Julio Rodriguez wins American League Rookie of the Year award

Julio Rodriguez wins American League Rookie of the Year award

Mariners center outfielder Julio Rodriguez won the 2022 American League Rookie of the Year award, according to an announcement from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Oriole Catcher Adley Rutschman finished second in voting, while the Guardians outfielder Steven Kwan checked third.

This year’s rookie class in the junior circuit was outstanding, with Rodríguez and Rutschman headlining. The pair of top prospects both hit the ground running against the MLB pitch. Seattle carried Rodríguez to the roster as an opening-day center back, looking to build on his surprising 90-win campaign in 2021. The young outfielder got off to a rocky start, thanks in part to a number of early dubious strike calls. , but he eventually became the best player for a good club in Seattle.

Over 560 plate appearances, Rodríguez posted a .284/.345/.509 line. He connected on 28 homers and swept 25 bases on 32 attempts, one of only four players (Kyle Tucker, Adolis Garcia and Marcus Semien being the others) to reach 25 longballs and steals each. Rodríguez was particularly electric in the second half, putting up a .303/.361/.576 line coming out of the All-Star Break to help Seattle qualify for its first playoff appearance in more than two decades.

Rodríguez also impressed on the other side of the ball, starting 130 games and playing 1,126 2/3 innings in center field. Defensive Runs Saved and Statcast credited him with above-average defense, which is no small feat for a player who some potential evaluators believe might be better suited to right field. The 21-year-old seems to have asked all the questions about his defensive home in bed at the moment.

While Rodríguez is surely thrilled to earn Rookie of the Year honors on his own merits, the selection also has a tangible effect on the team. The new collective agreement contained measures to counter the manipulation of service time through the so-called “prospect promotion inducement”. The top two rookies of the year who were top 100 prospects on at least two preseason lists at Baseball America, ESPN and MLB Pipeline are automatically credited with a full year of service. It’s a moot point for Rodríguez, who would have qualified for a full year of service after totaling more than 172 days on the MLB roster regardless. He also signed a massive mid-season contract extension that crushes his path to refereeing and free agency.

However, the second part of the PPI comes into force. A team that promotes a player for a full year of service who meets the aforementioned prospecting criteria and entered the year with less than 60 days of MLB service who subsequently finishes in the top two in ROY balloting (or top three first to vote Cy Young or MVP in their officiating preseasons) earns a bonus draft pick after the first round. Seattle has carried Rodríguez on the roster all year, so they will pick up an additional pick in the 2023 draft in recognition of his accomplishments.

Rutschman and Kwan check in as runners-up after very strong years in their own right. The Baltimore catcher hit .254/.362/.445 with 13 homers in 470 plate appearances. His second place also earned him a full year of service. Kwan doesn’t get that honor for third place, but he still got a full year of service after leaving camp in Cleveland. A former teammate of Rutschman at Oregon State, Kwan hit .298/.373/.400 in 638 plate appearances to help the Guards win a division title.

Rodríguez received 29 of 30 first-place votes, while Rutschman garnered the other. Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, the only voter to put Rutschman ahead of Rodríguez, explained his thought process in a well-reasoned way. Twitter feed. Rodríguez was the only player to be named on all 30 ballots. Rutschman was selected out of 28 ballots, while Kwan got 24 combined votes for second or third place. Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.Shortstop Astros Jeremy Pena and right-handed sailors George Kirby also garnered some support.

Full vote breakdown found here.


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