We’ve already taken a look at the favorites for the AL Rookie of the Year, so let’s move on to the National League. It’s not hyperbole to state that this year’s group of National League rookies is impressive. In fact, there’s a couple of names we wish we could have added to this list. But, we could only pick five. With that said, let’s take a look at the five rookies that we believe have the best shot of winning the NL Rookie of the Year award.
No player in the National League may have a better chance of winning the Rookie of the Year award than Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll. Carrol is a special five-tool outfielder who stormed through the Minors before he made his Major League debut last August. With Arizona, Carroll hit .260/.330/.500 with a couple of home runs, 14 RBIs, and 15 extra base hits.
Carroll signed a massive eight-year, $111 million extension prior to the start of this season. If anything, that deal is a clear indication of what the Diamondbacks think of the 22-year-old.
Brewers outfielder Garrett Mitchell only played 132 Minor League games before he made his MLB debut late last year. Mitchell was lauded for his power and ability to get on-base while at UCLA, but concerns about his health pushed him back down the back end of the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. Fast forward three later, and the Brewers may have pulled off a heist.
Health concerns will hover over Mitchell, a Type 1 diabetic, throughout his career. Still, there’s no question he can be an impact player in the Majors. Mitchell’s set to join an outfield that will include Christian Yelich, Tyrone Taylor, with Jesse Winker figuring to get time in the field as well.
After the losses of Corey Seager and Trea Turner over the past two years, it’s time for the kids to take over in Los Angeles. Infielder Miguel Vargas was on the radar for years prior to 2017, when he signed with the Dodgers as an international free agent. A career. 313 hitter in the Minors, MLB.com rates Vargas’ hitting ability as well-above-average. Not to mention, the 23-year-old has power. Vargas hit a combined 40 home runs between 2021-22.
Three years after being selected in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, Cardinals 3B/OF Jordan Walker will get his first taste of the Majors. An elite hitter with above-average speed and plus strength, Walker hit .306/.388/.510 with Springfield (AA) in 2022 and came just one home run shy of a 20-20 campaign. Walker continued his rampage in the Grapefruit League in 2023, and made the St. Louis Opening Day roster.
Even though Jordan Walker was a third baseman in the Minors, there’s not much of a chance that he’ll man the hot corner with the Cardinals. Nonetheless, Walker’s athleticism should allow him to easily transition into a corner outfield slot.
Rockies infielder Ezequiel Tovar will look to do something that former franchise icons Troy Tulowitzki and Trevor Story could not: win the NL Rookie of the Year award. A fantastic defender, Tovar shot up prospect rankings list in 2022 after a strong season that he spent primarily with Hartford (AA). Across 71 games between AA and AAA, the 21-year-old hit .319/.387/.540 with 14 home runs, 32 extra base hits, and 49 runs batted in.
A very good athlete with a knack for putting the ball in play, Tovar could be a central piece of the Rockies’ future moving forward.