The Cleveland Guardians are having a stellar 2024 season so far behind the play of standout outfielder Steven Kwan.

The team is currently sitting on top of the American League Central with a 48-26 record after their 6-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday. After the game, Kwan explained why the Guardians are playing with confidence, per Bally Sports Cleveland:

Said Kwan, who went 2-4 with a home run to push his average up to .390, “We believe that all of our guys are going to go out and ball out.”

Kwan has been virtually unstoppable this season, but during the Guardians' win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, something happened that proved Kwan actually is human – he struck out.

Kwan went down swinging against Mariners starter Luis Castillo in the third inning, ending an MLB-leading streak of 44 straight plate appearances without a punchout, per Paul Hoynes of He went 1-for-3 with a double and a couple of runs scored on the afternoon.

For the season, Kwan has played like a ballplayer typical of the dead-ball era more than 100 years ago. The Guardians outfielder has struck out just 15 times while earning 19 walks.

The Oregon State product was originally selected by the Guardians in the fifth round of the 2018 MLB Draft. He made his big-league debut in 2022, slashing an impressive .298/.373/.400 with six homers and 52 RBI.

This season, Kwan is well on his way to his first career All-Star appearance.

Steven Kwan leading Guardians to top of AL Central

Cleveland Guardians left fielder Steven Kwan (38) and right fielder Will Brennan (17) celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field
© David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Guardians have exceeded expectations so far during the 2024 season. The team did not necessarily have a lot of believers after failing to make any notable moves in free agency and missing the postseason in 2023. Additionally, losing ace Shane Bieber early in the '24 season to Tommy John surgery did not help those expectations from outside the organization.

But Kwan and Jose Ramirez have excelled as Cleveland has extended a 7.5 game lead in the American League Central division.

Ramirez been a major run generator for the Guardians. On the season, the third baseman has hit .271 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI. Cleveland recently reactivated Ramirez from the paternity list and optioned No. 2 overall prospect Kyle Manzardo to Triple-A.

Manzardo, a 23-year-old first baseman, trails only outfielder Chase DeLauter in the Guardians' prospect rankings, per The left-handed slugger was acquired in the Aaron Civale trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2023. Cleveland has needed offensive weapons in recent years and Manzardo projected to be a reliable Major League hitter.

His pure hit-tool and power both graded well among prospects. He is still developing other areas of his game, but the hitting ability is present. However, Manzardo struggled through his first taste of MLB action.

The Guardians next take on the Blue Jays in a matinee game on Sunday.