MLB rookie seasons can reach uncharted territory. It’s an annual glimpse into the future, watching impressive youngsters who can impact baseball down the road. These rookies are a special select few who are in the 25-home run 20-steals club. It’s a club that’s rarely heard of, but one of importance for many reasons. They have gone on win Rookie of the Year honors, and enjoy All-Star seasons while some are without a true playoff run or championship title. But, we can look back just to appreciate how good these rookies were in their debut seasons. It’s just fun to look back and see how it all began for these four players.
MLB Rookies with 25 Home Runs, 20 Steals
30 HR, 22 SB, 1997
The Boston Red Sox shortstop rewrote franchise records and major league ones too. Garciaparra made his debut in 1996, but 1997 was a different story. He hit .306 with 30 home runs, 98 RBI, 122 runs, and 22 steals. His 209 base hits became a Red Sox rookie record. Then, he set major league records for the most RBI by a leadoff hitter and the most homers by a rookie shortstop. He became not only a household name but one of the best rookie seasons in Red Sox and significant league history. Because of his unbelievable stat lines, Garciaparra won the AL Rookie of the Year unanimously.
32 HR, 27 SB, 2007
Chris Young was acquired in a trade from the Chicago White Sox. He began the 2007 season as the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ everyday center fielder. Young set a Diamondbacks rookie record when he hit his 23rd home run of the campaign. He also became the eighth rookie to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases. He capped off his season by leading all NL rookies with 27 stolen bases. His 32 home runs were second among NL rookies behind Ryan Braun. Among other stats, Young was second among rookies with 64 extra-base hits, 569 at-bats, third with 85 runs, and fifth with 68 RBI.
30 HR, 49 SB, 2012
Trout’s 2012 campaign was something else, batting .326 with 30 home runs, 49 stolen bases, and 83 RBI. He broke a Los Angeles Angels franchise and AL rookie record when he crossed home plate in 14 straight games after scoring a run in a game. Then, his 30-game hitting streak set an AL rookie record while becoming the first player ever to hit 30 home runs, 45 stolen bases, and score 125 runs. His 10.5 WAR was something else since 13 position players in history have reached that plateau. The last center fielder to do it was Willie Mays in 1964.
28 HR, 25 SB, 2022
Seattle’s star outfielder topped off his epic rookie campaign in 2022. After going 1-for-21 with 12 strikeouts, Rodríguez went off. The Dominican native became the sixth player in Mariners history to join the 20-20 club. Rodríguez swiped for his 25th stolen base in a Mariners victory against San Diego. He topped it off with his 26th home run, becoming the third rookie in MLB history with a 25-25 season. He also became the fastest to reach 25 home runs and stolen bases in an MLB career by doing so in 125 games, surpassing Trout’s record of 128.
Photo Credit: © Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Julio Rodríguez, Mike Trout, Willie Mays, Chris Young, Ryan Braun, Nomar Garciaparra