Which MLB Team Will Be The Biggest Surprise Of 2022?

Image credit: Mariners' outfielders Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez

This is one of nine burning questions comprising Baseball America’s 2022 MLB Season Preview. To see the full preview, click here

Carlos Collazo—Mariners. Perhaps Seattle will be an obvious pick for this category, but I feel like they only need a few things to break their way this season to be sitting with a really impressive lineup—especially if Julio Rodriguez forces the club’s hand and makes his way to the bigs quickly. I like the additions of Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez, but this pick might be contingent on Jarred Kelenic figuring things out in 2022

Chris Hilburn-Trenkle—Mariners. I love the trades for Jesse Winker and Adam Frazier and I expect Julio Rodriguez to win AL Rookie of the Year. Combine that with the addition of Robbie Ray in the rotation and this season could be the first of a long line of playoff runs in Seattle. 

J.J. Cooper—Mariners. The rotation looks a little shaky coming into the season, but a deep farm system should help with promotions and trades to fill it out as the season grinds along. The lineup is in very good shape with enviable outfield depth.

Geoff Pontes—Guardians. The White Sox were the class of this division last year and I don’t expect that to change, but Cleveland could realistically be the second best team in the AL Central. Their 40-man roster is deep with potential upgrades and replacements on the position side. There’s starter depth on the 40-man roster and they have some firepower out of the pen. 

Kyle Glaser—Twins. Nothing went right for the Twins last season as they crashed into last place in the AL Central. Even though their rotation depth is woefully short, they have a deep lineup top to bottom and should be able to rack up wins in a weak division. 

Ben Badler—Angels. For a team that projects to win 80-85 games the marginal value of a win is greater now with the expanded playoffs. That means the Angels have the talent to sneak into the playoffs, with anything possible once you’re in the tournament. 

Matt Eddy—Tigers. A focus on run-prevention via the offseason acquisitions of shortstop Javier Baez, catcher Tucker Barnhart and lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez will combine with the incoming run-creation prowess of top rookies Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson to create a much stronger run differential—and several more wins for Detroit. 

Josh Norris—Marlins. A wave of pitching at the upper levels plus stalwarts like Sandy Alcantara and Trevor Rogers should help push Miami onto the fringes of playoff contention. 

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