“All Rise” was the anthem all 2022 season for the Yankees as Aaron Judge bet on himself and put together one of the greatest offensive seasons in MLB history. Appearing in a career-best 157 games, Judge was the driving force behind the American League’s best offense. He set career highs in batting average (.311), OBP (.425), slugging (.686), OPS (1.111), hits (177), runs (133), doubles (28), stolen bases (16), and of course home runs (62), and RBI (131).
His 62 home runs set the new Yankees and American League record and Judge nearly claimed the triple crown. He did take home the American League MVP with 98 percent of the first-place votes to go along with three AL Player of the Week awards and three AL Player of the Month awards. Let’s not forget his abundance of Home Boi Highlights.
His reward? A nine-year, $360 million deal to stay in The Bronx and try to help bring the Yankees that elusive 28th world championship.
The Cleveland Guardians won the American League Central division last season and recorded 92 wins. With some young, electrifying arms and a mixture of veteran and young talent, Cleveland is among the early 2023 AL World Series favorites in more than a few projections.
Credit manager Terry Francona with understanding his team and being an ultimate strategist for a well-rounded squad. However, one aspect of offense that Cleveland was missing is power. It’s hard to win a World Series these days without big boppers in your lineup and Cleveland was second to last in MLB with 127 homers, just 17 more than the offensively inept Detroit Tigers (110).
Understanding their needs, the Guardians agreed to terms on a two-year, $33 million contract with free agent first baseman Josh Bell on Tuesday. Adding MLBbro Bell — who has averaged 25 homers and 89 RBI over 162 games in his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres — to play first base also opens up more time at DH for rising star Josh Naylor and definitely gives them another power threat in the lineup.
Bells’s 2022 Season Was A Tale Of Two Cities
The 30-year-old played at an All-Star level with the Nationals, with a strong stat line of .311/.390/.504 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI.
After he was traded to the Padres, though, Bell’s production plummeted to .192/.316/.271 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 53 games, but he did help the team get into the playoffs.
JB had a productive NLCS and delivered some key hits at the dish. But unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to help his team get over that hump. In the five games against the NL East Champion Phillies, Bell recorded a hit in four of them. The slugger finished the series going 6-for-17 with a home run and three RBI. He had a signature performance in Game 2 as he finished with three hits lifting the Padres to their only win of the series.
Bell was on his way to a career season before he got thrown off by the sudden blockbuster deal to the Padres. Now that the slugger knows where he will be for the next two seasons, it’s not a stretch to expect him to produce 30-homer seasons in the heart of the lineup.