2022 Braves Player Review: A.J. Minter

Atlanta fans know how good A.J. Minter was this year, but outside of Braves Country, he probably slid under the radar a bit.

He was never the closer, except for a few games here and there that allowed him to pick up five saves. Kenley Jansen was the Braves’ primary closer, and then the team traded for Raisel Iglesias at the trade deadline to help carry that load.

But it was likely Minter that was the Braves’ most important and impressive reliever on the season.

The Texas-born southpaw was third in the majors in appearances with 75 and had the third-lowest ERA among relievers with at least 70 appearances at 2.06. He also led the league in holds with 34, a consistent stabilizing force late in games for a team that won 101 of them.

Minter appeared in the most games of any Braves’ pitcher – 10 more than his closest competitor, Jansen – and had the lowest WHIP of any pitcher that spent the whole season in Atlanta at 0.914. He also had the highest K-9 ratio of any Braves pitcher not named Spencer Strider at 12.1.

Minter was among the team’s best at limiting walks – a drastic improvement from years past. Coupled with his strikeout rate, the lefty posted a 6.27 strikeout-to-walk rate. That’s easily the best rate in the majors among relievers that saw as much action this year as Minter did.

As for 2023, Minter can expect a similar role for the Braves, although he’ll be doing it with a decent pay increase. Arbitration projections have him making $5M in the coming season, a nice bump from the $2.2M he made in 2022. While he could have a future as a closer, that doesn’t seem likely to happen just yet, with Iglesias on the books for $16M a year for another three seasons.

And that current situation could be nice for Minter. With Jansen hitting free agency and Tyler Matzek out for the entire 2023 season after Tommy John surgery, other relievers will have to take on a heavier workload. Since Minter can’t really do that, and the closer role is likely spoken for, he can just settle into the setup spot that he’s held down for a couple years now.

Let’s hope he continues to hold it down in the manner that he has.

19 thoughts on “2022 Braves Player Review: A.J. Minter”

  1. @bravey (from last thread)

    Here’s MLB payroll breakdown:

    https://www.fangraphs.com/roster-resource/breakdowns/payroll

    Braves are sitting at 6 and haven’t done any heavy lifting yet. I know everyone wants them to match the Mets, but they’re not going to because Cohen is the Mets owner and Liberty Media is the Braves owner. I expect the team to be close to the top-5 and will be willing to make some big splashes soon.

    And our pink sword carrying mascot is no more…he’s signed overseas.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/12/guillermo-heredia-signs-with-kbos-ssg-landers.html

  2. After Christmas, Braves Journal will be going through a full facelift. Like many facelifts, it’s not going to be cheap!

    If you are feeling charitable and would like to donate to a bigger and better Braves Journal experience, please send me an email. Between new logos, better hosting, and a grander experience for all, will allow longevity for the site we love.

    My Venmo is Ryan dash Cothran dash 3 if you’re feeling charitable. Any little bit helps.

  3. @bravey from prior thread – I’d rather have Ozuna in LF than not have Acuna in RF.

    We all still need to hold our collective breaths until at least Dansby is signed somewhere.

  4. It is, but my hope is that we can do away with Patreon. The goal is to rely on site traffic and merch to pay the bills!

    And I’m definitely going to use a lot of Patreon funds in the rebuild.

  5. Ok crew! We did it! We have had enough donations to truly make a top-notch site that we will all love and, hopefully, bring new faces and regulars to the blog.

    Also, we are going to be able to host 2-3 Braves podcasts if anyone is interested in talking about the Braves or whatever else you’d like to talk about.

    I truly cannot wait!

  6. @11 This is great news!

    Almost as good as the news that the Mets are spending over 400 million to come in 2nd place next year. That has to be the best comment I’ve seen.

  7. @12 – What’s even better is half of the Mets payroll goes to former players that are older than 50. That may be a slight exaggeration, but the Mets not being good stewards of their payroll is an indisputable fact.

  8. On the other hand: Who cares? The Mets overpaying for their roster in some abstract sense only matters if it prevents them from being able to do something they want to do in the future, and there’s no indication that this is the case. Even the Mets’ record payroll is couch-cushion money for Steve Cohen.

    I’m not really scared of the Mets (the Senga deal is the first one that actually makes them better instead of just bringing them back to where they were a year ago), but in a twelve-team playoff format, they could easily go all the way. And if they do, I don’t think anyone will care that their $/WAR ratio is substandard.

  9. From that last post… Does anyone have a great grandson that has played? I know there are tons of grandsons, but I’d be interested if there’s been a great grandson, or even great great at this point (?)

  10. Baseball Almanac, different page https://www.baseball-almanac.com/family/fam4.shtml

    “The rarest combo is great grandfather (Jim Bluejacket) and great grandson (Bill Wilkinson), they were the first instance of this baseball family tree in baseball history. The only other set was Garland Buckeye, who had two great grandsons that played ball, Drew & Stu Pomeranz.”

  11. @14/17 – Agreed. It is just somewhat comforting to know that the Mets have no problem with spending money. Their problem comes with spending it wisely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *