5 players who deserve a B grade for 2022

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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2) Taijuan Walker had another really solid year for the Mets.

Walker made 29 starts and pitched 157.1 innings. He allowed 143 hits, 61 earned runs, 45 walks, and struck out 132 batters. His ERA was 3.49, his FIP was 3.65, his WHIP was 1.20, and his ERA+ was 111. 

His Savant page isn’t spectacular. Walker doesn’t throw hard or have wipeout, high-spin stuff, so the metrics don’t love him. He has two pink dots: his walk rate was in the 61st percentile and his chase rate was in the 56th percentile. He relies heavily on his defense to get outs, since he’s not striking guys out (32nd percentile in strikeout rate).

The story around Walker is similar to 2021 in that he was great in the first half and collapsed in the second. He had a 2.55 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 16 starts in the first half. In 13 second half starts, his ERA ballooned to 4.80 and his WHIP jumped up to 1.34. A large part of that is due to him giving up 11 homers in the second half, compared to only four in the first half.

It is worth noting that he finished the year strong. In his last five starts, had an ERA of 3.03, held opponents to a .632 OPS, and struck out 36 batters in 29 innings. This included two games where he struck out 10 batters (9/11 vs Miami and 10/4 vs. Washington)

The Mets have an interesting decision to make with Walker. He is a back-of-the-rotation arm that is really solid and since starting pitching is thin this winter, he might be one of the better arms available.