Who will win ROY? Here are Pipeline's picks
The completion of the 2021 regular season means votes for all of the awards have been cast and winners will be announced after a new World Series champion has been crowned.
In this space, we care most about Rookie of the Year and MLB Pipeline's staff has been providing power rankings all season long on how we think that voting will play out. This will be our last rankings of the year, based on performance from the season that was.
The top five stays the same from our last edition. Reds infielder Jonathan India sat atop the rankings for the final month-plus of the season, though a pair of Rays closed on him down the stretch. Randy Arozarena’s hot bat moved him much closer to the conversation for No. 1, and had there been a few more weeks of the season -- or had he not missed time with a hamstring injury -- Wander Franco could very well have been the clear-cut choice.
1. Jonathan India, 2B, Reds
Previous RPR: 1
All year, India was a presence, typically at the top of the Reds’ lineup, and he led all qualified rookies with his .376 on-base percentage and was second with his .835 OPS. He topped the list with 71 walks and 34 doubles and landed third in that group with 244 total bases. He also was among rookie leaders in homers (21) and steals (12).
2. Randy Arozarena, OF, Rays
Previous RPR: 2
Arozarena finished with a .308/.389/.547 line in the second half to cement him in this spot and closer to India. He’s the only rookie to finish with a 20-20 season to go along with his final .274/.356/.459 line. His 243 total bases put him one spot behind India and he was fourth among all rookies with his .815 OPS.
3. Trevor Rogers, LHP, Marlins
Previous RPR: 2
If Rogers hadn’t missed so much time with back spasms, India could very well be looking up at him. Even so, the left-hander’s season was extraordinary. He topped all rookies with a 2.64 ERA and a 10.62 K/9 rate. In the NL, he was also the best rookie in strikeouts (157), batting average against (.218) and WHIP (1.15).
4. Luis Garcia, RHP, Astros
Previous RPR: 3
He wasn’t quite as dominant in the season’s final month, but Garcia still won the rookie strikeout crown (167). In 155 1/3 innings (also tops among rookies), the right-hander finished with a 3.30 ERA (third-best for rookies), a 1.17 WHIP (fifth) and a .230 BAA (seventh).
5. Adolis García, OF, Rangers
Previous RPR: 5
Yes, his second half (.626 OPS) paled in comparison to his first (.840 OPS), but he still topped all rookies by far with 264 total bases and 90 RBIs to go along with 31 homers, good for second on the rookies list. He also stole 16 bases, and according to Baseball-Reference, posted a very impressive 1.6 defensive WAR for his work in the outfield.
6. Wander Franco, SS, Rays
Previous RPR: T10
Franco came off the injured list after missing two weeks, but he sure didn’t show any rust, hitting .314/.351/.457 over the season's final eight games to head into the postseason with wind at his sails. He played in just 70 games which limits his ceiling on this list a bit, but his .810 OPS was still fifth among all rookies. If this was the Billboard charts, there’d be a bullet next to his name for sure.
7. Emmanuel Clase, RHP, Indians
Previous RPR: 7
Clase’s 24 saves more than doubled his nearest rookie competitor and he went 13-for-15 in save opportunities with an 0.82 ERA in the second half, a stretch that included 13 successful save conversions in a row. For the year, the closer finished with a 1.29 ERA, a .195 BAA and a 0.96 WHIP in 71 games.
8. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/OF, Orioles
Previous RPR: 6
Mountcastle undoubtedly will get ROY votes for winning the rookie home run title with 33. He was second to García in RBIs, total bases and extra-base hits, tied with India with 57. His defensive limitations hamper his ceiling in this race a bit, but the offensive bona fides on his rookie resume are legit.
9. Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals
Previous RPR: unranked
Carlson has cycled on and off this list at various times this year and makes the top 10 thanks in part to wrapping up the year with a .301/.364/.503 line from Aug. 1 on. He finished fifth among rookies with 237 total bases and landed in the top 10 in homers (18), OBP (.343) and OPS (.780).
10. Alek Manoah, RHP, Blue Jays
Previous RPR: unranked
The big right-hander topped rookies with his 1.05 WHIP and .195 BAA, while his 10.24 K/9 rate was good for third. He finished on a very high note with a seven-inning, one-hit, 10-strikeout performance on Saturday to keep Toronto’s playoff hopes temporarily alive.
Also receiving votes: Garrett Whitlock, RHP, Red Sox; Patrick Wisdom, 3B, Cubs