The 2022 season was an unexpected and unforgettable ride for the Cleveland Guardians.
After being picked by most to finish well behind the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins in the American League Central division, the team defied the odds and took home their first division title since 2018.
Thanks in large part to the contributions of their young players, the Guardians won 92 games and eliminated the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card Series, falling just short in the ALDS against the New York Yankees.
MLB Network tweeted a graphic featuring the stats posted by these two rookies, showing just how instrumental they were in helping the Guardians reach the postseason.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 1, 2022
Two Guardians Rookies Had Excellent Seasons
Kwan won a Gold Glove and also finished third in the voting for the AL Rookie of the Year Award.
That award was ultimately given to Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners, but Kwan hit for a .298 average, registering an OPS of .772 and a WRC+ of 124.
Gonzalez on the other hand became a fan favorite due to him choosing the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song as his walk-up song.
The rookie outfielder hit for a .298 average, registering an OPS of .789 and posting a 122 WRC+.
The two rookies helped carry the load for the Guardians, who surprised many baseball fans and pundits by defying the odds and taking home the division title.
For much of the season, they had trailed the Twins, but got hot at the end of the season and ultimately ran away with the division.