The Major League Baseball (MLB) made the announcement on Monday night that the 2022 Jackie Robinson American League Rookie of the Year award would be presented to Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners. The second place finisher was the catcher for the Baltimore Orioles, Adley Rutschman, while the third place finisher was the left fielder for the Cleveland Guardians, Steven Kwan.

Despite coming in fifth place in the vote for Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Pea of the Houston Astros was named Most Valuable Player of both the American League Championship Series and the World Series. The following is a rundown of how the members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) voted:

  1. Julio Rodriguez, Mariners (29 first-place votes)
  2. Adley Rutschman, Orioles (one first-place vote)
  3. Steven Kwan, Guardians
  4. Bobby Witt Jr., Royals
  5. Jeremy Peña, Astros
  6. George Kirby, Mariners

Another center fielder, Michael Harris II of the Braves, was named the National League Rookie of the Year. He was the recipient of the award.

Rodriguez, who is 21 years old, was called up by the Mariners right out of spring training rather than being demoted for a week for the purpose of manipulating his service time. He started off to a sluggish start, but because the season was long, he had plenty of opportunity to adjust to changing circumstances on the fly, which he accomplished.

Rodriguez hot streak began on April 22, when he went two for four, and continued for his next 120 games

during which he hit.298/.357/.542 with 24 doubles, three triples, 28 home runs, 73 RBI, 80 runs, and 21 stolen bases. Along the way, he played outstanding defense in center field for a squad that ended a streak of more than 20 years without making the playoffs.


Rodriguez finished the year with a 6.2 Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement (bWAR) and a 5.3 Fangraphs WAR (fWAR). He hit 28 home runs and stole 25 bases, making him the third rookie in the history of the sport to accomplish this feat. He also accomplished this feat in the shortest amount of time ever (125 games), breaking Mike Trout’s previous record of 128 games.

On the list of Mariners who have earned this honor, Rodriguez joins the ranks of Alvin Davis (1984), Kaz Sasaki (2000), and Ichiro Suzuki (2001, the same year that he also won MVP). Kyle Lewis (2020) is next on the list.

After being selected for the All-Star Game and having some success in the Home Run Derby, Rodriguez was given the title for Rookie of the Year in the American League. This honor will join the Silver Slugger that he already has on his mantel. He inked a mammoth extension to his deal, which will almost certainly keep him in Seattle for the next decade or more, all the while allowing him to make an incredible amount of money. What a year it was to turn 21, huh?

Because of a condition in the current collective bargaining agreement that applies to the top two Rookie of the Year finishers, the runner-up, Rutschman, will receive a full year of service time despite the fact that he has only participated in 113 games. Rutschman had a batting line of.254/.362/.445 (128 OPS+) throughout those 113 games. He also had 35 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs, 42 RBI, 70 runs, four stolen bases, 5.2 wins above replacement (bWAR), and 5.3 wins above replacement (fWAR).

He was able to throw out 11 of the 36 runners that attempted to steal bases, which is a 31 percent caught stealing rate compared to the average of 25 percent for the league. Throughout the entire season, he only committed two passed ball errors. When Mike Rutschman played behind the plate for the Orioles, the team’s earned run average dropped to 3.78 from its season-long mark of 3.97.

Kwan, who is 25 years old, had a batting line of.298/.373/.400 (124 OPS+, heavy on the OBP) with 25 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, 52 RBI, 89 runs, 19 steals, 5.5 wins above replacement (bWAR), and 4.4 wins above average (fWAR). In baseball, he was regarded as one of the best defensive left fielders, and he was also a key contributor at the top of the batting order for a team that ended up winning its division.

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