The Baseball Writers Association of America has spoken and they have decided that Jonathan India is the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year. He won out of Miami Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dylan Carlson.

Jonathan India becomes the first Cincinnati Reds player to win National League Rookie of the Year since 1999 when reliever Scott Williamson won the award. He’s the first position player since Chris Sabo got the nod in 1988.

In 150 games played on the season for India he would hit .269/.376/.459 with 69 runs batted in, 98 runs scored, 34 doubles, 2 triples, 21 home runs, 12 steals, 71 walks. He led the National League in hit by pitches with 23. According to both Fangraphs and Baseball Reference he put up a 3.9 WAR during the 2021 season.

After getting extended a big league spring training invite in mid-March after being invited to early minor league camp in Goodyear, Jonathan India didn’t look back. He grabbed the bull by the horns when given the opportunity and made the opening day roster. After a quick start he went into a slump for about five weeks through the end of May. But from the start of June through the end of the season he turned things around in a big way, hitting .281/.390/.493 over those 108 games and helping clinch himself the Rookie of the Year Award, as announced by Johnny Bench.

Here are the vote totals for the three finalists:

Player 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place
Jonathan India 29 1 0
Trevor Rogers 1 26 3
Dylan Carlson 0 3 13

The voting was not close. The lone voter who didn’t vote for Jonathan India as the National League Rookie of the Year was Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs, who votes out of the Cincinnati chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Szymborski voted for Trevor Rogers at the top and gave a second place vote to India.


The full ballots are now out. While Jonathan India won the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award, two other Reds received votes. Catcher Tyler Stephenson got two 3rd place votes (Hal McCoy and Christina de Nicola from Pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez also received one 3rd place vote (Jorge Ebro from El Nuevo Herald in Miami).

70 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Won it running away!!! Congratulations to RoY India. What a performance he gave us this year. He’s in some elite Reds company, that much is certain.

  2. CallowayPost

    Dang proud of India.

    I’d say we had two ROY candidates. Granted backup catchers don’t win many awards, we got a chance to watch these guys blossom.

    I can only imagine how many tables that Joey Votto has flipped in his house out of joy today.

    • Alan Horn

      Stephenson was right there for sure. You are right in that his non full time status hurt him.

    • Mark Moore

      Impossible to explain … seeing the landslide result was very satisfying.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s actually pretty easy to explain.

        Trevor Rogers had a 2.64 ERA this season and threw 133 innings. His WAR from B-Ref was 3.3, behind India’s 3.9, but his WAR from Fangraphs was 4.2, beating India’s 3.9 (he had 3.9 at both places).

        The idea that Trevor Rogers had no claim at all to the award with 25 starts and a 2.64 ERA is absolutely wild to me. I would have voted for India, but man, it was close.

      • Doug Gray

        Also, Dan will have his explanation at Fangraphs in the morning if his twitter feed is to be believed.

    • ryan

      Almost but not quite as inexplicable as Cobb, Ruth, and Bench not unanimous hall of famers

      • greenmtred

        My understanding is that some old-line sportswriters considered a unanimous vote warranted only if the player was perfect. I don’t know whether it was the cigars or the beverages that clouded their reasoning.

      • Oldtimer

        Yogi Berra wasn’t even first time on the ballot HOF-er.

        HOF voters are quirky.

    • MK

      Dan Szymborski working out of Cincinnati Chapter, can’t imagine he gets real good cooperation from players in Cincinnati in near future.

      That non-vote for India almost as bad as Cincinnati writers not giving Aaron Harang even a last place Cy Young vote in 2006, the year he led the league in Strike Outs and Wins.

      • LWBlogger2

        Considering the kind of stuff Dan Szymborski writes, he shouldn’t need a lot of input from players. Dan’s stuff is mostly analytical. It’s always an interesting read. Dan is also a good human being, or he has been on the occasions were I’ve spent any time with him. I haven’t read his reasoning yet, but I’m sure he felt Rogers was more deserving or he wouldn’t have voted for him.

  3. James K

    Excellent for a player not even mentioned in pre-season speculation about the possible rookie of the year.

    • Mark Moore

      As if he came straight out of the left-center cornfield and captured our hearts, right?

