Harris, Strider feature on Pipeline All-Rookie Team

3 months ago 13

October 17th, 2022

You could make an easy case for this being one of the most talented rookie classes in history.

Rookie hitters were collectively worth 54.9 fWAR this season, the second-highest for a single class since 1900 trailing only the 2015 group (75.1) that boasted Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa among others. Rookie pitchers were worth 46.4 fWAR in 2022, the 18th-best in that 123-year time period.

Where they go from here is, of course, yet to be seen. But this year’s class is off to about as hot a start as we’ve ever seen. Forget the stars of tomorrow. These rookies are the stars of today.

Here are MLB Pipeline’s picks for 2022 All-Rookie First and Second Teams.

C: Adley Rutschman, Orioles
113 G, .254/.362/.445, 13 HR, 1 3B, 35 2B, 42 RBI, 70 R, 4 SB

Baltimore’s playoff push coincided with Rutschman’s arrival on May 21, and the club went 50-34 in games in which he was behind the dish. His impressive ability to draw walks, drive the ball to the gaps and be an elite defensive catcher straight away already make him the face of the O’s.

1B: Joey Meneses, Nationals
56 G, .324/.367/.563, 13 HR, 14 2B, 34 RBI, 33 R, 1 SB

After 10 Minor League seasons, the 30-year-old debuted with Washington on Aug. 2 and never looked back, putting up an offensive performance that gave Nats fans someone to root for down a difficult final stretch.

2B: Brendan Donovan, Cardinals
126 G, .281/.394/.379, 5 HR, 1 3B, 21 2B, 45 RBI, 64 R, 2 SB

Donovan’s ability to rarely chase outside the zone and rarely whiff made him a stalwart in the Cardinals lineup, one who played six different positions but saw the plurality of his starts at the keystone.

3B: Bobby Witt Jr., Royals
150 G, .254/.294/.428, 20 HR, 6 3B, 31 2B, 80 RBI, 82 R, 30 SB

Witt’s power and speed played quickly in the bigs with a 20-30 season, and the Statcast numbers back that up as he ranked in the 92nd percentile for max exit velo and 100th for sprint speed. Some room for growth with his defense and chase rate means the 22-year-old is by no means finished developing.

SS: Jeremy Peña, Astros
136 G, .253/.289/.426, 22 HR, 2 3B, 20 2B, 63 RBI, 72 R, 11 SB

The Astros overcame the loss of Carlos Correa and kept chugging to another AL West title because Peña was so solid in his debut season. His speed and defense at the six are already top-notch and could make the Maine alum a key piece of future Houston contenders.

OF: Julio Rodríguez, Mariners
132 G, .284/.345/.509, 28 HR, 3 3B, 25 2B, 75 RBI, 84 R, 25 SB

Rodríguez debuted on Opening Day. The Mariners ended their 21-year postseason drought. Coincidence? Almost certainly not. The 21-year-old’s power came as advertised, and he even surprised more than a few with his speed and ability to develop into a bonafide center fielder.

OF: Michael Harris II, Braves
114 G, .297/.339/.514, 19 HR, 3 3B, 27 2B, 64 RBI, 75 R, 20 SB

It’s hard to imagine now, but Harris still has never seen Triple-A. The Braves called him up from Mississippi on May 28, and by using improved pop and his trademark stellar center-field defense, Harris locked down the middle of the grass, earning himself an eight-year, $72 million extension along the way.

OF: Steven Kwan, Guardians
147 G, .298/.373/.400, 6 HR, 7 3B, 25 2B, 52 RBI, 89 R, 19 SB

Kwan mixed elite strikeout, whiff and chase rates with Gold Glove-quality left-field defense to become a key contributor for the AL Central winners all season long.

DH: Vinnie Pasquantino, Royals
72 G, .295/.383/.450, 10 HR, 10 2B, 26 RBI, 25 R, 1 SB

True to his Minor League form, Pasquantino walked more times (35) than he struck out (34) and still managed to show good power from the left side. He should be a factor in the middle of the KC lineup for a long time.

SP: Spencer Strider, Braves
131 2/3 IP, 11-5, 2.67 ERA, 45 BB, 202 K, 1.00 WHIP, .180 BAA

If Harris doesn’t win the NL Rookie of the Year award, it’ll be because Strider took it instead. The 23-year-old right-hander rode an elite upper-90s fastball to strike out 38 more batters than any other rookie hurler this season.

SP: Joe Ryan, Twins
147 IP, 12-8, 3.55 ERA, 47 BB, 151 K, 1.10 WHIP, .211 BAA

Ryan led all rookies in innings pitched and was a steady presence in the Twins rotation, thanks to his low-90s fastball (called an invisiball during his Minor League days) that he threw more than 60 percent of the time in the Majors.

