The young talent flooding Major League Baseball sets up a fun, season-long debate about which rookies have been the best so far—and which have the biggest upside going forward.
The following rankings break down the top five Rookie of the Year candidates this season in each league. Just like last time, the rankings are a based upon performance both to date and a player's potential over the rest of the season.
In other words, while production to this point is certainly being considered, the goal here isn't to hand out a Rookie of the Month Award for May as much as it is projecting what the race will look like over the summer and into the fall.
To keep things from getting out of hand, the focus will be only on players who are actually in the major leagues at the present time. That means you won't find potential ROY candidates like Gregory Polanco (Pittsburgh Pirates), Oscar Taveras (St. Louis Cardinals) or Andrew Heaney (Miami Marlins) listed just yet—although they may factor in soon enough.
Before getting started, here's a fair warning: The pool of first-year player talent in the AL has been much deeper than it has been in the NL so far—it was the opposite last season—which is a discrepancy that should be pretty apparent upon running down the respective lists featured here.