If you’re new to the VORG, please note that we give out our awards not necessarily to the BEST player for each honor, but for the most NOTABLE player. For example, Michael Fulmer and Corey Seager were last year’s Rookies of the Year. But instead we gave the American League Rookie of the Year to Blue Jays’ pitcher Dustin Antolin for having 42 letters in his full name, and we gave the National League award to the Rockies’ David Dahl for his 17-game hit streak to start his career.
This season, Aaron Judge will undoubtedly run away with the award in the American League, based on his record-setting 52 homers, .282 average and steady defense in right field. However, the VORG is presenting ITS award to Judge because he established a rookie record with a 57.1 Three True Outcome percentage. Here are the highest TTO numbers in a rookie season with at least 500 plate appearances. You can see Judge obliterated the previous mark of 49.2% by Joc Pederson from two years ago.
Judge still sets the Rookie TTO record if you drop the 500 plate appearance criteria, just edging out Miguel Sano‘s 56.7% from 2015:
In the National League, we have co-winners. The award is being split between players who each were the first men from their particular birth countries to make the Majors.
Gift Ngoepe was a 27-year-old infielder who made his debut for the Pirates on April 26th and became the first player from South Africa. He hit .222/.323/.296 in 63 plate appearances. His Pirates teammate Dovydas Neverauskas was a 24-year-old reliever who on April 24th became the first Lithuanian-born player to suit up in the Majors. Neverauskas got into 24 games, hurling 25.1 innings with an ERA of 3.91.
Congrats to Judge, Ngoepe and Neverauskas!