On Monday night, Jonathan India of the Cincinnati Reds took home the National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year award. While no Colorado Rockies player received votes in the 2021 Rookie of the Year race, there were still rookies who made an impact for the Rockies last season.
Which Colorado Rockies player would have been the franchise’s Rookie of the Year?
I was lucky enough to be one of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) members to have a vote for the NL Rookie of the Year. My ballot had India first, followed by Trevor Rogers of the Miami Marlins in second and Dylan Carlson of the St. Louis Cardinals in third. Ironically, that’s exactly how the final voting from BBWAA members across the nation finished as well.
You can see all of the ballots and choices for Rookie of the Year here.
While that was nationwide, if I had a ballot to choose the Rookie of the Year from only the Colorado Rockies, I probably would have given my vote to Lucas Gilbreath. You can read more about his season and some thoughts from him on it in this exclusive in-depth interview we had with him in September. It was meteoric rise for the 25-year-old southpaw who had never pitched above Class A before this season, yet made 47 relief appearances across six stints on the active roster, including being a part of the Rockies bullpen (and even making one start) from June 5 through the end of the season.
Gilbreath went scoreless in 26 of 29 appearances (posting an 0.96 ERA in that stretch) and in 32 of 38 following his last recall on June 5. He also logged a career-long streak 17 consecutive scoreless outings (spanning 16.0 innings) from August 8 through September 22. That was the longest single-season streak by a Rockies reliever since Adam Ottavino pieced together 21 scoreless outings in 2016.
He would have been my choice for Rookie of the Year, just ahead of Connor Joe, who slashed .285/.379/.469 in 179 at-bats and became a fan favorite and regular in the leadoff role before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury on September 3.
And let’s not forget about the contributions of Jordan Sheffield in the Colorado bullpen as well. The 26-year-old right-hander appeared in 30 games (29.1 innings) and posted a 1.091 WHIP and 3.38 ERA.
Who would you have picked as Colorado’s Rookie of the Year? Let us know in the comments section below.