Major League Baseball’s official rules define the way a player is eligible for rookie status (and thus for the Rookie of the Year award). The rule reads as follows:
A player shall be considered a rookie unless, during a previous season or seasons, he has (a) exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues; or (b) accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit (excluding time in the military service and time on the disabled list).
Albert Almora Jr. was first recalled to the Cubs June 6, 2016. He made his major-league debut the following day in Philadelphia.
He remained with the ballclub through late July, returning to Triple-A Iowa July 22.
That’s 46 days. One over the limit.
I had this confirmed by the Cubs late Friday. Almora began 2017 with one too many days to qualify for the 2017 N.L. Rookie of the Year award.
He could wind up getting some votes anyway. In 2008, Edinson Volquez, then with the Reds, finished fourth in Rookie of the Year voting despite the fact that he had by far exceeded the 50-inning limit by the beginning of 2008 (he combined for 80 innings from 2005-07). It didn’t stop the voters for voting for him. You likely recall that then-Cubs catcher Geovany Soto won the N.L. award that year.
There was also this wacky situation in 2011 involving Mike Trout, who did win the A.L. Rookie of the Year award in 2012.
So we’ll have to be satisfied with Almora doing things like this:
... even if he can’t officially win the Rookie of the Year award.