Yamamoto ‘struggled to start the year’ but still a strong candidate for NL Rookie of the Year

Lee Jung-hoo (26-San Francisco Giants) is a strong candidate for National League Rookie of the Year according to MLB, the official website of Major League Baseball. However, about ten days later, MLB chose Yoshinobu Yamamoto (27-LA Dodgers) instead. What happened.

MLB.com released its predictions for the 2024 Major League Baseball MVP, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year winners on Nov. 25, with 88 experts voting.

The National League Rookie of the Year is a big one. The 88 experts voted for Yamamoto and Jung-Hoo Lee, who broke into the big leagues through the offseason posting system (closed competitive bidding), as well as Jackson Merrill (San Diego Padres) and Jackson Churio (Milwaukee Brewers), Paul Skins (Pittsburgh Pirates), Kyle Harrison (San Francisco), Shota Imanaga (Chicago Cubs), Michael Bush (Cubs), James Wood (Washington Nationals), Jared Jones (Pittsburgh), and Maysin Wynn (St. Louis Cardinals). But it was Yamamoto who received the most votes and was predicted to be a strong National League Rookie of the Year candidate.

Something is wrong. The media is saying different things.

On Nov. 13, MLB similarly predicted the league MVP, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year, and picked Lee as the favorite for the National League Rookie of the Year.

“San Francisco made a number of offseason additions, but Lee will make the biggest difference for the organization. With his quick feet and good contact ability, he will fit in perfectly and be a spark plug (bringing energy and life) to the team. Before you know it, he’ll be your favorite player,” he praised.

However, about ten days later, the tables were turned. It’s not that Yamamoto had a breakout performance during that time, or that Lee had a slump. Why did the expectations change?

It’s because the standards have changed. On the list released by MLB.com on Wednesday, no players from the same team were included. Mookie Betts of the Dodgers is included in the National League MVP, which is the highest level. Yamamoto was automatically excluded. However, the list released on Friday had no such restrictions, and Yamamoto was listed as a strong candidate for National League Rookie of the Year, ahead of Lee Jung-hoo.

“Yamamoto got off to a rough start in the Seoul Series, giving up five runs in the first inning, but given his pitches and NPB record, he should win the Rookie of the Year race,” MLB.com wrote. “Yamamoto won the Sawamura Award, Japan’s version of the Cy Young Award, and the Pacific League MVP award three times in a row. This ties the record held by Ichiro Suzuki (1994-1996) and Hisashi Yamada (1976-1978).”

However, these are just predictions. The real test will be who performs better in the regular season, which will determine the rookie king’s fate.

Currently, Lee is far ahead in the pace of the exhibition games. Lee has had a great start to the season, proving his ability to make precise contact in the KBO 카지노 and translating it to the American stage. Through 11 games, he is batting .414 (12-for-29) with one home run, five RBIs, two doubles, and a 1.071 OPS. A sore hamstring threatened to hold him back, but he has shaken it off and turned up the heat with back-to-back multi-hit games and RBIs.

Yamamoto, on the other hand, has been unable to break out of his slump to date. He has had a rough adjustment to the big leagues, struggling in both exhibition games and the series opener against San Diego on April 21.

In three games, he is 1-1 with an 8.38 ERA in 9⅔ innings. While he has shown flashes of power, striking out 14 batters, he has also allowed 14 hits and four walks, resulting in a 1.97 WHIP (walks allowed per inning). In the opener, he allowed five runs on four hits and two walks with four strikeouts and two wild pitches in one inning. Lee signed a massive 12-year, $325 million contract in the offseason, making it the highest guaranteed contract ever for a major league pitcher, but he hasn’t lived up to the hype.

Lee and Yamamoto will face off against each other in the National League West division. Both are the best hitters and pitchers in Korea and Japan, so the battle for the National League Rookie of the Year will be fierce, as well as a battle of egos. Fans are eagerly awaiting to see if Lee will upset the odds or if Yamamoto will turn the tables.

The list also predicted infielder Betts as the National League MVP and outfielder Juan Soto (New York Yankees) as the American League MVP.

The National League Cy Young Award went to Spencer Strider (Atlanta Braves) and the American League Cy Young Award to Corbin Burns (Baltimore Orioles). The final National League Rookie of the Year pick was Yamamoto, while the American League predictions included infielder Jackson Halladay, who did not make Baltimore’s Opening Day roster.

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