CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar Rapids Manager Brian Dinkelman was named Midwest League Manager of the Year, and outfielder Kala’i Rosario was named an All-Star and selected as the league MVP as five Kernels were honored as part of the Midwest League postseason awards. Third baseman Tanner Schobel, designated hitter
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – Cedar Rapids Manager Brian Dinkelman was named Midwest League Manager of the Year, and outfielder Kala’i Rosario was named an All-Star and selected as the league MVP as five Kernels were honored as part of the Midwest League postseason awards. Third baseman Tanner Schobel, designated hitter Emmanuel Rodriguez and relief pitcher Miguel Rodriguez also took home league All-Star selections.
Manager Brian Dinkelman led Cedar Rapids to a league-best 82-50 record and to a Midwest League West title after winning the division in both the first and second halves of the regular season. In his four years as the Kernels manager, Cedar Rapids has been over .500 every season, in the postseason in all four years and in two Midwest League Championship series. In 2023, Dinkelman led the Kernels to a .621 winning % the team’s highest mark in 10 years.
Outfielder Kala’i Rosario led the Midwest League in both home runs with 21 and RBI with 94, 21 more than the next-highest hitter. Rosario became the first Kernel to record more than 85 RBI since 2016 and also finished in the top 10 in the league in SLG% (.467), OPS (.831), hits (112), doubles (27) and walks (75). Aside from his success at the plate, Rosario also added 13 outfield assists en route to becoming the second straight Kernel to win league MVP after Christian Encarnacion-Stand took home the award in 2022.
Prior to his promotion in mid-July, Cedar Rapids third baseman Tanner Schobel was on a tear in the Midwest League. Across his 77 games at the time of his promotion, Schobel was leading the Midwest League in home runs with 14, SLG% at .493 and total bases with 149. The former second-round selection was also top five in the league in batting average (.288), RBI (61), OPS (.859), hits (87), triples (5) and runs (53) while also being selected as the league player of the month in June before he joined double-A Wichita.
Cedar Rapids outfielder Emmanuel Rodriguez was selected as an All-Star as a designated hitter. In his 99 games in 2023, Rodriguez slashed .240/.400/.463 with 16 home runs and 55 RBI. His 92 walks were tied for the most in the league, and his OPS of .863 led all qualified hitters. The Twins' no.3 prospect finished top ten in the Midwest in triples (9), SLG% (.463), OPS (.400) and home runs (16). Rodriguez also stole 20 bases and finished the regular season on a 23-game on-base streak, the longest by any Kernel in 2023.
Miguel Rodriguez was one of the most dominant bullpen weapons in the Midwest League prior to his early August promotion. In his 33 Cedar Rapids outings, Rodriguez held a 2.85 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 41 innings, compared to just 11 walks. Rodriguez’s 14 saves led the league and were two more than any other pitcher while being the most for a Kernels reliever since 2017.