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MLB

Who won the 2022 National League Cy Young Award?

The Miami Marlins’ right-handed starter Sandy Alcántara swept the board to be named the National League’s Cy Young Award winner.

Update:
The Miami Marlins’ right-handed starter Sandy Alcántara swept the board to be named the National League’s Cy Young Award winner.

2022 has been a year of firsts, a year of records matched or broken, all the way up and down the board. And even now, when the season is vanishing into the rearview mirror, there are still records to be made.

With the naming of Sandy Alcántara as the National League’s winner, the Marlins have their first ever Cy Young pitcher. Alcántara becomes only the third ever Domnican to win the award, along with Bartolo Colón and Pedro Martínez.

And baseball, as a whole, sees a record tied, for with the unanimous win of both Alcántara and his American League counterpart, Justin Verlander, 2022 becomes only the second time ever that both Cy Young winners were unanimous decisions. The other was when Denny McLain and Bob Gibson swept the board clean in 1968.

At 27 years old, Alcántara is in the prime of his career, and the two-time All-Star was made to work for his paycheck in Miami. Cut from the old cloth, Alcántara thumbed his nose at all of the one-and-done pitchers that line bullpens around the league, throwing 228.2 innings through the regular season, a full 23.2 innings more than any other pitcher in the league.

Six times Alcántara threw a complete game this year. Most big league pitchers these days will not throw one in their entire career. In nearly half of his starts, he threw eight innings. Sandy Alcántara is one-of-a-kind in modern baseball.

“It makes me feel so special because I came here to the Marlins with my positive mentality and just tried to win,’’ says Alcantara. “Tried to compete, tried to get better. This year I put everything in the same spot, working hard. I’ve had great success. And now to win the National League Cy Young, I feel so happy and blessed.’’

With many fans backing Julio Urías or Max Fried to get the nod, let me just frame the case for you. Both of those pitchers, while outstanding in their own right, threw around 45 innings less than he did. They combined for only two outings of more than seven innings. And Alcántara’s pitch count per inning was the lowest in baseball at only 14 pitches per inning. He was, by any metric, the most dominant pitcher in the league.

“My mentality all the time is to be aggressive. Try to get better every day. And I’ll keep doing the same. And let’s see if I can win the Cy Young next year, too.’’

The Marlins have him under contract until 2027, and with his youth and pitching outlook, they could have a diamond on their hands. He had only attracted minimal attention around the league prior to this season, but now he will find himself at the top of everyone’s shopping list in coming years.

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