Our MVBrewers series continues this week with relief pitcher Devin Williams coming in at No. 6 on the team for 2022.
Williams pitched a career-high 60 2⁄3 innings across 65 appearances this season, finishing with a 1.93 ERA and 15 saves in 17 opportunities, most of which came after the departure of Josh Hader at the trade deadline.
After two scoreless innings to begin his 2022 season, Williams gave up four runs in his next appearances, followed by another three runs in a May appearance against the Reds. With his ERA ballooned to 5.73, Williams quickly transformed into the Williams of 2020, when he won the NL Rookie of the Year and NL Reliever of the Year awards.
He gave up no earned runs across his next 30 appearances, lowering his ERA to 1.59 in the process. He also earned an All Star nod after his turn around, pitching a scoreless inning in the NL’s 3-2 loss.
While William’s did have a few tough appearances down the stretch, he certainly made his case for being Milwaukee’s closer in 2023. In 22 appearances after Hader left, he went 4-4 with a 2.57 ERA over 21 innings. He also accumulated nine saves, far more than anyone else on the team (Taylor Rogers was closest with three).
One of the more interesting splits from Williams’ 2022 campaign was how well he did on short rest. In appearances where he had zero, one, or two days of rest, he pitched to a 1.28 ERA (46 appearances), while in appearances with three or more days of rest, he pitched to a 3.44 ERA (19 appearances).
Williams’ 2.1 WAR in 2022 was good enough for ninth on the team and third among pitchers behind Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff.
Much like Hader, Williams’ appearances were almost all the same (one inning with no runs allowed and at least one strikeout), so it’s hard to pick out any specific appearances as being his best. He had 12 appearances with three strikeouts and no runs allowed, seven of which were 1-2-3 innings.
He also had a memorable appearance in late September when the Brewers were still fighting for a Wild Card spot. With Milwaukee up 2-1 in the top of the eighth, he got out of a jam with three strikeouts to maintain the lead in what ended up being a 2-1 victory.
We’ll continue the rankings of the 10 most valuable Brewers each Monday into January. Come back next week to see who we have at No. 5.
- Devin Williams
- Kolten Wong
- Josh Hader
- Christian Yelich
- Luis Urias