2021 MLB Rookie Of The Year Watch 3.0: Rogers, Garcia Remain In The Lead
Below is the latest edition of our monthly Rookie of the Year stock watch for the 2021 season. Please note this is not a re-ranking of the BA Top 100 Prospects or BA's preseason rookie rankings, but rather a snapshot of where the Rookie of the Year races stand at various points in time throughout the season.
All statistics are through July 1.
1. Adolis Garcia, OF, Rangers
Garcia has cooled off considerably in recent weeks but remains the top rookie in a relatively weak American League field. He leads all major league rookies in home runs (20) and RBIs (55) and ranks second with an .838 OPS. Garcia will have to reverse his recent skid to keep his place atop the AL field, however. He is batting .240 with a .277 on-base percentage and a 34% strikeout rate in his last 33 games.
2. Luis Garcia, RHP, Astros
Garcia had a rough outing in his last start but remains the class of the AL’s rookie pitchers. His 3.14 ERA leads all qualified AL rookie starters and ranks seventh in the league overall. His 90 strikeouts, 1.12 WHIP and .214 opponent average all rank in the top three among qualified AL rookie starters as well.
3. Akil Baddoo, OF, Tigers
Baddoo fell back to Earth after his scorching start but has turned sharply back upward. He hit .348/.434/.455 in June and now leads all major league rookies with an .858 OPS. His .279 batting average is also second among all rookies behind only White Sox 2B Nick Madrigal, who is currently on the injured list with a torn hamstring.
Clase remains a dominant force for the Indians at the end of games. He has a 1.10 ERA and has converted 11 saves in 12 opportunities. After a rough first month, Mize has begun to pitch like the frontline starter expected when the Tigers drafted him first overall in 2018. He has a 2.77 ERA since May 1, sixth-best in the AL.
On The Rise
Skubal has averaged more than seven strikeouts per start in his last 10 outings to surge into the AL rookie strikeout lead with 94 punchouts. Mountcastle has shaken off a slow start and returned to the form he showed in his major league debut last year. He is batting .324 with 10 home runs and a 1.025 OPS in his last 27 games and now ranks second among all major league rookies with 14 home runs and 47 RBIs.
In A Rut
Yermin Mercedes, DH, White Sox
Mercedes’ scorching start is becoming a distant memory. The one-time ROY frontrunner has hit .196 with two home runs since the end of April and is now barely in the top 10 in OPS among all qualified AL rookies.
1. Trevor Rogers, LHP, Marlins
While most other rookies have faded after their hot starts, Rogers just keeps dominating. His 2.14 ERA is tied with Max Scherzer for fifth in the major leagues, he has 110 strikeouts in 92.1 innings and is holding opponents to a .197 batting average. Rogers has not only been dominant, but consistent. He’s held opponents to three earned runs or less in each of his 16 starts this season and has completed at least five innings in all but one start.
2. Jonathan India, 2B, Reds
The star of spring training got off to a slow start in the regular season but has caught fire recently. India is batting .318/.443/.477 in his last 30 games and has surged to the top of the NL rookie leaderboards. His .792 OPS is highest among all NL rookies with at least 200 at-bats and his .384 on-base percentage leads all rookies in either league.
3. Ian Anderson, RHP, Braves
Anderson has had some ups and downs this season, but on the whole he’s quietly been one of the best rookies in the NL. His 3.35 ERA, 90 strikeouts and .214 opponent average are second only to Rogers among NL rookies. He’s also stepped up in a big way for the Braves, leading the team in innings pitched and ERA.
Carlson and Smith have both slowed down considerably but remain among the NL’s best rookies. Smith leads all NL rookies with 77 hits and Carlson is right behind him with 76. Both have fallen out of the top three among NL rookies in OPS, but they aren’t far behind and are one hot streak away from climbing right back into the top tier of NL ROY contenders.
On The Rise
Stephenson and Weathers have less playing time than most of the top contenders, but both have excelled in their opportunities. Stephenson’s .798 OPS is the highest among all qualified NL rookies, albeit in 50-100 fewer at-bats than other top contenders, and Weathers owns a 2.63 ERA, albeit in 30-plus fewer innings than other top rookie pitchers. With Stephenson hitting his way into semi-regular playing time and Weathers back in the Padres rotation, both have a chance to push their way up into the top tier of ROY contenders.
In A Rut
Jazz Chisholm, 2B/SS, Marlins
Chisholm’s strikeout issues have resurfaced in a major way to cool the enthusiasm over his hot start. He is batting .222/.285/.381 with a 31% strikeout rate in his last 31 games, and he has fallen to ninth among all rookies with a .767 OPS.