Randy Dobnak and the Rookie of the Year Race
Image courtesy of © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY SportsDespite making a few starts last season, Randy Dobnak still qualifies as a rookie. He is right in the thick of the rookie of the year race as we begin the season, but who will he need to beat out? Here are the AL rookie fWAR leaders through ⅓ of the season…
- Kyle Lewis, SEA (1.1)
- Luis Robert, CWS (0.8)
- Randy Dobnak, MIN (0.6)
- Justus Sheffield, SEA (0.5)
- James Karinchak, CLE (0.4)
- Lewis: 79 PA, .357/.430/.544 (.974), 179 wRC+
- Robert: 74 PA, .279/.338/.426 (.754), 118 wRC+
- Dobnak: 20.0 IP, 0.90 ERA, 4.95 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 0.90 WHIP
- Sheffield: 13.2 IP, 5.27 ERA, 9.22 K/9, 3.95 BB/9, 1.32 WHIP
- Karinchak: 7.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 15.95 K/9, 3.95 BB/9, 0.00 WHIP
I think we all know about Luis Robert by now. The White Sox center field prospect with as much promise as anyone we have seen lately. He has insane speed, excellent power and contact, and his fielding is elite. He will be a problem for years to come. He has been slumping lately and his OPS is dropping, but he will get a lot of votes even if he has just an average season. He has been compared to Mike freaking Trout.
The next player on the list is everyone’s favorite player, Randy Dobnak. He doesn’t have nearly the same promise or hype around him because no one had heard of him until he reached the majors. Everyone knows the Uber story, but what I find most impressive is his 2019 climb. He started the season at the High A level and finished as the starter for game two of the playoffs. Now in 2020 he is showing he’s more than just an interesting story. If he keeps up what he has been doing, watch out.
The other starting pitcher on this list is Justus Sheffield out of Seattle. He is another first round pick (31st in 2014) like the first two. His minor league career is very impressive with his ERA rarely being above 3.20 and it looks like he is beginning to click in the majors. His 5.27 ERA is deceiving because his FIP is 2.30 so he is better than his early numbers show. Too bad he's stuck in Seattle.
Finally, the only reliever on this list, James Karinchak. He is also the third player on here from the AL Central. Karinchak started 2019 at AA and ended the season in the majors. That is due to his 22.0 K/9 in AA and AAA before being called up. You never see numbers like that, it just doesn’t make sense. In just over 12.0 career MLB innings his K/9 is at 15.0 so he is already super dangerous. He may be the next top closer in major league baseball.
Those are the main players that will be competing for the Rookie of the Year Award. Who will come out on top? Will it be someone not on this list? Leave a comment below and start the discussion.