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Cleveland Guardians OF Steven Kwan finishes 3rd in AL Rookie of the Year voting

The 25-year-old lost out to Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners. No Cleveland ballplayer has won Rookie of the Year since 1990.

CLEVELAND — Steven Kwan exceeded expectations all season long, becoming a favorite among Guardians fans in the process.

Unfortunately, the 25-year-old outfielder fell just short of claiming baseball's ultimate prize for rookies.

Kwan finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting results that were announced Tuesday, losing out to Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodríguez. In a bit of a snub, Kwan received 10 second-place votes and 14 third-place votes, but zero first-place votes. By contrast, writers gave Rodríguez all but one first-place slot, which went to Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman.

Simply put, Kwan was stellar all season long, making the team out of spring training and quickly establishing himself among baseball's young stars. He eventually became Cleveland's leadoff man while hitting .298 with 89 runs scored, and led all AL outfielders with 16 total zone runs. Earlier this month, he was named the league's Gold Glove Award winner among left fielders.

Though Guards fans were certainly rooting for Kwan, Rodríguez is definitely a worthy Rookie of the Year. The 21-year-old phenom hit .284 with 28 home runs, 25 stolen bases, and 6.2 bWAR, earning All-Star and Silver Slugger accolades while helping the Mariners to their first postseason appearance in 21 years.

Kwan's third-place finish means Cleveland still won't have a Rookie of the Year recipient since 1990, when current first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. won while playing for the Indians. However, the 2022 AL Central Champs have still gotten their fair share of recognition, including three others who joined Kwan as Gold Glovers. In addition, third baseman José Ramírez took home his fourth Silver Slugger Award, President Chris Antonetti was named Executive of the Year, and Terry Francona is a finalist for AL Manager of the Year.

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