This week’s look at the Rookie of the Year candidates completes this column’s fifth cycle through the three major awards. With just five weeks left in the season, Awards Watch will shift gears starting next Monday as we enter the home stretch. Rather than rank the top five contenders in each league for a single award each week on a rotating basis as we have been doing, we will move into the lightning round, in which we will look at the top three contenders in each league for all three awards every week.
Three spots are more than enough for the American League Rookie of the Year race, which seems to have already produced a winner due to the variety of slumps and injuries experienced by the few legitimate challengers in that league’s shallow rookie pool. The National League rookie field, however, remains impossibly deep, though the same name keeps rising to the top of my list.