Tomahawk Take Awards: Ian Anderson was the Braves Biggest Disappointment

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 29: Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Three of the World Series at Truist Park on October 29, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 29: Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Three of the World Series at Truist Park on October 29, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

It is baseball awards season, so the staff here at Tomahawk Take decided to put together a list of awards from the Atlanta Braves 2022 season and then vote on them as a group. We voted on:

Next up, our biggest disappointment of the year. Who/what disappointed us the most from the past year? We were allowed (encouraged) to think outside the box with some of our votes in this series. If we wanted to go purely on statistical performance, we could. If we wanted to vote based on intangibles, we could.

Feel free to join along and give us your votes in the comments! Also, if you have a topic/award you want us to vote on, suggest it and it can be added to this series.

The Votes

The official Tally:

Ian Anderson was our Biggest Braves Disappointment

This one went about how I figured it would. Ian Anderson did not perform well at all in 2022. Across 111.2 innings, Anderson had a 5.00 ERA, 4.37 xERA, 4.25 FIP, 4.22 xFIP, and 4.58 SIERA. He took a massive step backwards. It was unfortunate, he was coming off a strong performance in the postseason. While some regression was expected based on the metrics, he was still expected to be a solid middle of the rotation arm for the Braves last year.

Instead, he lost his spot and was sent back to Gwinnett. His strikeout rate dropped from 23.2% in 2021 to 19.7% in 2022. He has always struggled with control, but even his walk rate spiked from 9.9% in 2021 to 11.0% in 2022. Even if a pitcher’s stuff is tough to hit, walking 11% of batters as a starter will always create issues. However, his pitch arsenal took a step back as well. Especially his fastball.

  • 2021- .216 BA, .242 xBA, .349 SLG, .409 xSLG, .287 wOBA, .319xwOBA, 40.6% Hard-Hit %
  • 2022- .306 BA, .299 xBA, .444 SLG, .460 xSLG, .380 wOBA, .384 xwOBA, 47.1% Hard-Hit %

The fastball not being good, plus a ton of walks, led to a lot of damage being done against Anderson. It also meant short outings, which meant more work for the bullpen which can be detrimental over the course of the season. It forced the Braves to send him to AAA in an attempt to get everything worked out.

With Max Fried, and the emergence of both Kyle Wright & Spencer Strider, the Braves could have had a legitimate four man front if Anderson puts together a solid season. One that had four arms locked up in their twenties for the next few seasons. Instead, Anderson finds himself on the outside looking in. Competing with Bryce Elder, Kyle Muller, Freddy Tarnok, Mike Soroka, and others for the fifth spot in the rotation. Truly a disappointing season.

Our other Brave(s) Disappointments

Eddie Rosario received the second most votes here and understandably so. When the Braves chose to bring him back, they were hoping for a lot more. Nobody was expecting him to play like the guy who won the NLCS MVP over the course of a full season but we were expecting him to lengthen the lineup. Instead, he was an overall negative value to the team.

Rosario hit .212/.259/.328 5 HR, 27 R, 24 RBI, 3 SB, .258 wOBA, & 61 wRC+. Defensively, he was worth -2 DRS in 410 innings in left field and -7 DRS in 119 innings in right field. A rough year. It was discovered that he was dealing with a pretty severe eye injury early in the year. One that required surgery to repair. However, he still did not perform well after returning from the injury. Maybe he just never got comfortable due to the circumstances.

It is obvious something was wrong though just by looking at his strikeout numbers. His strikeout rate had not gone about 18.0% since 2017 and was below 15% from 2019-2021. His strikeout rate in 2022 was 25.2%. Rosario was always supposed to provide more contact as compared to the rest of the lineup that might strikeout more in favor of power. Instead, it ended up being a lost season for Rosario.

Still a Braves legend forever thanks to 2021.

Ben voted for Ozzie Albies. Albies missed most of the season due to injury and was not able to provide the spark the Braves are used to. While Ozzie was not Ozzie like before injury, hitting .247/.294/.409 .305 wOBA & 93 wRC+, the Braves missed his presence. He is often a source of energy from the starters, and it was apparent how much the team missed him last year. Hopefully, 2023 holds a healthy season for Albies.

Mitchell voted for Matt Olson. Now Mitchell is not saying Matt Olson was bad in 2022. He just believes, like most, that he would have been more. “I had expected a 135-145 wRC+ player and his brutal month long stretch where he was unplayable was really awful to watch.”

A fair assessment. Olson finished with a 120 wRC+ which was still solid but not as good as we were hoping. Olson provides great defense at first base, so hopefully we get to see him get more comfortable at the plate in 2022. There have been cases of a guy taking a step back in his first year with his new team before making a big jump in year 2.

Up Next – Our Best Moment from the Braves season

It is never fun to talk about a disappointment. However, every year there will be someone that does not perform the way we hope. It happens to every team out there.

Up next, we get back to some good times. We will discuss out best moments from the past season! Thanks for reading!