Gunnar Henderson wins AL Rookie of the Year

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The Baltimore Orioles pulled off a remarkable turnaround in 2023. After finishing fourth in the AL East in 2022, they went on to a 101 division winning season. And the rookie player, Gunnar Henderson was at the center of it all.

Orioles’ Gunnar Henderson won AL Rookie of the Year

Henderson was named the American League Rookie of the Year on Monday after his stellar performance in 2023. He beat out Guardians pitcher Tanner Bibee and Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas for the honor.

Henderson won the award after hitting .255/.325/.489 with 28 home runs as a rookie. Those numbers give fans a glimpse of his potential but they don’t tell the whole story of his rookie season.

Henderson opened the year in great decline. The 22-year-old hit just .201/.332/.370 the first two months of the season. After starting the year in the middle of the Orioles batting order, Henderson was relegated to the bottom amid his struggles.

He found a degree in June. Henderson adjusted and hit .320 with six home runs that month. From June 2 through the rest of the season, he hit .276/.322/.535 with 23 home runs.

The Orioles showed full confidence in Henderson after his promotion in June. He moved to first or second in the batting order as the Orioles battled the Tampa Bay Rays for the division title down the stretch. He maintained his strong offensive performance while providing excellent defense for the Orioles at third base and shortstop.

Henderson finished the year with 4.6 fWAR, leading all rookies in the American League.

With the Orioles now on the map, Henderson will have even greater expectations heading into his second season in the big leagues. If he can build on his rookie year success, he will soon be in contention for MVP honors.

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