    • RedsMonk65

      … and for someone even the Reds apparently did not foresee getting significant playing time at the major league level before the 2021 season. India forced their hands during spring training–a decision later cemented by injuries to other team members and India’s performance. I mean, who was talking about Jonathan India back in December 2020/January 2021?

      • MK

        Kind of reminds us of Rose the last Reds second baseman to be Rookie of the year

    • Redsvol

      excellent point. Most of the people on this site had written India off – even though Doug had reported that India had an excellent 2020 at the alternative site. Point is, it takes time for players to develop, and some need 5-6 years in the minor leagues whereas some only need 2 or 3. Injuries always delay development.

    • MK

      Other than Frank Robinson or Bench think that can be said for all Reds Rookies of Year. Certainly not Rose who like India won the job in Spring Training and wasn’t on 40-man.

      Interesting historical twist Tommy Helms came up as a middle infielder who won the award as a third baseman and India came up as a third baseman who won it as a middle infielder.

      • Oldtimer

        Helms only played 3B in 1966 because Rose didn’t like it. Helms played 2B in 1967 and every other year as a Red.

      • MK

        Oldtimer I kinda thought that was what I said.

  4. RedsMonk65

    Yay — something to cheer about this dreadful offseason!

  5. TR

    Congratulations to Jonathon India as the 2021 NL Rookie of the Year. What a difference he makes for the Reds. Here’s hoping he’s a Red for a lot of years to come.

    • MK

      When was the last time the Reds went into the season knowing who wold hit lead-off?

      • Melvin

        Unfortunately Bill Hamilton…for too many years. lol India is by far the best we’ve had since Choo.

  6. TR#1

    Great job India! Some needed good news this offseason. Rogers may have won this if he stayed healthy. A 2.64 ERA is nasty. Would you rather have India for 5 years or Rogers? That’s a good question.

    • Luke J

      Rogers was fading badly down the stretch. I think him missing considerable time kept his ERA from ballooning.

  7. LDS

    May well be the highlight of the season. I didn’t trust the BWAA not to favor the St. Louis player. Now let’s hope he has an even better year in ’22.

  8. Alan Horn

    Congratulations to him. It was well earned and he was a pleasant surprise this past season.

  9. RedsFan11

    Congratulation India very well deserved. A lot of people were low on India a year or two after being drafted so really great to see him go against the grain and have a heck of a season.

    Can’t wait for the India ROY bobblehead night May 27th when the Reds are already 10 games under .500……

  10. Melvin

    They got it right. He’s definitely ROY. Congratulations to him.

    Posey was named Comeback Player instead of Votto correct?

  11. MuddyCleats

    Congratulations Jonathan; Well Deserved! So nice to have positive Reds News to talk about

  12. SultanofSwaff

    Well deserved! He’s everything you can ask for in a ball player–plays hard, plays every day, great on both sides of the ball.

    • TR

      India plays the game the right way. That’s always been a positive for Reds fans.

  13. CFD3000

    Congratulations Jonathan India! That’s some positive Reds news and well deserved. And nice to see the national press getting one right in favor of the Reds for a change.

    • Doug Gray

      Didn’t the Reds have the run away Cy Young winner last year when there was plenty of debate (though, IMO, silly debate) that he wasn’t the guy deserving?

      • CFD3000

        You’re not wrong, Doug. But it does feel like the Reds end up on the short end of the vote a lot more often than they deserve. Votto losing to Stanton for MVP, and even sillier, never winning a silver slugger, and Billy Hamilton never winning a gold glove come quickly to mind. The two big recent awards they did win – ROY and Cy Young – required clearly dominant results to garner the win. But I’m sure I (and all of RLN) think we’re the most jilted fan base which makes us different from the other 29 teams in no ways at all.

  14. RedsGettingBetter

    Congratulations to India, he really played very well so he deserves the ROY , period. Now, the 2022 season is coming up and I wonder if there are chances of having another ROY, it would be back-to-back ROYs if a new rookie emerges as we hope could be successful…Has it happened before?

    • Melvin

      Barrero could be a candidate…..if he plays of course.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        I don’t know if Barrero could be a legit candidate whether he exceeded his rookie limits last season according to Baseball Refference but maybe could be one of the other top prospects such as Greene, Lodolo or Sanmartin, Moreta finds an active roster spot and play in a high level ..Who knows?

