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In 2016, LA Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager won the Rookie of the Year Award, and he came into the season as the number one prospect and was favored to clinch it. But he was competing against Michael Fulmer, who was not even on the radar for the American League Rookie of the Year award when the season begun. The Rookie of the Year Award is as unpredictable as it is exciting, and here’s a look at the top picks for the award in 2017. 

Top Prospects in the American League

1. Andrew Benitendi

The only reason this 2015 first round draft pick is still eligible for the Rookie of the Year is because a knee injury ensured that he only achieved 105 at-bats playing for the Red Sox, and he posted impressive numbers during that time.

2. Carson Fulmer

In the 2015 draft, Fulmer was drafted behind Benitendi but his debut didn’t go as well as he would have expected. The second half saw his pitch improve as he showed his impressive form during his college days. Having overcome his underwhelming start, 2017 should find him well adjusted and improve his prospects of being named ROYA. 

3. Francis Martes

Francis Martes is currently the dark horse to claim Rookie of the Year in the American League. He has a powerful fastball/curveball combination and he should prove quite a handful for opposing batters. Some outside influences will have a major say in his prospects. One of them is when he’s called up by the Astros. An innings limit may also force him to be shut down, which is going to diminish his prospects. 

Top Prospects in the National League

1. Danny Swanson

The number one pick in 2015, Danny Swanson was shipped to Atlanta by the Arizona Diamondbacks in a trade involving Shelby Miller. He’s a shortstop who does it all without being flashy. And in a league where a few short stops really make their mark in their first season, it could actually play in his favor and allow him to gain more recognition. He’s already a future star in the eyes of many, and doesn’t draw too much attention to himself. We don’t know if being low-key may actually work against him when the voting starts, he’s definitely one to watch this season. 

2. Lucas Giolito

Lucas Giolito is a big right-handed pitcher who didn’t exactly having a storming start to his National League career, but the sample size is small. He has got nothing left to prove in Minor League Baseball and all he needs is an extended stay in the Washington Nationals’ rotation and he will prove to be a contender for end-of-season honors. 

3. Alex Reyes

Reyes is a pitcher who has managed to achieve, and even surpass expectations. He’s four innings shy of not being deemed a rookie. As a reliever, he was mostly unhittable and he also stepped up when he made a few starts in September of 2016. The big question is whether he starts or is called to relieve other pitchers. And those decisions are going to impact his prospects of being a candidate for Rookie of the Year. 

Betting Odds

2017 promises to be an exciting year with the best in the MLB being recognized for exceptional fielding, hitting, or all-round greatness. And if you’d like a piece if the action, baseball odds for the MLB are available at William Hill.  This may also give you an indication as to who is currently the most likely to take away the title.