Judge or Bellinger? Duo up for MLB Best Rookie – MLB.com

VOTE NOW: Esurance MLB Awards

Six players rose above the rest in earning nominations for the Esurance MLB Award for Best Rookie, and each one did something remarkable in 2017. Ridiculous power-hitting shows were put on by front-runners Aaron Judge of the Yankees and Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers, plus midseason callups Matt Olson of the A’s and Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies.

Complete 2017 Awards coverage

Meanwhile, Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi was as strong as they come for Boston all year, and Cuba native Yuli Gurriel became a key performer in the middle of the lineup for the World Series-champion Astros.

What more can be said about Judge? He’s the favorite for the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) American League Rookie of the Year Award — perhaps unanimously so — and figures prominently in most AL Most Valuable Player Award discussions after a rookie season in which he set a rookie record with an AL-leading 52 home runs while slashing .284/.422/.627, leading the AL in runs (128) and walks (127) and ranking second in RBIs (114), on-base percentage (.422) and slugging percentage (.627). He joined Ted Williams (1939) as the only rookie with at least 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 100 walks.

“A great year,” Yankees teammate CC Sabathia said. “The best rookie season I’ve ever seen — I think all of us have ever seen.”

But then there was Bellinger, who had a very Judge-like season in the National League. Bellinger, at age 21, didn’t even make the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. But he was called up on April 25 and he — and the Dodgers — never looked back.

Best Rookie: Bellinger

2017 MLB Awards: Best Rookie – Cody Bellinger

Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger finished his rookie season with 39 homers,

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