The 2022 MLB season is upon us and Opening Day is set for April 7th. It’s never too early to start looking ahead and try to predict which up-and-coming rookie is going to have the best season in each league and take home the coveted Rookie of the Year award. Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena took home the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2021. Kansas City Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. has the best odds to win the award this year with +330 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.
2022 AL Rookie of the Year odds
Bobby Witt Jr. (+310) — Witt is a shortstop that has spent time in the Royals farm system. In 2021 he split his season nearly perfectly in half between AA and AAA. Over 123 games in the minor league season, Witt Jr. hit .290 with 35 doubles, 33 home runs and 97 RBIs. Witt figures to be the featured shortstop of the Royals this season, but it all depends on when they bring him up. Current shortstop Nicky Lopez projects more as a depth piece, while Witt looks all the part of an everyday starter. It shouldn’t be long before we see Witt at shortstop for the big league club.
Spencer Torkelson (+450) — Torkelson was the first overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers and he is flying up the ranks. He began the 2021 season in high-A ball before moving to AA for 50 games and then AAA for the last 40 games of the season. He has only been in professional baseball for one year so his inexperience is a concern. Over 121 games in the minors, he hit .267 with 29 doubles, 30 home runs and 91 RBIs. Whether he is used at his natural hot corner position, or if he takes over first base, expect the Tigers to not wait long to bring him up to the big leagues.
Grayson Rodriguez (+4000) — Rodriguez was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. In 2021, he split time between the high-A affiliate and he ended the season in AA. He hasn’t quite gotten to AAA, but figures to start the 2022 season there or in AA with a quick bump to AAA if he can start hot. Rodriguez started 23 games in 2021 and had a combined 9-1 record with a 2.36 ERA with 161 strikeouts. He figures to come up to the big leagues in late May or early June and he could hold a back-end rotational spot from then until the end of the season and would have plenty of time to accumulate enough stats to win the award.
Joe Ryan (+2500) — Ryan was selected in the seventh round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. They traded him to the Minnesota Twins when they acquired outfielder/designated hitter Nelson Cruz. Ryan pitched in 13 games in the minors for the two AAA affiliates of his teams and was called up when rosters expanded in September. In the minors in 2021 he combined for 13 games started and had a 3.41 ERA with 92 strikeouts. He went 2-1 when he was called up to the majors with a 4.05 ERA. He figures to start in the back of their rotation at the beginning of the season and could be in the hunt for Rookie of the Year.
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