Boston Red Sox Player Futures 2023: Masataka Yoshida AL Rookie of the Year Predictions & Best Bets
One of the most bet on and exciting futures markets in baseball is the player awards. You can bet on who will win the MVP, Cy Young or Rookie of the Year. Unless one of the players, like Shohei Ohtani, is heavily favored to win an award, the market is usually wide open with plenty of value on players. The Boston Red Sox have not had an MVP, Cy Young or Rookie of the Year since 2018 when current Dodger Mookie Betts won, and before that, it was in 2016 when Rick Porcello won the Cy Young. But the Red Sox have a mix of young and veteran players this year, and I have a best bet for who will win the American League Rookie of the Year.
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Boston Red Sox Player Futures: AL Rookie of the Year Odds
The Rookie of the Year vote can be very difficult to predict at the beginning of the season because sometimes the player won’t start on the Opening Day roster, but will be called up at some point through the season. For example, the 2022 NL Rookie of the Year was Michael Harris II, who started the season in Triple-A. But after taking a look at the favorites to win the AL Rookie of the Year, I see value in a certain Red Sox player. I think Boston will have their first AL Rookie of the Year winner since 2007.
Gunnar Henderson +235
Masataka Yoshida +500
Anthony Volpe +750
Triston Casas +800
Grayson Rodriguez +1000
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Boston Red Sox Player Futures Best Bet: Masataka Yoshida wins AL Rookie of the Year (+500)
He’s not much of a rookie to professional baseball, but he is technically a rookie in the MLB this season. Masataka Yoshida was Boston’s biggest offseason signing, as they signed the Japanese star to a 5-year, $90 million contract. The 29-year-old played 7 seasons in the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan before making his way to the MLB this offseason. He was widely considered the “Juan Soto of Japan”, which is a pretty impressive title to earn. And in the World Baseball Classic, Yoshida demonstrated why he was a top option in the offseason. He went 9-for-22 (.409) with a tournament record 13 RBIs as he batted 4th in Japan’s stacked lineup that ended up winning their 3rd World Baseball Classic title. After the tournament, his odds to win the AL Rookie of the Year went from +600 to +500 as oddsmakers realized he was the real deal.
I was very impressed with the way Yoshida swung the bat, and the way that he had over 100 more walks than strikeouts in 7 seasons in the NPB has me blown away. He has an advantage over other rookies like Gunnar Henderson, Anthony Volpe or teammate Triston Casas because he has played 7 seasons in the Major League equivalent in Japan, and he will be in Boston’s starting lineup every day that he is healthy. I expect Yoshida to lead Boston in most offensive categories, and at +500 to win the Rookie of the Year award, he’s worth every cent.
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