MLB Rookies Tighten Up Rookie of the Year Race

Jonathan India

MLB rookies are entering the dog days of the season. With the trade deadline come, the Rookie of the Year race continues to build up steam. Some of the award races looked like they had true front runners a month ago. But, a lot has changed since the All-Star break, as this particular award race is still up for grabs. In what should be drama-fueled baseball the next few weeks, there’s a large field of worthy players vying for glory to make a push for the award.

Here is a breakdown of how the Rookie of the Year competition has six weeks of regular season baseball left.

MLB Rookies

All qualified rookies below meet the award qualifications. The following stats are from August 22.

American League

Adolis García, OF, Texas Rangers

The late-bloomer has been a positive for the rebuilding Texas Rangers. García continues to lead all rookies with 27 home runs and 71 RBI. His .777 OPS ranks tenth among qualified rookies with 200 at-bats or more. His 58 runs, 107 hits, and eight stolen bases rank in the top five, respectively. The outfielder has seen his on-base percentage dropped dramatically from .342 in May to .292 on the season. García is next to last among his rookies with a .145 BB/K and 22nd with a .330 wOBA. He will need to reverse his cold streak to hold on down the stretch.

Luis Garcia, RHP, Houston Astros

The right-hander went from High-A ball in 2019 all the way to the majors in 2020. Luis Garcia has since stepped into the Houston Astros starting rotation, becoming their most reliable pitcher.  In 21 games started, he’s 9-6 with a 3.39 ERA and leads all rookies with 137 strikeouts. Garcia has passed with flying colors as Houston’s next pitching development triumph. His nine wins are tied for second among rookies as Josh Fleming of the Tampa Bay Rays leads the pack at 10.

Randy Arozarena, OF, Tampa Bay Rays

The out-of-nowhere 2020 ALCS MVP is, in fact, a rookie. Unfortunately, Randy Arozarena fell back to Earth in the first half of the season with 10 home runs and 41 RBI with a .251 batting average. However, the second half has been a different story for the Cuban. His slash line is .346/.414/.625 since mid-July. Plus, he’s doing what he should be doing as he leads rookies with 115 hits and 24 doubles. His .456 SLG and .809 OPS rank in the top 10. He has six home runs in the last 20 games.

National League

Trevor Rogers, LHP, Miami Marlins

Earlier this season, Trevor Rogers made the Marlins starting rotation out of spring training. Rogers 2.45 ERA is third in the league as he remains a favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award. Rogers has been one of the better rookies this season and Miami’s most dominating pitcher. He’s been on the restricted list for a few weeks now, with a return hopefully in early September. Despite this, Rogers is 7-6 in 20 starts with 129 strikeouts in 110 innings pitched, good enough for a 10.9 K/9. His 3.1 WAR is the best among his fellow rookie class.

Jonathan India, 2B, Cincinnati Reds

The 24-year old is quickly becoming a fan favorite for the Cincinnati Reds. The former 2018 first-round draft pick has been nothing but a hitting machine. He finished July with a .470 OBP and .998 OPS while being named the NL Rookie of the Month. His 3.3 fWAR is more than twice the NL’s next-best rookie bat, leading with a .393 OBP. India has taken over the leadoff spot for the Reds while becoming one of the most productive hitters in all of baseball. If India can continue to perform at that rate, the second baseman could pull ahead of Rogers.

Dylan Carlson, OF St. Louis Cardinals

It’s one thing to note that Dylan Carlson owns a greater OPS (.826) at home than he does on the road (.696). Besides that, he’s slashing .261/.341/.419 with 12 home runs, 46 RBI, and 111 OPS+. He plays solid defense in two outfield positions, and he’s reasonably effective at both sides of the plate. Carlson has had a tremendous month in August, hitting .359/.409/.513 in 10 games. The Cardinals will have to do without their leadoff hitter for at least a week. The 22-year old faces the first IL stint of his career.

MLB Rookies In The Hunt

Alek Manoah, Casey Mize, Ryan Mountcastle, James Kaprielian, Pavin Smith, Patrick Wisdom

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