When exceptional talent meets opportunity and hard work, extraordinary things can happen. This year, the MLB saw two exceptional young players rise to the top and earn the prestigious Rookie of the Year award. Corbin Carroll of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Gunnar Henderson of the Baltimore Orioles made their mark on the league, not only with their impressive performances but also by becoming the fifth set of unanimous winners in the history of this prestigious award. In this article, we will delve into the incredible journeys of Carroll and Henderson and celebrate their achievements.
At just 23 years old, Corbin Carroll showcased his immense talent on the field, leaving fans and critics in awe of his capabilities. With a batting average of .285, an on-base percentage of .362, and a slugging percentage of .506, Carroll proved to be a force to be reckoned with. He hit an impressive 25 home runs and stole 54 bases, establishing himself as one of the most dynamic players in the league. Carroll’s remarkable season was acknowledged not only with the Rookie of the Year Award but also with his anticipated high placement in the National League Most Valuable Player voting. He played a significant role in leading the Diamondbacks to the playoffs, where they made their first World Series appearance in over two decades.
Gunnar Henderson, the 22-year-old shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles, left an indelible mark on the league with his combination of power and defensive prowess. Henderson played an instrumental role in leading the Orioles to a remarkable 101-61 season and an American League East title. His 28 home runs, 82 RBIs, and 100 runs scored positioned him as one of the top performers among shortstops. Henderson’s ability to seamlessly transition from third base to his natural position at shortstop showcased his versatility and adaptability. Not only did he contribute significantly to the Orioles’ success, but he also became the team’s first Rookie of the Year since 1989.
Carroll and Henderson joined an elite group of players who achieved unanimous Rookie of the Year honors. The last time this occurred was in 2017 when Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger took home the awards. Other notable seasons with two unanimous winners include 1997, 1993, and 1987. These exceptional players etched their names in baseball history and left an enduring legacy.
In a showcase game of the best high school baseball players, Carroll and Henderson exhibited their remarkable skills before even reaching the major leagues. The Under Armour All-American Game in 2018 at Wrigley Field featured Carroll, Henderson, and other remarkable talents such as Bobby Witt Jr. and Anthony Volpe. Little did they know that their paths would cross again in the professional leagues, where they would leave an indelible mark.
To discourage service-time manipulation, the players’ union advocated for the Prospect Promotion Incentive. This incentive rewards teams whose highly ranked prospects make an impact in the major leagues early in their careers. Both the Diamondbacks and the Orioles will receive an additional first-round pick in the 2024 draft, thanks to the exceptional performances of Carroll and Henderson. This incentive not only benefits the teams but also serves as a testament to the incredible potential and impact these players have demonstrated.
As rookie players, both Carroll and Henderson demonstrated maturity, determination, and unwavering drive. Despite the challenges and pressures that come with navigating a major league season, both players remained focused and delivered outstanding performances consistently. Their ability to overcome adversity and thrive in high-pressure situations speaks volumes about their character and the promising careers that lie ahead.
The unanimous selection of Corbin Carroll and Gunnar Henderson as Rookie of the Year reaffirms their exceptional talent, hard work, and impact on the game. These two young superstars have provided a glimpse into the future of baseball and have left an indelible mark on the 2022 season. As they continue their careers, the Diamondbacks and the Orioles can look forward to the invaluable contributions and leadership Carroll and Henderson will provide. We congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition and eagerly anticipate the exceptional accomplishments that lie ahead for these two rising stars.