With four ALCS homers, Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena named series MVP

SAN DIEGO — Was there even a doubt?

Randy Arozarena, the 25-year old Tampa Bay Rays rookie outfielder, was named the American League Championship Series MVP. 

Arozarena hit four home runs in the seven-game series, including a two-run bomb in the first inning of Game 7 that led to the 4-2 win over the Houston Astros.

He is one of just four rookies — and the first position player — to claim an LCS MVP, joining the Baltimore Orioles' Mike Boddicker in 1983, the Florida Marlins' Livan Hernandez in 1997 and the St. Louis Cardinals' Michael Wacha in 2013.

“He is the best player on the planet,’’ said Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier. “It’s incredible.’’

Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena rounds the bases after a two-run home run in Game 7. (Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports)

Arozarena torched the Astros pitching staff for four homers, a .321 average and a 1.152 OPS. 

“Every night we have a different hero," said Rays' Austin Meadows. “Except for Randy Arozarena.

“He’s a hero every night.’’

Arozarena is making this postseason his own personal showcase, hitting a two-run homer off Astros starter Lance McCullers in the first inning, becoming the first rookie with a go-ahead homer in any Game 7 since Miguel Cabrera for the 2003 Miami Marlins against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS.

“He’s a dangerous man,’’ Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “I keep saying he can’t do it again, and he does it again.’’

MVP! pic.twitter.com/psuXBmRBGJ

He set a rookie record for most homers in a single postseason with seven and leads all postseason hitters with 21 hits, 14 runs, 11 extra-base hits and 47 total bases. The only rookie who has produced more hits is New York Yankees great Derek Jeter with 22.

The Rays certainly weren’t envisioning that Arozarena would be leading them to the World Series, but he had his teammates chanting “M-V-P, M-V-P!” as he walked up to receive the trophy.

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