CtPG Staff Votes: AL Rookie of the Year

The first award to be released each year is the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award. Eight CtPG writers compiled top-three ballots, with a first-place vote valued at five points, a second-place vote valued at three points, and a third-place vote valued at one point. With so few spots on the ballot and so many deserving candidates, it was definitely hard to give everyone his due.

Randy Arozarena, Rays41124
Luis García, Astros23322
Wander Franco, Rays2319
Shane McClanahan, Rays13
Adolis García, Rangers22
Alek Manoah, Blue Jays11
Logan Gilbert, Mariners11
Combined Ballots

1. Randy Arozarena, Rays

141 G, 604 PA, .274/.356/.459/.815, 4.1 bWAR, 3.3 fWAR

After a wild end to 2020 in which Randy Arozarena displayed some postseason heroics and was arrested but not charged in an alleged domestic dispute, it was almost hard to believe that he entered the 2021 season with his rookie status intact.

Arozarena proceeded to man the corner outfield spots for Tampa Bay, providing some pop and speed (although his ten caught-stealings tied for the Major League lead) and getting on base at a very good clip. Much like the rest of the Rays offense, Arozarena struck out a lot (170 in 604 plate appearances), but when he did make contact, fireworks exploded.

He received half of the first place votes available from our writers, and that performance was able to carry him to the 2021 CtPG Writers AL Rookie of the Year Award.

2. Luis García, Astros

30 G, 155.1 IP, 3.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 2.5 bWAR, 3.1 fWAR

Luis García also made his Major League debut in 2020, but with Justin Verlander out for the Astros in 2021, García was one of many arms the Astros needed to rely on to snatch yet another division title. García delivered.

He made 28 starts for a Houston club that at times was pitching-starved, limiting hits effectively and striking out more than one batter per inning. His performance garnered two first place votes from our writers, and down-ballot performance helped him secure second place.

3. Wander Franco, Rays

70 G, 308 PA, .288/.347/.463/.810, 3.5 bWAR, 2.5 fWAR

No, that is not a typo. Wander Franco played baseball in 2021 at the Major League level at an 8-win clip.

Franco, of course, has been one of the most highly touted prospects in all of baseball over the past few years, and when he finally got the call-up this year, with the Rays moving Willy Adames to clear room for him (and others), he demonstrated his skill. Franco showed elite plate discipline, walking 24 times and striking out just 37 times in 308 (and you know the Rays will encourage you to whiff). He got on base and he hit for extra bases. It will be interesting to see what happens to Franco in his first full season next year.

Although the numbers were certainly impressive, helping Franco receive the remaining two first-place votes from our writers, his lack of playing time also hurt him with others, with so many deserving candidates. Regardless, Franco rounds out a clear top three that we at CtPG preferred.

4. Shane McClanahan, Rays

25 G, 123.1 IP, 3.43 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, 1.6 bWAR, 2.5 fWAR

Shane McClanahan definitely has elite stuff, and he parlayed that into a 2021 call-up. While he certainly dazzled, the results weren’t the greatest. McClanahan could not limit hits, giving up nearly one an inning, and as a result his numbers suffered. He projects to be very good, but as for this year, he was only able to get a second-place vote from Charles Sutton.

5. Adolis García, Rangers

149 G, 622 PA, .243/.286/.454/.741, 3.8 bWAR, 2.9 fWAR

Adolis García burst onto the scene this year (possibly against the Angels, if I recall correctly), jacking home runs left and right, leading the Majors at one point. He turned his early season success into an All-Star game slot. Although he tailed off towards the end of the season, and his season-long batting line doesn’t look too promising, his stellar defense in center propped his WAR up. He received two third-place votes.

T-6. Alek Manoah, Blue Jays

20 G, 111.2 IP, 3.22 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 10.2 K/9, 2.8 bWAR, 2.0 fWAR

Alek Manoah also frequently appears on Pitching Ninja with his “video game” stuff. He made his debut this year and, although there were some cracks in his game, he showed a lot of promise. Manoah allowed just 6.2 H/9 while striking out 10.2 K/9. Walks were a killer, and he hit sixteen batters, giving him the league lead. However, his overall performance and dominant WHIP caused me to give him a third-place vote.

T-6. Logan Gilbert, Mariners

24 G, 119.1 IP, 4.68 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 9.7 K/9, 1.0 bWAR, 2.2 fWAR

Logan Gilbert is a member of the young Mariners rotation core, and although he wasn’t too stellar in 2021, he did show some flashes. Gilbert was susceptible to the home run ball, allowing 17 in 24 starts, and his ERA was below-league average. Still, he beat the Angels twice this year, recording some of his most impressive performances against the Halos, helping him get a third-place vote from John Henry Weitzel.

You can see the full breakdown of ballots below. Let us know in the comments who you would have had in your ballot!

RankJessica DeLineRahul SettyH. T. EnnisJeff Joiner
1Luis GarcíaWander FrancoRandy ArozarenaRandy Arozarena
2Wander FrancoRandy ArozarenaLuis GarcíaWander Franco
3Randy ArozarenaLuis GarcíaAlek ManoahLuis García
Individual Ballots, Part 1
RankJohn Henry WeitzelCharles SuttonRev HalofanRick Souddress
1Wander FrancoLuis GarcíaRandy ArozarenaRandy Arozarena
2Luis GarcíaShane McClanahanLuis GarcíaWander Franco
3Logan GilbertAdolis GarcíaAdolis GarcíaLuis García
Individual Ballots, Part 2

Title Image Screenshot from Randy Arozarena Twitter

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2 years ago

2 for 2


You have chosen….Correctly.

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red floyd
2 years ago

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Last edited 2 years ago by red floyd
Jeff Joiner
2 years ago

It was a tough call. Franco was the best when he played but Arozarena played twice as much. And at a high level to boot.

Being really good for 141 games vs. being great for 70 can be argued either way, as evidenced by their WAR’s being so close.

Ultimately I tipped the scales to the guy with the larger sample size who provided more games for his team.

2 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Joiner

This is the correct option. Larger sample size allows for production to slip, etc. To do well over a larger set of games is more difficult.

Charles Sutton
Super Member
2 years ago

I’m pretty jealous of the Rays.