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2024 MLB season rookie power rankings: Pitchers lead the way

June has just begun with MLB clubs passing the 50-game mark, and we have a good sense of which first-year players have made the biggest impacts.

With young pitching excelling and young bats struggling, the Rookie of the Year races in both the American and National Leagues are dominated by pitchers.

Let's dive into the latest MLB rookie power rankings:

1. Paul Skenes (SP, Pittsburgh Pirates)

Paul Skenes faces the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, June 6, making it a bit risky to place him at the top with such a short sample size against a tough opponent. 

Nonetheless, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 MLB Draft has been electric in 22 innings (four starts), with a 2-0 record, 2.45 ERA, 30 strikeouts, 0.91 WHIP and a .8 WAR. In advanced stats among pitchers to face at least 50 batters, he's 12th in strikeout percentage (35.7) and throws the league's sixth-fastest fastball on average at 99.3 MPH.

In his first career start at Wrigley Field, Skenes pitched six no-hit innings, striking out 11. Skenes throws a five-pitch mix, highlighted by a fastball touching 100 MPH and a wipeout slider. His NL ROY odds have surged to +350, second only to Shota Imanaga of the Chicago Cubs.

2. Luis Gil (SP, New York Yankees)

Luis Gil recently delivered another gem at Yankee Stadium, pitching six innings of one-hit, scoreless ball against the Minnesota Twins. 

He has an 8-1 record, 1.82 ERA (second-best in MLB), 95 strikeouts (ninth-best in MLB), 0.92 WHIP (fourth-best in MLB) and a 2.7 WAR. He allows the lowest average of any MLB pitcher at .129, and opponents don't make solid contact as he allows the 25th-lowest average exit velocity at 87.9 MPH.

After brief MLB stints in 2021 and 2022, and Tommy John surgery in 2022, Gil has seized his opportunity in 2024, solidifying his spot in the Yankees' rotation. Gil is now the favorite for AL ROY with -110 odds.

3. Shota Imanaga (SP, Chicago Cubs)

Through his first nine MLB starts, Shota Imanaga was nearly untouchable with a 0.84 ERA. Though his last two starts have shown he's human with eight earned runs in 8.2 innings, his 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 2.0 WAR remain impressive. 

Imanaga’s crafty pitch mix and pinpoint control should help him avoid prolonged slumps. The Cubs signed the 30-year-old Imanaga to a four-year, $53 million contract, and that has proven to be excellent value. He holds the shortest odds to win NL ROY (+110).

4. Masyn Winn (SS, St. Louis Cardinals)

Masyn Winn, another player with a stellar arm, was a two-way player in the 2020 draft, but the Cardinals chose him for his position player potential. 

After struggling at the plate last season, Winn has adjusted significantly in 2024, with 54 hits in 54 games, a .309 batting average (tenth-best in MLB) and a .805 OPS. His excellent bat-to-ball skills, speed and defensive prowess have contributed to a 2.3 WAR, placing him fifth in NL ROY odds at +2000.

5. Joey Ortiz (3B, Milwaukee Brewers)

Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in the Corbin Burnes trade, Joey Ortiz has added spark and depth to the Brewers' offense. Despite hitting leadoff against LHP, Ortiz has excelled even more against RHP with a .318 average and .956 OPS.

In 54 games, Ortiz has a 1.7 WAR and a disciplined approach at the plate, with 24 walks to 27 strikeouts. His NL ROY odds are +800, fourth-shortest in the market.

6. Mason Miller (RP, Oakland Athletics)

With +310 AL Rookie of the Year odds to trail only Luis Gil in the market, Mason Miller has been dominant since becoming his team's closer this season. Coming into the season, the Oakland Athletics product wasn’t really a thought in the minds of many.

Miller has given up some damage in a couple of recent outings, ballooning his ERA from .89 to 2.08, but a 0.88 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 26 innings of work are still impressive.

The 25-year-old throws the league's fastest fastball at 100.8 MPH on average, and his .180 expected weighted on-base average allowed is the lowest of any pitcher.

7. Jared Jones (SP, Pittsburgh Pirates)

If it weren’t for Skenes, perhaps his teammate and fellow rookie Jared Jones would be getting more national spotlight.

Jones just shoved against his childhood team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, holding them to three hits and no runs while punching out six batters in six innings. Another guy who touches 100 MPH with his fastball, Jones can make any hitter - even Shohei Ohtani - look uncomfortable.

Jones has been up since Opening Day, collecting 76 strikeouts, a 3.25 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and a 1.5 WAR in 69.1 innings of work. Jones sits sixth in NL ROY odds at +2500

8. Yoshinobu Yamamoto (SP, Los Angeles Dodgers)

The preseason favorite to win NL ROY had an awful debut in South Korea, surrendering five earned runs in one inning against the San Diego Padres. Throughout April and into his first two starts in May, Yamamoto was dialed in, gradually lowering his ERA to 2.79. 

Over his last four starts, that number has climbed to 3.32, but all things considered, he has settled in and found consistency. Yamamoto has delivered at least five innings of work in every start since his debut, surrendering a max of four earned runs (twice) in those outings. 

Yamamoto is still pitching every sixth day like he did in Japan to ease his transition into the MLB. With 76 strikeouts in 65 innings, a 1.12 WHIP and a 0.9 WAR, Yamamoto will only improve and has already expanded his pitch arsenal. Yamamoto has the third-shortest NL Rookie of the Year odds at +500

9. Wilyer Abreu (OF, Boston Red Sox)

Wilyer Abreu would be higher on this list had he not just sprained his ankle slipping on the dugout steps, placing him on the IL. Still, Abreu has been as dynamic a rookie as you can find this year, posting consistent production as a hitter, baserunner and fielder. 

After showing solid promise in 28 games in 2023, Abreu has backed it up with an .829 OPS and a 1.9 WAR in 53 games this season.

Abreu may not have the same ceiling as some of the players that have preceded him on this list, but his well-rounded skills and production are proving his worth at the MLB level. Abreu is third in AL ROY odds at +450

10. Ben Brown (P, Chicago Cubs)

It's a shame these power rankings are coming after Ben Brown’s most recent outing, when he started against the Reds and surrendered five earned runs in five innings. Still Browns shares an incredible feat with Skenes in that he has also had a hitless outing this season. 

On May 28, Brown delivered seven innings of no-hit ball against the Brewers, striking out 10. Brown has been a true swingman for the Cubs, bouncing back and forth between starter and reliever, but his willingness to pitch in different spots and deliver has been invaluable.

Led by a nasty curveball, Brown’s fastball and slider are solid compliments, building an effective repertoire that has punched out 61 batters in 51.1 innings. 

11. Colton Cowser (OF, Baltimore Orioles)

12. Jackson Merrill  (OF, San Diego Padres)

13. Andy Pages (OF, Los Angeles Dodgers)

14. Blaze Alexander (SS, Arizona Diamondbacks)

15. Michael Busch (1B, Chicago Cubs)

16. Wenceel Perez (OF, Detroit Tigers)

17. Kyle Harrison (SP, San Francisco Giants)

18. Ceddanne Rafaela (UTL, Boston Red Sox)

19. Wyatt Langford (OF, Texas Rangers)

20. Jackson Chourio (OF, Milwaukee Brewers)

Read more betting picks and predictions for the MLB on site.

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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