Both baseball leagues have named their Rookie of the Year winners on Monday, Nov. 16. Kris Bryant, 23, became the NL ROY, and Carlos Correa, 21, was named the AL ROY winner. To receive the ROY Award is beyond being honored—for most baseball players it is the first stage of their professional career. And looking at Correa and Bryant, we may suggest that both athletes have the extremely high chances to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame one day.
A rock-bottom start and a sky-high finish
Kris Bryant currently plays for the Chicago Cubs baseball team, and the AL ROY Carlos Correa plays for the Houston Astros. Four years ago, both baseball teams were probably in the worst state ever with 197 combined losses. It was the moment when both baseball teams got rid of their previous managers and found new people to run the process.
The Houston Astros hired Jeff Luhnow, and the Chicago Cubs signed a five-year contract with then 37-year-old Theo Epstein. The new GMs of the struggling NL baseball teams saw that the changes are necessary for both players and coaching staff.
The Astros were first to find their future star. In 2012, Jeff Luhnow signed Carlos Correa from the 2012 draft. The young shortstop looked more precious to Luhnow, although the Cubs’ manager had a chance to get Kris Bryant, too. But, obviously, Luhnow has wasted that chance.
Theo Epstein was the one who saw the real potential of Kris Bryant among all the novice baseball players in the 2013 draft. So, the Cubs got a new third baseman who joined the team this season and then became the sixth NL ROY in the Cubs’ history.
Unanimously chosen winner
The most impressive thing about Kris Bryant being named the National League Rookie of the Year is that the Cubs’ third baseman won unanimously. When the Baseball Writers’ Association of America members voted for the NL ROY, they gave all 30 first-place votes for Kris Bryant. So, with in total 150 points, the Chicago Cubs’ rookie third baseman became No. 1 and got the ROY title.
Another third baseman, San Francisco Giants’ Matt Duffy received only 70 points and finished second. Jung Ho Kang, an infielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates team, was third with in total 28 points.
Despite the Cubs’ third baseman not playing a full season, he led the National League hitters with 199 strikeouts and hit .292 with a .417 on-base percentage. Although Bryant made his debut in the major league only this spring, he quickly got an All-Star status and helped his team enter the playoffs. It is even more impressive, considering that the Cubs made it for the first time since 2008.
A tight race for Correa
Carlos Correa did not receive his AL ROY title without a fight. Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor was extremely close to winning the award and leaving Correa behind. To be honest, both players have shown their best during this season, and Lindor deserves the title just as Correa does. But in the final vote, Correa received 17 first-place votes and 13 seconds while Lindor got only 13 first-place votes, 14 seconds and two more thirds. The final score was 124-109 points in Correa’s favor.
Minnesota Twins’ hitter Miguel Sano was third with in total 20 points.
What is next?
When being questioned what his next goal is, Bryant says that “there is a way” to get a better result in the following months. Apparently, the best option for the Cubs’ third baseman is to “win the World Series.”
Speaking about his talented third baseman, the Cubs’ hitting coach John Mallee said that Bryant “is always trying to learn” and improves his skills. Moreover, the player is not afraid “of making adjustments.”
Furthermore, Bryant is the very first baseball player to win three different titles in three consecutive seasons—Baseball America college in 2013, the minor league in 2014, and the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2015. Considering his passion for the game, we may see him winning the MVP title in the following seasons.
As for Correa and Lindor, there will be a tight fight between these two guys in the future, But next time, there will be an MVP title at stake.