2024 MLB Rookie of the Year Futures – Yamamoto, Carter Open As League Favourites

Projecting Rookie of the Year futures as Spring Training camps open feels like the perfect exercise to get in the mood for the approaching baseball season. After all, most of these players – we’ll get to the exceptions in a moment – are in the springtime of their careers, with their talent just beginning to blossom as most of them hit their early 20s.

And who doesn’t love speculating about who the best young players in the game are and how they will fare in their first, trying months facing major league talent?

We also have a lot more access to nuanced information on college baseball, the MLB draft and international signings than in previous decades, when you had to pour over fading copies of Baseball America to glean an edge, and then find someone who would book your Rookie of the Year action.

Using Bet365’s recently released odds, let’s delve into some of the best values in National League and American League Rookie of the Year futures:

2024 National League Rookie of the Year Odds

Unlike in the American League, there is a prohibitive favourite here and he is far from a rookie in the traditional sense. Yoshinobu Yamamoto is 25 years old and he has been pitching professionally since he was 18.

The Baseball Writers Association of America, which hands out the four major MLB player awards, doesn’t recognize foreign leagues when it comes to determining rookie status, so Yamamoto’s 2017 through 2023 seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball – over which he went 75-30 with a 1.72 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning – don’t count here.

Yamamoto, who signed a 12-year, $325 million deal with the L.A. Dodgers over the winter, is bidding to become the fifth Japanese player to win Rookie of the Year honours in MLB, following in the footsteps of Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Ichiro Suzuki and Shohei Ohtani.

Is it fair that seasoned pros are eligible to win an award vs. guys who were in high school just two or three years ago? Maybe not, but the sportsbooks can only work inside the parameters others set for these contests. These are more-than-reasonable odds on a talent of Yamamoto’s stature. You don’t have to dig out many more numbers than the dollars in that contract – the Dodgers don’t hand out a lot of silly contracts – but Statcast data from the 2023 World Baseball Classic demonstrated absolutely filthy stuff from Yamamoto, whose fastball averages 95 mph and whose curveball and splitter are the equal of some of the best in the business.

It would be a surprise if he doesn’t win ROY.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto to win 2024 NL Rookie of the Year


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Then again…

The Giants’ Jung Hoo Lee, 25, clears one hurdle immediately. He’ll make the big league roster out of spring since, like Yamamoto, he is a seasoned pro already. Jung, 25, had a .340 batting average and .898 OPS in the Korean Baseball Organization from 2017 to 2023 while playing all three outfield spots.

This guy should be a solid pro, but these aren’t great odds since he’ll be playing in a fall-less, hitter-friendly environment than the KBO, which isn’t quite the equal of the NPB when it comes to the competition anyway. Yamamoto is a far more bankable commodity and pitchers have fared better in the transition from the Asian leagues as a general rule.

If you’re going to bet against Yamamoto, you’re better off taking a domestically produced traditional rookie such as Noelvi Marté, who posted an impressive 0.8 bWAR in just 35 games for the Cincinnati Reds last year or Jackson Chourio, an exceptionally toolsy and versatile 19-year-old who should be up by mid-June with the Milwaukee Brewers if he continues to dominate in the minors.

And Paul Skenes looks awfully tempting at 20-to-1 odds here. The No. 1 overall pick in last June’s draft won’t be up right away, but his stuff is as good as anybody’s on Earth and, in three pro leagues after being drafted, he walked just two batters. At LSU, his strikeout-to-walk ratio was better than 10-to-1, just cartoonish numbers for the SEC. The Pittsburgh Pirates are in a winnable division and they’re not going to hesitate to pull the trigger on their top prospect to fortify a questionable rotation if they get in the mix in the NL Central by June.

National LeagueOddsAmerican LeagueOdds
Yoshinobu Yamamoto (LAD)+175Evan Carter (TEX)+280
Jung Hoo Lee (SF)+800Jackson Holliday (BAL)+400
Noelvi Marte (CIN)+900Wyatt Langford (TEX)+600
Jackson Chourio (MIL)+1100Junior Caminero (TB)+1200
Shota Imanaga (CHC)+1200Nolan Schanuel (LAA)+1200
Jordan Lawlar (ARI)+1800Orelvis Martinez (TOR)+5000
Pete Crow-Armstrong (CHC)+1800Ricky Tiedemann (TOR)+6600

2024 American League Rookie of the Year Odds

With no foreign pros dominating the top of the board, the AL side is extremely wide open.

Everyone saw how good Evan Carter was when he batted .300 with a .917 OPS for the champion Texas Rangers last post-season after being promoted to the big leagues in September. With his smooth left-handed swing and the seasoning he got for those two months, Carter, 21, is almost guaranteed to be deep in the mix for the hardware, but we don’t love these odds given the cavalry charge of young talent behind him on this board.

The No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft, Jackson Holliday, 20, has proven as good as advertised so far, posting a ridiculous .938 OPS in the minors so far and making it to the precipice of the big leagues at Triple-A last season, a remarkably quick rise at such a young age. But he’s entirely unlikely to break camp with the Baltimore Orioles, who have Gunnar Henderson and Jorge Mateo to handle shortstop, and his timetable is a bit fuzzy on such a stacked roster with World Series aspirations. These odds feel a bit short for 2024.

On the other hand, while Wyatt Langford won’t break camp with the Rangers, he feels a bit closer than Holliday to making his big-league impact even though they both barely touched Triple-A. For one thing, Langford played collegiately in the SEC, which is at least the equivalent of High-A ball and he’s two years older than Holliday. Plus, the Rangers are lacking in outfield depth beyond Carter and Leody Taveras. Given their aspirations, how long are they going to put up with the production they get from the likes of Travis Jankowski? Langford feels like a solid ticket at this price.

Junior Caminero, 20, is an absolute steal at +1200. The Tampa Bay Rays aren’t the type of team to sit on elite minor-league talent in favour of a seasoned pro with middling potential and Caminero has as much raw power as any player in the minor leagues. He touched the big leagues last year and, though he has scant plate discipline, he was on a 40-home run pace despite a 50% groundball rate when the Rays skipped him from Double-A to the big leagues.

The Rays are going to be in a hurry to get their best players to the big leagues in a division stacked with the Orioles, New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays and he’ll be up the minute they need a bat.

Nolan Schanuel, 21, got a fair amount of publicity when he was the first player from last year’s draft to reach the big leagues, but these odds feel a bit short for a guy who hit one home run in 132 at-bats last year. It seems wiser to take the better odds on Parker Meadows, who posted an impressive 0.9 bWAR in 37 games for an underrated Detroit Tigers team last season after rebuilding his swing.

Junior Caminero to win 2024 AL Rookie of the Year


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