To the surprise of many, the Cleveland Guardians enjoyed a successful 2022 campaign.
The team was not expected to do much on the heels of a quiet offseason.
It was the Chicago White Sox who were expected to win the American League Central.
But baseball is rarely that simple.
Led by Jose Ramirez, Shane Bieber, Steven Kwan, Andres Gimenez, Emmanuel Clase, and Triston McKenzie, Cleveland won 92 games and finished at the top of the AL Central.
After a run to the ALDS, the future looks bright in Cleveland, and fans are taking notice of the fact that the Guardians are finally receiving the respect and recognition they deserve.
steven kwan on a pre-season graphic, josé an early MVP candidate. is this…respect for the cleveland guardians?
— ali (@alisonrae22) December 30, 2022
Players like Ramirez, Gimenez, Kwan, and Clase all received some recognition this season.
Clase earned the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award and was also selected to the All-MLB First Team.
Kwan was in the running for AL Rookie of the Year honors and also received a Gold Glove.
Ramirez, once again, was in the running for the AL MVP Award, finishing in the top five in voting.
So as we head into the 2023 season, it’s clear that people won’t be making the mistake of doubting the Guardians and counting them out.
The team served notice in 2022 with their 92-win regular season and trip to the ALDS.
Now, the Guardians look even stronger heading into 2023 after the additions of catcher Mike Zunino and slugger Josh Bell.
The AL Central looks to be theirs for the taking as we approach spring training.