There’s a new sheriff in town for the American League Central.
After the Chicago White Sox failed to defend their division title from a season ago, the Cleveland Guardians came out of nowhere and with no expectations to win the AL Central in 2022.
With stars such as Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber leading the way and being buoyed by young studs such as Andres Gimenez, Steven Kwan, Josh Naylor, and Triston McKenzie, the Guardians surprised everybody.
In fact, with an average age of 27, they are the youngest team in baseball and have a roster that is younger than a few minor league teams, with 16 players making their debuts this year.
They also have the fourth-lowest payroll in all of baseball.
The Cleveland Guardians are the youngest team in baseball.
With an average age under 27, their roster is younger than many minor league teams.
Their $66M payroll is the 4th-lowest in baseball.
Cleveland just won the AL Central with 16 rookie debuts this year — an MLB record. pic.twitter.com/NSbMr3bT6B
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) September 26, 2022
The New Kids On The Block
Talk about a young, upstart team.
The Guardians are exactly that.
This team had zero expectations entering the 2022 season.
It was a quiet offseason for the team once known as the Indians.
Even after claiming first place in the second half of the season, the Guards were quiet at the trade deadline.
But it didn’t matter.
They continued to overcome obstacles and the odds on their way to their first AL Central title since 2018.
The Guardians will likely slot in as the third seed in the American League and match up with whoever claims the third AL Wild Card spot, which is currently held by the Seattle Mariners.
The Guardians look dangerous heading into October.
A solid lineup, a solid pitching staff, and quality young players have turned them into a serious threat to win a title.
We’ll see if they can overcome even more odds once the postseason begins.
That’s typically what a young, upstart team does.NEXT: Steven Kwan Receives A Fitting Honor For The Week