Randy Arozarena is having one of the best playoffs runs in Major League history. The 25-year-old rookie has seven home runs, the most by any rookie in a single postseason, and is just one hit away from tying Derek Jeter’s rookie record (22). Arozarena was the ALCS MVP. He’s the first rookie in American League history to produce four consecutive multi-hit games in the postseason.
Considering what Randy Arozarena has endured getting here, nothing should be regarded as impossible.
Arozarena was a talented soccer and baseball player in Cuba, but after his father died when he was 15, he was devastated. He sought permission from his mother to escape on a raft as a 19-year-old to try to make money for the family as a baseball player.
“You honestly just have to risk your life for your family, Arozarena, recently told MLB.com. “When you’re in the ocean, the only thing you’re thinking about and hoping for is that you get there safely. There’s been people that are out in the ocean for days, months, and there are others that don’t make it because they die.
“But when you’re in one of those fake boats in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the only thing you could do is hope that you survive. I took the chance and thankfully, I got here without any problems.”
Randy Arozarena is undoubtedly No. 1 on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher scouting reports for the World Series. And really, who could’ve seen that coming three months ago?
Randy Arozarena has already caught national attention and will only gain more notoriety as he and the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Dodgers for the title of world champions.
Arozarena defected, played in Mexico in 2015, and signed with the Cardinals in 2016 for $1.25 million. He hit .344 in the minors last year and made his major-league debut but got only 23 plate appearances.
After filming Cardinals manager Mike Shildt’s expletive-laden celebratory pep talk last October and posting it on his social media account, he received national attention.
The Cardinals didn’t foresee him fitting into their future. The Rays were looking for outfield depth. St. Louis traded him and outfielder/DH Jose Martinez for top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore and catching prospect Edgardo Rodriguez.
Arozarena missed the first five weeks of this 60-game season with COVID-19 and wasn’t called up to the Rays until Aug. 30.
He spent his quarantine learning how to cook, eating nothing but chicken and rice, doing 300 push-ups a day, and gaining 15 pounds of muscle.
After making his season debut on Aug. 31, Arozarena hit .500 in his first six games with four home runs. Including the postseason, he has ten homers in his last 21 starts.