It’s been 27 years since the Orioles won a Rookie of the Year. Gregg Olson easily beat out Tom Gordon and Ken Griffey, Jr. for American League Rookie of the Year in 1989. Craig Worthington, another Oriole, finished fourth that year.
It’s been a long time since the Orioles have had a rookie to compare with Carlos Correa or Francisco Lindor, the top two finishers in this year’s AL Rookie voting.
No Orioles rookie has received a vote in the balloting since 2012 when Wei-Yin Chen came in a weak fourth behind Mike Trout, Yoenis Cespedes and Yu Darvish.
None has gotten a first place vote since Nick Markakis in 2006, and none has been in the top three since Daniel Cabrera in 2004.
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Two years before Cabrera’s third-place finish, the Orioles placed two. Rodrigo Lopez finished second and Jorge Julio third behind Eric Hinske in the 2002 voting.
Since Olson won the award, Leo Gomez (1991), Rocky Coppinger (1996) and Sidney Ponson (1998) were among those who received votes. So did Brian Matusz in 2010.
But some of the best players the Orioles produced never received Rookie of the Year votes. Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters didn’t get votes. Nor did Manny Machado in 2012.
Machado had an excellent eight weeks after he was called up, but it wasn’t enough him to get him in the conversation with the excellent rookies of that year.
And, he played too much to qualify as a rookie in 2013 when he easily would have bested Tampa Bay’s Wil Myers.
The Orioles’ rookies of 2015 weren’t terribly noteworthy. Dariel Alvarez, Rey Navarro, Henry Urrutia and Christian Walker were the only first-year position players. None made a huge impression.
Urrutia, who debuted in 2013, played enough in 2015 that he has exhausted rookie status.
Oliver Drake, Jason Garcia, Mychal Givens, Jorge Rondon, Tyler Wilson and Mike Wright were the rookie pitchers. Garcia and Wright are no longer rookies while Rondon was lost on waivers to Pittsburgh.
It’s not foolish to think that Givens, who is 20 innings short of losing his status, could be a candidate for 2016 Rookie of the Year if he pitches as well as he did in the year just past.
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