The Kansas City Royals struggled in 2022, but they still had quite a few players who managed to stand out due to their stellar performances. On Thursday, it was announced that shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. and relief pitcher Scott Barlow are named as finalists for the 2022 edition of the All-MLB Team.
The All-MLB Team, presented by Church & Dwight, has been in place since 2019 and is designed to commemorate the best players during the regular season. Winners will be chosen after votes from fans and panelists alike are counted from Nov. 10-Nov. 22, and those first-place finishes will be announced on MLB Network on Dec. 5.
This year, Witt is one of 10 shortstops to serve as a finalist for the award and is one of two rookies in the race at his position. The 22-year-old slashed .254/.294/.428 with 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 150 games as a first-year player. Witt's raw power and athleticism were put on display all season long and while he didn't make the cut for American League Rookie of the Year finalists, this nomination serves as a reminder of how special his rookie campaign was.
Barlow is one of 22 relief pitchers to be named a finalist. This past season, the veteran set career bests in saves (24), ERA (2.18) and wins (seven). He posted a 1.50 ERA at home, which was the best among all pitchers in Major League Baseball. Even as his 30th birthday draws near, Barlow is chugging along as strong as ever and projects to remain arguably the biggest piece of Kansas City's bullpen moving forward.
Carter Jensen Named Carolina League All-Star
In other Royals news, No. 13 prospect Carter Jensen was named a Carolina League All-Star for his great season. In 113 games with the Class-A Columbia Fireflies, Jensen slashed .226/.363/.382 with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs. He also finished among the top 10 players in the league in walks (third with 83) and doubles (seventh with 24). Per the Royals' official release and FanGraphs, Jensen became the first 18-year-old player to record 10 or more home runs and at least 80 walks in a minor league season since that data tracking became available in 2006.