MLB Rookie Of The Year Watch 4.0: Competition Tightens Around Adolis Garcia, Trevor Rogers
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 updated through Aug. 3.
1. Adolis Garcia, OF, Rangers
Garcia is slumping, but no one in the AL rookie field has risen up to wrest the top spot from him. Garcia still leads all rookies with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs, his .785 OPS ranks third among all rookies with at least 225 at-bats and his 49 runs, 94 hits and eight stolen bases all rank in the top five as well. His on-base percentage has dropped below .300, though, as his strikeout-to-walk mark has ballooned to 122 strikeouts against just 19 walks. He’ll need to reverse that trend to hold on down the stretch.
2. Luis Garcia, RHP, Astros
Garcia has continued to pitch well in Houston’s rotation with a 7-6, 3.49 mark and leads all AL rookies with 121 strikeouts. Like Adolis Garcia though, he’s going to have to turn around a recent skid. He has allowed 14 hits and 10 runs in 9.1 innings over his last two starts, and overall has a 5.55 ERA in his last six outings dating back to June 30.
3. Akil Baddoo, OF, Tigers
Baddoo continues to stand out in a crowded AL field. The Rule 5 pick owns the second-highest OPS of any AL rookie with at least 225 at-bats (.818), and his 10 home runs and 14 stolen bases make him one of only three rookies in the majors to reach double figures in both (the others are Randy Arozarena and Jazz Chisholm). Baddoo cooled off in July after a red-hot June, but still owns the highest batting average (.268) and on-base percentage (.340) of any AL rookie with at least 225 at-bats.
On The Cusp
The gap between the top three and the next four is not wide, and every member of this quartet has a legitimate chance to win AL Rookie of the Year with a hot finish. Kaprielian and Mize rank 1-2 in ERA among qualified AL rookies, Arozarena has hit a modest .266/.343/.449 but leads all AL rookies in hits (100) and runs scored (65) and Clase continues to dominate with a 1.81 ERA and 14 saves.
Manoah has dominated with a 2.47 ERA in nine starts since the Blue Jays called him up and McClanahan has a 3.12 ERA in his last eight starts after improving his control. Haase has been the fastest riser of all, winning AL Rookie of the Month in July after leading the majors with 29 RBIs. He is tied for second among all rookies with 18 home runs despite playing only 60 games.
1. Trevor Rogers, LHP, Marlins
Rogers has scuffled a bit of late but still leads all qualified rookies—and ranks seventh in the majors—with a 2.45 ERA. His 129 strikeouts are also the most of all major league rookies, his .212 opponent average ranks second and his 1.13 WHIP is tied for third.
2. Jonathan India, 2B, Reds
India is heating up and putting pressure on Rogers in the NL race. He leads all qualified rookies with a .401 on-base percentage, ranks third with an .845 OPS and is increasingly pulling away from the rest of the field. Since June 1, India is batting .308/.442/.487—the second-highest on-base percentage in the majors in that time behind only Juan Soto.
3. Dylan Carlson, OF, Cardinals
Carlson continues to be a steady if unspectacular performer in the Cardinals outfield. He is batting a modest .255/.336/.415 but leads all NL rookies with 99 hits and 23 doubles and is tied for third with 53 runs scored. He was mired in a monthlong slump in July (.202), but he bounced back by going 3-for-5 with two doubles in his first game once the calendar turned to August.
On The Cusp
Anderson has been out since the all-star break with right shoulder inflammation but is reportedly nearing a rehab assignment. Even with the missed time, he ranks third among NL rookies with 96 strikeouts and is second among qualified NL rookies with a 3.56 ERA. Smith has been solid with a .269/.333/.422 slash line and isn’t far behind Carlson amongst NL position players, but he’s currently on the Covid-19 injured list and doesn’t have a firm timetable to return.
Patrick Wisdom, 3B, Cubs
Wisdom became just the third player to hit seven home runs in his first eight starts with a team back in June and has continued to be a productive offensive performer even as the fanfare surrounding him has subsided. Wisdom leads all NL rookies with 16 home runs in only 60 games and leads all qualified major league rookies with a .909 OPS. He has collected only about half as many at-bats as the top NL rookies, but if he maintains his current production, he’ll be right with them in balloting when the season ends.