Garcia was not named a finalist for the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year award as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). The BBWAA’s awards are technically “official”, but El Bombi did manage to take home the Sporting News’ AL Rookie of the Year award.
We’ll now be recognizing Sporting News only!
In any event, the three finalists for Rookie of the Year in the AL were the Rays’ Wander Franco and Randy Arozarena, and the Astros’ Luis Garcia.
Adolis Garcia was snubbed by the BBWAA as a finalist for the 2021 AL Rookie of the Year award despite a great debut season with the Texas Rangers
Now, we’re not suggesting that none of these names weren’t equally deserving of consideration for this award as El Bombi… but we are, in a sense. At least when it comes to Wander Franco’s candidacy.
Franco, hyped up as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball heading into the season, played well for the Rays, with an .810 OPS and 3.5 WAR in 281 at-bats. His team also made the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the American League, but lost to the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS.
The 281 at-bats are the problem here, though.
Juxtapose Franco’s 281 at-bats with teammate Randy Arozarena’s (the likely winner in our estimation) 529, Adolis’ 581 and Ryan Mountcastle of the Orioles’ 586. The sample size just doesn’t add up for Franco. That’s not to take away from the great season he had, but this isn’t an award that should be based in sample size (or lack thereof).
Would Adolis Garcia have won the AL Rookie of the Year award? In fairness, he did cool off drastically in the second half of 2021 after a scorching hot start. Still, he played great defense and hit 31 homers along with a .741 OPS and even had a higher WAR (3.8) than Wander Franco when it was all said and done.
Those numbers (while good), along with the Texas Rangers’ abysmal season (102 losses), probably would not have propelled El Bombi to a Rookie of the Year win. Garcia also made the All-Star team, if that matters (spoiler alert: it apparently doesn’t).
He should’ve at least been a finalist.