CLEVELAND — Steven Kwan is a man of many nicknames—King Kwan, Obi Kwan Kenobi, The Chosen Kwan—but no matter what you're calling him, you've probably given him a nickname for the same reason as the others—the young MLB outfielder is making history, batting in a way no one ever has to start their career.
Before Wednesday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, Kwan has faced 115 MLB pitches in his first five games in the majors. In those 115 pitches, Kwan never swung and missed. Not once.
Every strike that Kwan has notched has been a called strike, not a swinging strike, meaning statistically Kwan has never failed to make contact with a pitch if he swings at it. He boasts the record this season for the most swings this season without a miss.
Slashing .667/.750/.933, Kwan has also put his name in the record books for other hitting accomplishments. Since 1900, Kwan has tied the most times reaching base in a team's first five games of the season, with 18, joining Edgar Martínez who reached base 18 times in 2001 and Kal Daniels who reached base 18 times in 1988.
Reaching base 18 times in a team's first five games is impressive, but Kwan leads the league when it comes to the feat for a rookie, too. Kwan holds the record for most times on base in a player's first five career games since at least 1901.
What the rookie outfielder is doing is unprecedented. Even before his MLB debut, Kwan was showing off his elite hitting ability. Including Cactus League play before the season began, Kwan has not struck out since Sept. 26, 2021 when he was with Triple-A Columbus.
That's 76 times at the plate since his last strikeout.
Kwan is human—hard as that is to believe—so he will eventually swing and miss and he will eventually strike out. But to start off a career this way is something that the league has never seen at this rate before, and something Guardians fans are getting excited about.
And if Kwan continues to play at the level he is now, the nicknames will continue to roll in alongside the accolades.
Camryn Justice is a digital content producer at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Twitter @camijustice.
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