      • Melvin

        i don’t know for sure but I doubt Barrero played enough to disqualify him for ROY honors next year. Sure didn’t seem like it.

      • TR

        No doubt, in my mind, about his defense. Make him the regular shortstop and see if his hitting gets it done. A double play combo of Barrero/India would be tough to beat.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. He needs to play SS. I agree. I good SS is harder to find than an outfielder even a CF. Like you said India and Barrero up the middle could be fun to watch for years. Combine that with TS seasoning getting better and better behind the plate will make it exciting. I’m very confident Jose B will hit well when given enough ABs and he gets comfortable. We already know TS and India can hit.

      • TR

        Who knows how the offseason will turn out but whatever happens, give us fans a break and play the young guys. It’ll bring some excitement and, in all likelihood, attendance will increase.

  15. Jim t

    Congratulations to India. Very well deserved. His command of the strike zone was tremendous especially for a rookie.

  16. CI3J

    Congrats to India. He definitely deserved it. Felt like we’d been talking about him for years and, what do you know, he join the big club and actually lived up to the hype.

  17. AMDG

    Thru India’s first 26 games, he was hitting 0.208 / 0.304 / 0.312
    He was striking out about once per every 3 AB’s

    Yet, Bell is forced to keep playing him, and he ends up winning the ROY.

    Meanwhile, Barrero, thru 21 games this year, hit a similar 0.200 / 0.286 / 0.320
    Had a similar strikeout per every 3 AB’s
    And was a year younger than India, is an elite defender.

    Yet, Bell is not forced to keep playing him, so Berrero doesn’t get the same opportunity, gets thrown out of position, and is treated like garbage.

    It’s amazing what an actual opportunity can do for a player.

    • Melvin

      Good point. Farmer got his opportunity and we’ve pretty much seen his ceiling. The ceiling of Barrero is much higher most likely.

    • JaxDan

      Since the writing on the wall shows the Reds going younger in the pitching staff then Barrero should be the starting SS in 2022. I don’t who the top rookies are next year but with playing time I believe this time next year we will be talking about Barrero winning ROY.

    • old-school

      Kyle Farmer didn’t “earn” the starting SS position. It was handed to him when Moose got hurt and Suarez’s defense was poor and went back to his familiar 3rd base while the Reds had a good SS tearing it up in AAA, yet they chose to let Farmer play in May and June and keep Barrero in AAA, despite proving beyond everything in AAA he was ready for MLB.

      Farmer hit .174 in April and .236 in May and .210 in June. That’s not earning playing time.

      Farmer’s stats at the All Star Break:

      .220/.290/.336/.626 with a wRC+ of 67 in 270 PA

      What did Farmer do in 270 plate appearances to earn the everyday job?

      He had a great July and finished with respectable numbers but still with a wRC+ of 91.

      Every player needs hundreds of at-bats to find their way and Farmer got his. The question would be why would Krall say Barrero has to earn playing time in spring training? With 42 at bats against AAAAA+ pitching and no rhythm or timing. IF ST performance dictated playing time, Arismendy Alcantara would be playing SS and Phil Ervin would be playing LF still.

      What possibly can Barrero do in ST that translates to the MLB season that a dominant entire season at AA/AAA didnt prove or a track record of being an Uber- prospect hasnt done? Why would you play a 32 year old journeyman at SS over a 23 yo who made the Futures ASG, dominated in the minors and possesses every tool a franchise SS needs to possess? If one wants to make the argument the Reds were in a playoff race in August and September and they didn’t want to upset the apple cart. Fine. That apple cart broke down anyway and broke down badly in September.

      But in 2022 with a franchise who is at the very least re-tooling and at the most starting a rebuilding process, you don’t sit a 23 year old Uber prospect who has every tool and accomplished everything possible in the minors for a 32 year old journeyman utility player. Geno Suarez/ Billy Hamilton/Jose Peraza/ Scott Schebler all got thousands of at-bats to prove themselves.

      As Uber prospects who the Reds committed first round draft picks and millions in international signing bonuses to for very good reasons, Jose Barrero/Jon India/Tyler Stephenson/Nick Senzel deserve the same.

