Is the AL Rookie of the Year Award already out of reach for these Rangers players?

There've been some surprising in the chase for AL Rookie of the Year.
Texas Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford
Texas Rangers outfielder Wyatt Langford / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

It was supposed to be a two-horse race, right? Before the 2024 season began, a lot of experts and pundits pointed to two of the Texas Rangers' outfielders as the frontrunners for this year's American League Rookie of the Year Award.

Evan Carter, after a strong showing in the MLB Postseason last year, was one of the top candidates to take home the AL Rookie of the Year trophy in 2024. Fellow outfielder Wyatt Langford jumped into the discussion after making the Rangers Opening Day roster thanks in large part to his tremendous power numbers.

But a little over a month into the 2024 season and neither player has done much to solidify their names among the best first-year players in the AL. In fact, with Langford on the IL and Carter possibly on the way to join him, perhaps the two Rangers outfielders have already missed out on their opportunity to take home the award.

Is the AL Rookie of the Year Award already out of reach for Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford?

Carter ranks second in home runs (5) and third in RBI (15) among all qualified AL rookies, but that's about where the accolades stop. Carter is hitting just .215/.303/.416 and has 37 strikeouts on the season.

As for Langford, last year's first-round draft pick is hitting .224/.295/.293. Langford's lone home run this season was of the inside-the-park variety, and while that's quite a feat, it also speaks to the fact that his red-hot power numbers from the Cactus League have not translated to the big leagues.

But it's not just the slow start from both Carter and Langford that may have moved them to the back of the line in the hunt for AL Rookie of the Year honors. Detroit Tigers centerfielder Wenceel Perez, Boston Red Sox outfielder Wilyer Abreu, and Baltimore Orioles outfielder Colton Cowser have all gotten off the blocks well to start their rookie campaigns. All three players have an OPS above .840 this season.

There's been an uptick in pitchers who could be in line for the award as well. A pair of Red Sox pitchers — Cooper Criswell and Justin Slaten — have been opening eyes at the outset of the 2024 season. Luis Gil of the New York Yankees also leads all rookie hurlers with 48 punchouts and a 2.51 ERA. Both stats put Gil in the top-15 among all American League pitchers, not just rookies.

While winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award is not yet out of reach for either Carter or Langford, some unexpected competition has the two Rangers sluggers behind the eight ball. Orioles' infielder Jackson Holliday could still enter the race as could Houston Astros outfielder Joey Loperfido.

First, Carter and Langford have to get back on the field in order to earn consideration. Carter is being evaluated for a back issue and Langford is on the IL with a hamstring strain. Besides winning the award, the Rangers need the pair of outfielders back in order to win some games.

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