Nov. 15 (UPI) — Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India was named the National League Rookie of the Year on Monday, while Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena captured the same award in the American League.
India beat out St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson and Miami Marlins left-hander Trevor Rogers, who received the only other first-place vote and finished second.
“I said at the beginning of the year, you know, this was my goal. This was my personal goal,” India said. “And I don’t set many personal goals for myself. I just had a feeling this is what I wanted.”
The 24-year-old India appeared in 150 games for the Reds, recording a .269 batting average with 21 home runs and 69 RBIs in 2021. He also compiled an .835 OPS and led all rookies in walks and hit-by-pitches, leading to a .376 on-base percentage that ranked fifth among all NL hitters.
India became the eighth Reds player to capture the honor and the first to do it this century. Cincinnati is now tied with the Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics for the third most Rookie of the Year winners, trailing only the Los Angeles Dodgers (18) and New York Yankees (nine).
Arozarena, meanwhile, received 124 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — including 22 for first place — to win the AL award. He edged teammate Wander Franco (30 points) and right-hander Luis Garcia of the Houston Astros (63 points) for the honor.
The 26-year-old Arozarena topped all rookies with a 4.1 WAR while notching an .815 OPS in 2021. He bashed 20 home runs and stole 20 bases to join Mike Trout and Andrew Benintendi as the only rookie players in the past decade to compile a 20-20 season.
“I know I was favored to be the Rookie of the Year,” Arozarena said through a translator. “But for me, my mind wasn’t set on the award or winning the award. My mind and my goal was to have another good season and continue what I had done the year before.”
Arozarena was the Rays’ first Rookie of the Year winner since outfielder Wil Myers in 2013.