MLB Best Bet Rookies for 2024

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In the NBA, San Antonio Spurs fans have been treated to a great season by No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama. The team hasn’t been good, but Wemby has, and the 20-year-old rookie is averaging more than 20 points and three blocks per game. NBA online sportsbooks have him at an overwhelming -5000 to win Rookie of the Year.

Last year in the NFL, the Offensive Rookie of the Year was sensational Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud. The No. 2 overall pick ran away with the award, and this year, NFL online sportsbooks have him at +1400 to win the 2024 MVP.

And therein lies the big difference between those sports and baseball. In 2023, Baltimore Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson was the American League Rookie of the Year, four years after he was drafted. In the National League, the winner was Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll, another pick from the 2019 MLB Draft.

It’s hard to know which draft picks will make an impact in baseball, and how long before they do.

Kyle Harrison – Starting Pitcher, San Francisco Giants

Of all of the bright young pitchers in baseball, Kyle Harrison is the only one who has a guaranteed rotation spot to begin the season. Harrison was a third-round pick in 2020, and last August he made his big league debut.

Harrison has a mid-90s rising fastball, and he will rack up the strikeouts. But like most young pitchers, he will also issue a number of walks. Baseball online sportsbooks have him at +1400 to win National League Rookie of the Year.

Paul Skenes – Starting Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates

This year’s No. 1 overall pick, Paul Skenes, is at +2000 to win Rookie of the Year, mostly because he’s starting the season in the minor leagues. But when he does make it up to Pittsburgh, he will be good. 

He’ll give up a few homers, as 100-mph throwers are wont to do. But Skenes will also get a lot of strikeouts.

Skenes should be with the big club after a couple of months of tuneups, which may be too late for him to seriously impact the Rookie of the Year race.

Evan Carter – Outfielder, Texas Rangers

It’s a nice world to be in when you are a World Series hero before you even play your full rookie season. That is where Evan Carter of the Texas Rangers finds himself. He made his Major League debut on September 8, and in 17 games in October, he slashed .300/.417/.500. In the Rangers World Series win, Carter had six hits and three doubles, and showed everyone why Texas took him with the 50th overall pick in 2020. has Carter as a co-favorite to win American League Rookie of the Year, paying +275.

Jackson Holliday – Shortstop, Baltimore Orioles

The other co-favorite to win A.L. Rookie of the Year is Baltimore Orioles shortstop Jackson Holliday, the son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday.

Holliday the younger was the first overall pick in 2022, and he is Major League ready. Although in order to get playing time on a very good Orioles team, he’ll likely see a number of games at second base. Through March 13 spring games, Holliday has an OPS of .873, following up on his great 2023, when he was named Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year.

Jackson Chourio – Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers

Outside of the two big name rookie imports, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Jung Hoo Lee (more on them in a minute), Jackson Chourio has the shortest odds to win National League Rookie of the Year. Wisconsin retail sportsbooks are paying +700 on Chourio.

He only turned 20 this week. But in two years of pro ball, he’s made it all the way to Triple-A. Last year in Double-A, he hit 22 home runs and stole 41 bases, and in his six games at Triple-A, he slashed .333/.375/476.

He’s very young, so temper the early expectations. But by the end of the season, he will be an impact player.

N.L. Rookie of the Year Top-Two Favorites

While all of the above players are just now getting regular action against a high level of competition, Jung Hoo Lee of the Giants and Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the Los Angeles Dodgers are veterans, but also technically rookies.

Lee is an outfielder who hit .340 in seven seasons in the Korean Baseball League. He has five KBO Golden Glove Awards and was the MVP in 2022. Yamamoto pitched in Japan for seven seasons, and in each of the last three years, he was the Pacific League MVP. has made Yamamoto the favorite to win the N.L. Rookie of the Year at +160. Lee is second on the betting board at +650.

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