The Houston Astros got solid production from Cristian Javier in 2020, and he finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.
The 2020 Jackie Robinson AL Rookie of the Year was announced on Monday. The unanimous winner was OF Kyle Lewis of the Seattle Mariners. Although Houston Astros pitcher Cristian Javier was on the ballot, he took 3rd place with 11 votes (11 points), which trailed behind Lewis with 150 points and White Sox OF Luis Robert with 83 points.
While Javier did not win Rookie of the Year, he proved valuable for the Astros. At 23, he was thrust into a starting role and for a team that battled injuries for much of the season, he stayed healthy and proved to be a much-needed stabilizer in the rotation.
Javier had a fantastic season for the Astros serving in two different roles: the 5th starter and a long reliever. Through 12 games, he fanned 54 batter and posted a 3.48. While he struggled in August, watching his ERA climb to 4.44, he bounced back in September. He’s ERA dropped to 3.09 and even in a small season, it underscored why the Astros are so high on his long-term outlook.
The future is bright for Javier, but his role next year is uncertain. The Astros might add a veteran to the rotation, bumping him to the bullpen. He would fill in as the new long reliever to replace what Brad Peacock and Colin McHugh. If they don’t add another starting pitcher, however, he appears destined for a spot in the rotation.
Javier finishing third in ROY of the year voting makes him the 5th Astro in the past 6 seasons to place in the in the top 5. (Carlos Correa 1st in 2015, Chris Devenski 4th in 2016, Yuli Gurriel 4th in 2017, and Yordan Álvarez 1st in 2019).