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Guardians Gold Glover Leads the AL in Batting Average, Leads MLB in Hits

The Cleveland Guardians are surprising many teams and they are on a roll of late. But don’t look now, as Steven Kwan leads the American League with a .386 batting average. Anthony Volpe of the New York Yankees is behind Kwan, who’s hitting .372. Kwan is also leading all batters in the majors with 22 hits. Will Smith and Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Dodgers are right behind him with 21 hits a piece. Kwan, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, is certainly making a case for an All-Star-like campaign.

Steven Kwan Just Keeps on Hitting

Cleveland’s leadoff hitter has a slash of .386/.397/.526 through the first 12 games of the season. Kwan has said that his approach was to “Be aggressive, spoil some pitches, see what happens, and put the ball in play.” That game plan has clearly helped the former Rookie of the Year finalist. Kwan also has a solid WAR of 0.9. Manager Stephen Vogt knows how important Kwan is to the team saying:

“What Kwan means to the top of this lineup and to help our team in general, you can’t say enough about, Vogt said. “He got us going to start the season.”

According to Stathead, the left fielder tied a Cleveland franchise record with his fourth three-hit game in the team’s first ten games of the season. Kwan is the sixth hitter to accomplish the feat as he’s the first since former catcher and current Guardians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr..Five other players to reach the mark for the club are Reggie Jefferson, Lyn Lary, Tris Speaker and Bill Bradley.

Kwan is Poised for a Breakout Year

Making his debut in 2022, Kwan has a career total of 41 stolen bases. In 2022, he also finished the year with the second-best swinging strike rate in all of baseball at 3.1 percent. With everything he’s done so far in his career, he’s posted for a breakout campaign. Despite not being known as a power-hitter, he only has 11 home runs and slugged .384 in his career. Yet his tremendous contact ability along with his speed helps him add more pop to his game.

Kwan appears to be the whole package, as he also has speed. He’s surely a hot ticket player, and it will be exciting to see what numbers he will put up for the rest of the season. He’s certainly a valuable player and asset to the Guardians and represents exciting young talent. His impressive 2022 rookie season is looking like the one he’s having now. Could he go from an impressive rookie to being a contender for MVP? His consistency as a performer and defensive asset has made him an appealing player in the majors.

Main Photo: © Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK


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