Javier received 11 third-place votes in voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, with Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis winning the award unanimously with 30 first-place votes (150 points). White Sox outfielder Luis Robert finished with second with 27 second-place votes and two third-place votes (83 points).
Last year, Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez won the AL Rookie of the Year Award unanimously.
Javier, the Astros’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2019, took Justin Verlander’s spot in the rotation and put together a terrific rookie campaign after Verlander injured his arm in the first game of the season.
Javier, 23, made his Major League debut in relief on July 25 against the Mariners before joining the rotation July 29. He allowed one run and struck out a season-high eight batters in 5 2/3 innings against the eventual World Series champion Dodgers. Javier allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of his 10 starts.
Javier went 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in his 12 appearances (10 starts) for the Astros. His .188 opponent batting average was the lowest among AL rookies and ranked fourth among AL pitchers (minimum 150 batters faced). He led AL rookies in ERA, tied for fourth in wins, was second in starts, fourth in innings pitched and third in strikeouts (54).
Signed out of the Dominican Republic for $10,000 at 17 years old in 2015, Javier reached Triple-A Round Rock in '19, pitching in two games for the Express after spending most of the season at Double-A Corpus Christi. He was expected to start the '20 season in the rotation at Round Rock before a rash of injuries and an expanded roster led to him making the Opening Day roster in Houston.
Javier also posted the third-best opponent batting average by a rookie in franchise history (minimum 200 batters faced). Only Billy Wagner (.165 in 1996) and Bill Dawley (.185 in '83) were better. He also recorded the third-best WHIP by a rookie pitcher in Astros history (0.99), behind Chris Devenski in 2016 (0.91) and Bill Dawley in '83 (0.92).
The emergence of Javier gives the Astros reason for optimism for their rotation in 2021 with Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr., Jose Urquidy and Framber Valdez forming a formidable five.