Randy Arozarena may not seem like a rookie, but he most certainly is. And he's now the Rookie of the Year.
The Tampa Bay Rays' 26-year-old outfielder debuted in 2019, broke postseason records in 2020, and shined during his first full season in 2021.
Arozarena was named American League Rookie of the Year on Monday, earning 22 of 30 first-place votes to edge his 20-year-old teammate Wander Franco and Houston Astros pitcher Luis Garcia.
Arozarena hit .274 with 20 home runs, 69 RBIs and 20 stolen bases while helping the Rays secure the best record in the American League. He made one error in 119 games.
The award comes one season after Arozarena was named ALCS MVP after hitting four home runs in the seven-game series to help propel the Rays to the World Series. He finished the postseason with 11 homers.
Prior to his postseason success last year, Arozarena played in just 23 regular-season games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, retaining his eligibility as a rookie.
Arozarena becomes the fourth member of the Rays to win Rookie of the Year, joining Wil Myers (2013), Jeremy Hellickson (2011) and Evan Longoria (2008).
Franco, hailed MLB's top prospect, came on strong after the All-Star break to finish the season with a .288 average, seven home runs and 39 RBIs over 70 games. Garcia went 11-8 with a 3.48 ERA while helping the Astros advance to the World Series.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India was named National League Rookie of the Year.