Luis Robert missed out on adding to his collection of hardware.
The White Sox rookie finished second in the voting for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Monday night, with Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis winning the award unanimously.
Robert didn’t exactly light the baseball world on fire, as many expected he would in advance of his rookie season, but he still managed to deliver on those preseason expectations. He thrilled White Sox fans throughout the shortened 60-game season and showed the kind of game-changing talent that will come in quite handy for contending White Sox teams over the better part of the next decade.
Robert started hot, just as he anticipated he would, with a .298/.348/.612 slash line to go along with 10 home runs after just 33 games. But he plunged into a deep slump over the final month of the season, going 11-for-81 in September and watching his season totals drop to .233/.302/.436 with just one home run in the final 23 regular-season games he played.
But despite that elongated skid, Robert left some impressive memories, making a jaw-dropping diving catch in Kansas City, hitting a walk-off home run against those same Royals on the South Side and launching a 487-foot moonshot in Game 3 of the AL Wild Card Series.
Lewis actually had a similar season to Robert, also experiencing a second-half slump that dragged his numbers down from where they were at the beginning of the season. But despite a huge gap on defense — according to Fangraphs, Robert, who won the Gold Glove, was one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball, while the site’s metric rated Lewis as one of the worst — Lewis posted some significantly better offensive numbers in a few key categories, such as batting average, on-base percentage and OPS.
Of course, missing out on Rookie of the Year honors doesn’t take away from Robert’s rookie season, a nice starting point for where folks expect his career will take him: superstardom.