FILE - Tampa Bay Rays' Randy Arozarena watches his solo home run against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning of Game 1 of a baseball American League Division Series, Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena and Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India were named rookies of the year by Baseball Digest and eBay, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

Rays RF Randy Arozarena named AL Rookie of the Year

The Tampa Bay Rays right fielder, Randy Arozarena, celebrated being named the 2021 American League Rookie of the Year with excitement on Monday night.

Going into this season, Arozarena still qualified as a rookie following playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019 and the Tampa Bay Rays in 2020.

The right fielder recorded only one error in the field in the 2021 season. In his second season as a Ray, he had 529 at-bats, 94 runs, 135 hits, 69 RBIs and 20 home runs in the 2021 regular season.

In the 2021 postseason, he recorded 15 at-bats, five hits and four runs, recording one homerun.

The Cuban native was previously named the ALCS MVP in 2020.

This is the fourth AL Rookie of the Year in Rays history: Arozarena (2021), Myers (2013), Hellickson (2011), Longoria (2008). In addition, the previous two AL Rookies of the Year have been outfielders: Kyle Lewis (2020), Yordan Alvarez (2019).

Arozarena started his career playing professional baseball in Mexico for the Toros de Tijuana in 2016. The 26-year-old ballplayer then was signed to the Minors for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2016. He was then assigned to Mayos de Navojoa and Estresllas de Norte in 2016. Following a long road back and forth to the Minors in 2017 and 2018, the St. Louis Cardinals contracted Arozarena in 2019.

Despite being contracted in 2019, Arozarena was sent back and fort from the Memphis Redbirds before being called back up.

In 2020, the Cardinals traded Arozarena to the Tampa Bay Rays in a multi-player trade. In the 2020 regular season, Arozarena played in 23 games, recording seven home runs and 11 RBIs.

Arozarena had breakout performances with 29 total hits and 10 home runs in the 202o postseason. He also recorded the most home runs for the MLB in a postseason and the most hits in one postseason in the 2020 postseason.

When the votes were added up to decide AL Rookie of the Year, Arozarena posted a video of his reaction on his Instagram.

He said translated in English, “Thank you God for always being present in my life for giving me the strength to get up when I fall of not leaving I just want to thank you for giving me this wonderful family I have.”

He continued to say, “To my friends, I send you millions of blessings thanks for your support throughout my career and this season. For my Cuba, free homeland and life. My Mexico. To my family, I love you my heart belongs to you. I’m the Rookie of the Year!”

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