In what was a historic Rookie of the Year race, Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners and Michael Harris II of the Atlanta Braves took home the AL and NL honors, respectively.
Julio Rodriguez, AL Rookie of the Year
Rodriguez easily outpaced Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League. The 21-year-old Rodriguez received 29 of the 30 first-place votes (with Rutschman earning the lone other first-place vote) to become the fifth Seattle Mariners player to earn American League Rookie of the Year, as well as the fourth Dominican-born player to be given the honor.
Seattle now has two of the last three AL Rookies of the Year, with Kyle Lewis earning the award in 2020.
Rodriguez made his debut on April 8 and played in 132 games for the Mariners, helping them earn their first postseason appearance since 2001.
In a conference call with members of the BBWAA on Monday night, Rodriguez said the award and Seattle’s season combined for a special and memorable 2022.
“The work that I did in the offseason paid off,” Rodriguez said. “At this point of the year, I just feel really happy that everything we did and all of the preparation really paid off. I’m grateful for that.”
Michael Harris II, NL Rookie of the Year
On the National League side, it was a battle between a pair of Atlanta Braves teammates, with Harris earning 22 of the 30 first-place votes while Atlanta pitcher Spencer Strider grabbed the other eight.
Harris was the only NL player named on all 30 ballots, becoming the ninth Braves player to be given the honor and the first since Ronald Acuña Jr. in 2018.
Making his debut on May 28, Harris took over center field for the Braves and would go on to finish one home run shy of a 20-20 season, smacking 19 homers and swiping 20 bases. His 5.3 bWAR was the highest of any NL rookie, quite an accomplishment considering he spent the first two months of the season in the minors.
Harris told reporters on Monday night that the season’s progression from the minors to Rookie of the Year would have been “unrealistic” to have even considered as a realistic possibility before the 2022 campaign began.
“I feel like the whole season was unrealistic,” Harris said. “I was just going day to day, living in the dream. I guess I should look back and think how crazy the year was and how fast it went. I’m blessed to be in this position to get a huge award like this.”
A history-making Rookie of the Year race
Regardless of who finished first or second in the AL and NL, each of the top two Rookie of the Year vote-getters made history on Monday night. Thanks to the Collective Bargaining Agreement put in place at the start of the season, Rodriguez, Rutschman, Harris, and Strider each earned a full year of Major League service time by placing in the top two in RoY voting, marking the first time ever the award had such an impact on the player’s future as well.