In news that won’t come as a surprise to many, Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers were named the rookies of the year in the American League and National League, respectively. Each received unanimous support from the voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Judge was as obvious a victor as you’ll ever see. The 25-year-old slugger swatted 52 home runs and posted a .284/.422/.627 batting line in 678 trips to the plate. That output was good enough to make him a finalist for the MVP award — the results haven’t yet been tabulated — and a shoe-in to be chosen as the top rookie.
Over on the National League side, Bellinger was an easy choice for the hardwear after 548 plate appearances of .267/.352/.581 hitting to go with 39 dingers and ten steals. A 2013 fourth-round draftee, Bellinger only turned 22 in mid-July and opened the season at Triple-A, adding to the impressiveness of his accomplishment.
Because he did not start the season in the big leagues, Bellinger will fall shy of a full season of MLB service. That means he won’t reach arbitration until 2020 (as a Super Two) and will be controlled via the arb process through 2023. Judge had already spent some time in the majors in 2016, so he’s set to reach the open market a year earlier, though he also won’t see an arbitration pay bump until 2020.