Texas Rangers: How good are Adolis Garcia’s AL Rookie of the Year chances?
By Seth Carlson
For a good chunk of this season, I would’ve had Texas Rangers‘ star rookie Adolis Garcia penciled in as the 2021 American League Rookie of the Year.
After a blistering hot start to the season, including a month of May that saw him capture Rookie of the Month honors in the AL with a .981 OPS and 11 home runs, “El Bombi” has cooled down significantly as the weather has gotten warmer and the season longer.
And in that time, other contestants have emerged for the AL’s Rookie honor.
There’s no doubt that Garcia has had a magical season for the Texas Rangers in 2021, providing a jolt when little else on the team could. His overall numbers are also solid, with a .782 OPS and 113 OPS+ along with 29 home runs, a figure that leads all rookies in 2021 and is one short of the franchise rookie record set by Pete Incaviglia back in 1986 (30 homers). He even made the All-Star team this July.
But has El Bombi done enough to cement his case league-wide? It remains to be seen. The month of September will of course loom large for determining this.
The AL Rookie of the Year race has tightened up since Adolis Garcia’s stellar May for the Texas Rangers
White Sox’ rookie first baseman Andrew Vaughn (15 homers, .755 OPS) is playing for a contender, which could help his case in the voting. The Orioles’ Ryan Mountcastle is putting up strong numbers too (.821 OPS, 25 homers) but he, like Garcia, plays for a rebuilding team in 2021, which could hurt his case. Ditto Tigers’ sensation Akil Baddoo (.793 OPS, 12 home runs).
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Then there’s 2020 Rays postseason sensation and star OF Randy Arozarena having a good season (.806 OPS, 18 homers), as well as Red Sox’ reliever Garrett Whitlock (1.52 ERA, 72 K’s in 65 IP). Astros’ starter Luis Garcia has also become a factor, with a 3.23 ERA and 150 K’s in 128.1 IP in 2021.
As you can see, the AL Rookie of the Year field is crowded, which is great for the game of the baseball as young players continue to blossom. And all of these rookies have a case for winning the most prestigious award given to first-year players.
So where does this leave Adolis Garcia? I believe he’s got as good a chance as any of these players do for capturing the honor. Sure, he’s riding his first half success for the most part, but assuming he eclipses the 30 home run mark, combined with his stellar defense, it would be hard not to like Bombi’s overall profile.
Ultimately, the lack of Texas Rangers winning in 2021 may hurt his case, but with a strong finish to the season, the 28-year-old outfielder has a legitimate shot to become the team’s first Rookie of the Year since Neftali Feliz in 2010.