Last year's breakout postseason star is this year's American League Rookie of the Year as Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena took home the honors on Monday while beating out teammate Wander Franco and right-handed starter Luis Garcia of the Houston Astros.
Arozarena received 124 points in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, including 22 for first place. Garcia had 63 points and Franco had 30 points.
Arozarena, 26, led all rookies with a 4.1 WAR while compiling a .815 OPS. He hit 20 home runs while stealing 20 bases becoming the third rookie (Mike Trout, Andrew Benintendi) in the last decade to compile a 20-20 season.
Arozarena made only one error in 119 games played in the outfield. He and first baseman Jose Martinez were acquired in January 2020 from the St. Louis Cardinals for lefty Matthew Liberatore and catcher Edgardo Rodriguez. Arozarena was the ALCS MVP that season while hitting 11 home runs during the playoffs.
"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 is Tampa Bay's first rookie of the year since outfielder Wil Myers in 2013.
Franco, 20, made a late season run for top rookie honors as he reached base in 43 consecutive games, tied with Frank Robinson (1956) for the longest such streak by a player 20 years old or younger. Franco only played in 70 games after getting called up from the minors in June.
Garcia, 24, was an integral part of the division winning Astros. He appeared in 30 games including making 28 starts while compiling a 3.48 ERA. He gave up just 133 hits in 155.1 innings. He led all AL rookies in innings pitched and strikeouts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.