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As the 2021 MLB season approaches, the excitement for the upcoming season is palpable. With Spring Training underway, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of the latest Pipeline Podcast have listed their top five candidates for Rookie of the Year in both the American and National Leagues. In this blog post, we will be taking a look at the top contenders for the Rookie of the Year award in each league and why they may be the ones to watch out for.

In the National League, the fifth spot on the list is occupied by Kodai Senga of the Mets. He is a mid-90s fastball pitcher with a unique ‘ghost fork’ ball that no one else has. He is not expected to be the ace of the Mets, but his impressive repertoire of pitches could earn him some Rookie of the Year votes.

At number four is Ezequiel Tovar of the Rockies. He has already had a taste of the big leagues, having played nine games in September last year at just 21 years of age. He is a talented hitter with some power and speed, and he will benefit from the Coors Field factor. He is also one of the best defensive shortstop prospects in the game.

Miguel Vargas of the Dodgers takes the third spot. He is one of the best pure hitters in baseball, having never hit less than .308 in any Minor League season. He has elite bat-to-ball skills and is growing into power, making him a very gifted hitter. His father, Lázaro Vargas, was the DH for Cuba’s 1992 and 1996 Olympic Champions.

Jordan Walker of the Cardinals is the second spot in the National League. He has yet to play above Double-A, but his combination of hitting ability and power is hard to ignore. He is an athletic 6-5, 250-pounder who made a great impression in the Fall League.

The top spot for the National League goes to Corbin Carroll of the D-backs. He made his debut last year shortly after turning 22 and proved that his stuff is good enough for the big leagues. He is one of the best all-around tool packages around, with an 80-grade run, 70-grade defense in center, and elite bat-to-ball skills.

In the American League, the fifth spot is occupied by Josh Jung of the Rangers. He is a first-round pick from 2019 who got his feet wet in the big leagues last year. He has done nothing but hit in the Minors and has an OPS of over 1.000, 30 homers, and a batting average of over .300.

Hunter Brown of the Astros is the fourth spot. He has yet to establish his role in the Astros’ ridiculous rotation, but he showed that his stuff is good enough for the big leagues when he came up last year and performed well in the postseason. Even if he is not in the rotation, he can be a multi-inning guy out of the bullpen and have a huge impact.

Triston Casas of the Red Sox is the third spot. He should be the Red Sox’s every-day first baseman and has yet to tap into his raw power. He is a good hitter who has managed to keep his strikeouts low and has the potential to grow into his power in the big leagues.

The second spot goes to Logan O’Hoppe of the Angels. He was acquired in the Brandon Marsh trade and has exceeded expectations. He is very good behind the plate, has power, and could be the Angels’ No. 1 catcher.

The top spot in the American League goes to Gunnar Henderson of the Orioles. He came up last year and more than held his own at just 21 years of age. He can play both short and third and has power, speed, and a great left-handed swing that will work very well at Fenway Park.

These are the top Rookie of the Year candidates in each league for the upcoming season. Each of them has their own unique skill set and opportunity, and it will be exciting to see who will be crowned the 2021 Rookie of the Year.