Saturday, March 25, 2023

Steven Kwan Caps Off A Thrilling Rookie Season With Major Award

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(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)


Moving runners around, contact-oriented offense, some occasional power, speed, and excellent defense.

Can you guess the MLB team?

We will help you: it’s the Cleveland Guardians, who almost made it all the way to the American League Championship Series with their unique brand of baseball.

Defense was actually a big part of the equation.

If Guardians pitchers have Austin Hedges, Andres Gimenez, Jose Ramirez, Steven Kwan and Myles Straw playing almost every day, they can rest easy knowing they will make routine plays and increase the odds of completing the most difficult plays.

Kwan, in particular, was incredibly impressive.

The thrilling rookie who captivated the MLB universe with his contact ability and plate discipline was recognized by the league for his stellar defense, too.

“2022 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Winner – Left Field – AL: Steven Kwan,” Rawlings Baseball tweeted.

Yes: the first-year player was so good with a glove on his hand that he earned the top fielding award the league gives away every year.


The Numbers Back Up His Award-Winning Defensive Performance

Kwan earned an incredible 21 Defensive Runs Saved, or DRS, and he also had 10 Outs Above Average, or OAA.

Those two are defensive metrics that evaluate different things: combining them helps us get a better understanding about a player’s fielding chops.

Kwan is, according to those stats, elite.

The eye test rarely fails, too, and we have seen Kwan cover a crazy amount of field in every fielding chance he has.

His arm is definitely not elite, but he more than makes it up with speed, range, and smart route running.

If we add Kwan’s offensive prowess (124 wRC+, 24 percent above average) we have ourselves a very valuable player.



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