      Play the young guns every ay and get out of the way.

    • Jim Walker

      +100. Also ask Stephenson who was limited to a fraction of what he might have done if he’d been used in the reverse ratio to how he shared time with Barnhart.

    • Doc

      Barrero also had a 2020 season, equally weak at the plate. Bell made the right moves given Farmer’s play on both sides of the ball.

      • Jim Walker

        Jose Barrero had never played above A+ when he was brought to MLB in 2020 at age 22 for defense. He started 2021 at AA burned through it and got to AAA in early June and kept on smoking there. He had “earned” a full scale opportunity.

    • greenmtred

      The Reds were not in contention for the post-season when the first 26 games were played–or, I should say, were not at the point where there was enough season left to stay with a rookie who wasn’t hitting. Barrero will get his chance. Barrero’s ceiling may well be higher than Farmer’s. We certainly hope so. But Farmer exceeded what most of us expected of him.

      • Old-school

        Barrero is the Reds only legitimate SS prospect in a decade, since they had two at the same time in Cozart and Didi Gregorious. Cozart was a dreadful hitter for years but a solid glove who always made the routine play and the Reds were happy hitting him 8th batting .235 ish with a sub .700 OPS. You always play the gifted toolsy young SS. If they struggle hitting, bat them 8th.

        The prospect cupboard has been bare in Redsland at SS for a decade. Now we have a potential 5 tool guy and there’s no room at the inn on a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in a 162 game season since 2013 because Kyle Farmer at age 32 who had 1 good month is now the future on a team who has zero chance of winning in 2022 or 2023 either? Kyle Farmer exceeded expectations…sure….but there were no expectations.

        If Jose Barrero isnt the every day SS in 2022 then Nick Krall has forfeited every last ounce of credibility.

      • Optimist

        “Barrero’s ceiling may well be higher than Farmer’s.” If Barrero’s ceiling is not higher than Farmer’s he has no business being in the organization. Farmre is at the point where his ceiling and floor are identical – every SS in the system better have a higher ceiling. The ceiling is their potential – if it’s not higher than Farmer’s, what use are they – Suarez is the emergency in-game backup, all the others are callup backups.

      • greenmtred

        Ceiling is a point for discussion, another way of saying potential. Unrealized potential is just as useless as low potential. Wouldn’t it make sense to see how it plays out?

  18. Hotto4Votto

    Well deserved. India really did everything that could be expected of him. Finding a leadoff hitter that can get on base with a little pop is a great thing for the Reds. Very happy for him!

  19. Klugo

    If we are to believe the rumors of the Reds FO dangling India out there before Senzel in off-season trade talks, then it seems they didn’t even see this coming. Nice.

    • Hanawi

      You don’t throw millions of dollars at Moose if you see this coming. Red’s front office hasn’t exactly covered themselves in glory lately.

  20. Bill J

    Seen on a Dodgers site someone proposed a Gavin Lux-Andre Jackson for Castillo trade.

    • JaxDan

      Looking at the MLB top 100 with Dodgers I would want #78 (4 for Dodgers) RHP Bobby Miller, #100 (5) OF Andy Pages and (6) 3B Miguel Vargas. At least 2 of these 3 plus another prospect in their top 10. I also like their #16 prospect OF Jose Ramos

  21. Frankie Tomatoes

    Well deserved Mr. India! Can’t wait to watch him continue to get better.

  22. Jim Walker

    Shortly after the All Star break, I realized that subconsciously that it has been some while since I had even considered India to be a rookie. I think that is my best compliment to him for winning the RoY

  23. JayTheRed

    India is one of the players that I have liked for probably the past 2 or 3 years. I just had a really good feeling about him and I am proud of the work he has put in and winning Rookie of the year just cements his status as a very good player. I am excited to see what he does in the coming seasons.

  24. LWBlogger2

    Dang it Dan!!!! … I’m just kidding, as I really like Dan Szymborski.

    India had a really good season and the kid is an absolute joy to watch. If I do go to a couple games next year to spend time with my dad, I’ll certainly take the added bonus of watching India play. He may be one of the few fun things about the Reds next year for fans.