The Chicago White Sox didn't have many players play at the top of their game in 2022 so it is easy to be excited about the few that did. One of those players is Liam Hendriks who was really good for the White Sox in the closer role once again.
For the second year in a row, the White Sox saw him represent them in the All-Star Game. It was the third straight mid-summer classic appearance for him as an individual (there was no All-Star Game in 2020). For a while there, he was the best closer in the league.
There have been some other players to challenge him for that title in 2022 but that doesn't take away from the fact that he was really good. He had a 2.81 ERA with a 1.040 WHIP. He struck out 85 batters in 57.2 innings pitched. All of his performances earned him a 1.7 WAR.
His name wasn't on the Cy Young ballot this year for the first time since 2019 which is surprising but he just didn't get enough innings to be worth that kind of consideration. It is unfortunate but closers suffer more when their teams aren't very good. There were fewer save situations in 2022.
In addition to being an incredible baseball player, he is an incredible person. For one, he loves the game and is clearly having so much fun playing it. Whenever he makes a big pitch or does a postgame interview, you can see the passion burning in his soul.
Hendriks and his family also do a lot to help in the community. He is the definition of a model citizen that enjoys making others around him both on and off the field. That makes it even easier to cheer him on while he wears your favorite team's uniform.
Final Grade: A
Liam Hendriks has been a big part of the Chicago White Sox bullpen.
Liam Hendriks deserves an A. His stats were amazing and he got the save locked down most of the time. Everyone blows a lead every now and again but Hendriks is one of the best at his craft.
Hendriks has been in a few trade rumors this offseason so his White Sox future isn't in stone yet so you don't know what is next for him.
Reynaldo Lopez is a candidate to be the new closer if Hendriks is traded but the plan is for him to be the guy again in 2023. The bullpen could be really bee a strength next year if they make the right decisions. Hendriks is likely to be a big part of that.