Futures bets aren’t for everyone, but if you want a solid one right now, it’s in the market for MLB’s National League Rookie of the Year. Arizona Diamondback outfielder Corbin Carroll is the guy.
Carroll was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Ever since, he has consistently appeared on lists of MLB’s top prospects. He has dominated at every level of the minors and he is a five-tool gem just waiting to go off in the majors.
Many of the top publications have Carroll listed in the top-5 of MLB prospects and his stats support it. His minor league slash line was .310/.426/.588 with 28 homers in 142 games. Those stats would be even better – and he might already be in the majors – if not for a torn up shoulder in 2021.
He is one of baseball’s fastest players. Carroll has stolen 52 bases in 59 attempts (88 percent). He also managed 77 (out of 167) extra-base hits during his minor league career. What’s even more impressive is that Carroll hits for power and he’s just 5-foot-8 and weighs 165 pounds.
He was called up to the majors in 2021 and played 32 games for the D-Backs before his injury. He hit .260 with four homers, 14 RBIs, and had two steals. Carroll is also an outstanding defensive player. He is projected to play left field for Arizona this season and is currently the betting favorite for the NL ROTY at +300 at online sportsbooks.
He is not the only outstanding prospect though.
If you are not familiar with Elly De La Cruz, you will be. Not to be confused with Pittsburgh sensation O’Neill Cruz, De La Cruz is a 6-foot-5 shortstop who can switch hit. He hits for power. He steals a lot of bases, and he does strike out quite a bit, but he is everything a MLB team desires in an All-Star caliber shortstop.
In 224 games over three minor league seasons, he has hit 37 home runs and stolen 60 bases. In 47 games at the Double-A level, Cruz hit eight home runs, 17 doubles, three triples, and had 19 steals. His slash line was 305/.357/.553. The only downfall was that his strikeout percentage was more than 30%. That might be why the 20-year-old is listed at +1400 to win the NL ROTY.
St. Louis rookie Jordan Walker is right behind Carroll on the board. Given +500 odds, Walker has a major league-ready bat. In two minor league seasons, he has gone .310/.388/.525 and he consistently registers ridiculous exit velocities.
The advantage that Carroll has on Walker is that Arizona is primed to have a strong season. Walker may get lost in the shuffle with reigning NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt and perennial All-Star Nolan Arenado in the mix.
Carroll can reap the benefits of Cy Young candidate Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and Madison Bumgarner. The D-Backs also acquired Ketel Marte, Evan Longoria, and former AL ROTY Ryan Lewis. Arizona still plays in the super-competitive NL West, but this year division games drop from 19 down to 13. If the D-Backs are winning, it helps Carroll’s case even more.
Bettors will want to get in on Carroll at +300 (as high as +400 at some sportsbooks) before his odds begin to shorten. He’s that good, but his value will decrease as the 2023 MLB season wears on.