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.