Monday night, Major League Baseball will announce the 2023 Rookie of the Year Award recipients. Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll is expected to win in the National League over Mets righty Kodai Senga and Dodgers outfielder James Outman, while Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson does the same in the American League over Guardians righty Tanner Bibee and Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas. Carroll and Henderson, who entered the season ranked by CBS Sports as the top prospects in the minors, finished Nos. 1 and 2 in Wins Above Replacement among rookie players, according to Baseball Reference.
Since both races appear to be foregone conclusions, we here at CBS Sports decided we'd look forward rather than back today. That means figuring out the three favorites to win these awards next winter -- as well as a pair of wild cards who could end up disrupting either/or both races. (Keep in mind that this is more of an art than a science, especially at this point in the offseason.)
Let's get to it.
1. Jackson Holliday, SS, Orioles
Could the Orioles win consecutive Rookie of the Year Awards? Maybe. We consider Holliday to be the top prospect in the minors. He's proven to be a quick study, torching professional pitching all the way up to Triple-A prior to his 20th birthday. The risk with Holliday is playing time. The Orioles have a slew of other talented young infielders, including the aforementioned Henderson, and that could result in them keeping Holliday in the minors for additional seasoning. If Holliday does get a real chance to crack the Opening Day roster, then we'd consider him one of the favorites for the AL Award despite his extreme youth.
2. Evan Carter, OF, Rangers
It doesn't get much simpler than this. We already considered Carter to be one of the handful of best prospects in the minors before he made his big-league debut in September. He then showed off over a 40-game stretch that included the Rangers' run to the World Series title. He has an excellent feel for the strike zone and the barrel, and he's a high-quality athlete who could play center if the Rangers needed him to do so. We anticipate he's going to spend the entire season in the majors -- how could he not? -- giving him an extra boost.
3. Wyatt Langford, OF, Rangers
Yes, the Rangers have another talented young outfielder on the rise. Langford, the No. 4 pick in last summer's draft, obliterated professional pitching after his debut. In 44 games across four levels, the former University of Florida Gator batted .360/.480/.677 with 10 home runs and more walks than strikeouts. We had Langford as the No. 2 player in the draft, but it's fair to write that he exceeded even our expectations. He has a good foundation of power and discipline, and he possesses sneaky good speed that should enable him to provide quality defense. Our only hesitation is whether or not Langford will get to spend most of the season in the majors. The Rangers have been aggressive with his development so far, suggesting that he'll continue to rise as quickly as his bat permits.
1. Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates
Skenes, the No. 1 pick in July's draft, is expected to arrive in the majors sooner than later come 2024. (Some scouts suggested to CBS Sports that he could've pitched in the majors this year had the Pirates needed him.) He has a premium power arsenal, complete with an upper-90s fastball and chase-inducing slider. He struck out nearly 48% of the batters he faced in SEC play, then fanned 10 of the 28 hitters he faced as a professional. There are some concerns about Skenes living up to his top-end projections because of his fastball shape, but we'd be silly to exclude him on those grounds until they prove to be an issue for him.
2. Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF, Cubs
Crow-Armstrong is a defensive demon who should be in contention for Gold Glove Awards sooner than later. The key to his ROY candidacy will be his bat. He's learned to lift the ball more frequently throughout his professional career, albeit at the cost of a swelling strikeout rate. It's to be seen if Crow-Armstrong gets a full season in the majors. He debuted in September, but former Cubs manager David Ross didn't play him much. Maybe Craig Counsell will have different plans.
3. Noelvi Marte, 3B, Reds
We'll admit it: we've probably been too high on Marte throughout his minor-league career. It was gratifying, then, to see him reach the majors in mid-August and subsequently hit .316/.366/.456 with three home runs and six stolen bases. Even so, we do have some reservations about Marte heading forward. While his maximum exit velocity put him in company with Bryce Harper and Pete Alonso, his average launch angle would've been the second-lowest in the majors among qualified hitters. We'd like to see Marte lift the ball more often, thereby taking advantage of his top-end strength. If he doesn't, he'll have to try to follow the paths of Yandy Díaz, William Contreras, and Christian Yelich. Maybe he's up for that task. If so, Marte should be able to make a real run at the NL ROY honors next year.
1. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, RHP
It feels borderline insulting to describe Yamamoto -- or any other international veteran -- as a "rookie" just because they're new to MLB. Nevertheless, for as long as they're eligible for the award, we feel obligated to include them in this kind of analysis. Yamamoto, possessor of a career 1.72 ERA over seven seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league, is the top pure pitcher on the market in our estimation. He has an unrivaled combination of stuff and command, youth and track record. Yamamoto will need to adjust to the MLB ball and workload, but there's enough precedent of Japanese pitchers making the leap without trouble -- including, obviously, Kodai Senga -- that we anticipate he'll pitch well out of the gate. As such, he should become the favorite to win the ROY Award in whichever league he joins this winter.
2. Jung Hoo Lee, CF
Lee, a speedy center fielder with top-notch contact skills, is expected to make the jump from the Korea Baseball Organization after hitting .340/.407/.491 over parts of seven seasons. Former teammate Ha-Seong Kim has demonstrated that it's possible for a KBO hitter to transfer to MLB and perform at above-average levels. Kim did require a buffer season, however, and it's possible that the same will prove true for Lee, who missed serious time this summer because of a broken ankle. If Lee does make a smoother transition, his abundant secondary skills could put him in the running for an ROY Award.