The White Sox are stocked with young talent so it’s not surprising they have some of the early favorites for American League Rookie of the Year.
Early odds from sportsbooks have Michael Kopech as a somewhat surprising overall favorite at 3-to-1. Kopech could be seen as one of the more sure things in the field given he has actually reached the majors and had decent success in 2018 before pitching injured in his final start before Tommy John surgery.
However, seven of the last eight AL Rookie of the Year winners have been position players. It’s six of eight going to hitters in the NL.
On top of that, Kopech is not likely to start the season on the big league roster as the White Sox ease him back from the injury. Kopech will also be on an innings limit throughout the year. The last pitcher to win AL Rookie of the Year, Michael Fulmer in 2016 with the Detroit Tigers, logged 159 innings and a 3.06 ERA. Kopech will almost certainly come short of that many innings, which will make it tough for his resume to stand out.
Speaking of the Tigers, 2018 No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize is second in the odds at 9-to-2. He is followed by another White Sox prospect, Luis Robert.
Robert is 5-to-1 and might be a better bet than Kopech. For one, he will almost certainly be on the Opening Day roster and starting consistently in centerfield. In the era of a number of prospects being kept down for service time reasons, Robert will have a head start on much of the field. His well-rounded game of speed, power and good defense should make it easy for him to be valuable even if he struggles at times at the plate.
The rest of the favorites are a who’s who of the best prospects in the AL. Oakland’s Jesus Luzardo is 10-to-1 after getting a brief stint in the majors last year. You can even bet on uber prospect Wander Franco (20-to-1) despite the 19-year-old not even playing above A ball yet.
White Sox prospect Nick Madrigal is currently 33-to-1.