No Surprises as Arozarena and India Win Rookie of the Year Awards


They got here into this season with wildly totally different ranges of main league expertise, however outfielder Randy Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays and second baseman Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds are leaving it the similar means, with every being named the winner of his league’s Rookie of the Year Award on Monday.

The awards, that are given yearly by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, hardly got here as a shock: Arozarena (4.1) and India (3.9) had been the prime rookies in the majors in wins above substitute and every performed a central position in his workforce’s success this yr.

Arozarena, who led American League rookies in hits (145), runs (94), doubles (32), stolen bases (20) and on-base plus slugging share (.815) acquired 22 first-place votes, beating out his fellow finalists, pitcher Luis Garcia of the Houston Astros and shortstop Wander Franco of the Rays, every of whom acquired two. Adolis García of the Texas Rangers acquired three first-place votes however was not a finalist as a result of Garcia and Franco acquired extra second-place votes.

India, who led National League rookies in runs (98), doubles (34), runs batted in (69), walks (71) and O.P.S. (.835), acquired 29 of 30 first-place votes. He beat out his fellow finalists, pitcher Trevor Rogers of the Miami Marlins, who acquired the different first-place vote, and outfielder Dylan Carlson of the St. Louis Cardinals, who acquired three second-place votes and 13 third-place votes.

For Arozarena, 26, the solely shocking factor about the award was the proven fact that he was nonetheless eligible to obtain it. The dynamic outfielder had performed a starring position in Tampa Bay’s run to the World Series in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, hitting .377 with 10 dwelling runs in 20 postseason video games. But that efficiency got here after a complete of solely 84 regular-season at-bats over the 2019 and 2020 seasons, thus preserving his rookie eligibility.

He backed up his postseason breakout by being one of the central figures of a workforce that gained 100 video games in 2021. While the Rays had been eradicated by the Boston Red Sox in a division sequence, Arozarena and Franco showed their value in that quick sequence, with Arozarena executing a uncommon straight steal of dwelling.

Franco, 20, was the youngest of the finalists, and had the least time in the majors, however he managed to provide 3.5 WAR in solely 70 video games, most of them at shortstop. He reached base in 43 consecutive video games, which tied him with the Hall of Famer Frank Robinson for the longest streak in A.L. or N.L. historical past by a participant 20 years previous or youthful. Garcia, whose shimmying windup for the Astros made him stand out in the postseason, was the A.L.’s finest rookie starter, with a 3.48 E.R.A. and 2.6 WAR.

While India, 24, didn’t come into the season with Arozarena’s postseason résumé or hype, he was almost as good, establishing himself as Cincinnati’s leadoff hitter and its Most worthy place participant in phrases of WAR. The No. 5 choose in the 2018 draft, India rode a powerful spring coaching to a spot on the Reds’ opening day roster. When he made his main league debut by beginning at second base in the first sport of the season, he grew to become the first rookie second baseman for the Reds to take action since Pete Rose in 1963.

For the voters, that was sufficient to trump Carlson’s defensive versatility and 3.2 WAR and the strong pitching from Rogers, whose won-lost report of 7-Eight for the Marlins obscured a terrific season wherein he had a 2.64 E.R.A. and 3.5 WAR.

While rookie courses can differ, 2021 provided fairly a number of gamers with a lot promise in addition to the six finalists. Among them had been batters like García of the Rangers, who hit 31 homers and had 3.Eight WAR, and Patrick Wisdom of the Chicago Cubs, who hit 28 homers with an .823 O.P.S.

Top beginning pitchers included Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays (9-2, 3.22 E.R.A.) and Ian Anderson of the Atlanta Braves, who had a strong common season (9-5, 3.58 E.R.A.) and flirted with a no-hitter in the World Series.

The prime rookie reliever was Garrett Whitlock of the Boston Red Sox, a Rule 5 draft pick whom Boston selected from the Yankees. He had a 1.96 E.R.A. and 81 strikeouts in 46 appearances.





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