2) Framber Valdez
The Astros' co-ace was historic in 2022, setting an AL record with 25 consecutive quality starts. He took the ball 31 times for Houston in 2022, finishing 17-6 with a 2.82 ERA, and 1.16 WHIP. His durability was a massive asset for the team, as Valdez recorded a league-leading 201.1 innings pitched, faced 827 batters, led the AL with three complete games and yielded a microscopic 0.5 HR/9, best in the game.
Simply put when Valdez took the mound for Houston, they received quality and they received length. Valdez' elite body of work was enough to finish fifth in the AL Cy Young race, his first time recording a top-five finish.
Valdez' rise from inconsistent rotation afterthought to Cy Young candidate has been remarkable.
Even more remarkable, Valdez somehow was even better in October than he was in the regular season. In 4 playoff starts, Framber finished 3-0, including the win in Game 6 of the World Series.
He terrorized the Mariners, Yankees and Phillies, recording 33 strikeouts in 25 innings and holding their lineups to a 1.44 ERA.
When Valdez took the hill, the opposition knew they were in for a long day and would likely head home on the wrong end of the box score. His dominance in the regular season was good for an A. His October dominance boosts him to an A+.
Framber Valdez' 2022 Report Card: A+ (98/100)