Joel Reuter makes worst Top 10 MLB Rookies list ever
Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report released his second half “MLB Rookie Rankings” in which he ranked the top 10 rookies in MLB. While the list gets some things right, a majority of it is out of order, or missing major players who have made a massive impact on the league in their first year in the Show.
I do want to preface this article by including this note; I am not factoring in All-Star appearances into this list. The All-Star game voting system has become so blasphemous that I think it doesn’t even deserve my attention. Carry on.
Let’s check out the list:
I have no problem with putting Corbin Carroll as the No. 1 best rookie in the league this season. He is the true frontrunner for NL Rookie of the Year. Carroll is carrying the D-Backs with an OPS of .900 and 19 home runs to go along with 29 steals. Carroll is having a borderline MVP season, and it would be very hard for anyone in the National League to catch him.
Josh Jung, the rookie third baseman for the Texas Rangers, has also shown an impressive skillset in year one. The All-Star has a 118 OPS+ and 19 home runs, and consistently bats near the top of the order in a ferocious Rangers lineup. Jung has been elite, don’t get me wrong, but am I ready to put him over Masataka Yoshida? The answer is no.
Yoshida might win Rookie of the Year. The Japanese import has destroyed baseballs, especially recently. He has a 135 OPS+, significantly higher than Jung’s. While Jung has a slightly higher WAR than Yoshida, Yoshida makes up for it with more stolen bases and a much higher on-base percentage. I’m ready to put Yoshida higher on this list than Jung.
Kodai Senga has been excellent this season for the Mets. He has been the best rookie starter in the league, sporting a legitimate 129 ERA+ in 95.2 innings pitched. Although, he is not having a better season than Yoshida or Jung. I have no problem with putting him at No. 4.
Next is Spencer Steer, the first of the quartet of elite Cincinnati Reds rookies. Steer has been consistent in 94 games for the Reds, with a .817 OPS and 14 home runs. The same goes for the next player, Gunnar Henderson. Henderson has had very similar seasons to Steer, with a .815 OPS in 86 games. The one downside to Henderson’s season has been his strikeouts.
Who was snubbed?
Joel, if you’re going to include Steer and Henderson, how can you not put Francisco Alvarez on this list?
The rookie catcher has a higher OPS than both. Alvarez leads the league in home runs for a catcher, as well as having the highest SLG percentage for a rookie in the league besides Carroll. How do you not include him on your top 10 rookies list?
Not to mention that he is already a highly regarded defender, being in the 77th percentile in catcher framing, according to Baseball Savant. I’d put Alvarez at No. 5, above Steer and Henderson. Honestly, the only argument you can make is that Steer and Henderson have both played more games than Alvarez, but him being a catcher changes that narrative a bit.
Who’s No. 7-10?
I would be fine with Matt McLain at No. 7, but he simply hasn’t played enough yet. Even though he has only played in 56 games, the Reds shortstop has a uber-high on-base percentage of .363, to go along with eight home runs and 17 doubles. Expect McLain, who might be the most overshadowed rookie, to be relevant in this league for a long time. Due to his lack of playing time, he drops a few spots on my list.
I really don’t understand why Eury Pérez would be in this spot. Listen, he was very solid in the 11 starts that he made this year, and he’ll be good in this league for a very long time. Where is Pérez now though? Back in the minor leagues. Miami will likely keep him down there until at least September.
Another ding on Pérez is that he had a start where he didn’t get out of the first inning. That’s major points in the wrong direction. Pérez made an impact, with an excellent 1.088 WHIP. However, due to limited playing time, I’m having trouble putting him this high on this list.
If it weren’t for reliever bias, Yennier Cano would be way higher on this list. Simply put, Cano has been one the best relievers in the sport this season. He’s only surrendered eight runs in 47 innings this season with a sub-1.00 WHIP. Cano has been elite in the games that he has appeared in this year.
Andrew Abbott is in a similar situation as Eury Pérez. Abbott has been excellent in his limited starts. His stats are elite, better than Perez’s in two fewer starts. How’s a 226 ERA+ sound? Abbott will be an ace in this league soon, and the Reds will continue to play him at the big league level, which is why he ranks a bit higher than Pérez.
My revised final rankings
Here’s how I’d change Joel Reuter’s top 10 rookie list:
- Corbin Carroll
- Masataka Yoshida
- Josh Jung
- Kodai Senga
- Francisco Alvarez
- Spencer Steer
- Gunnar Henderson
- Yennier Cano
- Matt McLain
- Andrew Abbott
Overall, Joel Reuter’s list is pretty bad. Pérez is too high. Yoshida vs. Jung is debatable, but I much prefer Yoshida at this point. Not including Francisco Alvarez is awful. Cano was disrespected.
In any event, this rookie class is as elite as it gets. I’m not sure the last time we had a class with so many rookies who made such an impact right away. I’m excited to see where this class takes the league.
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