1) Justin Verlander
What more is there to say about the unanimous Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander? Fresh off of Tommy John surgery, Verlander made 28 starts for the Astros, punishing opposing lineups en route to 18 wins. His 4-seam fastball/slider combination held opponents to a .186 batting average against and a .497 OPS. At age 39, his fastball somehow had the highest average velocity of any season in his Astros' tenure.
Verlander's 0.89 WHIP, 1.75 ERA and 220 ERA+ all led the MLB during the regular season. Over the course of his 28 regular season starts, he was completely un-hittable.
Unfortunately, Verlander's postseason performance left much to be desired. In Verlander's four playoff starts, he went 2-0 with a 5.85 ERA. His line could have been even more unsightly, but the heroic comeback in Game 1 of the ALDS and five runs in the first three innings of World Series Game 1 kept him from taking a loss in either game.
Verlander did finally pick up his first career World Series win with a bounce back in Game 5 in what was possibly his last start as an Astro.
Were the scoring based simply on the regular season, Verlander would have received a 100 on his report card, an A+. But when you're the best pitcher in baseball, you need to answer the bell in October. His playoff woes ding him ever so slightly.
Justin Verlander's 2022 Report Card: A (94/100)