This Friday the 13th (which, like Tuesday the 13th, is always a witch’s day), let’s take a look at the MLB Rookie of the Year award with a projection to 2022 and also at the group of Quisqueyans who have obtained that award.

Last year, 2021, there was a candidate in the American League, Tampa Bay infielder Wander Franco, who got into the conversation even though he was called up too late. In fact, Franco only appeared in 70 games, less than half of the 162-game regular schedule. He hit .288, 7 home runs and 39 RBIs, good OBP average at .347.

The award went to his partner Randy Arozarena.

This year there are two projected Dominican candidates. The first is outfielder Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners, the type of player who possesses the so-called five tools (batting average, hitting power, fielding, speed and a good arm). So far, playing center field, Rodriguez is hitting .254 with one home run, 11 RBIs, 11 steals and just one out, OBP at .315.

The other is also in the American League, is Jeremy Peña, shortstop for the Houston Astros, the young man who has put on the shoes (spikes) of Carlos Correa. While Rodríguez is 21 years old, Peña is 24 years old.

On offense, Jeremy is batting .245, showing power with 6 home runs and 17 RBIs, 4 doubles and a .318 OBP.

Logically, in these cases, we have to wait for the break in the star game to see where those numbers are and what kind of competition they have.

THE HISTORY

Alfredo Griffin was the first Dominican to win the Rookie of the Year award, he did it in 1979 while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. His numbers weren’t extraordinary (.287-2-31 with 21 steals), but he impressed with the range of his defense. Griffin shared his award with Minnesota’s John Castino, who went .285-5-52.

Griffin was a rare shortstop and took a lot of chances on his range and, obviously, his shots. He frequently topped 30 errors in a season and in 1985 he received the AL Gold Glove playing for Oakland. That campaign he committed 30 blunders.

The other Rookie of the Year winners were Raúl Mondesí 1994, Rafael Furcal 2000, Albert Pujols 2001, Angel Berroa 2003, Hanley Ramírez 2006, Neftali Feliz 2010.

DEATH: From San Pedro de Macorís it is reported that the journalist Julio Reyes, who for a long time was dedicated to sports, has passed away. He lived in Washington and my colleague Alberto Medina tells me that last December he had suffered a stroke and could not recover. He was 57 years old. My condolences to his family.

THE RUMOR: In my column last Monday I had advanced the species that Robinson Canó was very close to playing for the San Diego Padres and it seems that this is serious. The US press reviews it on this date in different twitter accounts. For the month of July, the Padres could have Manny Machado at third, Fernando Tatis jr. at short and Canó at second. What do you think? Of course, his stay there will depend on his performance, San Diego is with the goal of going to the playoffs this year.

THE EIGHTH: Juan Soto’s bat says present again. Yesterday he shot his 8th. home run and number 5 in his last 15 games. It was in the ninth inning of Washington’s 1-4 loss to the Mets. Right-hander Taijuan Walker threw 7 zeros out of 3 hits, one strikeout, in a great job. On the other side was Dominican Joan Adon, who was ejected in the third with 3 hits, 3 runs, 5 walks. The boy, who has a world on the ball, is 1-6 with a 7.03 ERA. The Mets are 22-11, Washington the other way around, 11-22.

From 11-0: Oakland outscored Detroit 5-3 and one fact caught my eye. Another time three Dominicans acted in the Atléticos outfielders, Luis Barrera, Christian Pache and Ramón Laureano. All three went blank, a total of 11-0. And all three have problems with their averages: Pache .167, Laureano .136 and Barrera .125. Fix that, otherwise you’ll have problems.

THE NOOB: Rookie outfielder Gilberto Celestino has been showing up with the Minnesota Twins. This Thursday he hit 2-4 and raised his average to .349 in a total of 43 at-bats. Keep an eye on him because he is very talented.

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