It appears that outside of Boston, Red Sox rookie outfielder Masatak Yoshida is not getting the recognition he deserves — except for “Flippin’ Bats Podcast” host Ben Verlander.
The 31-year-old retired baseball player turned analyst said on Monday that Yoshida should be the favorite to win the American League Rookie of the Year award, even though he isn’t the favorite.
“It feels like we aren’t talking about Masataka Yoshida enough,” Verlander said. “He entered Sunday hitting .319 on the season.”
Verlander went on to say that it was “criminal” that Yoshida was not in the All-Star game since he is leading the AL in batting average ahead of Yandy Diaz (.316) and Josh Naylor (.312).
FanDuel Sportsbook currently set the odds of Yoshida winning the ROTY at +220 behind favorite Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunner Henderson (+185) and Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Jung (+210).
Meanwhile, DraftKings Sportsbook has Jung as the favorite with +175 odds, followed by Henderson at +190 and Yoshida at +225.
“Entering Sunday, (Yoshida) ranks first amongst all American League rookies in all of these categories,” Verlander said. “Batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, hits, doubles, strikeout (percentage).”
Yoshida continues to deliver in his first year, making an impact on his teammates, even though he doesn’t consider himself a rookie. Verlander noted the only category Yoshida was not leading was home runs. Jung has 20 to Yoshida’s 11.
“Josh Jung is currently the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award and was a starter in the All-Star game,” Verlander explained. “I believe that was deserved but Josh Jung is hitting .273 on the year. … Yoshida is hitting almost 50 points than him. How’s he not the favorite? Masataka Yoshida should be the favorite and should win as of right now.”