Yes, Gary Sanchez has played enough to be American League Rookie of the Year

Wil Myers was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2013, when he hit .293/.354/.478 with 13 home runs in 88 games. Carlos Correa was the American League Rookie of the Year last season when he hit .279/.345/.512 with 22 home runs in 99 games. Gary Sanchez has hit .337/.410/.747 in 43 games. Why shouldn’t he be Rookie of the Year?Sanchez already has been the American League Player of the Week twice, as well as the league’s Player of the Month for August, in addition to, naturally, Rookie of the Month. Given that Sanchez has hit .284/.364/.672 with eight homers already in September, he’s got a decent shot at winning a second ROM award, which would put the Yankees catcher on equal footing with Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara (April/May) and Cleveland outfielder Tyler Naquin (June/July).  MORE: The most beloved player for every teamFrom a wins above replacement standpoint, Sanchez at 3.0 has an edge over Mazara (0.6) and Naquin (0.7), leading all position-playing American League rookies. Twins outfielder Max Kepler is at 2.5, having hit .237/.312/.430 with 16 homers in 104 games. The American League leader in rookie WAR is Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer at 4.7, as the 23-year-old has gone 10-7 with a 3.03 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 148.2 innings. Despite not winning the monthly awards, the Rookie of the Year has largely been seen as Fulmer’s to lose, and he may be doing that. Since shutting out the mighty Rangers on four hits on August 14, Fulmer has gone 0-4 in five starts with a 6.28 ERA and a declining strikeout rate – 17 in 28.2 innings. It’s at least to the point where Fulmer, who could have run away with the Rookie of the Year, has opened up the conversation.Sanchez, becoming the fastest player ever to hit 18 home runs on Wednesday night, before he added his 19th later in the same game, has barged right in. The numbers that he has put up in a short amount of time are on par with what other rookies have done for the full season. It would be wrong to penalize Sanchez for the Yankees not having called him up sooner – a price the Yankees themselves may wind up paying in the form of not making the playoffs. Whether or not you believe Sanchez deserves the award over Fulmer is your call, particularly if you’re one of the BBWAA voters. But the argument that Sanchez does not deserve the award because he has not played enough does not hold water. You only get one chance at Rookie of the Year. San

chez has exceeded his rookie limits this year. He’ll never be up for this award again. If he’s earned it with is play on the field, he should get it.