A Look at 6 of the Major Award Winners for the 2022 MLB Season
The 2022 Major League Baseball (MLB) season ended on November 6 as the Houston Astros won their second World Series in five years following a 4–1 Game 6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies to clinch the best-of-seven series between the champions of the American League (AL) and National League (NL). Astros infielder Jeremy Peña was named the World Series MVP after registering a .400 batting average with a home run, five runs scored, and three RBI. Peña, the first rookie position player to win the award, was also named MVP of the American League Championship Series.
MLB announced regular-season award winners following the conclusion of the World Series. The following is a look at the six winners of the AL and NL MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards.
1. Aaron Judge (AL MVP)
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge had one of the best seasons in MLB history in 2022 and was, unsurprisingly, voted AL MVP by a wide margin. Judge received 28 of 30 first-place votes and 410 total voting points. Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels finished second in voting with 280 points.
Judge, who won the AL MVP for the first time, broke the AL record for most home runs in a season with 62 and was just five batting average points away from winning the Triple Crown as the AL leader in home runs, batting average, and RBI. In addition to home runs and RBI (131), Judge led the AL in runs scored (133), walks (111), on-base percentage (.425), and slugging percentage (.686). Judge is the 14th player in Yankees history to win the AL MVP.
2. Paul Goldschmidt (NL MVP)
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt, 34, became the ninth-oldest player to win the MVP award in a closer vote than the one in the AL. Goldschmidt, a two-time runner-up for the award, received 22 of 30 first-place votes and led all players with 380 points. Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado finished second and third with 291 and 232 points, respectively.
A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Goldschmidt is a 12-year veteran who, in his fourth season with the Cardinals in 2022, recorded a .317 batting average to go along with 35 home runs and 115 RBI. He led the NL in slugging percentage (.578) and on-base plus slugging (.981).
“For me, I think that was my best year, even if you take out my age,” Goldschmidt said after winning the NL MVP. “When you start getting older, you’re thinking, ‘Man, can I replicate what I did in my quote/unquote ‘prime?’ I thought in 2021, I can definitely do that if I can keep it going for the year and I thought physically I can do it and mentally there’s no reason why I can’t keep it going.”
3. Justin Verlander (AL Cy Young)
Justin Verlander, 39, also had a historic season in 2022 and was rewarded with the AL Cy Young award as the league’s best pitcher. Verlander, who missed the entire 2021 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, won the award in a unanimous vote and became the first pitcher in MLB history to win the Cy Young after missing the prior season. It was also his second unanimous win. Verlander previously won the AL Cy Young in 2019 with the Astros and in 2011 with the Detroit Tigers.
Verlander finished the season with a win-loss record of 18–4 in 28 starts and led the AL in ERA (1.75), WHIP (0.83), opponents’ batting average (.186), opponents’ OPS (.497), and hits per nine innings (5.97). He is now one of 11 pitchers to win three Cy Young awards and is the fourth-oldest winner in MLB history.
4. Sandy Alcantara (NL Cy Young)
The NL Cy Young vote was also decided unanimously as it went to Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara, who led all MLB pitchers with 228.2 innings pitched and six complete games. Alcantara, who also finished 10th in NL MVP voting, went 14–9 in 2022 with a career-best 2.28 ERA and 0.98 WHIP.
5. Julio Rodriguez (AL Rookie of the Year)
Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners had one of the best rookie seasons in recent memory. The winner of the 2022 AL Rookie of the Year led all MLB rookies in home runs (28), OPS (.854), and total bases (260), among other stats. He is one of only two first-year players in MLB history to hit at least 25 home runs, steal at least 25 bases, and record at least a .800 OPS.
The Mariners center fielder was the fifth player in franchise history to win the award. Kyle Lewis won in 2020, while other winners include Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000), and Alvin Davis (1984).
6. Michael Harris (NL Rookie of the Year)
Although he didn’t begin his season until May 28, Michael Davis did enough in just 114 games to win NL Rookie of the Year. The Atlanta Braves center fielder hit .297 to go along with 19 home runs, 64 RBI, and 20 stolen bases. Atlanta, which won its fifth straight NL East division title, was 79–35 with Harris in its lineup in 2022.
Harris received 22 of 30 first-place votes, while teammate Spencer Strider received the other eight. The last time two teammates finished first and second in NL Rookie of the Year voting was in 2011 when Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel, also of the Braves, snagged the honors.