We present Steven Kwan, your new favorite baseball guy

Open your lists, my friends, and prepare to add a name, for I’ve found your new favorite baseball guy. His name is Steven Kwan, he is a 24 year old rookie outfielder and he rules. He rules enough that I do not even feel so bad here that he plays for the sick Cleveland Guardians.

Kwan was added to Cleveland’s opening day list for the 2022 season after his first spring training in major leagues. Right away, you think it’s because the Guardians do not intend to be good. And sure, maybe a team willing to spend within $ 85 million of the league’s average salary would not have an outfield spot available for a guy with 32 total spring games on his resume. That is not the concern of this blog! In addition, Kwan went 15-for-32 in spring training with twice and no strikeouts because his ability to put his bat on any lane is downright freakish.

How crazy? How about this: Kwan, playing the first four games of his big league career, have contacted everyone of his first 26 fluctuations of the season. And this is not bad contact: Kwan is not much of a dinger-smasher, but he has already had nine hits, including two doubles and a triple, in 19 record appearances. And when he’s not hitting the ball all over it and hovering it for extra bases, he shows patience and selectivity like a clever old veteran: Kwan went five times in Cleveland’s opening series, good for the second most in majors. Here’s Kwan smoking a base-clearing triple in Sunday’s 10-7 win over Kansas City:

Your gear is turning now. Nine hits plus five times in 19 record appearances… are you telling me that this man came on base 14 times in four matches with a 0.737 on-base percentage ??? No, I’m not telling you! Kwan was also hit by a pitch on Saturday. I’m telling you this man came on base 15 times in four matches, with a .789 at base percentage. I’m also telling you that he’s hitting .692 and dropping 1,000, and that according to ESPN, his 15 fights on base during his first four career fights are the most for any major player since at least 1901.

The sample size is vanishingly small, but we are not here to predict greatness for Steven Kwan. We are here to say that we would gladly lie down in front of a steam drum and let it crush us flatter than a pancake as a show of devotion to this young hero. And in any case, what he does to pitch in major leagues is not completely out of character. MLB has a prospect report on Kwan noting his “disciplined approach” [check]”creepy hand-eye coordination” [check]and “elite contact skills” [hell yes], and projects him as “a leadoff type who can deliver high on-base percentages.” Someone buys it scout a damn beer! Kwan’s manager, Terry Francona, noted that “there are a lot of players who are developing people who have their breasts out right now as they should,” after Kwan’s crazy, unprecedented start. No shit! If I had profiled young Kwan as a future OBP animal with an “eerie” contact-striking ability, I would right now be marching around my city’s main street wearing a giant velvet closet and a crown on my head.

For me, the absolute most exciting thing is baseball can burp up in the era of three true outcomes, a fast guy who commands the strike zone and slams the ball all over the court. Baseball has more than enough beefmen with big uppercut turns, who strike out 100 times, but almost exclusively compensate for it with fly-ball rates. Give me a guy who never strikes out and who has a supernatural ability to line a ball through the court and the reels to stretch the shot to extra bases. Steven Kwan has hit 18 dingers in 1,700 record appearances over six years as a college and professional baseball player. Power is simply not part of his deal. But at all levels, he has managed to hit for a high average and an even higher on-base percentage because he is extremely good at identifying pitches and smashing them to places where there is no field player. To me, it’s a type of player that MLB desperately needs more of.

Kwan told Regular dealer he can still “not even think he’s standing here” as a member of a major league club and that his big start has “surpassed any fever dream I’ve ever had. I’m afraid I’ll wake up soon. This whole experience has been fantastic. ” That was before he went out Sunday and drove in the first three races of his career, personally accounting for five of Cleveland’s 10 races a day.The Guardians are now in Cincinnati for a series of two quick games before returning to Cleveland to their home opening on Friday, which means there’s still time for Cleveland’s people to plan and perform a parade in Steven Kwan’s honor, that’s the least they can do!

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