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Designated hitter

Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MLB’s Top Players at every Position in 2022: Designated Hitter

Designated hitter
Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

MLB’s Top Players at every Position in 2022: Designated Hitter

We’ve covered catcher through right field in this series so far, now we get to look at some really good hitters. For our top players at every MLB position, we’ll shift our attention to the designated hitter position and their top performers of 2022.

1. Yordan Alvarez, Houston Astros

Yordaddy has been a powerhouse of his own in Houston. He ended the year with 37 home runs and 97 RBIs with a .306 batting average. His 6.8 WAR is the best of his career, even better than the 2019 season when Alvarez won Rookie of the Year. Beneath those elite numbers, Alvarez has also made significant strides in his walk rate (+ 5.9 percent) and strikeout rate (-5.6 percent). He’s only 25, so baseball fans better get used to Alvarez terrorizing the league for years.

2. Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

The story of the former MVP is pretty self-explanatory. His pitching performance was excellent, and his production at the plate was no different. Ohtani batted .273/.356/.519 with a career-high in doubles (30) and hits (160.) An insane 9.6 WAR for the 2022 season, and he puts him in a tight fight for MVP with Aaron Judge.

3. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

If it wasn’t for so many injuries, Harper would’ve had a chance for NL MVP. Regardless, he played very well in the 99 games he played this year. Harper was still able to hit 18 home runs and 65 RBIs, even with a partially torn UCL. He had a 145 OPS + and was able to make his seventh All-Star appearance. Oh, and he’s currently in the World Series for the first time and has been killing it all postseason long. This is a very good Phillies team and Harper has contributed all season.

4. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

The 42-year-old legend had the best season of his career in a while. The highlight for Pujols in 2022 was reaching 700 home runs, becoming the fourth player to reach the milestone. Overall, Pujols hit 24 home runs, the most since 2016. He batted .270 and only struck out 55 times in 109 games. It was also his first All-Star appearance since 2015. With the future Hall of Famer now retired, his final season was quite the memorable one.

5. Eloy Jiménez, Chicago White Sox

It’s a shame Jiménez can’t stay healthy. We’ve seen his potential, just like in 2019 when he hit 31 home runs. While he only played in 84 games this year, Jiménez was still able to put together a good offensive performance. He batted .295/.358/.500 with 16 homers and 54 RBIs. He turned in the best OPS+ of his young career with a 140. Jiménez just needs a healthy season. Even in under 100 games, he’s proven to be a good hitter, just needs to find consistency.

6. J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox

We didn’t see the same power numbers we usually see from Martinez. It was still a good offensive season, and it’s shocking he wasn’t traded at the deadline. Martinez batted .274, and while he only hit 16 homers, he had a career-high 43 doubles. Even at age 34, Martinez can still hit for high averages and score runs. The Mets should’ve traded for a guy like this, but their loss.

7. Daniel Vogelbach, New York Mets

With a 139 OPS+, six home runs, and 25 RBI in 55 games with the New York Mets, Vogelbach has quietly been one of the best pickups of this year’s trade deadline. Overall, he finished with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs, and a 125 OPS+ in 130 games. He was by no means the answer for the Mets DH hole, but that’s what they were left with, and he made the most out of the opportunity.

8. Trey Mancini, Houston Astros

It’s been an incredible journey back for Mancini who is now helping the Astros in their World Series run. He definitely had a better half with the Orioles this season than with the Astros. Mancini batted .268 with 10 home runs in 92 games with the O’s. With the Astros, Mancini only hit .176 in 51 games. Overall, Mancini still put together 18 home runs with a 101 OPS+ in 143 games. With a World Series set to begin for the Astros, Mancini will hope to get some at-bats.

9. J.D. Davis, San Francisco Giants

When the Mets shipped Davis off for Darin Ruf, they weren’t expecting it to slap them in the face. In 40 games for the Giants, Davis hit .263/.361/.496 with eight homers. His walk percentage rose since joining the Giants, going from 9.7% to 12%. Getting every day at-bats instead of a platoon is doing wonders for Davis, as Ruf forgot how to hit a baseball.

10. Luke Voit, Washington Nationals

Voit wasn’t happy when he was part of the Juan Soto deal, but his bat was still able to hit 20-plus homers. He hit 22 to be exact and had career-highs in RBIs (69) and doubles (22.) He’s still hitting the ball hard as well, as Voit has an average exit velocity of 90 mph. Voit still has another two years of arbitration, so if he can keep his power numbers up like in 2022, he could find himself back on the trade market.

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