Astros’ Competition for AL Rookie of the Year and AL Manager of the Year
The Houston Astros have two names as finalists for end of the season awards for American League Rookie of the Year and American League Manager of the Year. Those of course being right-hander pitcher Luis Garcia and manager Dusty Baker.
The Astros have now had three consecutive seasons with Rookie of the Year finalists with Yordan Alvarez in 2019 and Cristian Javier in 2020, respectively. Alvarez won the award in 2019, while Javier finished third in voting in 2020.
For Baker, this is his first time as a finalists for AL Manager of the Year in his career and with the Astros. The 72-year-old led the Houston ball club to a 95-67 record, clinching an American League West title and the second seed in the postseason.
With Luis Garcia up for the AL Rookie of the Year, who are the other two finalists?
The other two finalists for AL Rookie of the Year hail from same team: the Tampa Bay Rays. Third-year outfielder Randy Arozarena and infielder Wander Franco are who stand in the way of Garcia.
Arozarena has been on the scene since 2019 but made his biggest splash in the 2020 postseason, recording the most bases in postseason history. The 26-year-old posted a 4.1 WAR season over 141 games in 2021, slashing .274/.356/.459 (.815 OPS) in the process.
Franco came on later in the season, while being ranked the No. 1 prospect by many major outlets and crushing the ball in Triple-A. The switch-hitting shortstop had a 3.5 WAR season in only 70 games in 2021, as he had a record-tying on-base streak snapped at 43 games in Houston.
For Garcia, his case might not look as built up as the two position players from Tampa Bay. The right-hander had a 2.5 WAR season, where he took on a new role in the rotation with a 3.48 ERA over 155.1 innings.
Pitchers aren’t always as loved in Rookie of the Year voting, which is why Arozarena and Franco might be more liked by voters.