VenomStrikes’ Diamondbacks Awards for the 2021 Season
By Jake Oliver
The Diamondbacks Rookies of the Year, Pitcher and Hitter?
The Diamondbacks had 12 players make their MLB debut this year and had around 15 rookies overall be on the roster at some point this year. Due to that, there were many options for who won Rookie of the Year for pitchers and hitters for this season. Yet, in my eyes, there were only two options, one at each award for this year. The winner of the rookie pitcher of the year is Tyler Gilbert, shocking I know. He missed roughly the final month of the season due to a fatigued arm after pitching more this year than any year before.
Of course, he didn’t play at all in 2020 and instead spent time throwing in the forest to his old coach. Yet he persevered and made his MLB debut this year. He pitched out of the bullpen for his first three games of the season and only had given up two hits. Yet, his next time on the mound would be history-making.
He made his first MLB start on August 7th against the Padres, and threw a NO-Hitter! The first in Chase Field history. It was also the first in team history since 2009, Edwin Jackson’s N0-NO against the Rays. He made five more starts after that in which he was a steady presence that pitched good innings and kept the Dbacks in the game. That’s all a team can ask for out of a rookie starter. Overall, he pitched 40 innings and went 2-2 while allowing 28 hits, a4 ERs, 13 walks, 25 K’s, 3.15 ERA, 4.27 FIP, 136 ERA+ (100 is league average), and was a 1.2 WAR player. I look forward to seeing him back out on the mound in Spring Training.
Pavin Smith made his debut in 2020 but maintained his rookie eligibility due to not accruing enough service time in 2020. He was the obvious choice for rookie of the year since he was the only rookie on the team to play in nearly every game. Fun fact, Daulton Varsho completed his rookie year in 2020. Pavin displayed great patience, contact, and clutch hitting at the plate while demonstrating he can play multiple positions in the field.
Although, he probably shouldn’t play center field again. He filled in for many injuries on the big league roster and allowed Torey to have a player he could count on in the lineup. Pavin hit.267, .328, .404, .732, 98 OPS+, with 27 doubles, HRs, 49 RBIs, 42 walks, 106 K’s, and 68 runs scored. Overall, it was a solid rookie effort for the player that was the first-ever draft pick by Mike Hazen. I can’t wait to see him play next year!