Steven Kwan and not Shane Bieber or Jose Ramirez will be the only Cleveland Guardians player to finish in the Top 3 for a post-season award.
Of all the players who can and could win one of the big three end of the year awards (MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year), if you had told me in April that rookie Steven Kwan was the only one who would finish in the Top 3 of a category with Shane Bieber and Jose Ramirez being options, I wouldn’t believe you
Unfortunately for Bieber and Ramirez, that’s the case. Neither Bieber (Cy Young) nor Ramirez (MVP), finished in the Top 3 of their respective categories. For that matter, neither did Emmanuel Clase, who had a Cy Young-caliber season as a reliever.
Kwan, however, not only finished in the Top 3 of the Rookie of the Year award, but he serves a very good chance of winning the award. He’s going up against Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez and Baltimore’s Adley Rutschman.
While Rutschman was a finalist, it’s really down to Rodriguez. He hit 28 home runs, had 75 RBIs, and stole 25 bases. Really good numbers. Kwan on the other hand hit .298, a .373 on-base percentage (both higher than Rodriguez), was the team’s leadoff hitter and won a Gold Glove, all as a rookie.
Both are deserving, truthfully, but Kwan’s importance to the offense may be slightly more important.
Steven Kwan has done enough to warrant being Rookie of the Year
We can call the regular season a wash. Rodriguez had better power numbers and stole more bases, but Kwan got on base more often and played better defense at the same position (both outfielders). Yet, looking at them in the playoffs, you have to acknowledge that both teams were relying on their rookies and only one stepped up;
He went 9-30 across the two series versus the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees. Rodriguez went 5-23 across two series against the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros and saw Kwan post a better slugging percentage (.619 vs. .563).
While the postseason won’t factor into the voting, it should; as it shows that Kwan is more consistently an asset for his team as opposed to Rodriguez. That theory alone should be the only reason one needs to vote him Rookie of the Year.