As we at DRaysBay hope you are all aware, today is Election Day in the United States. We hope you are researching your ballots for candidates and questions, and finding time to get out there and vote!
To commemorate the day, every season’s discussion of who the “Team MVP” might have been is robust and even voted on locally, so here’s your chance as well.
Who was the team MVP of the 2022 Rays?
I’ll provide some candidates for discussion here and then we’ll use the comment and +1 system akin to our process for Rays prospect voting each offseason.
The Rays leader in overall offensive performance with 3.8 WAR and 146 wRC+ as the primary third baseman, Yandy Diaz appeared in 137 games (second only to Randy Arozarena) and carried the offense. His 14.0% BB-rate was the best on the team, and his 10.0% strikeout rate was only just behind Wander Franco’s 9.6% over 344 PA. On split, his 142 wRC+ in the first half and 154 wRC+ second half prove how vital he was throughout the season.
Diaz ranked above the 90th percentile Avg. Exit Velocity, Max Exit Velocity, HardHit%, xwOBA, xBA, K%, BB%, Whiff%, and Chase Rate. It’s hard to have a better season than that, unless you’re into Home Runs and Stolen Bases... speaking of which!
Appearing in nearly every game for the Rays, R.A.N.D.Y. put up only the second 20/30/40 season in baseball in the last five years, and the first since Mookie Betts accomplished 20 HR, 30 SB, and 40 2B in 2018, making him a finalist for the Silver Slugger award in the American League (with winners to be announced Thursday). Randy made the move from his preferred left to right field to accommodate the addition of David Peralta at the trade deadline, and his 114 Max Exit Velo was in the top 6% of the league and helped push the Rays into the playoff run with a 197 wRC+ in August.
A Cy-Young candidate up until a shoulder impingement that removed only a couple starts on the season, Sugar Shane turned in 28 starts with a 2.54 ERA, 2.79 xERA, 3.00 FIP, and 2.60 xFIP, good for a team leading 3.5 WAR among pitchers. His 30.3% K-rate and 24.3 K-BB% was top among the Rays starters. For his efforts, he was named the American League starter in the All-Star Game.
The savior of the Rays rotation, Jeffrey Springs converted to starting mid-season and finished the year with a 2.46 ERA, 3.04 FIP, and 3.0 WAR among 33 appearances (25 starts), and maintained his place in the Rays rotation despite some health complications for his newborn child by balancing his workout and road schedule against trips to the hospital. Without Springs, do the Rays maintain their playoff projection?
The unexpected darling of the Rays bullpen, Adam emerged as the team’s top high leverage threat, with a 1.56 ERA/2.86 FIP in 67 appearances this season. Not surprisingly he tied the saves leader tally in the Rays bullpen with 8 and complimented that with 21 holds. His 63.1 IP was the most among the relief arms.
What say you? Let us know below, and don’t forget to vote IRL too!
If you haven’t voted yet, today is your last chance to participate in this election!— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) November 8, 2022
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