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3 Puerto Ricans in running for AL Rookie of the Year Award

3 Puerto Ricans in running for AL Rookie of the Year Award

Posted by PanamericanWorld on September 04, 2015

Three Major League stars from Puerto Rico - Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Eddie Rosario - are in contention for the American League Rookie of the Year Award and have one month left in the season to separate themselves from the pack.

The favorite appears to be the 20-year-old Correa, a key figure for the AL West-leading Houston Astros who currently tops all American League rookies with 16 home runs and is second among AL first-year players with 45 RBI and tied for fourth in doubles with 17.

"Correa is the strongest candidate," Puerto Rican baseball historian Jossie Alvarado told EFE on Thursday about the Astros' shortstop, who was the first overall pick in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft.

His home-run tally prior to the age of 21 is the second-highest in big-league history among players at his defense-first position, behind only Alex Rodriguez's 26.

But Correa faces stiff competition from Lindor, who stars for the Cleveland Indians, and Rosario, an outfielder for the Minnesota Twins.

Lindor has been red-hot of late with an AL-best .400 batting average over the past 30 days, a span of 27 games in which he has compiled 42 hits in 105 at-bats, Alvarado noted.

The infielder also leads all rookies with a .308 average, while his 40 hits in August tied Ricky Otero for the most in a one-month period by a Puerto Rican big-league player.

But his limited action this year, having appeared in just 70 of the Indians' 132 games, may hurt his chances of being selected for the honor by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Rosario, for his part, ranks first among rookies and second in the Major Leagues in triples with 10, only two behind the Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier, and he has made an impact in the field with 13 outfield assists, third-highest in the major leagues, and four double plays turned, tied for first among outfielders.

Alvarado recalled that 2015 marks the first year that such a high number of Puerto Rican rookies are in the running for the Rookie of the Year Award.

Five other players from the U.S. commonwealth have won this honor: Orlando Cepeda (1958), Benito Santiago (1987), Sandy Alomar (1990), Carlos Beltran (1999) and Geovany Soto (2008).

Dominican slugger Miguel Sano, designated hitter for the Minnesota Twins; Devon Travis, an American second baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays; Billy Burns, an American center fielder for the Oakland A's; and Mexican relief pitcher Roberto Osuna, who plays for the Blue Jays and leads all rookies in saves with 16, could also challenge for the honor.

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