Learning more about Mountcastle, Mullins' chances at awards

The finalists for 2021 Baseball Writers' Association of America awards will be announced tonight at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. When Ryan Mountcastle finds out whether he's in the top three in voting for Rookie of the Year in the American League.

Mountcastle was chosen Rookie of the Year by his peers in the Major League Baseball Players Association's Players Choice Awards, finishing ahead of the Rays' Randy Arozarena and the Rangers' Adolis García.

They could be finalists for the BBWAA award, but there's also the Astros' Luis Garcia, the Guardians' Emmanuel Clase, the Rays' Wander Franco and Shane McClanahan, the Red Sox's Garrett Whitlock and the Blue Jays' Alek Manoah.

Mountcastle's 33 home runs led all rookies in the majors and his 89 RBIs ranked second. He set an Orioles rookie record for single-season home runs, passing Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken Jr. But five baseball writers for CBSSports.com submitted their mock ballots last month and had Arozarena finishing first ahead of Franco, Luis Garcia and Adolis García.

The article included how Clase, Whitlock and Tigers starter Casey Mize are in the discussion. No mention of Mountcastle, who could be punished, and I believe unfairly, by batting .196 with a .515 OPS in April and possessing a minus-1.5 dWAR per Baseball-Reference.com.

I'm not suggesting that Mountcastle absolutely should be the runaway winner of the award, but he most certainly belongs in the discussion.

As I've said in the past, he just didn't seem to gain much traction among BBWAA voters. But he's going to appear on ballots.

Will it be enough to make him a finalist?

MLBPipeline.com ranked Mountcastle eighth among rookies in the majors and sixth in the AL after Arozarena, Luis Garcia, Adolis García, Franco and Clase.

Thumbnail image for Mountcastle-Celebrates-HR-White-Sidebar.jpgJonathan Mayo writes: "Mountcastle undoubtedly will get ROY votes for winning the rookie home run title with 33. He was second to García in RBIs, total bases and extra-base hits, tied with (Jonathan) India with 57. His defensive limitations hamper his ceiling in this race a bit, but the offensive bona fides on his rookie resume are legit."

So, yes, Mountcastle is in the discussion.

Sports Betting Dime has Arozarena as the favorite, with Franco second and Mountcastle third. Adolis García had a major fade. Vegas Insider puts Mountcastle second behind Arozarena.

The winner will be announced on Nov. 15.

Manager of the Year is revealed on Nov. 16 and the Cy Young Award winner on Nov. 17, and the Orioles aren't in those discussions.

The Most Valuable Player is announced on Nov. 18 and Cedric Mullins is going to appear on ballots that hold 10 players.

Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com placed Mullins fourth behind Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien, and ahead of Salvador Pérez.

Meanwhile, the general managers' meetings begin today in Carlsbad, Calif. Don't anticipate much activity that impacts rosters. It's more about laying the groundwork for the Winter Meetings, if they're held, along with rules discussions and other business that extends beyond the field.

Free agency also begins, following the period where players could only re-sign with their own teams.

The Orioles increased their 40-man roster to 31 players yesterday by reinstating pitchers Keegan Akin and Jorge López, infielder Jorge Mateo and outfielder DJ Stewart from the 60-day injured list.

López is eligible for arbitration.

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