duo. It harkens me back to great rookie duos that transformed teams — Fred Lynn & Jim Rice spring to mind, and also — for me Al Bumbry & Rich Coggins for the 1973 Orioles — when I was first following baseball as a kid.
Plying through the stats, I compiled this list of Great rookie duos since 1973, with their standing in the rookie of the year voting (in parenthesis):
|1973||Al Bumbry (ROY) & Rich Coggins (6th)||Baltimore went from 80-74 (3rd place) the year before (1972) to 97-65 (1st place) in 1973|
|1975||Fred Lynn (ROY, MVP) & Jim Rice (2nd)||Boston went from 84-78 (3rd place) to 95-65 (1st place)|
|1982||Kent Hrbek (2nd) & Gary Gaetti (5th)||Minnesota went from 41-68 (7th) to 60-102 (7th).|
|1984||Alvin Davis (ROY) & Mark Langston (2nd)||Seattle went from 60-102 (7th place) to 74-88 (5th place)|
|1984||Dwight Gooden (ROY) & Ron Darling (5th)||Mets went from 68-94 (6th place) to 90-72 (2nd place)|
|1989||Jerome Walton (ROY) & Dwight Smith (2nd)||Cubs went from 77-85 (4th place) to 93-69 (1st place)|
|2002||Rodrigo Lopez (2nd) & Jorge Julio (3rd)||Baltimore went from 63-98 (4th place) to 67-95 (4th place)|
|2006||Hanley Ramirez (ROY), Dan Uggla (3rd) & Josh Johnson (4th)||Florida Marlins went from 83-79 (3rd place) to 78-84 (4th place)|
|2007||Dustin Pedroia (ROY), Daisuke Matsuzaka (4th), & Hideki Okajima (6th) Boston||Boston went from 86-76 (3rd place) to 96-66 (1st place)|
|2008||Joey Votto (2nd), Edinson Volquez (4th), & Jay Bruce (5th)||Cincinnati Reds went from 72-90 (5th place) to 74-88 (5th place)|
|2011||Craig Kimbrel (ROY) & Freddie Freeman (2nd),||Atlanta went from 91-71 (2nd place) to 89-73 (2nd place)|
|2017||Aaron Judge (ROY) & Jordan Montgomery (6th)||Yankees went from 84-78 (4th place) to 91-71 (2nd place)|
|2018||Miguel Andujar & Gleyber Torres, NY||Yankees went from 91-71 (2nd place) to 100-62 (2nd place)|
As seen above, not all great rookie duos (or trios) are created equal — the most successful ones turn around their team’s success. The less-known ones kept a team treading water.
Of the above rookie duos/trios the ones of note are:
- Bumbry & Coggins who transformed the 1973 Orioles
- Lynn & Rice for the 1975 Red Sox
- Gooden & Darling for the 1984 Mets
- Jerome Walton & Dwight Smith for the 1989 Cubs
- Pedroia, DiceK and Okajima for the 2007 Red Sox
- Judge with Montgomery (and 2nd-year man Gary Sanchez) for the 2017 Yankees (Note: Gary Sanchez finished 2nd in ROY voting to Michael Fulmer in 2016 — was not a rookie with Judge).
- Andujar & Torres for the 2018 Yankees
The voting for American League Rookie of the Year is announced in Mid-November (last year it was announced November 17, 2017). Most likely Ohtani will take the award this year because of his late-season hitting and the pitching numbers he put up, but Yankees can take heart that they have added two terrific infielders, whom along with recent elite rookies Judge, Sanchez, Severino, and Montgomery, have transformed the future of the team.