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Rays’ Brandon Lowe projected as a runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year

Former Plant High and Florida star Pete Alonso a favorite for NL Rookie of the Year, to be announced Monday
Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (8) is showered with sunflower seeds after hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg.
Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe (8) is showered with sunflower seeds after hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series Monday, Oct. 7, 2019 in St. Petersburg. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Nov. 10, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — Heading into his first full season with the Rays, Brandon Lowe was hoping to win AL Rookie of the Year honors.

“That was definitely a goal,’’ he said.

And if Lowe hadn’t missed 10 weeks after sustaining somewhat of a fluke injury by fouling a ball off his right leg on July 2, he may well have.

But when the winners of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America awards are announced Monday night, Lowe is expected to be a runner-up to Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, who posted powerful numbers after being called up to make his debut on June 7.

In 87 games, Alvarez hit .313 (98-for-313) with 27 homers, 78 RBIs and a 1.067 OPS while compiling a 3.7 WAR rating (per baseball-reference.com) in spending most of his time at DH.

In 83 games, Lowe hit .270 (80-for-296) with 17 homers, 51 RBIs and an .850 OPS while compiling a 2.9 WAR while playing primarily second base.

Tampa native and Plant High/University of Florida product Pete Alonso wasn’t sure if he was even going to be in the majors until the end of spring training.

But the Mets felt he deserved the opportunity and he rewarded them for it with a spectacular season that makes him the clear favor the NL rookie award.

Alonso compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, headlined by a major-league rookie and Mets team-record 53 home runs.

Along the way, Alonso also earned selection to the NL All-Star team and won the home run derby.

Overall, Alonso, a first baseman, hit .260 with 53 homers, 120 RBIs and a .941 OPS while compiling a 5.0 WAR.

The other NL finalists are Braves pitcher Mike Soroka and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis. The other AL finalist is Orioles pitcher John Means.

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays