I try to resist the temptation, but sometimes I fail. This is one of those times. So let’s take a spin through a recent piece by former Major League pitcher C.J. Nitkowski, now working for Fox Sports.
Nitkowski argues that Carlos Correa no longer has a lock on the AL Rookie of the Year award even after his dazzling debut.
But Nitkowski, albeit in a piece that becomes a natural comparison between two shortstops, argues that the race has tightened because of the emergence of … Francisco Lindor of Cleveland?
But suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, Lindor came charging from the back of the pack to challenge the sure favorite Correa. … Lindor will have his work cut out for him in September as he attempts to get voters to consider him for the award.
Listen: Lindor is having a marvelous year as well with a .309 batting average (leading all AL rookies with at least 200 PAs), slick defense and decent pop. He’s a contender. But if we go a little deeper into Twitter, a reader challenges Nitkowski by suggesting Toronto reliever Roberto Osuna, who has a tidy 1.99 ERA and has been lights-out for the Blue Jays, should also be a contender. Nitkowski says: “he’s 3rd.”
So that leaves Miguel Sano — he of the game-tying home run last night and the mind-boggling 1.011 OPS — no better than fourth.
In a crowded rookie landscape, maybe that’s where he winds up. Maybe the fact that Sano about 100 fewer at bats than Correa or Lindor will ding him in the end. For now, though, if anyone is closing quickly on Correa in my mind, it’s the mighty slugger who has transformed the Twins’ lineup.