Arozarena and India react to their Rookie of the Year victories
The 2021 season had productive rookies all around the MLB. However, Tampa Bay Rays’ young outfielder Randy Arozarena and Cincinnati Reds’ second baseman Jonathan India won the 2021 Rookie of the Year awards.
Arozarena and India had different paths towards the awards but they were the strong favourites to win early in the season when they received solid minutes. Arozarena was named the American League winner as a key cog for the Rays’ outfield. On the other hand, India was given the National League award as a surprise contributor to the Reds rotation.
The 2021 rookie class was filled with immense talents but the two winners deserved the award. Both Arozarena and India were welcome surprises as they made an instant impact on their squads. They had stellar first seasons in the MLB, proving early that they deserve to be in the league.
It is a big accomplishment for Arozarena
Arozarena is the fourth Rays player to win the award after Wil Myers’ win back in 2013. Randy received 22 first-place votes while Houston Astros’ Luis Garcia came second in the voting. Arozarena’s Rays teammate Wander Franco came in third.
Before the 2021 season started, Arozarena expected that he would have a great campaign. He was correct in that assessment because he was stellar this season. He said, ‘There has been a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices along the way, and the results at the end of the year made it a well-deserved prize’.
Arozarena was the top rookie on a 100-win team. His 43-game on-base streak was a highlight for the 2021 season. He is the future of the Tampa squad as he has become the next man up for the starring role.
India overcame the odds
On the other hand, India is the eighth Red to win the award. He is also the first Reds player to win the award after Scott Williamson back in the 1999 season. Miami Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers finished second while St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson placed third.
As the fifth overall pick in the 2018 Draft, India had struggles. He did not get the roster spot that he wanted early on in his career but 2021 was big for him. He said, ‘I really didn’t have a role on the team. I was just there, filling in for some guys. I kind of took it personal. I wanted to be a big leaguer this year’.
India had a strong debut season as he proved himself as a potential star for the Reds. The road to glory will be more difficult but India and Arozarena are just starting on their path to success.
Words: Cholo Martin