NL Aluminum Slugger Award Winners – 2022 Gallardo Awards

Image: Rebecca Noble / Getty Images

Check out the other 2022 Gallardo Award awards here.

The M-SABR Gallardo Awards, originally conceived by alumni Cam Cain and Sahil Shah, are given to the worst players in baseball. The previous editions in 2018 (AL/NL) and 2019 didn’t mimic every MLB award. This changes in 2022.

This is the sixth article in the series, honoring the worst hitters in the National League. The Aluminum Slugger Award mirrors MLB’s Silver Slugger Award. The Mario Mendoza Award is given to the worst hitter overall. It’s our Hank Aaron Award.

C – Elias Diaz, COL

Coming off a promising 2021 in which Elias Diaz improved upon his previous season with the Rockies, this upward trend came to a grinding halt in 2022. After a decent April, he completely bottomed out in May, producing just two extra-base-hits in 74 PAs to the tune of a .152/.216/.182 slashline and a microscopic -1 wRC+. Over the rest of the 2022 season, he slowly improved, but the damage from May was done. He finished with a NL worst 67 wRC+ and -1.4 WAR among NL catchers with at least 380 PAs last season.

1B – Michael Chavis, PIT

Coming over in the 2021 trade deadline, Michael Chavis had a poor track record in his first three seasons. Nonetheless Pittsburgh stuck with him at first base for the 2022 campaign, in hopes that the former 2014 first-rounder could provide some upside for the struggling club. 

Chavis never really was able to get it together in 2022, producing a subpar .229/.265/.389 slashline and 80 wRC+ in 426 PAs. Although Chavis can provide a little power, his awful plate discipline is ultimately what was his downfall. Among all 14 NL first basemen with at least 400 PAs in 2022, Chavis tallied the worst O-Swing% (43.8) and the worst BB% (4.5).

2B – Cesar Hernandez, WAS

Signed as a one-year stop-gap at second base for the Nats, he entered the season coming off a 2021 where he posted career highs in HRs (21), ISO (.154), and Barrel% (6.8%). However, 2022 was a very different story for Hernandez. In 617 PAs, Hernandez only managed to post a single HR, a 0.70 ISO, and a 2.4% Barrel%. This sudden drop of power is very concerning for Hernandez, as he enters free agency in 2023 coming off his lowest wRC+ (79) since 2014.

SS – Geraldo Perdomo, ARI

Mario Mendoza Award Winner

A highly regarded top prospect as recently as 2021 for the D-Backs, Geraldo Perdomo’s big league career has started off sour. After a promising first 11 games in 2021 where Perdomo posted a .258/.378/.419 slashline and a 105 wRC+, his offense took a deep dive in 2022. 

In 500 PAs, his updated slashline is .195/.285/.262 accompanied by a staggering 59 wRC+, the lowest in the entire National league among hitters with at least 500 PAs, which is why he takes home this year’s NL Mario Mendoza Award as the worst hitter in the National League. His inflated .320 BABIP difference and .283 xwOBA in 2021 prove he was overperforming in 2021, and that major adjustments must be made.

3B – Maikel Franco, WAS

Similar to teammate Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco was another player given a one year contract this winter by the Nationals, in hopes of filling one of many holes in the infield. Similar to Hernandez, Franco underperformed in the 2022 campaign at 3B. Among all 18 NL third basemen with at least 488 PAs in 2022, Maikel Franco recorded the lowest wRC+ of the group at 64. 

This offensive incapability stems from his poor plate discipline, proven by his 42.5% O-Swing%. This checks out, as he was only able to barrel up 4.7% of balls, which was a career low. If Franco wants to revert back to his 2020 self, he needs to be more selective and to enable him to hit more balls with authority.

RF – Avisail Garcia, MIA

A very underrated pickup last winter for the Marlins, Garcia was a much needed add for an offense-deprived ballclub. After posting 29 HRs and a 116 wRC+ in 2021 for the Brewers, his numbers were expected to take a small dip entering one of the league’s best pitching ballparks. 

However, nobody imagined this kind of dip in production. In 2021, Garcia’s plate discipline went out the window, as he almost halved his previous BB% of 7.4% down to 4.5%. Additionally, his K% spiked up from a career-norm 23.5% to 28.7%. Although he may have experienced some bad luck with his xwOBA by about 20 points, a 66 wRC+ is hard to come back from.

CF – Victor Robles, WAS

A former top 5 prospect in baseball, Victor Robles was given another chance at a large amount of playing time in 2022. Although he’s been a historically poor hitter in the majors, his  great glove and speed have been thought to have kept him up with the big club throughout his tenure with the Nationals until this point. 

In 2022, he continued this narrative, producing the worst wRC+ (64) among all NL center fielders in 2022 with at least 400 PAs. This is largely due to his lack of power, as he turned in a trivial 84.6 EV, 3.2% Barrel%, and 0.87 ISO. These are all career norms for Robles, as it is becoming increasingly clearer that Robles will likely never put it together on the offensive side of the ball.

LF – Marcell Ozuna, ATL

In 2022, Marcell Ozuna’s downward spiral continued. After posting a pedestrian 102 wRC+ in his first 23 games, his offense cratered through his final 100 games, which garnered him an awful 89 wRC+ and .226/.274/.413, both a National League worst for qualified left fielders in 2022. Along with his recent legal issues off the field, Marcell Ozuna’s career is in hot water right now.

DH – Nelson Cruz, WAS

The biggest offseason acquisition for the Nationals last winter, Nelson Cruz entered the 2022 season with big expectations, as he was expected to hit behind and protect budding star Juan Soto in the Nats lineup. He never met those expectations, as his power took a big step back. His Barrel%, HardHit%, maxEV, and ISO all took sizable steps back. 

The most popular scapegoat regarding Cruz’s regression may be his old age, but I believe timing issues are to blame in this case. In 2021, Nelson hit balls up the middle and to center 58.5% of the time, before increasing to 64.7%. This is also supported by his downward trend in wFB, a metric which measures fastball runs above average. 

In 2021 he produced a great 13.4 in this category, before regressing to -2.2 in 2022. After the news broke this offseason that he underwent a procedure to relieve inflammation blocking his vision, this theory has since been proved to be true.

The Nationals, man.

Categories: 2022 Gallardo Awards, Articles, Season Analysis


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