MLB Way-Too-Early 2022 ROY Watch

Story posted April 17, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Bourandas

The MLB season is already over a week in and with tons of top prospects having made their debuts, we could be in for a fun season in terms of the rookie of the year race.

Let’s take a look at some of the top first-year players so far.

Steven Kwan, OF, Cleveland Guardians

Let’s start out with arguably the biggest surprise in the early season.

Kwan opened up the year at a historic pace as he didn’t record his first swing and miss until Thursday.

The Guardians outfielder currently has a .455 batting average to go along with five RBIs.

Kwan is definitely someone to keep an eye out for as he continues to pace a Guardians offense that has surprised a lot of people so far.

Seiya Suzuki, OF, Chicago Cubs

Suzuki came over from Japan with high expectations after signing an $85-million dollar contract with the Cubs.

So far, Suzuki has definitely exceeded his early expectations. The MLB’s newest Japanese sensation is hitting .368 on the year with three home runs and 10 RBI.

That home run total ranks second in the National League as he’s helped keep the Cubs in pace with the St. Louis Cardinals so far in the NL Central.

Matt Brash, P, Seattle Mariners

Let’s talk about a rookie that’s been less talked about league-wide in the early going.

Brash won the fifth spot in the Mariners rotation and pitched great in his first start against a dominant Chicago White Sox team.

The 23-year old went 5.1 innings while striking out six batters and only allowing two runs in a losing effort.

For a first career start, Brash pitched well above expectations which is good enough to make this list especially with many top prospects struggling in the early going.

Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Kansas City Royals

Speaking of struggling prospects, the list wouldn’t be complete if the league's top prospect wasn’t discussed.

Witt Jr. has had a few bright moments but overall is only hitting for a .107 average with three RBIs during the first 28 at-bats of his career.

The shortstop has struck out in 10 of those at-bats as well as he has struggled to get on base.

It’s still very early in the 21 year-old’s career, but this has definitely not been what the Kansas City Royals were hoping for in the early going.

Logan Bourandas is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email