Who won the 2022 Rookie of the Year in the American and National leagues?
The dust has settled on another MLB season, and with that comes the Rookie of the Year awards for the outstanding freshmen in both leagues
With the end of the World Series, the silverware is handed out across both leagues for the past season, with Golden Gloves, Silver Sluggers, and MVPs all around. But one of the most prestigious awards in baseball is the Rookie of the Year.
Each season, a new batch of freshmen come into the Show, each hoping to make their mark on the game, and for most that is a long-term goal. But for a few, the results are explosive and immediate. The Baseball Writers Association of America gives the Rookie of the Year award to the young player who they feel has made the biggest impact in each league.
Some of the biggest names in the game have won this honor over the years, with players like Carlos Correa, Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, and Yordan Álvarez taking the award in recent years.
Julio Rodriguez, Seattle Mariners
Called up by Seattle after spring training, the top prospect in baseball made an immediate impact on the base paths, stealing 25 bases and totting up a .284 / .345 / .509 slash line plus an OPS of .854.
In the voting, Rodriguez received 29 of 30 first place votes for 148 points, making him just shy of the unanimous ROY.
“There were just so many things that I didn’t know about being in the big leagues,” said Rodríguez. “I feel like it definitely served as a learning experience, and I’m happy that I went through everything I went through in 2022, because it’s definitely going to build up a good foundation for 2023.”
That learning experience saw Rodriguez become the first rookie ever to have 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in their debut season, and the fastest to ever accomplish the feat, reaching the mark in only 125 games. His performance helped the Mariners break the longest active playoff drought in baseball, seeing them in the playoffs for the first time since 2001.
Rodríguez is the eighth Dominican-born player to claim the Rookie of the Year Award in either league, along with Neftali Feliz (2010), Hanley Ramirez (2006), Angel Berroa (2003), Albert Pujols (2001), Rafael Furcal (2000), Raul Mondesi (1994) and Alfredo Griffin (1979).
Back in August, halfway through his first big-league season, he signed a mega-deal with the Seattle that will likely see him spend his entire career as a Mariner. The boy from Loma de Cabrera has certainly made good.
Michael Harris II, Atlanta Braves
While perhaps not as eye-catching as his American League counterpart, Michael Harris II had a rookie season that was outstanding by any measurement. Called up in May, he was clearly the best defensive outfielder that the Braves had up and down the organization.
At the bat, he proved his mettle as well, slashing .297/.339/.514 with 19 home runs, 64 RBI and 20 stolen bases, playing a key role in Atlanta topping 100 wins for the first time in nearly two decades.
His only real competition in the ROY voting was his own team mate Spencer Strider, but Harris was the clear winner with 22 of 30 first place votes for 134 points.
“I feel like the whole season was unrealistic,’’ said Harris. “I was just going day to day and I guess living the dream. But now that the season’s over, I guess I can actually look back and think about how crazy of a year it was and how fast it went.’’
Harris is the ninth player in Braves franchise history to win Rookie of the Year honors, and they recompensed his performance with an eight-year contract extension valued at $72 million that will see him stay in Atlanta through the 2030 season.