When every MLB team was trying to hit the ball out of the park, the Cleveland Guardians tried a different approach.
Their power numbers were somewhat disappointing, as they finished nowhere near the leaders in homers.
But they employed contact, defense, and aggressive baserunning to reach the Division Series in the American League, winning a postseason series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
They played to their strengths (contact, defense, and pitching) to go all the way to the AL Central title and 92 wins.
Yes, their offseason additions were focused on adding a couple of power hitters, but they remain one of the most athletic, fastest, and exciting teams in the league as we approach the 2023 campaign.
In fact, they led MLB in a telling category in 2022.
“The Cleveland Guardians got more runners from first base to third base with singles last season than any other MLB team because of course they did,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
The Cleveland Guardians got more runners from first base to third base with singles last season than any other MLB team because of course they did.
cc: @CleGuardians pic.twitter.com/g9hvgzfWnq
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) March 3, 2023
That kind of aggressive baserunning can backfire on occasion, but the Guardians have quick, intelligent players who know when to take risks.
Steven Kwan, Amed Rosario, Andres Gimenez, Myles Straw, Jose Ramirez…all of them are fast and aggressive.
They are all willing to take the extra base, and that is not going to change in 2023.
They may show a bit more slugging this year now that they added Josh Bell and Mike Zunino, but make no mistake: the essence of this Guardians team is exactly the same as it was last season.
With the bigger bases, they will probably be even more aggressive: they will steal bases, they will go for two bases, and they will try to stretch singles into doubles and doubles into triples.
It will be thrilling to see.NEXT: Guardians Fans Have A Must-See Josh Bell Highlight To Enjoy