We are about a quarter of the way through the 2022 MLB Season and we have seen a lot of fun games, teams off to fast starts and of course, outstanding starting pitching. However, this season is a bit different than others as there is now a universal designated hitter in both the American League and the National League! This was years in the making with many players, coaches and even sports commentators and opinion writers calling for this including myself. Now with a quarter of the season in the books as we head into the month of June, here is my list of the top five teams in the NL who have benefited from this new rule now in place:
5. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies have sort of been up and down this year and even though they sit dead last in the NL West, they can still compete for a wild card position with a bunch of the veteran bats on their team. For starters, Connor Joe has been a great surprise for the Rockies both in the outfield and as the DH. Colorado also has veteran CJ Cron who has been tearing it up this year as well whether he’s in the field or as the DH.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates:
Considering how bad the Pirates have been the last several years, if there’s any brightspot, it’s the DH being brought into place. The player that has benefited mostly from this has been Daniel Vogelbach. He’s hit six home runs this season and has driven in 14 with the role as the DH and has finally given the Pirates an opportunity to produce on offense and make at least some kind of noise.
3. St. Louis Cardinals:
-The Cardinals have a veteran heavy team including bringing back Albert Pujols who spent his first 11 years in the majors on the Cardinals. Bringing him back was definitely an interesting move by the Cardinals at the beginning. Now with this DH in place, it has given Pujols an opportunity to play more and contribute to a Cardinals team that already has Paul Goldschmidt, Tyler O’Neill and of course Yaider Molina. Pujols has been great in his role as the DH already hitting four home runs and they’re able to get Goldschmidt and Pujols both playing time who are capable of doing damage.
2. New York Mets:
-Yes, the Mets. They have of course been a huge surprise this season especially on offense. They have many players to play around with and give opportunities for them to hit. Players like Dom Smith, JD Davis, Luis Guillorme etc., have been placed in that role and it has benefited. All of them deserve a chance to play and when they do, they contribute for the Mets!
1. Philadelphia Phillies:
-Despite the Phillies slow start to the season, it is only inevitable that they will pick up the pace and start competing for a playoff spot. They already have Bryce Harper, Ryhs Hoskins and newly acquired Nicholas Castellaonos and Kyle Schwarber. These moves the Phillies have made have really helped them especially right now. Harper has a UCL tear that has prevented him from playing in the field but thanks to the DH spot now being in place, he is still able to contribute with the bat and it’s shown with him hitting over .290 for the season with nine home runs.