SP: Nick Lodolo, Reds
103 1/3 IP, 4-7, 3.66 ERA, 39 BB, 131 K, 1.25 WHIP, .235 BAA

Lodolo combined with Second Teamers Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft to form a youth movement in the Cincinnati starting pitching corps. His low-80s curveball played best right away, generating whiffs on 46 percent of batters' swings against it.

SP: Reid Detmers, Angels
129 IP, 7-6, 3.77 ERA, 46 BB, 122 K, 1.21 WHIP, .231 BAA

Detmers’ May 10 no-hitter against the Rays was a rookie highlight of the entire season, and his 129 innings on the season were third-most among Halos pitchers behind Shohei Ohtani (166) and Patrick Sandoval (148 2/3).

SP: George Kirby, Mariners
130 IP, 8-5, 3.39 ERA, 22 BB, 133 K, 1.21 WHIP, .264 BAA

A control king in the Minors, Kirby stuck to his bread and butter at the top level and finished in the 96th percentile with his 4.1 percent walk rate, allowing him to eat innings for much of the summer following his May 8 debut.

RP: Alexis Díaz, Reds
63 2/3 IP, 7-3, 10 SV, 1.84 ERA, 33 BB, 83 K, 0.96 WHIP, .131 BAA

The 26-year-old right-hander may get some well-deserved down-ballot Rookie of the Year votes after using the high spin rates on his fastball and slider to great effect out of the Cincy bullpen.

RP: Félix Bautista, Orioles
65 2/3 IP, 4-4, 15 SV, 2.19 ERA, 23 BB, 88 K, 0.93 WHIP, .167 BAA

Bautista led all rookies in saves, beating out Dany Jimenez (11) in second. With his 99.2 mph average fastball and already iconic Omar whistle entrance, he should be Baltimore’s closer for the club’s upcoming window of contention.

C: MJ Melendez, Royals
129 G, .217/.313/.393, 18 HR, 3 3B, 21 2B, 62 RBI, 57 R, 2 SB

1B: Jose Miranda, Twins
125 G, .268/.325/.426, 15 HR, 25 2B, 66 RBI, 45 R, 1 SB

2B: Christopher Morel, Cubs
113 G, .235/.308/.433, 16 HR, 4 3B, 19 2B, 47 RBI, 55 R, 10 SB

3B: Emmanuel Rivera, D-backs/Royals
102 G, .233/.292/.409, 12 HR, 3 3B, 16 2B, 40 RBI, 46 R, 1 SB

SS: Oneil Cruz, Pirates
87 G, .233/.294/.450, 17 HR, 4 3B, 13 2B, 54 RBI, 45 R, 11 SB

OF: Jake McCarthy, D-backs
99 G, .283/.342/.427, 8 HR, 3 3B, 16 2B, 43 RBI, 53 R, 23 SB

OF: Oscar Gonzalez, Guardians
91 G, .296/.327/.461, 11 HR, 27 2B, 43 RBI, 39 R, 1 SB

OF: Seiya Suzuki, Cubs
111 G, .262/.336/.433, 14 HR, 2 3B, 22 2B, 46 RBI, 54 R, 9 SB

DH: Bryson Stott, Phillies
127 G, .234/.295/.358, 10 HR, 2 3B, 19 2B, 49 RBI, 58 R, 12 SB

SP: Hunter Greene, Reds
125 2/3 IP, 5-13, 4.44 ERA, 48 BB, 164 K, 1.21 WHIP, .222 BAA

SP: Edward Cabrera, Marlins
71 2/3 IP, 6-4, 3.01 ERA, 33 BB, 75 K, 1.07 WHIP, .177 BAA

SP: Roansy Contreras, Pirates
95 IP, 5-5, 3.79 ERA, 39 BB, 86 K, 1.27 WHIP, .225 BAA

SP: Braxton Garrett, Marlins
88 IP, 3-7, 3.58 ERA, 24 BB, 90 K, 1.25 WHIP, .254 BAA

SP: Graham Ashcraft, Reds
105 IP, 5-6, 4.89 ERA, 30 BB, 71 K, 1.42 WHIP, .281 BAA

RP: Jhoan Duran, Twins
67 2/3 IP, 2-4, 8 SV, 1.86 ERA, 16 BB, 89 K, 0.98 WHIP, .207 BAA

RP: Brock Burke, Rangers
82 1/3 IP, 7-5, 0 SV, 1.97 ERA, 24 BB, 90 K, 1.06 WHIP, .211 BAA

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