There can only be two Rookie of the Year Award winners, one from each league. However, 2022 represented a great moment for rookies in the Major Leagues. Next, we present the best six Latin American rookies of the season.
Julio Rodriguez, CF, Mariners
What makes it so electric? All. Is it too simplistic an answer? Maybe yes, but it’s the truth. The Dominican outfielder was in the 90th percentile or higher in hit average exit velocity, maximum exit velocity, sprint running speed, arm strength and above average putouts. He is just 21 years old and is, without a doubt, one of the most talented players in baseball.
The Mariners know it. And when you mix that talent with his great personality, you end up with the player who looks like the next face of baseball.
Best moment of 2022: Seattle fans already knew about Rodríguez, but his landmark Home Run Derby performance was when the rest of the world got to know how special the ranger is.
Felix Bautista, RHP, Orioles
What makes it electric? His fastball is approaching 100 miles per hour and hitters are defenseless against his split-finger fastball, which produced a 53% hit-swing rate. At 27, the Dominican right-hander had to wait a long time for that success.
Best moment of 2022: The Orioles surprised many by competing for one of the American League Wild Cards. In late August, Baltimore went to Houston and took two of three games against the eventual champions. Bautista got the last four outs of Game 3, including striking out Jeremy Peña and Yuli Gurriel.
Jhoan Duran, RHP, Twins
What makes it electric? No one shoots harder with such consistency. The Dominican right-hander led the major leagues with 392 pitches of 100 mph or more, nearly 40% of his pitches. The 24-year-old even hit triple figures with secondary pitching.
Best moment of 2022: Durán posted a 1.86 ERA in 2022, the best ever for a Twins reliever (minimum 65.0 innings). There was a two-month stretch in the middle of the season when the flamethrower allowed just one run and struck out 36 batters in 24.1 innings.
What makes it electric? Ice runs through those veins. Peña represented the Astros’ biggest question mark earlier in the season, as he replaced Puerto Rican superstar Carlos Correa at shortstop for Houston. But he won a Gold Glove and hit a series of well-timed hits in the postseason.
The Dominican shortstop equaled Correa in home runs in 2022 with 22, had better defensive metrics and delivered at bat at the right times.
Best moment of 2022: the postseason whole of 2022.
What makes it electric? It’s breaking Statcast.
Although he needs to play cleaner defense and improve his at-bat pitch recognition, Cruz is one of the most talented players we’ve ever seen. He will be just 24 years old next season.
Best moment of 2022: We picked two: The aforementioned shot from shortstops and his missile hit in August.
We want to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this outstanding material
The six best Latin American rookies of 2022 (from a single country)