The Cleveland Guardians seem to always have young prospects that stand out, and newly broken-out pitchers Logan Allen and Tanner Bibee are no exception to that claim as they find themselves in the race for Rookie of the Year.
After putting up consistent performance after consistent performance, both young pitchers have the entire major league on notice for the foreseeable future. Heading into the beginning of June, both Bibee and Allen are top ten among all rookies in fWAR, Top-5 among rookie pitchers, and lead among all Cleveland starters in overall perfomance. With the likes of Shane Bieber and Cal Quantrill in the rotation, that feat is something to certainly be impressed about.
Bibee has posted a 3.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP which is great, but a 4.60 xFIP and 4.42 SIERA sit in the backseat of his accomplishments, which seems to be his only knock. Through his opening starts, he showcased tremendous poise and confidence in the majors. In his most recent contest against the Minnesota Twins, an AL Central rival, he tossed six strikeouts through 5 innings. However, his downfall occured as he allowed six hits and three earned runs. Through his seven starts he has allowed 14 runs, but still has been one of the top pitchers in the organization.
On the other side of things, his counterpart Allen has been a slight notch above in terms of success. His ERA and WHIP are higher than Bibee's, and Allen's pitching lineups are much more consistent. Recently, social media has been full of in-game highlights of Allen striking out opponents with absurd curves and slices past the plate. Allen also currently has a 16.4% K-BB, which is much higher than normally seen by rookies.
If Allen can keep up with his current pace, he is sure to be one of the top front runners to be seen as a potential ROTY. Just two contests ago against the Baltimore Orioles,Allen looked like a seasoned veteran posting 10 strikeouts through seven innings of play. That strikeout total became his new career-high. He allowed just three hits and two walks, leading the Guardians to a 5-0 victory.
In comparison, 2020 Cy Young winner Shane Bieber recorded an 11–5 record, a 4.55 ERA, and 118 strikeouts in 20 appearances in his rookie season. Allen is currently on pace to match, if not beat that stat line.
In the following months, both Bibee and Allen have the oppurtunity to grow their stock as the Rookie of the Year race continues to grow. If it were between the two, the most likely option seems to be Allen, but Bibee could easily give him a run for his money.
However, in realistic terms, Rangers first baseman Josh Jung is more than likely the current front-runner for the ROTY award. Among pitchers the Astros Hunter Brown and Mariners Bryce Miller are the only real competition to Bibee and Allen. The race is currently close, but with what the Cleveland fanbase has seen from the two former minor leaguers, that race could drastically shift as the team moves its way through the summer.