Astros' Garcia finishes second in ROY voting

November 16th, 2021

After a stunning first full season in the big leagues, Astros right-hander Luis Garcia fell just short of the American League Rookie of the Year honors, finishing in second place behind Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena on Monday.

Garcia received two first-place votes and 15 second-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Rays infielder Wander Franco was the third-place finisher. Fellow Astros pitcher Cristian Javier was a finalist for the award last season before finishing third behind winner Kyle Lewis of the Mariners and Luis Robert of the White Sox.

Garcia made the jump from High-A to the big leagues during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and maintained rookie eligibility into ‘21. Though he began the season in the bullpen, Garcia ultimately became a solid part of Houston’s rotation, making 28 starts in 30 total appearances.

In 2021, Garcia proved to be a worthy addition to the rotation, especially as multiple starting pitchers endured IL stints. Among the Astros’ pitching staff, Garcia ranked second in strikeouts, second in starts and third in total innings.

The 24-year-old went 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, while leading all rookie pitchers in wins, WAR (3.1), strikeouts (167) and innings pitched (155 1/3) Garcia’s 167 strikeouts were second only to Tom Griffin’s 200 in 1969 for the highest total for a rookie in club history.

Garcia signed with the Astros as an international free agent out of Venezuela for $20,000 in 2017. He spent most of '20 at Houston’s alternate training site before making his debut on Sep. 4 of that season. He posted a 2.92 ERA in 12 1/3 innings.

Designated hitter Yordan Alvarez was the last Astros player to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award, doing so in 2019. Houston has had three ROY winners: Alvarez, shortstop Carlos Correa (2015) and first baseman Jeff Bagwell (1991).