AL, NL ROY rankings: Surprise candidates lead early
Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Welcome to the first edition of theScore's 2020 Rookie of the Year rankings where we pick four early candidates from each league. The second edition will be posted during the first week of September.

American League

4. Jesus Luzardo, Athletics

Lachlan Cunningham / Getty Images Sport / Getty
IP ERA K WHIP WAR
17.1 2.60 17 1.15 0.2

Luzardo teased his electric stuff last September and has given the league its first full taste this season. The Oakland Athletics left-hander features a four-pitch mix highlighted by a nasty changeup that batters are slashing .000/.104/.000 against in 55 attempts. Luzardo has been stretched out now after being limited to under 70 pitches in his first two starts. He's finished at least five innings over his last two outings, posting a 1.69 ERA and .194 opponent batting average.

3. Randy Dobnak, Twins

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport / Getty
IP ERA K WHIP WAR
20 0.90 11 0.90 0.6

Dobnak made headlines last season as the former Uber driver that started Game 2 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees and got crushed. Well, this season, the Minnesota Twins' soft-tossing right-hander is proving he's got the stuff to be a quality major-league starter. Dobnak doesn't throw overly hard or strike out many batters, posting just a 5.0 K/9 this season. He does, however, lead the majors with a 66.7% ground-ball rate thanks to his sinker and has yet to surrender a home run. The 25-year-old also leads MLB with a 0.90 ERA.

2. Luis Robert, White Sox

Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP HR RBI SB AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
19 2 9 4 .274/.329/.425 0.7

Robert has come flying out of the gate, recording hits in 14 of the 19 games he's started for the Chicago White Sox. He's flashed power and speed, currently sitting tied for second across MLB in stolen bases. While there is plenty to be excited about, there is justifiable concern about the swing-and-miss in his game; Robert has struck out 26 times in 73 at-bats (36%), and his 25.8% swinging-strike rate is the worst in the majors. Still, all early signs point to the 23-year-old being a force in the lineup.

1. Kyle Lewis, Mariners

Joe Sargent / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP HR RBI R AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
19 4 14 13 .338/.405/.514 0.9

Lewis is giving the Seattle Mariners plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future. The 25-year-old leads AL rookies in hits and average, and he's second in OPS. He's recorded hits in 15 of 19 contests and already has eight multi-hit games. There's also been an improvement in his plate discipline; Lewis struck out in 41% of his at-bats after being called up last September but has cut down on his strikeout frequency this season while also drawing more walks.

National League

4. David Peterson, Mets

Mike Stobe / Getty Images Sport / Getty
IP ERA K WHIP WAR
16.2 3.78 14 1.32 0.2

Injuries have opened the door for Peterson in New York. The Mets' No. 13 prospect ranks second on the club in ERA, WHIP, and opponent batting average behind Jacob deGrom. Peterson hasn't overpowered hitters - striking out less than a batter per inning - but does feature an excellent slider that has generated a 36% whiff rate and .179 average against.

3. Andres Gimenez, Mets

G Fiume / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP H R SB AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
18 13 6 4 .283/.313/.391 0.3

Much like Peterson, injuries have helped Gimenez make an impact with the Mets sooner than expected. The 21-year-old has played at second base, third, and shortstop, providing exceptional defense. Gimenez doesn't offer much power, but he leads NL rookies in stolen bases and is tied for the lead in hits. He's also struck out in just eight of his 47 plate appearances.

2. Jake Cronenworth, Padres

Denis Poroy / Getty Images Sport / Getty
GP HR 3B RBI AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
13 2 2 4 .333/.350/.692 0.6

Cronenworth is out to prove he's more than just the other guy in the Tommy Pham trade. The 26-year-old has provided some much-needed defensive versatility to the San Diego Padres, already seeing time at three different infield positions in his first 13 games. He's mashed right-handed pitching, slashing .344/.364/.781 with eight extra-base hits in 33 plate appearances and only striking out four times. He didn't hit for much power in the minors but has already gone deep twice, with his first career home run coming off Los Angeles Dodgers starter Dustin May.

1. Dustin May, Dodgers

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty
IP ERA K WHIP WAR
19.2 2.75 17 1.17 0.4

May has stolen all the preseason Rookie of the Year hype from teammate Gavin Lux, who's yet to play a game this season. The hard-throwing right-hander wasn't even initially supposed to be in the rotation but has arguably been the Dodgers' most important starter. May has greatly impressed during his four outings, including an eight-strikeout gem against the Padres earlier this month during which he allowed just three hits over six innings. The 22-year-old leads the league in average velocity for his sinker (97.8 mph) and cutter (93.5), and he's tied with deGrom for the fastest average four-seamer (98.5).

Comments
AL, NL ROY rankings: Surprise candidates lead early
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox