The 2022 American League Rookie of the Year race is virtually decided at this point.
Seattle Mariners star outfielder Julio Rodriguez has been one of the best players in MLB and comfortably leads rookies in several stat categories.
He should be viewed as the heavy favorite to take home the award unless something really unexpected happens.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other rookies worth talking about, praising, or discussing.
Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez have been impressive in Kansas City, Adley Rutschman has been the star behind the Baltimore Orioles’ revival, Jeremy Peña has been impressive for the Houston Astros; and Joe Ryan, George Kirby, and Felix Bautista have all played admirably in the pitching department.
Yet, Cleveland Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan has played like a seasoned veteran.
When it comes to hitting for average and getting on base, Kwan has no rivals among rookies.
“I realize Julio Rodriguez is gonna win the AL ROY, but the fact that Steven Kwan is getting virtually zero love when he leads the league’s rookies in BA, H, R and BB is absolutely ridiculous,” USA Today’s Casey Moore tweeted.
I realize Julio Rodriguez is gonna win the AL ROY, but the fact that Steven Kwan is getting virtually zero love when he leads the league’s rookies in BA, H, R and BB is absolutely ridiculous.
— Casey Moore (@Casey_Moore) August 16, 2022
A Fine Season
Before Tuesday’s games, Kwan is slashing a cool .297/.371/.388.
The two first parts of that triple slash line are excellent: he has contact and is adept at taking walks.
The power department is where he is decidedly below-average: he has failed to slash .400 so far and has only three homers.
However, despite his low home run output this year, his minor league performance suggests he may peak at 10-12 homers eventually.
He is no power hitter, but as a table-setter, he is a very nice piece to have in the lineup.
The Guardians are extremely pleased with his development and performance so far.
Can he get a top-three Rookie of the Year finish this year?
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