While Luis Arraez is very clearly an astonishing rookie, most of us might wonder what his place is among ROY candidates and does he even have a shot?
I won't bury the lede, the first answer is... yes, he will get consideration. Will he be the Rookie of the Year? Unless he has an amazing 2 weeks, probably not, but the numbers are much closer than you may think and the likely winner probably isn't who you'd expect.
I went through at 2am 9/17, so I am not entirely sure how accurate the MLB.com numbers are as they don't always get updated at the same time, but I looked at the six most likely candidates. (BTW, all places are among rookies alone, which is why I don't post actual numbers as they are subjective to the other rookies only)
Luis Arraez (MIN), Vlad Guerrero Jr (TOR), Eloy Jimenez (CHI), Oscar Mercado (CLE), Yordan Alvarez (HOU), and Harold Castro (DET). There were some other big names up there, but aside from a couple of power numbers or maybe even games played, because of the teams they play on and their overall numbers, they aren't worth mentioning. In fact, after looking at this list now, I'm removing Castro from consideration. He's on the Tigers and the only things that prop him up are total hits, triples, stolen bases and batting average and there are equal or better guys in all 3 of those categories and he just doesn't measure up in the rest.
Vlad Guerrero Jr. - Before the season started, he was the #1 pick for ROY by a lot of people. He's got the name, he's got the talent and Toronto came out competing. He's in the top 10 of most of the counting stats. 1st in games played and 2nd in ABs (which are fairly meaningless other than to say, he's been with the team a long time this year).
He's 1st in runs scored, 1st in doubles, 6th in triples, 6th in Homers, 3rd in RBI, 3rd in BBs, 10th in AVG, 7th in OBP, 11th in SLG and 10th in OPS. He is 10th WORST in strikeouts and has NO stolen bases. I'd place him 3rd.
Eloy Jimenez - Despite being on a very mediocre to bad White Sox team, Jimenez is one of their large bright spots and a reason they may be contenders to the AL Central within 1-2 years. At 22, he's 2 years older than Vlad and some of that shows in his stats. He is 2nd to Vlad in games played, but has more at-bats and leads the rookies.
He's tied 1st in Runs, 2nd in hits, 11th in doubles, 13th in triples, 1st in Homers, 2nd in RBI, 10th in BB, 13th in AVG, 19th in OBP, 5th in SLG and 7th in OPS. He is the 2nd worst in strikeouts and also has no SBs. Those home runs are very much what keep him in the running for this contest, however, his lack of other extra bases, the low average and high strikeouts plus the fact that he's not on a contending team, I would place him at 5th of the 5 remaining guys.
Oscar Mercado - At 24, he's got a bit of an advantage having developed more than Guerrero, Jimenez, Alvarez and Arraez. He's 8th in games played and 3rd in at-bats.
He's tied with Jimenez at 1st in runs, 3rd in hits, 2nd in doubles, 2nd in triples 10th in Homers, 7th in RBI, 10th in BBs, 1st in SBs, 5th AVG, 10th OBP, 12th SLG, 11th OPS. He is, however, 15th worst in Ks, but that doesn't hurt him too much. Despite his strong counting stats, , his OBP/SLG/OPS leave much to be desired. He's clearly a guy who's going to put the ball in play and be dangerous on the bases, but he's also a guy who, like Buxton, turns singles into doubles and doubles into triples, but doesn't have much actual power and doesn't walk a lot, which takes away from his potential. I'd put him 4th of 5.
Yordan Alvarez - He's 17th in games played and 10th in at-bats and on an incredible Houston team.
Despite being in the game the fewest games among the top 5, he's 4th in runs scored, 6th in hits, 2nd in doubles, 2nd in Homers, 1st in RBI, 2nd in BBs, 3rd AVG, 1st OBP, 1st SLG, 1st OPS. He doesn't have any triples or stolen bases and is 11th worst in strikeouts, but considering he's 1st or near 1st in so many categories despite having played MUCH less than Vlad, Jimenez and Mercado, he is my pick for ROY... not to mention being on a championship team.
So... where does that leave Arraez?
He's 16th in games played and 13rh in at-bats. 5th in runs scored, 4th in hits, 5th in doubles, 13th in triples, 32nd in homers, 17th RBI, 5th BBs, 14th SBs, 1st AVG, 2nd OBP, 10th SLG and 3rd OPS. He's also go the 3rd FEWEST Strikeouts among rookies with 100+ ABs. His ONLY downside is the lack of homeruns, but as you can see, despite having fewer of the counting stats, he's more efficient with those than many others. He has more extra base hits per game than many of his counterparts, which is also why Alvarez looks so good because he's played 30-40 fewer games and putting up similar numbers. I would place Arraez in 2nd behind Alvarez.
Now, perhaps my judgments aren't the same as yours. I'm going strictly based on counting stats and traditional stats and not including ANY advanced stats or fielding or WAR calculations.
I can show the excel table in the comments if people want to see me methodology or it may provide a more clear reason as to why I chose the way I did. If you have different opinions, share below!