Before the awards are handed out, a moment of appreciation for the 2022 Junior Class

Madeleine Rochman
Paul Rutherford USA Today Sports

On Monday, MLB unveiled the top three vote-takers for its four season-ending majors, including the three highest-voted juniors in each league. Stephen KwanAnd the Julio RodriguezAnd the Madeleine Rochman Make the cut from a powerful MLS squad including the MVP double playoff Jeremy Peña2022, Possible No. 2 pre-season Bobby Witt Jr.and stopping rotation from around the circle (George KirbyAnd the Red DetmersAnd the Joe Ryan). In the National League, colleagues Spencer Strider And the Michael Harris II Emphasize Atlanta’s bright future with quick hacks. Inaugural Gold Glove Utman Brendan Donovan Complete his defensive variety with 129 wRC+ to earn a poor spot among the finalists over his teammate Lars NotbarAnd the Jake McCarthyAnd the Seiya Suzukiamong other things.

The winners won’t be revealed until next Monday, but this week’s announcement was kind of a celebration of a rookie class that met expectations and then some. Awards season is all about recognizing individual achievement over the past regular season, but in the case of Rookie of the Year, it also feels like a forward looking at the jobs that may lie ahead. With the talent shown by this year’s class, particularly the top players, it seems we have a lot to look forward to.

This year’s outstanding group of players earned 54.9 WAR, the second highest in a single season after the 2015 class that featured Chris BryantAnd the Francisco LindorAnd the Carlos CorreaAnd the Jock PedersonAnd the Kyle SchwarberAnd the Cory Seeger, among other things. Some of that was a matter of chance. Freshmen have made more trips to the plate this year than they have in all but a few years. But they held their own with 89 wRC+, second only to the same 2015 class. As evidenced by the award finalists, the class featured some top talent at the top. The five players who led this year’s WWII group – Rodriguez, Rochman, Harris, Cowan and Pena – earned a total of 23.2 WAR, the highest level since 2012, when they Mike TroutAnd the Bryce HarperAnd the Eunice CespedesAnd the Yasmani GrandalAnd the Todd Fraser They all cleared the entry-level eligibility threshold.

Rising Position Player Categories

season Top 3 war Top 5 war Top 10 war all-out war
2022 15.4 23.2 35.2 54.9
2021 10.1 15.1 25.8 39.7
2020 5.4 8.2 13.4 9.0
2019 11.8 18.7 32.7 49.2
2018 12.1 19.5 34.0 45.0
2017 16.2 21.1 31.2 41.5
2016 12.5 18.4 30.6 37.0
2015 14.5 22.0 36.5 75.1
2014 12.0 17.5 27.3 34.9
2013 8.5 13.1 23.5 35.2

Rodríguez and Rutschman have been leading the category with 5.3 WAR this season, matching each other for the most in a junior season since. Aaron Judge He finished with 8.7 WAR as a rookie in 2017. In the last 20 seasons, the only players who have had productive rookie seasons like Rodriguez and Rochman are the judge, Bryant, Jose Abreu In 2014, trout in 2012, and Evan Longoria in 2008. The last time two rookies published 5.0-WAR seasons in the same year was 2001, when the future Hall of Famers Albert Pujols (7.2) and Ichiro Suzuki (6.0) debut.

Highest rookie war since 2000

season Noun Team J wRC + About Dave war
1 2012 Mike Trout LAA 139 167 64.4 10.2 10.1
2 2017 Aaron Judge New York 155 174 61.8 2.5 8.7
3 2001 Albert Pujols Special Tribunal for Lebanon 161 159 50.7 0.9 7.2
4 2015 Chris Bryant CHC 151 136 33.8 3.6 6.1
5 2001 Ichiro Suzuki Sea 157 124 27.8 7.8 6.0
6 2008 Evan Longoria TBR 122 129 21.1 17.9 5.6
7 2022 Julio Rodriguez Sea 132 146 33.4 -0.5 5.3
8 2022 Madeleine Rochman Pal 113 133 22.4 13.1 5.3

As amazing as this duo has been this season, Harris and Kwan haven’t been far behind in terms of production. Harris was called up in late May and finished with 4.8 WAR in 114 games, showing his abilities with all five tools to finish with a .297/.339/.514 slash along with a strong midfield defense and eighth highest BSR in the NL. Kwan started with The Guardians on opening day, and aside from sub-par in May, gave Cleveland a disciplined, top-of-the-line production, finishing with 4.4 WAR on his own.

