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There are 121 players nominated for the 2022 MLB team. If you’ve been paying attention throughout the season, you might understand why everyone on that long list is worth considering. Only 32 people can advance to the first or second team, and fans can now vote for their favorites every 24 hours until November 22 at 5pm ET.
But get yourself back to the open house and recheck that list. Many players will still be considered top picks, but at the beginning of April, there are quite a few players who are not on most people’s minds. Yet, over six months of 162 games, those overlooked or unknown need your attention.
In fact, you can make a good starter with these types of players lineup, so that’s what we’re going to do. Here’s one player at every position on all MLB ballots this year that surprised us.
Catcher: Cal Raleigh , Mariners
as a prospect, Raleigh The Strength scored 60, and he showed that in the minors. He hit 29 homers at both levels in 2019 and 9 more in 44 games in Triple-A last year. But will this carry over to the major leagues? Raleigh, who had just two underballs in 139 at-bats with the Mariners in 2021, started his 2022 slump with 2-of-24 before being relegated back to the minors.
However, what happened when Raleigh returned to Seattle in May Variety. That power was on full display at the highest level when he played 26 times in his final 105 games. He eventually led all receivers to home runs last season (22), became a Seattle folk hero with his epic swing, took the Mariners to the playoffs and earned the game’s best nickname .
one Baseman: Nathaniel Lowe, Rangers
The Rangers added two huge players to their roster last winter, signing shortstop Corey Seager and second baseman Marcus Semien to strengthen their offense. However, in his second season with Texas, Lowe is the team’s best bat for 2022. And it’s not even close.
Southpaw leads the American League in multiple offensive categories, including hits (fourth, 179), total bases (sixth, 292), and OPS (eighth, 0.850). Lowe became the first player to score with 25 runs since Adrián Beltré in 2016. A Ranger with at least .300 bases, his 143 wRC+ is the best of any Ranger since Josh Hamilton (175) during the 2010 MVP campaign.
Lowe’s first season in Texas was good — average 0.264, 18 hours, 114 wRC+ – but his game has taken a major leap forward this year.
Second baseman: Andrés Giménez, Guardians
enters the season, Jimenez is best known as one of the players sent to Cleveland in the Francisco Lindor trade, and as a top-100 rookie, he hasn’t even gotten close to his ceiling as a player. Well, he broke that ceiling this summer.
On the plate, Jimenez ranks in hits (146), home runs Top five in hits (17), stolen bases (25), average (.297), slugging percentage (.466) and OPS+ (141). In the last two categories, he trailed only Jose Altuve.
Giménez has long been praised for his performance on the court, his ability Demonstrated, he finished second in defensive runs (16) and an above-average third in his position (13).
The 23-year-old’s overall performance earned him his third A Gold Glove and All-Star lineup. It also helped him get 7.4 bWAR, a full win over the second-best second baseman (Tommy Edman, 6.4).
Shortcut: Jerry M. Peña, Astros
Rookie phenomenon. playoff studs. Of course, we all know who Peña is now . But seven months ago, he was an unproven top prospect who needed to fill a chunk of space. Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick, Rookie of the Year, two-time All-Star and Houston World Series champion, trusted Peña to fill the void after he traveled to the Twins as a free agent
He immediately rewarded that trust as he carried 0.800+ OPS into Seven Moon and shined defensively. By the end of the season, Peña matched Correa with 22 homers in the same number of games while passing him with the glove. And that’s all before he, like Correa in previous years, underwent a major star turn in October.
Third base Hand: Brandon Drury, Padres
Drury’s career came to a crossroads this year. Yes, he had a good 21 years as a backup for the Mets, albeit a decent 0.783 OPS in 84 at-bats. But starting the 2017-20 season, Drury played for three teams, recording a .233/.283/.392 slash while dealing with multiple injuries.
Last March, he signed a one-term deal with the rebuilding Reds year, $700,000 contract. By midseason, he was significantly better than that trade. Even though he wasn’t selected for the Midsummer Classic, Drury’s 18 home runs and .528 batting average in the All-Star Game made him a decent performer among third basemen. Those two totals are only topped by Austin Riley, Rafael Devers and José Ramírez.
A few weeks later, Drury was traded to the Padres, even though he The bat wasn’t quite as loud in San Diego, but he ended up finishing at a career high, winning the silver bat and has positioned himself as a free agent this winter.
Designated batter : Albert Pujols, Cardinals
as a The feel-good story of a legendary player returning to his roots to end his career has turned into an incredible story of a future first-round Hall of Famer raging in the demise of his MLB glory.
Cardinal again for the first time since 2011, Puho Les looked like a 42-year-old in the first half this season, hitting .215 with a .676 OPS and six home runs through 149 at-bats.
A d then in his home run derby appearance or his 11th Somewhere between two All-Star games, Pujols discovered a way to turn back time some 15 years. He’s once again one of the most feared hitters in the sport as he hits 18 home runs with a .715 slugging percentage, 1.103 OPS and 206 wRC+. The only player better than that after halftime was AL MVP favorite Aaron Judge (min. 150 appearances).
Of course, on September 23rd, Puyols had two games at Dodger Stadium. The homer underscores Puyols’ revival, making him the fourth member of the 700 HR club.
Outfielder: Taylor Ward, Angels
Puyol Who was the best batsman in the opening months as he took over the second half of the season? Well, the subtitle throws the game out a bit, but it really is Ward. The same Tyler Ward averaged .230 in his first four years with just 15 homers and 479 at-bats with the Angels.
The 28-year-old got a late start due to injury, but once he was in Debuting on April 16, it’s nearly impossible for Ward to get away. By June, the Angels’ leading hitters were averaging 0.347 home runs and led MLB in on-base percentage (0.459) and slugging (0.686), just to name a few categories.
Ward calms down in final months, but he’s unexpected ‘s start is a testament to his status as an all-rounder – an MLB nominee.
Starting pitcher: Kai Al Wright, Warriors
Like the rest of the players on this list, Wright has the pedigree and a chance to make a breakout season; you just have to see it before you consider adding him to an all-MLB roster. The fifth overall pick in the draft five years ago enters the season with a career 6.56 ERA through 70 regular-season games. He played in just five innings in 14 career starts.
But this summer, when Ian Anderson faltered, Charlie Mo Dayton was beginning to show his age, and Wright was a rock in Atlanta’s rotation before Spencer Stryder was a Rookie of the Year nominee. He had a 3.19 ERA in 30 starts and 180 1/3 innings. His 55.6 touchdowns rank third among qualified starters, while Wright’s 2.65 walks per 9 is the lowest he’s ever had in pro ball at any level (minimum 30 innings pitched).
While wins are not a good measure of pitcher quality, Wright did become self-proclaimed The Braves were the first Braves to lead MLB to victory since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000. That’s still a cool note.
Backup pitcher: Egypt Vin Phillips, Dodgers
Considering the year-over-year changes in the position, there are plenty of all-MLB bench candidates worthy of the “surprise” label. But no one could have foreseen that Phillips’ season would be remembered.
In the 17th round of the 2015 draft, Phillips was in
University has an ERA of 5.07. He has a 6.68 ERA with the other three MLB teams he entered this year. His 2021 ERA in the minors is 5.04.
This year? 1.14 How about over 63 innings? Phillips made 46 appearances from June 1 through the end of the regular season, during which he scored a total of two runs and limited batters to an absurd 0.353 OPS.
The Dodgers made Phillips less reliant on his four-seam machine, And rely more on sliders in his approach. It all helped him become the best bullpen arm on arguably the best team in the regular season.