Cleveland Guardians rookie Steven Kwan likely won’t win American League Rookie of the Year, but he has sure been making a good case for himself as of late.
He recently won AL Player of the Week, and now with 164 hits on the season, he has the most hits by a Cleveland rookie since Kenny Lofton in 1992 (who finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting that year).
With just one more hit, Kwan will match Max Alvis’ 1963 mark (165). And once he surpasses Alvis, it will put him behind Hal Trosky’s 206 hits as a rookie in 1934. So while Kwan won’t reach Trosky’s lofty rookie numbers, having the most hits by a Guardians rookie in nearly 90 years isn’t too shabby, either.
Kwan’s season includes a .302/.376/.403 line with six home runs, 51 RBIs, 19 stolen bases, 23 doubles, seven triples, a 126 wRC+, and Gold Glove-caliber defense in left. Even as a former fifth-round pick, he has likely surpassed all of Cleveland’s early expectations for him, and has become a major catalyst for the Central division champions.
And again, he might not be the AL’s Rookie of the Year, but just think – we say this all the time about José Ramírez, but where would this Guardians team be right now without Steven Kwan?