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2022 MLB Season
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5 Players Who Will Disappoint During The 2022 MLB Season

2022 MLB Season
Jon Durr/Getty Images

5 Players Who Will Disappoint During The 2022 MLB Season

Each year, the unpredictability of baseball takes it turn, and certain players outperform or underperform the expectations that fans have placed on them. I am not at all claiming that the players on list aren’t good, in fact, I still believe a couple of them could perform at an All-Star level. However, the general public’s expectations simply don’t line up with how I predict their production for the 2022 MLB Season.

Adam Frazier, Second Base & Outfield, Seattle Mariners

Frazier’s batting average from last season of .305 is impressive, but that’s sort of the only impressive thing one could name about Frazier last year, and even that deserves a deeper look. After a hot first three months that placed him in his first career All-Star game, Frazier cooled down a lot the second half of the season. After being traded to the Padres at the Trade Deadline to help give them a championship push, he joined the team-wide slump, with a miserable .662 OPS while on his new team. Looking back at Frazier’s career, he’s never stolen more than 10 bases in a season, achieved more than 50 RBI, or reached an .800 OPS, so people should tamper their expectations a little bit.

Jose Abreu, First Base, Chicago White Sox

Now at 35 years old, it seems to be the point in time where we’ll see Abreu’s production drop off a bit. The White Sox are as loaded with talent as ever, which will take weight off of Abreu’s shoulders as he navigates his mid-to-late 30s. After leading baseball in double-plays grounded into and batting a career-low average of .261, he seems to slowly be taking some steps backward. What could save him is the DH spot, which could become more and more useful as time goes on. Even if his hitting stats don’t decline, he will no longer be the face of the team when youngsters Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez take over the spotlight during the 2022 MLB Season.

Adam Wainwright, Pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals

Ok, so now he’s 40, turning 41 during the season. He must slow down now, right? This pick is more of me hoping Wainwright will finally follow logical progression and become less effective at an older age. He had been showing signs of slowing down from 2016 to 2019, with an ERA of 4.58 and just 7.6 strikeouts per 9 innings. 2020 and 2021 he’s looked back to his old self, but I’d caution fans against expecting him to keep this up for any longer. An ERA in the upper-3s-to-early-4s seems very likely for the veteran, who just pitched his last Cy Young-caliber season.

Lance Lynn, Pitcher, White Sox

I promise I don’t hate the White Sox, but when you’re a pitcher who relies tremendously on your velocity and are turning 35 during the season, you’re a prime regression candidate. Although I don’t see Lynn struggling tremendously at any point in the season, I won’t be surprised at all when he boasts an ERA in the mid-3s with a reduction in his strikeout rate. With arguably the best bullpen in baseball this year, the Sox could certainly limit Lynn’s outings, meaning he may not pile up the same stats as prior years. Although the talent will be there, don’t buy stock too high on Lynn for now.

Kevin Gausman, Pitcher, Blue Jays

Although many would say that Robbie Ray is the bigger regression candidate between the two, I think Gausman is the obvious pick. While Ray leads baseball all-time in strikeouts per 9 innings and received Cy Young Award votes back in 2017, Gausman simply doesn’t have that track record to give me confidence in him. Gausman finished the 2021 season with by far his three worst months, essentially losing the ace role to Logan Webb by the end of the season. Combining this with Gausman’s miserable past in every year he wasn’t in San Francisco, and I don’t have much hope for him in 2022.

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