MLB Awards: Will Mets phenom Pete Alonso slug his way to NL Rookie of the Year honors?

There is less than three weeks remaining in the 2019 regular season. The various postseason races will be decided over these next two weeks and change, as will the major awards races. That is the MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year in each league. As things stand, most awards races are wide open.

With the regular season winding down, we here at CBS Sports are going to break down the various awards race this week. To be perfectly clear, we're not telling you how we'd vote for each award. We're analyzing the races based on the established standards of the voting body. That's a bit subjective, but, then again, so are the awards. 

Our awards race continues with the Rookie of the Year in each league. Here are the best candidates for the NL ROY at this point in time. The players are listed alphabetically within each tier.

The Top Tier

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Pete Alonso NYM • 1B • 20
BA.267
R86
HR45
RBI107
SB1

Pete Alonso has already set the Mets record for most homers in a season. He's unlikely to set the overall rookie record -- which currently belongs to Aaron Judge, who homered 52 times in 2017 -- but his freshman campaign has played out better than could have been expected. We think he's the favorite at the moment to win the hardware.

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Mike Soroka ATL • SP • 40
ERA2.53
WHIP1.10
IP152.2
BB35
K119

Because of Alonso and Fernando Tatis Jr., it feels like Mike Soroka has almost flown under the radar. Here's to correcting that. Soroka has a 181 ERA+ through his first 25 starts. For reference, the only rookie pitcher with more than 150 innings and a higher ERA+ since the expansion era is Mark Eichhorn -- and he pitched in relief. What Soroka is doing hasn't received as much acclaim as Alonso's thrashing of the record books, but it's just as impressive.

Fernando Tatis SS •
BA.317
R61
HR22
RBI53
SB16

You can make the case that Tatis Jr. was the most exciting rookie. A dynamite talent who, in the Javier Baez mold, just seemed to make things happen. Unfortunately, injuries derailed a real run at the Rookie of the Year Award for Tatis. The good news is he's clearly going to have a long career -- and he has a great chance of bringing home more important awards over the years.

Also In The Mix

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Bryan Reynolds PIT • LF • 10
BA.331
R78
HR16
RBI65
SB2

Bryan Reynolds might well break the single-season record for highest batting average on balls in play. That's impressive. In most years, he'd probably win or at least come in second. This is a ridiculous class of NL rookies, however, which means he'll have to settle for a lower finish.

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Victor Robles WAS • CF • 16
BA.251
R77
HR17
RBI58
SB24

Victor Robles's support will hinge on how many voters trust advanced defensive metrics. Offensively, he's well below some of his peers. He's supposedly been worth 20 runs in center, though, and that more than helps erase the gap.

Alex Verdugo CF •
BA.294
R43
HR12
RBI44
SB4

Alex Verdugo doesn't have Reynolds's offensive numbers or Robles's defensive metrics. He has a little of both and he played a lot for the best team in the league. All the above counts for something.

Others Of Note

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Aristides Aquino CIN • RF • 44
BA.292
R23
HR15
RBI38
SB3

Aristides Aquino has been an absolute blast to watch. But it's hard to see him finishing too highly; there are just too many well-performing rookies with more playing time.

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Zac Gallen ARI • SP • 59
ERA2.50
WHIP1.23
IP68.1
BB32
K82

How often does a Rookie of the Year vote recipient get traded midseason? Zac Gallen has continued to pitch well since coming to Arizona from Miami. 

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Keston Hiura MIL • 2B • 18
BA.301
R44
HR16
RBI43
SB9

Keston Hiura can hit. He just missed too much time -- due to being held down and injuries -- to make a real run for the higher tiers.

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Kevin Newman PIT • SS • 27
BA.314
R50
HR10
RBI53
SB13

Kevin Newman has been an above-average hitter who should finish the year with more than 100 appearances at shortstop. That's worthy of a nod, if nothing else.

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Chris Paddack SD • SP • 59
ERA3.54
WHIP1.02
IP129.2
BB29
K137

Remember when Chris Paddack looked like a top-flight contender for the award? He has a 4.75 ERA in the second half.

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Will Smith LAD • C • 16
BA.264
R23
HR13
RBI34
SB1

Will Smith has been outstanding, but as with Aquino the small sample factor will work against him.

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Christian Walker ARI • 1B • 53
BA.264
R75
HR25
RBI62
SB8

We'll end with Christian Walker, who is 28-year-old first baseman. He might hit 30 homers and that still counts for something. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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