Hector J. Cruz
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This Friday the 13th (which, like Tuesday the 13th, is always a witch’s day), an overview of the MLB Rookie of the Year award with a projection until 2022 and also of the group of Quisqueyans who obtained this award.
Last year, 2021, there was an American League contender, Tampa Bay infielder Wander Franco, who came into the conversation even though he was called too late. In fact, Franco only appeared in 70 games, less than half of the 162-game regular schedule. He averaged .288, 7 home runs and 39 RBIs, a good OBP average of .347.
The award went to his partner Randy Arozarena.
This year, there are two projected Dominican candidates. The first is Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez, the type of player who has the so-called five tools (batting average, batting power, field, speed and good arm). So far playing center field, Rodriguez is hitting .254 with a home run, 11 RBIs, 11 steals and just one out, OBP at .315.
The other is also in the American League, it is Jeremy Peña, the shortstop of the Astros of Houston, the young man who put on the shoes (spikes) of Carlos Correa. While Rodríguez is 21, Peña is 24.
On offense, Jeremy bats .245, showing power with 6 home runs and 17 RBIs, 4 doubles and a .318 OBP.
Logically, in these cases, we have to wait for the break in the star game to see where these numbers stand and what kind of competition they have.
Alfredo Griffin was the first Dominican to win the Rookie of the Year award, he did so in 1979 while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. His numbers weren’t great (.287-2-31 with 21 interceptions), but he impressed with the range of his defense. Griffin shared his award with John Castino of Minnesota, who went .285-5-52.
Griffin was a rare shortstop and took plenty of chances on his range and, obviously, his shots. He frequently topped 30 errors in a season, and in 1985 he was awarded the AL Gold Glove while playing for Oakland. This campaign has committed 30 blunders.
Other Rookie of the Year winners were Raúl Mondesí 1994, Rafael Furcal 2000, Albert Pujols 2001, Angel Berroa 2003, Hanley Ramírez 2006, Neftali Feliz 2010.
THE DEATH: From San Pedro de Macorís it is reported that the journalist Julio Reyes, who has long been dedicated to sport, has died. He lived in Washington, and my colleague Alberto Medina told me that last December he suffered a stroke and was unable to recover. He was 57 years old. My condolences to their loved ones.
THE RUMOR : In my column last Monday, I had advanced the species that Robinson Canó was very close to playing for the San Diego Padres and it seems to be serious. The American press sees him again on this date in various twitter accounts. For July, the Padres could have Manny Machado at No. 3, Fernando Tatis jr. in the short and Canó in the second. What do you think? Of course, his stay there will depend on his performance, San Diego is aiming to make the playoffs this year.
THE EIGHTH: Juan Soto’s bat says present again. Yesterday he shot his 8th. home run and number 5 in his last 15 games. It was in the ninth inning of Washington’s 1-4 loss to the Mets. Right-hander Taijuan Walker threw 7 zeros on 3 hits, one strikeout, in a great job. On the other side was Dominican Joan Adon, who was ejected in third with 3 hits, 3 runs, 5 walks. The lad, who has a world on the ball, is 1-6 with a 7.03 ERA. The Mets are 22-11, Washington the other way, 11-22.
From 11-0: Oakland beat Detroit 5-3 and something caught my attention. Another time, three Dominicans played in the outfielders of Atléticos, Luis Barrera, Christian Pache and Ramón Laureano. All three went blank, a total of 11-0. And all three have trouble with their averages: Pache .167, Laureano .136 and Barrera .125. Fix that, otherwise you will have problems.
THE NOOB: Rookie outfielder Gilberto Celestino showed up with the Minnesota Twins. This Thursday, he hit 2-4 and raised his average to .349 on a total of 43 at bats. Keep an eye on him as he is very talented.