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Elephant Rumblings: MLB awards finalists announced

MLB news roundup

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MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

MLB announced finalists for the 2022 Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP awards yesterday. David Adler at MLB posted a breakdown of the nominees. Winners will be announced next week, starting with the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year awards on November 14. I’ll be handicapping the nominees for each category ahead of the announcements, starting with ROY.

AL Rookie of the Year nominees (with selected 2022 stats):

  • Steven Kwan, LF, Guardians: 638 PA, .298/.373/.400, 6 HR, 19 SB, 9.7 BB%, 9.4 K%, 124 wRC+, -0.7 Def, 4.4 fWAR
  • Julio Rodríguez, CF, Mariners: 560 PA, .284/.345/.509, 28 HR, 25 SB, 7.1 BB%, 25.9 K%, 146 wRC+, -0.5 Def, 5.3 fWAR
  • Adley Rutschman, C, Orioles: 470 PA, .254/.362/.445, 13 HR, 4 SB, 13.8 BB%, 18.3 K%, 133 wRC+, 13.1 Def, 5.3 fWAR

My money is on Rodriguez to take this prize. Rutschman’s elite defense behind the plate and solid batting line make him entirely worthy, and he finished with 5.3 fWAR just as the Mariners’ young outfielder did. But Rodriguez seemed to have a higher profile, he made the All-Star team, and everyone loves dingers—Rodriguez hit more home runs than Kwan and Rutschman combined. Adler also describes Rodriguez as the frontrunner for AL ROY.

NL Rookie of the Year nominees:

  • Brendan Donovan, UTIL, Cardinals: 468 PA, .281/.394/.379, 5 HR, 2 SB, 12.8 BB%, 15.0 K%, 129 wRC+, -3.8 Def, 2.7 fWAR
  • Michael Harris II, CF, Braves: 441 PA, .297/.339/.514, 19 HR, 20 SB, 6.2 BB%, 21.7 K%, 136 wRC+, 6.7 Def, 4.8 fWAR
  • Spencer Strider, RHP, Braves: 131⅔ IP, 13.81 K/9, 3.08 BB/9, 7 HR, 2.67 ERA, 1.83 FIP, 2.30 xFIP, 4.9 fWAR

According to Adler, Harris or strider will most likely come away with this one, and they both hold a big WAR edge over Donovan. Harris has more name recognition in my personal bubble, but Strider’s line really impresses me and I will thus predict that he’ll take the NL ROY award. It’s a tough call—do you think I have it right? Tell me about it!

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