Mets Rookie of the Year Candidate #1: Kodai Senga
Kodai Senga has the best chance of winning the Rookie of the Year award.
Senga will likely be slotted into the rotation as the #3 starter. Last year in the NPB, he appeared in 23 games and pitched 148 innings. He allowed just 104 hits, 31 earned runs, 50 walks, and struck out 159 batters. His ERA was 1.89, his WHIP was 1.04, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 3.18.
One thing I can’t wait to see is his ghost forkball. His signature pitch can make even the best hitters look foolish. The pitch earned its name because it starts in the middle of the zone and disappears from the hitter’s view.
Senga is 29 years old, so he’s in his prime. Workload shouldn’t be an issue at all, considering that he’s pitched 131 or more innings in six of the last seven years. It’s also encouraging that he excels at limiting home runs, with a career HR/9 in Japan of 0.6. In 2022, his 0.4 HR/9 would’ve led Major League qualifiers, beating MLB leader and new teammate Jose Quintana’s 0.43.
While I don’t put a lot of stock into projections, they do like Senga (and Baty) across the board. If he puts up numbers in the neighborhood of these projections, he’ll have a strong chance at winning the Rookie of the Year award.