The New York Mets had a disheartening end to their 2022 campaign, being eliminated in the Wild Card Series after winning 101 games in the regular season.
That doesn’t mean, however, that there weren’t reasons to celebrate this year.
Francisco Lindor returned to his usual productive ways, Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom were dominant when healthy, the offensive additions were solid, Jeff McNeil had a rebound season and won the batting title, and Edwin Diaz made the leap from dominant closer to the best reliever in baseball.
Yes: what Diaz did this season for the Mets was nothing short of amazing.
“Congrats to @SugarDiaz39 for being named the 2022 Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year!” the Mets tweeted.
— New York Mets (@Mets) December 6, 2022
For reference, MLB annually honors its best relievers in the American League (AL) and National League (NL) with the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year Award and Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award, respectively.
As you can imagine, the league named the awards after the two highly successful bullpen pieces in the nineties and 2000s.
Diaz Had No Competition In The National League
The award was issued for the first time in 2014, and replaced the Delivery Man of the Year Award.
There wasn’t a universe in which Diaz wasn’t named the NL Reliever of the Year with the kind of season he just had.
He saved 32 games, he posted an elite 1.31 ERA, and he struck out 118 hitters in just 62 innings.
That was, by far, the best ratio in the majors.
Armed with a 100-mph fastball that can touch 103 and a wipeout slider, Diaz took a step forward with his command and reached a new level of dominance.
He is now the best reliever in baseball, and it may not be that close.