Simeon Woods Richardson Emerges as Legitimate Rookie of the Year Candidate

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins have been dominating the diamond lately, securing victories in an impressive 15 out of their last 17 matchups. A major contributor to their success has been rookie pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson. In his first full season with the Twins, Woods Richardson has been making waves and earning praise for his standout performances on the mound.

Simeon Woods Richardson impressing many early

In the current season, Woods-Richardson has already made four starts on the mound, tallying up 20.2 innings pitched. What’s catching everyone’s eye is his standout ERA of 1.74 and his +1.0 strikeouts per inning, as a starter. Woods Richardson is quickly proving he could be a force to be reckoned on the bump for many years to come.

MLB insider Jim Bowden (The Athletic), recently released his rankings for the early-season Rookie of the Year race in the American League. After closely monitoring the performances over the first six weeks of the season, Bowden positioned Woods-Richardson as the sixth-best rookie in the AL.

Bowden ranks Woods-Richardson behind some of the most talented youngsters in the league, including A’s pitcher Mason Miller, Tigers outfielder Wenceel Perez and multiple (three) new Red Sox.

Minnesota Twins have a young new weapon on the mound in Simeon Woods Richardson

In his article, Bowden points out that the Twins faced significant losses in their pitching roster last offseason, with players like Kenta Maeda and Sonny Gray departing. However, he highlights how Woods Richardson has emerged as a crucial figure, stepping up to fill a vital role for the team.

6. Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP, Twins

Age: 23
Height: 6-3 Weight: 210

With Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda departing in free agency and trade acquisition Anthony DeSclafani undergoing season-ending surgery, Woods Richardson has stepped into the Twins rotation and delivered. He’s posted a 1.74 ERA over four starts, striking out 21 and walking just five in 20 2/3 innings. The former Blue Jays prospect, who was acquired in the 2021 trade for José Berríos, is a strike-thrower with well-above-average extension. His most effective pitch has been his wipeout slider; opposing batters are hitting .172 (5-for-29) against it with only one extra-base hit.

Jim Bowden – The Athletic

With much of the season left to unfold, these rankings are subject to change as rookies continue to make their mark on the league. Woods Richardson was originally part of a package deal that brought him and Austin Martin to the Twins from Toronto, in the trade for Berrios.

Martin, who has also begun to show his potential in the team’s lineup this season. It appears that the Twins made a smart decision with the Berrios trade, at least judging by the early impact of these acquisitions.

Related: Mitch Garver Tells Royce Lewis to Only Run 85% So He Can Stay on Field for Minnesota Twins

Tomorrow, Woods-Richardson is set to pitch once more tomorrow, this time against his old team, the Toronto Blue Jays. It’ll be interesting to see if he can maintain the momentum he’s built up during his impressive rookie season.

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