Hayes and Arozarena still hanging on as early-season Rookie of the Year favorites despite struggles

We’re nearly three weeks into the 2021 MLB season and frontrunners are beginning to emerge for both the American League and National League Rookie of the Year Awards.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes and Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena have long been considered to be the favorites for the awards despite both players struggling to find a rhythm at the plate.

The 24-year-old Hayes has only appeared in two games this year, going 1-for-5 from the plate with one home run and two RBIs.

However, Vegas Insider still gives Hayes the NL’s best odds to win Rookie of the Year at +350.

Meanwhile, Arozarena has been unable to replicate his iconic 2020 playoff performance.

Arozarena burst onto the scene last postseason, with a historic run that saw him break the record for the most home runs in a single postseason and the most hits by a rookie in a single postseason.

This season, however, Arozarena has yet to find a rhythm, hitting only .246 with two home runs and six RBIs through his first 14 games.

Oddsmakers remain optimistic in both players with Vegas Insider’s April 11 odds slotting Hayes and Arozarena +350 to win each league’s Rookie of the Year Award, the highest odds among 2021 rookies.

Despite having the best odds to win the award, Hayes and Arozarena aren’t shoe-ins by any measure.

In the NL, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India is making quite the case of his own, hitting .283 with 11 RBIs through his team’s first 14 games.

Meanwhile in the AL, Chicago White Sox designated hitter Yermin Mercedes has become one of the most popular rookies in baseball and rightfully so.

Mercedes currently leads the American League in batting average (.415) and hits (22), while tacking on four home runs and 12 RBIs.

Still months away from the 2021 MLB All Star Game, each of these players will have plenty of time to improve their case for the award.

Leave a Reply