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Top 5 MLB rookies making strides in 2022 

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs
Adrian Dorney

Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Aaron Judge are all former MLB Rookie of the Year winners. We all know how their careers turned out. With the 2022 season beginning to take shape, some teams are relying on players who were virtually unknown in the baseball world a few short years ago.

Here are the top five rookies in baseball to keep an eye on this season and very likely beyond.

Top 5 MLB rookies making strides in the 2022 season

#5 Spenser Torkelson, Detroit Tigers

It is an indisputable fact that the Detroit Tigers are not the team they once were. Miguel Cabrera is getting older by the day, and modern legends like Justin Verlander and Curtis Granderson are long gone. However, out of the rubble of the rebuild comes Spenser Torkelson.

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Torkelson is just 22 and was selected first overall by the Tigers in 2020. At 6'1" and 220 lbs, the first baseman packs a punch. Torkelson has four home runs and 10 RBIs this year. His batting average, however, is lagging at just .173. Torkelson is very young and could well lead the Tigers to their first American League Central pennant since 2014 in the coming years.

#4 MacKenzie Gore, San Diego Padres

Does a team that features both Joe Musgrove and Yu Darvish in their rotation need extra pitching depth? Of course. Luckily, the San Diego Padres have been showcasing the skillset of left-hander MacKenzie Gore. Gore, who recently turned 23, was drafted out of high school third overall by the Padres in 2017.

MacKenzie Gore & The Ripper...Gore. 🔪Just a whole lotta gore. https://t.co/zD4UgLZo3b
"MacKenzie Gore & The Ripper...Gore. Just a whole lotta gore." - @ Rob Friedman

So far this season, Gore has posted an ERA of just 2.17 in five starts and 12 innings pitched. Although there have been many horror stories of young promising pitchers falling from grace, Gore looks like he might just be the real deal.

#3 Reid Detmers, Los Angeles Angels

Although young leftie Reid Detmers started five games for the Angels in 2021, going 1-3 with an ERA of 7.4, he is still classified as a rookie under MLB rules this season. Thankfully for Detmers and the LA Angels, he has pulled up his socks and looks poised to have a much better 2022.

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In late April, Detmers pitched the first no-hitter of his young career against the Tampa Bay Rays, becoming the youngest player to throw a no-no since Annibal Sanchez did so in 2006. The performance gained praise from none other than teammate Mike Trout, who tweeted of Detmer's performance: "What a show!"

#2 Jeremy Pena, Houston Astros

When Carlos Correa departed the Houston Astros this past offseason for the Minnesota Twins, the Astros were desperate for a shortstop worthy of filling Correa's shoes. Fortunately for Dusty Baker's team, it seems that they have found one. Jeremy Pena, who is just 24, has stepped into the Astros' middle infield in a big way.

Baseball is the best.Jeremy Peña hits his first career home run during a live interview with his parents during the at-bat. https://t.co/GWE6IfiIRT
"Baseball is the best. Jeremy Peña hits his first career home run during a live interview with his parents during the at-bat." - @ Houston Astros

Pena has seven home runs and 21 RBIs in 32 games this season. He hit his first homer during the second game of the season while his parents were being interviewed live. Be sure to watch out for what Pena and second baseman Jose Altuve do for the Astros this season and beyond.

#1 Seiya Suzuki, Chicago Cubs

Seiya Suzuki, who played for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp in the Japanese NPB for five years, has arrived in the MLB. After a great amount of speculation as to which team he would join, Suzuki settled on the Chicago Cubs.

Seiya Suzuki has landed.His first @MLB home run has not. https://t.co/J1JxctAWj0
"Seiya Suzuki has landed. His first @MLB home run has not." - @ Chicago Cubs

The move seems to be working out well. So far this season, Suzuki has four home runs and 18 RBIs in 34 games. Not being able to join the MLB until the age of 27 due to a rule governing the NPB and MLB's exchange of players, Suzuki could be the oldest Rookie of the Year in awhile.


Edited by Jodi Whisenhunt

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