Presenting a very deep MLB 2022 rookie All-Star team

Sep 19, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan (38) rounds the bases during an RBI triple in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan (38) rounds the bases during an RBI triple in the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /
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Julio Rodriguez. Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports
Julio Rodriguez. Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports /

Outfield/DH

Steven Kwan has been a revelation as leadoff hitter and left fielder for the Guardians. He’s batting .298 for the AL Central division leaders, and his 9.1 percent strikeout rate is next to nothing for an MLB hitter these days. His 5.0 WAR is second-best among major league rookies.

The only reason Kwan won’t win Rookie of the Year is because of Julio Rodriguez in center. Entering the season as the game’s No. 1 rookie prospect, Rodriguez has justified all the hype surrounding him in Seattle. He’s batting .279 with 27 home runs and a 142 OPS+. At 5.6, he is seventh in the AL in WAR.

The Braves’ effort to chase down the Mets in the NL East has been powered by a rookie infusion, among them outfielder Michael Harris. He lacks enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, but if he had them he would rank third at .308. Harris’ 5.2 WAR since his debut in late May.

Oscar Gonzalez is Cleveland’s regular right fielder, but he’s made a few starts at DH and as an obvious fourth outfield candidate he can fill that role nicely. Since his debut in late May, Gonzalez has slid into the No. 5 hole in Cleveland’s order, batting .292 with a 125 OPS+.