The 2022 rookie class was one of the more memorable ones in recent years, mainly because of the disparity in talent throughout the league and the number of young players who heavily contributed to their respective teams.
An American League group led by Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners was also accompanied by Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles and Stevan Kwan of the Cleveland Guardians offensively outperformed their National League counterparts.
The NL on the other hand includes two members of the Atlanta Braves, Spencer Strider and Michael Harris II, with Brendan Donovan of the St. Louis Cardinals joining the list after a breakout year in the NL Central.
Below, we’ll break down each of the finalists and their merits to win this year’s award. The official Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year winners will be announced on MLB Network at 3:00 p.m. PT on Monday, Nov. 14.
American League finalists with betting odds
Julio Rodríguez(-3000): Despite a slow start, J-Rod blew up and became a force in the Mariners lineup, batting .284 with 28 home runs and logging a 147 OPS+. The 21-year-old flashed his ability in the MLB Home Run Derby and put a spotlight on a budding talent in the Northwest.
Adley Rutschman(+1100): The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft debuted on May 21 and quickly earned respect around the league with his defense, pitch framing and at-the-plate, batting .254 with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs, and a 128 OPS+.
Steven Kwan(+25000): A longshot to take home this award, but that doesn’t diminish anything about Kwan’s season. In fact, his bat-to-ball skills are some of the best in MLB, and his .298 batting average was an incredible compliment to his ability to limit strikeouts while taking his walks.
National League finalists with betting odds
Michael Harris II(-275): Harris proved enough to the Braves front office to earn him an eight-year $72,000,000 contract before playing a full season in MLB. The 21-year-old led all rookies in WAR, tallying a .297 batting average with 19 homers and 20 steals.
Spencer Strider(+225): Although Strider dealt with injuries down the stretch, his 11-5 record and 2.67 ERA across 134 innings with 202 strikeouts became a huge piece to the Braves’ playoff birth. His strikeout totals were a rookie-high since the 2012 season.
Brendan Donovan(+50000): A Gold Glove winner in 2022 for the Cardinals in more of a utility role, Donovan earned his way into significant playing time. His .281 batting average and .394 on-base percentage weren’t anything to scoff at as the 25-year-old former seventh-round pick played a valuable role.
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