- Luis Robert’s AL ROY odds have been shortened from +400 to +310
- While Robert’s odds have improved, the top AL pitching prospects have seen their prices lengthened
- See below for analysis on why there’s been so much change to the AL ROY odds board
There’s a new favorite atop the AL Rookie of the Year odds board. Prized Chicago White Sox prospect Luis Robert now has the shortest price to win the award, leapfrogging teammate Michael Kopech.
2020 American League Rookie of the Year Odds
|Luis Robert (OF)||White Sox||+310|
|Michael Kopech (P)||White Sox||+442|
|Jesus Luzardo (P)||Athletics||+614|
|Casey Mize (P)||Tigers||+675|
|Brendan McKay (P/DH)||Rays||+933|
|Jo Adell (OF)||Angels||+1167|
|Evan White (1B)||Mariners||+1533|
|Forrest Whitley (P)||Astros||+2100|
|Wander Franco (SS)||Rays||+2104|
|Nate Pearson (P)||Blue Jays||+2112|
Odds taken Apr. 29th.
Robert is considered one of the best pure athletes to enter MLB in recent memory, and if his 2019 campaign is any indication he could run away with the hardware.
Robert is a Rare Talent
Robert absolutely destroyed minor league pitching last season and has legit 30-30 upside at the Major League level. In 122 games across A+, AA and AAA ball, he slashed .328/.376/.624 with 32 home runs and 36 stolen bases.
He has all the tools to be a star in this league and is Baseball America’s number two prospect. His plate discipline, one of his few weaknesses, actually improved in 2019 and he’ll have the benefit of hitting in what projects to be one of the best lineups in baseball.
Here's what the Chicago White Sox's lineup could look like by this May:
Nick Madrigal 4
Tim Anderson 6
Jose Abreu 3
Yoan Moncada 5
Yasmani Grandal 2
Eloy Jimenez 7
Luis Robert 8
James McCann DH
Leury Garcia 9
Pretty good. And let's not forget: Andrew Vaughn is coming fast.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 21, 2019
While Robert’s AL Rookie of the Year odds have improved, the majority of the other top contenders have seen their prices lengthened in the last month, including each of the top three pitching prospects.
Perhaps it’s because only one of the past eight AL Rookie of the Year winners has been a pitcher, but more than likely it’s because each of those three hurlers have their own set of warts.
The Problem with Backing one of these Pitchers
It’s anybody’s guess when the MLB season will actually start, but when it does there’s no guarantee that either Kopech or the Tigers’ Casey Mize will be on a big league roster.
Kopech is fresh off Tommy John surgery and the plan for him was to begin the season in Triple-A. You have to believe the White Sox will be cautious with their top pitching prospect. Outside of a few batters in an abbreviated Spring Training, Kopech hasn’t faced live competition since 2018.
Mize meanwhile, has a history of elbow and shoulder injuries and was sidelined for a month in 2019. With Detroit not expected to compete, it’s hard to imagine Mize accruing enough innings to qualify for the award.
Speaking of injuries, the Athletic’s Jesus Luzardo pitched just 55 innings last season due to a nasty shoulder issue. He’s topped 100 innings just once in his professional career, so there’s plenty of reason for Oakland to be cautious with him.
There’s no denying that Luzardo’s stuff is elite, but there’s too much risk to justify betting him at +614.
Robert is the Safest Bet
Robert, on the other hand, is worth a bet even at his reduced price. He has the fewest concerns of any of the top contenders and will have plenty of protection in a loaded White Sox lineup.
He’s an exceptional talent that can dramatically change a game with his power and his speed, plus he’s an excellent center fielder. The future is bright in Chicago and Robert is one of the biggest reasons why.
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