Welcome to part four of the annual Dodgers Nation player grades and season reviews, this time for the 2022 season. Up next in the series is L.A.’s number-nine hitter, Gavin Lux. Be sure to check out the rest of the series: Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, and Mookie Betts.
Gavin Lux was the Minor League Player of the Year in 2019, but it’s taken him a little while to really get in a groove in the big leagues. The 2022 season was a huge step forward for him as he posted a 105 OPS+, his first time being above average offensively. He also got more playing time than any other time in his career, getting 471 plate appearances in 129 games.
A neck injury slowed Lux down at the end of the season, leaving a bit of a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. His OPS was .812 after the game on August 22, but he missed the next four games with the neck issue and would miss a couple more weeks in September. From the time of the neck problem to the end of the season, he batted just .162 with a .388 OPS, dropping his season OPS down to .745.
But for those first four and a half months of the season, he was all we could have hoped for, batting .298 with 31 extra-base hits, mostly out of the ninth spot in the batting order.
Fan Vote Results
We asked Dodger fans to grade Lux’s 2022 season in Los Angeles. This is our fifth poll and our fourth B, with only Freddie Freeman earning an A.
Of the 1,776 fans who voted, 56.9% gave him a B, while 33% said he was a C. Just 7.8% of fans gave him an A, while 2.4% gave him an F. His marks surely would have been higher if not for the injury, but it’s a solid report card for a guy in his breakout season.
Dodgers Nation Take
Lux was very, very good offensively for most of the season, posting a .373 OBP before the injury. And even though he didn’t hit many homers, his slugging percentage before he got hurt was a very respectable .439, thanks to 18 doubles and seven triples.
Overall, it was an extremely promising season for Lux, showing us that when he’s healthy, he can be a driving force at the bottom of the order for the Dodgers. He scored 66 runs batting mostly ninth, thanks to getting on base a lot and having Betts, Turner, and Freeman batting behind him.
The future looks bright for Lux, with the main question being where he will play defensively in 2023. As of now, he’s penciled in as the starting shortstop, but there’s still a lot of offseason left — even with Dansby Swanson now off the market. Whether he’s at second base or short, his defense will determine how a lot of fans view him, and there are definitely some things he can clean up there.
But shortstop is his natural position and he made great strides there in the minors, so if he does play there for Los Angeles in 2023, I suspect it will go better than a lot of people expect.
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