The Cincinnati Reds had a winning season in 2021. A big part of what helped them get there is the performance from two rookies. Jonathan India seems to be the front runner for National League Rookie of the Year, and Tyler Stephenson will probably grab a few votes himself. Both players were named to Baseball America’s All-Rookie team. Unlike the MLB Awards that are handed out, Baseball America’s All-Rookie team is for the entire league, not just the American and National League’s as separate entities.

Tyler Stephenson was named as the top rookie catcher. He was tied with Arizona’s Daulton Varsho in WAR (Fangraphs version), while topping the rookie catcher leaderboard in runs, average, on-base percentage, OPS, walks, doubles, and hits. In his 402 plate appearances during the 2021 season Stephenson hit .286/.366/.431 on the year with 21 doubles and 10 home runs. Behind the plate he threw out 19% of opposing baserunners.

Jonathan India had arguably the best season of any rookie in baseball this season. With that it’s hardly any surprise that he got the top spot at second base by Baseball America among the rookies. India had more than twice as much WAR (Fangraphs version) as any other rookie that played some second base this season. India led the group of rookie second basemen in hits, doubles, home runs, runs scored, RBI, walks, hit by pitches, on-base percentage, and OPS. In the 2021 season he played nearly every day, racking up 631 plate appearances while hitting .269/.376/.459 on the season with 34 doubles, 2 triples, 21 home runs, and 12 stolen bases.

It’s going to be another month until we get the Rookie of the Year announcement. Well, almost a month. MLB Network will air the announcement on November 8th for both the American and National League Rookie of the Year. That’s on a Monday and will kick off “Award Week” that will see Manager of the Year (Tuesday the 9th), Cy Young Award (Wednesday the 10th), and Most Valuable Player (Thursday the 11th) all being announced.

13 Responses

  1. Jim Walker

    The future is now. Open the window all the way.

    • Michael B. Green

      For sure! I assume Barrero qualifies next year too. That’s great strength up the middle – all making the minimum. That frees up a lot of money to contend!

      • Jim Walker

        Caution on the money. The Reds could still do something insanely Reds and pay $7.5m for a backup to one of these guys when the ceiling rate for a perfectly competent guy for the role is probably a third of that

      • DaveCT

        As for strength up the middle, I have to throw it out there that we’d benefit from any type of positive recovery by Senzel, either as the CF or as a trade asset.

        Naquin is best as a 4th OF. Friedl as well. But the system is thin in the upper minors at CF. 2022’s best candidate is still Nick S.

      • Jim Walker

        @DaveCT, sadly given Senzel’s injury history, among currently internal candidates, you are probably correct is they do the sensible thing and do NOT try to make Barrero a 6 week ST wonder conversion to CF.

      • MBS

        I’m looking for Cedrola to step into that role. There would be little chance that happens by opening day, but if he puts up the kind of numbers he put up in AA, in AAA, he could easily be promoted to the Reds, especially if Senzel or Naquin go down with injuries.

      • DaveCT

        MBS, at 5’8, 152 lbs Cedrola is going to have to prove himself at every level and likely many times over, fair or unfair. I’m leaning towards one of the middle infielders being moved to CF. Perhsps one of McClain, De la Cruz, Ivan Johnson, etc if Barrero establishes himself.

      • MBS

        @DaveCT, You’re right about that, he is undersized. He’ll run into the same issues Lopez had/has on cracking, and sticking on the MLB roster. Cedrola played well in AAA in their post season.

        He’s proved himself at AA already. With the lack of quality CF’s, and health concerns of the 2 candidates (Senzel. Naquin), I’m thinking he’ll get a shot in 22. The SS’s your referring to are probably rookies in the 23 or 24 season. I also like McLain for a long term option in CF, with maybe De La Cruz in RF.

  2. LDS

    A nice change for the Reds. Wasn’t the Reds’ last time Billy Hamilton. And Cozart and Frazier a couple of years before that?

  3. Votto4life

    I wonder if the Reds might pursue Andrew McCutchen if Castellanos departs.

  4. TR

    When possible, Reds should add to the Young Core, i.e. Tampa Bay.