The National League Rookie of the Year race is not exactly front page news but deserves some attention. Juan Soto was the number two prospect in the Nationals system to start the season and did not garner much hype outside of Washington. He got called up at 19-years-old and is on his way to a first or second place finish in the Rookie of the Year voting. He is still not talked about nearly enough considering he is raking in the MLB as a teenager. Soto is not just good for his age, he is an above average MLB hitter right now. Ronald Acuna Jr. had all the hype coming into 2018 and has not disappointed. I picked Acuna Jr. as my NL Rookie of the Year as did almost everyone else and I still feel confident in my choice. That said, an injury kept him out a month which has really made this race even.
It appeared that Juan Soto had the National League Rookie of the Year Award locked up when Ronald Acuna Jr. suffered a mild MCL sprain in his left knee that kept him out from May 28th to June 29th. After missing a month Acuna is storming back into the Rookie of the Year race with eight homers in his last eight games.
Here’s how the two stack up this season:
Ronald Acuna Jr. .288 BA, 76 H, 19 HRs, 43 RBIs, 8 SB, .922 OPS, 67 G
Juan Soto .301, 78 H, 15 HRs, 43 RBIs, 2 SB, .970 OPS, 75 G
This is one of the tightest award races in recent memory as their stats are almost identical. Right now I would lean toward Juan Soto for his .970 OPS at 19-years-old, but Acuna Jr. could easily close the gap at the pace he is currently on. It’s great to see young stars emerge this season as the stars in the game keep getting younger. Last year Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger put on a show, and now these two youngsters are doing the same thing but in smaller markets. Keep an eye on these two as the season inches it’s way towards the post-season. Acuna Jr. just pulled the Braves into first place, and the Nationals still have a shot at a Wild Card spot. Enjoy watching this young talent and Acuna’s historic pace. Here is some more info on Acuna’s historic run he is on:
Scott Neville – Head Baseball Writer – WTF Sports