Who is the irreplaceable baseball player in 2022? This does not mean the most valuable player, and in terms of the playoff chase, the hardest player to replace isn’t necessarily the best. Some teams head into the playoffs or are virtually eliminated, if not from a purely sporting perspective (hello, Tigers and Royals). To answer this question, I ran the updated ZiPS predicted standings after Tuesday’s games and then restarted the simulation entirely with the assumption that every relevant player missed the rest of the season due to injury.
For AL, ZiPS estimates that 10 teams are still reasonable competition, which I define as having a 5% chance of making the new 12-team MLB format. The exceptions are Tigers, Royals, A’s, and Orioles. After this quartet, there is a huge jump to Rangers at 9% and Angels at 10%. Sorry, there are no Yankees and Astros on this list with their big leads in their divisions. Let’s jump right into AL’s top 10 list.
1. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians, -15.8%
ZiPS shows the Guardians to be only the third best team in the weak AL Central despite currently being part of the first place tie, giving them a chance to flip the coin for the extended playoffs. As Andrés Giménez and Shane Bieber plan to finish the season in the All-Star District in over four wars, Ramirez remains the Cleveland lead and the only person who can race as an MVP. Ernie Clement is the player most likely to step in if Ramirez loses this year – he’s already filling in – and that’s a huge reduction for a team that generally needs things to go right in order to make the playoffs.
2. Raphael Devers, Boston Red Sox, -11.8%
The fact that Devers rank so high should make the Red Sox think when the topic of a possible extension for their third base star arises. Boston is back in the deciding picture in recent weeks, but its playoff hopes are still on a knife edge, and Devers’ internal substitutes are a weak group. Bobby Dalbeck and returning Christian Arroyo are likely to take third place unless the team decides to move Enrique Hernandez to the center. Suffice it to say, Boston doesn’t give Davers much time to play the designated hitter.
3- Xander Bogarts, Boston Red Sox, -11.1%
Bogarts ranks a little behind Devers in that the potential substitutions are the best offensive bouts at the short stopping point compared to third base. The likely scenario here is Trevor Storey returning to a short stint for the remainder of the season, with Hernandez moving to second base. While this in and of itself doesn’t sound too alarming, it does cause the dominoes to fall slightly into an outer field with a depth that is thinner than the skin on your eyelids. Jeter Downs isn’t really an alternative, or at least a good option, and was overtaken by Triple-A’s offering. It’s unlikely Nick York will develop fast enough to be 2022.
4. Lewis Robert, Chicago White Sox, -10.9%
Robert is not playing in the eight-win part of the 2021 season, but that doesn’t mean the White Sox can afford to lose it. Far from bringing in the much-injured AJ Bullock, the White Sox left their field depth to fester last winter, which had consequences when it resulted in far more Leuri Garcia and Gavin Sheets than the Southsiders should have been happy with while Andrew Vaughn was happy . Outside. In this case, Chicago was replacing a somewhat weak defensive cornerback/DH type, not an above-average midfielder.
5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Toronto Blue Jays -10.3%
There are a lot of good Blue Jays out there, but Vladito is the one who could go on with the most serious rip and hold the lineup for a month. Alejandro Kirk has no professional experience in the first place, which reduces his chance as an option if Danny Janssen continues to hit after coming back from a broken finger. In fact, few of the different types of corner pitches for Jays have any experience with initially; Tuscar Hernandez has none, and Zach Collins is unlikely to make enough to be a reasonable candidate initially. The use of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is not considered. It is the ideal scenario that takes into account the amount of playing time that Raimel Tapia actually gets for no particular reason. I expect Guerrero’s injury to lead to a deal – Blue Jays probably won’t be conservative after they missed qualifying last year with their hair – but that’s a bit beyond ZiPS’s remit, so it will be Cavan Biggio’s time.
6. Wonder Franco, Tampa Bay Rays, -9.5%
Rays rarely have a player who makes this list. Tampa Bay teams are usually light on talent from all over the world, but they seem to produce two to three WAR players with such brutal accuracy that one wonders if they are using a time machine to scout the players. but Franco he is A universal talent, the kind of player who can define this team more than anyone else. He is currently in rehabilitation at the palace but thankfully will be back soon.
7. Trevor Story, Boston Red Sox, -9.0%
Most of what applies to Bogaerts can be said here, but not to the same effect with Story not quite in the Bogaerts League. He calmed down somewhat after May, but he’s still a player that Boston cannot easily replace.
8- Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins, -8.7%
Buxton would rank higher here, but ZiPS is already assuming that without a serious injury at the end of the season, he’d miss big time from any other random hits he rolled with 2d20. Assuming Buxton is healthy, he would jump into the top five. Carlos Correa ranks a bit lower than Buxton, even with a good drop, mainly because Minnesota has a reasonable depth of field.
9- Kevin Gusman, Toronto Blue Jays, -8.5%
Hyun Jin Ryo’s injury to the end of the season pushed Gaussman into the top 10. Otherwise he would be ranked 16th. But without Ryu, Ross Stripling’s presence becomes presumed rather than a fallback option, and another hit could quickly cause Jays to run out of turning depth. Nate Pearson suffered a setback over the weekend, suffering shoulder pain on his return from the mono that has kept him out of 2022 thus far, so it is highly unlikely that he would break into his place as a booster like Alec Manoah last year. As with Guerrero’s theoretical injury, I think Gausman’s serious illness will lead to Toronto’s exit from the organization for a solution.
10- Dylan Sis, Chicago White Sox, -8.3%
Chicago’s anticipated pre-season advantage has disappeared, making the team’s biggest stars all the more important. ZiPS sees Cease and Lucas Giolito to be similar in quality, with Cease slightly ahead of 11th-ranked Giolito. It certainly didn’t help build the team’s roster that Dallas Keuchel, believed to have been relatively harmless before the season, was completely bombed and fired at the end of the season. mayo. It may have been too late for Sox to attend the split; They have a real battle on their hands.