The 2022 team awards for the Oakland A’s
After a long, painful season for A’s fans, the 2022 season is over. It was a disaster all around. Stars were traded in the offseason or at the deadline, leaving an inexperienced, cheap roster. There was still some good, but a lot of bad.
We’ll look at the team awards, both good and bad for this A’s team. Team MVP, Cy Young, most surprising, etc.
Team MVP: Catcher Sean Murphy
I mentioned Murphy in my ‘Every MLB Team’s MVP‘ post, but the point still stands. Murphy had his best season in 2022, and we await to see if he’ll win his second Gold Glove. Murphy ended up posting a strong .250/.332/.426 batting line in his 612 plate appearances, belting 18 homers and a team-leading 37 doubles. His defense continues to be a highlight behind the plate as well, leading to a 3.5 bWAR total that easily outpaced the next-best mark on the team. His three defensive runs saved along with his 869 putouts and 40 assists is why his glove is gold. He’ll most likely be traded between the offseason and next year’s deadline, but he’ll bring in a haul.
Most Surprising Player: SS Elvis Andrus
While Andrus isn’t even on the team anymore, he turned it around from his awful 2021 season. His .237/.301/.373 batting line in his 386 plate appearances was much better than in 2021, with eight homers and 24 doubles. His 96 OPS+ was the best it’s been since 2017 when he belted 20 homers and hit .297 with the Texas Rangers. Nothing was really expected from Andrus this year except being a clubhouse leader. While he was released by the A’s for the youth movement, he had an impact during his time here.
Cy Young: SP Cole Irvin
For the first time in his young career, Irvin’s ERA was below four, ending with a 3.98 ERA with 128 strikeouts and 36 walks in 181 innings. The strikeouts and innings pitched were career highs for Irvin. His final start of the season was a six-shutout performance with five strikeouts against the Angels. After only being the No. 5 starter last year, Irvin emerged as the team’s ace in 2022. He’ll most likely be back for 2023, which will give him a great chance to build off his career season.
Reliever of the Year: RP A.J. Puk
Puk started off the season hot. He cooled down but found a nice groove throughout the season. It was uplifting for the 6-foot-7 lefty, who hasn’t played a full season in his career yet. He was drafted as a starter, but injuries forced him into the bullpen. With his 99-plus mph fastball, Puk seems to be a great closing option for the team. In 66 innings, Puk had 76 strikeouts alongside a 3.12 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. While he still has command issues with is 23 walks, Puk limited hitters to a .217 batting average against him. He’s definitely in line to be next year’s closer.
Worst/Most disappointing Player: OF Cristian Pache
When the A’s traded Matt Olson to the Braves, the 23-year-old was one of the headliners. There have never been questions about his defense, but many wondered if he could hit. Well, this year proved that to be correct. He slashed .166/.218/.241 in his 260 plate appearances, hitting three homers and 18 RBIs. His -0.6 WAR was all from his atrocious hitting. Yes, Pache is still young and will get plenty of chances on a rebuilding team. Even in Triple-A, Pache didn’t really hit. It was better, with a .248 batting average. But so far, his defense is carrying him into a roster spot. He has time but has to figure it out soon.
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