Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman finished second to Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez for American League Rookie of the Year.
Rodriguez received 29 of 30 first-place votes, and Rutschman received the other first-place vote. The 21-year-old hit .284 with 28 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .853 OPS. He stole 25 bases in 32 attempts and finished runner-up to Juan Soto in the Home Run Derby. He had a 6.2 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).
Rodriguez signed a seven-year, $119 million contract with player options from 2030-2034.
Rutschman, the first overall pick in the 2019 draft, made his major league debut on May 21st and helped power the Orioles to a 31-game improvement with his offense and defense. He hit .254 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs with an .806 OPS in 113 games. The Orioles were 63-50 in those games and 20-29 in games he didn’t play.
Rutschman had a 5.2 WAR and was voted Most Valuable Oriole. He receives a year in service time for finishing second.
Cleveland outfielder Steven Kwan was third in the voting.
Kansas City shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., Houston shortstop Jeremy Peña and Seattle pitcher George Kirby also received votes. Peña was voted the Most Valuable Player in the American League Championship Series and the World Series. Votes were cast before the postseason began.
I voted for Rodriguez, Rutschman and Kwan.
Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca voted for Rutschman first. Two voters, Tom Withers of the Associated Press in Cleveland and Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star, did not put Rutschman on their ballots.
The Orioles haven’t had a Rookie of the Year since relief pitcher Gregg Olson won it in 1989.
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