The 2022 Dodgers have been one of the most dominant teams in MLB history.
Entering this season, L.A.’s lineup stacked up among the greatest ever. They were expected to be great, and somehow exceeded those expectations.
Through 142 games, the Dodgers are 98-44 with a run differential of +318. They’re on pace to shatter both the franchise record in wins (106) and run differential (+273).
But while the dominance was expected, it didn’t come with a lack of surprises.
Which Dodger Player has surprised you the most this year? Good or bad pic.twitter.com/nhu9X5AuCC
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) September 14, 2022
Dodger fans took to Twitter to share their biggest surprises and disappointments of the 2022 season. Let’s start with some good:
Trayce Thompson , Andrew Heaney
— sleepygxbe (@gxbecapalot) September 14, 2022
You can’t talk about the biggest surprises of 2022 and not start with Trayce Thompson. Thompson, who the Dodgers acquired from the Tigers in June, has been one of the teams’ best and most consistent hitters of the season. He’s hitting .273 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in 165 at-bats, and should play a big role come postseason time. He’s been the number one feel-good story of the year, and has surprised just about everyone — even his manager!
Trayce Thompson may go down as one of the best midseason acquisitions ever, especially for what the Dodgers got him for. By sending cash considerations to the Tigers, LA got a .300 hitter who dominates right-handed pitching, hits home runs and gets even better in big moments.
— Noah Camras (@noahcamras) September 5, 2022
As for Heaney, the Dodgers signed him in the offseason to a one-year, $8.5 million prove-it deal. He entered this year with a career 4.72 ERA and, despite some second-half struggles, has been one of the best starters on the team. While he’s struggled with the home run ball as of late, he’s still contributed much more than expected this season.
Ty Anderson, Gavin Lux
— Matt Williams ? (@choc_will) September 14, 2022
Tyler Anderson is a similar story to Heaney. He entered this season with a career 4.62 ERA, and was signed to a one-year prove-it deal in the offseason. This year, he’s turned into one of the best starters in all of baseball, with a 15-3 record and a 2.62 ERA. He was even named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
As for Gavin Lux, he was entering a potential make-or-break season after struggling to find a rhythm in his first three. When the Dodgers elected not to re-sign Corey Seager, all the pressure fell on Lux to contribute as an everyday infielder — and that’s exactly what he’s done. Lux is slashing .293/.368/.428 this year with six home runs, 42 RBIs and a tied-for-league-high seven triples. He’s been one of the most consistent hitters on the team all year.
Now let’s visit some of the bad:
Bellinger. I want my MVP back.
— Eric Lee (@batflip42) September 14, 2022
I think most Dodger fans would agree Cody Bellinger has been one of the biggest disappointments this year. After struggling last season due to offseason shoulder surgery, 2022 was supposed to be the year he returned to MVP form. He hasn’t. He’s struggled to hit the ball and is nearing a career-high in strikeouts. His extraordinary defense in centerfield has kept him in the lineup for now, but his .200 average may have him on quite the short leash come postseason time.
Walker Buehler’s season was a surprising disappointment. After last season, expected him to be the ace in 2022.
— Juan Carlos Ruiz (@jcruiz33) September 14, 2022
Walker Buehler is another top candidate for biggest disappointment of 2022. Buehler was expected to be the ace of this staff, and was a preseason favorite to win the NL Cy Young. Instead, he played in just 12 games, finished with a 4.03 ERA, and was sidelined with an injury that turned out to be much more serious than initially thought. After getting Tommy John surgery, he’s not expected to be back until the end of next season at the earliest.
But since this season has been mostly good, let’s end it on one more positive:
Plenty of great stories but damn it’s Freddie. We knew he was great but seeing him every game is amazing. Pure class and professional hitter. Way better than advertised
— Rhyno (@whiterhyno82) September 14, 2022
This may be my favorite answer. Coming into the year, we all knew how good Freddie Freeman was. But getting to watch him on an every day basis just proved how much better he is than just about everybody else in the league. Freeman has been one of the Dodgers’ MVPs of the season, and has a real shot to win the NL MVP award. He’s been a huge difference-maker for the team this season and could be the missing piece that helps them capture another World Series title. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching Freddie for the next five seasons.
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