Randy Arozarena emerged as a postseason hero for the Tampa Bay Rays last year during the team’s run to the World Series. Now, Arozarena leads a crowded pack of young stars vying for the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year Award.
The 26-year-old Arozarena is hitting .271 with 16 homers and 52 RBIs for a Rays team that leads the AL East by four games over the slumping Boston Red Sox.
Arozarena continues slugging in return
Arozarena missed time recently, skipping a weekend series to be with his wife who tested positive for COVID-19 while eight months pregnant.
“She’s getting better every day,” Arozarena told reporters via an interpreter. “She was just having trouble breathing so they had to help with some oxygen.”
Arozarena rejoined the team on Tuesday, going two-for-four with a double to help lead Tampa Bay to an 8-4 victory over Boston. DraftKings Sportsbook lists Arozarena as the +225 favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year.
He’s far from the only contender for the title, with six players earning odds of +1000 or shorter even with less than two months to go in the season. Adolis Garcia (+300) ranks second on the list; the Texas Rangers centerfielder has been a bright spot for the struggling team, slugging 25 homers and knocking in 68 RBIs. The 28-year-old Garcia has hit four go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning or later, the most ever by a rookie in a single season.
Garcia, Baddoo make Rookie of the Year cases
Luis Garcia (+350) remains right in the mix as well. The 24-year-old Astros starter has gone 8-6 with a 3.29 ERA this season, and has produced several important starts for Houston this year. With the Astros struggling against the hapless Twins this past weekend – Minnesota took the first two games of the series – Garcia threw six innings of shutout ball, striking out eight and giving up just two hits to get the win in a 4-0 Houston victory.
|AL Rookie of the Year Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Randy Arozarena: +225||Adolis Garcia: +300|
|Luis Garcia: +350||Akil Baddoo: +550|
|Andrew Vaughn: +800||Eric Haase: +1000|
|Ryan Mountcastle: +2500||Shane McClanahan: +4000|
22-year-old Akil Baddoo (+550) is also coming on as a potential Rookie of the Year contender. The Detroit Tigers outfielder is hitting .267 with 10 homers and 45 RBIs. He’s also stolen 14 bases and leads the league with six triples on the year.
Andrew Vaughn (+800) of the Chicago White Sox and Detroit’s Eric Haase (+1000) have also done enough to warrant consideration. But some of the biggest young names in the American League aren’t likely to be major factors in the Rookie of the Year race.
Ryan Mountcastle is hitting .264 with 19 homers, but the Baltimore Orioles outfielder rates as just a +2500 pick to win AL Rookie of the Year. Wander Franco (+9000) could be a superstar in the making, but he hasn’t produced enough for the Rays just yet for serious consideration. And Seattle Mariners prospect Jarred Kelenic has struggled so far in his time in the majors.