This level of production was from a quartet of historically budding players. He was the last four rookies in the center to finish with 4.0 WAR or more in the same year Dick AllenAnd the Tony OlivaAnd the Jim Ray HartAnd the Rico Karti In 1964. But the talent of the center player was deep this year. The World War II top ten leaderboard – the final five finalists along with Peña, Nutbar, McCarthy, Witt and Suzuki – combined for 35.2 WAR, also the highest total for a group of 10 Novice players since that group in 2015.

On the hill, the 2022 Novice class was a little heavier. Strider burst onto the scene with one of the best junior seasons in recent memory, leading the majors with 2.39 xERA, 1.83 FIP and 2.30 xFIP at 131.2 IP, finishing with 2.67 ERA. His 4.9 WAR team ranked eighth among the top league players, just behind teammate and runner-up Cy Young Max FriedIt earned 5.0 in over 50 other rounds, and was the most a novice player has done since Hideo Nomo5.2 in 1995.

Spencer Strider MLB Classes

stat Values Rank
war 4.9 VIII
So 202 eleventh
k/9 13.81 the first
K% 38.3% the first
SwStr% 15.5% Third
HR / 9 0.48 Second
era 2.67 17
xERA 2.39 the first
FIP 1.83 the first
xFIP 2.3 the first
AVG 0.179 Third

minute. 100 IP

Strider went unparalleled from a production standpoint, but in addition to the starter trio of Kirby, Detmers and Ryan, the 2022 class also offered a slew of dominant relief arms. Seattle Andres Muñoz He used a removable slider and 100 mph four-seat to hit a 96 in just 65 rounds. John Schreiber Boston’s favorite has become out of the game. Minnesota Johan Doran He was the only man who threw harder from Muñoz, averaging 100.8 mph on its way to 1.86 pm. Houston Brian Abro and the dodgers Alex Physia He entered the year shy of the entry-level eligibility threshold and had years off for the top two teams in the league.

Novice Dominators in 2022

Noun Team J IP k/9 BB / 9 HR / 9 era xERA FIP xFIP war
Andres Munoz Sea 64 65.0 13.29 2.08 0.69 2.49 1.84 2.04 2.04 1.9
John Schreiber boss 64 65.0 10.25 2.63 0.42 2.22 2.57 2.50 3.01 1.7
Johan Doran minute 57 67.2 11.84 2.13 0.80 1.86 2.22 2.52 2.11 1.5
Alex Physia boy 63 54.1 13.09 3.98 0.33 2.15 2.79 2.12 3.03 1.5
Brian Abro ho 55 60.1 13.13 3.88 0.30 1.94 2.96 2.12 2.69 1.4
Felix Bautista Pal 65 65.2 12.06 3.15 0.96 2.19 2.66 2.92 2.77 1.4
Scott Evros CHC / New York 60 56.2 9.85 2.38 0.48 2.54 2.51 2.46 3.18 1.3
Dylan Lee ATL 46 50.2 10.48 1.78 0.89 2.13 2.57 2.66 3.10 1.1

Between the high levels of production from the center players and the remarkable talent of the shooters, this year’s junior class put on an all-season show and, thanks to players like Peña and Abreu, took part in the playoffs. On Monday we’ll celebrate the best rookie in every league, and each one of them will earn that honor in the face of tough competition. But until then, let’s take a look at the glut of top-tier talent that was presented to the game this year. We’ll probably celebrate most of them for a long time to come.

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