CLEVELAND — The accolades and awards keep rolling in for the 2022 Cleveland Guardians.
Major League Baseball released their All-MLB teams Monday evening, and the Guardians were well represented. Closer Emmanuel Clase was named to the first team while second baseman Andrés Giménez was named to the second team.
To call 2022 a "breakout season" for the pair would be a massive understatement. Clase established himself as one of MLB's elite closers, leading all of baseball in saves with 42. He tallied a miniscule 1.36 ERA with 77 strikeouts in only 72.2 innings pitched.
If Clase's emergence was all about living up to potential, Andrés Giménez's breakout in 2022 was all about breaking through the ceiling. After a 2021 regular season that left Guardians fans and the rest of baseball questioning the return Cleveland got back in the Francisco Lindor trade, Giménez made the legitimate case (for at least one season, anyway) that he may be better than Lindor.
As the Guardians every-day second baseman, Giménez hit .297 with 17 home runs, 69 RBI, a .466 slugging percentage, .837 OPS and an eye-popping bWAR (wins above replacement) of 7.4.
The 7.4 WAR racked up by Giménez was good enough for 6th in all of baseball, ahead of players like Manny Machado, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, Yordan Álvarez, and a host of other All-MLB and All-Star players.
If that wasn't already impressive enough, he was also a Gold Glove winner for the first time in his career.
The Guardians and 2022 Executive of the Year Chris Antonetti have shown an incredible ability to sustain success by acquiring new stars as their old stars fade. There might be no better example of that philosophy in action than the emergence of Emmanuel Clase and Andrés Giménez, who have paid off the risk of trading highly-decorated superstars Corey Kluber and Francisco Lindor.