Cleveland Indians: 4 candidates for Cleveland’s most improved player in 2021

Cal Quantrill #47 of the Cleveland Indians / Cleveland Guardians (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Cal Quantrill #47 of the Cleveland Indians / Cleveland Guardians (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Indians, Amed Rosario
Amed Rosario #1 of the Cleveland Indians (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

Amed Rosario, SS, Cleveland Indians

Whether you consider the most improved award to be a season-to-season evaluation or over the course of a single season, Amed Rosario is a candidate and possibly the front-runner. Considered to potentially be the MVP of the 2021 Cleveland Indians as well, Rosario has been a bright spot for the club for most of the season.

Starting with the year-to-year, Rosario had a decent season in 2020 with the New York Mets. He slashed a respectable .252/.272/.371, but had just three doubles, a triple and four home runs over 46 games.

As for this year, Rosario used an incredible month of August to balloon his numbers to .285/.323/.413 with 22 doubles, an American League-leading six triples and 10 home runs over 129 games.

While the increase across the board is great, the most intriguing might be the rise in his on-base percentage. In 2020, Rosario drew just four walks, accounting for only 2% of his plate appearances. However, this season he’s drawn 27 for 5% of his plate appearances. That might seem like a small margin, but it’s proof that he’s being more patient in the box and finding his pitches to hit as well.

As for the in-season improvements, Rosario’s glove has come a long way this year. After logging seven errors through Aug. 1, Rosario has been error-free in the field for 32 straight games now. He gained confidence in August at the plate and perhaps it translated to the field as well. Whatever happened, he’s showing to be not only one of Cleveland’s most improved players this season, but one of the best overall.