Should award voting play out as expected, the Yankees will have multiple players receive AL Rookie of the Year votes. Miguel Andujar may very well come away with the award, with Shohei Ohtani being the other major contender. Gleyber Torres is probably a step behind those two, but he should be under consideration as well. If this does play out as expected, the Yankees’ youngsters will accomplish a feat that hasn’t been done by the team in almost 70 years.
Whether or not either of them win, Andujar and Torres will receive some amount of Rookie of the Year votes. Following Aaron Judge and Jordan Montgomery last year, and Gary Sanchez in 2016, it will be the first time since 1949-51 that Yankees’ players have received Rookie of the Year votes in three consecutive seasons. Back then, Jerry Coleman placed third in 1949, Whitey Ford finished second the following season, and Gil McDougald won the award in 1951.
Since then, the Yankees have won 13 more World Series titles, and nine more AL pennants. Ten other homegrown Yankees have gotten their number retired. Four of them were given a nickname based on the fact that they were the homegrown constants across five World Series championships (The “Core Four”). That doesn’t even include a fifth who played on four of those title teams (Bernie Williams).
Despite all that, they haven’t managed to string together three straight seasons of players getting Rookie of the Year votes. The fact that a team with the Yankees’ history hasn’t had this happen in 70 years shows that this is pretty wild accomplishment.
Even more impressive is that if things play out as expected, the Yankees will have at least a top two finish in all three years. Furthermore, if Andujar and Torres are both in the top three, then that will mark four players in three years that have finished top three in ROTY voting.
One caveat is that down ballot votes in Rookie of the Year have only been around since 1980. It’s entirely possibly another group of Yankees could have done it were the system the same as it is now prior to 1980. Even still, that’s a lot of time in which the Yankees have been a relevant team.
Of course, doing well in Rookie of the Year voting doesn’t always equate to a long and prosperous career. For instance, Ford finished second in 1950 behind Walt Dropo, which was perfectly understandable at the time. Dropo put up 2.6 Baseball Reference WAR that season. His overall total was 3.1 in a 13-year career.
However, the fact that this hasn’t been repeated by the Yankees in 70 years shows that what’s happened the past three years is pretty rare. Not to mention, the Yankees still have the likes of Justus Sheffield who has the talent to possibly compete for the award as well Not all prospects will work out, but the Yankees have had some pretty good seasons over the past couple years.