Sandy Alcantara becomes first pitcher in Miami Marlins’ history to win the Cy Young Award

MIAMI, FL. – Sandy Alcantara today was named the 2022 National League Cy Young Award winner, becoming the first pitcher in Marlins’ franchise history to receive the honor, which is voted on by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Sandy Alcantara becomes first pitcher in Miami Marlins’ history to win the Cy Young Award

The 27-year-old right-hander finished a historic season, going 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA and 207 strikeouts in 228.2 innings, along with 6 complete games, a 0.98 WHIP, and a .212 opponents’ batting average in 32 starts. He led Major League Baseball in innings pitched and complete games and led all NL pitchers with an 8.1 WAR (Baseball Reference). During Alcantara’s entire life (born Sept. 1995) only two pitchers reached the same statistical totals since the 1996 season: Felix Hernandez, SEA (2010) and Pedro Martinez, MON (1997).

“I’m so proud of the player, and leader Sandy has become with the years; it was a privilege to play behind him and have a first road seat to his amazing performance every single start,” Marlins Shortstop Miguel Rojas said. “Sandy was must-watch national TV every time he took the mound because he wanted to finish the game every single start. I’m so happy for him and his family to win this award, and I hope is the first of many for his career.”

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Alcantara is the third Dominican-born player to win a Cy Young award, joining Bartolo Colon (2005) and Pedro Martinez (1997, 1999, and 2000). Alcantara was also named the 2022 Juan Marichal Award winner, an honor given to the most outstanding Dominican player in Major League Baseball. Additionally, the All-Star was selected as the 2022 MLBPA NL Outstanding Pitcher of the Year as well as the 2022 Baseball Digest/eBay MLB Pitcher of the Year.

“Sandy was incredible this year. He’s just on a different level. When a guy in this league does something that no one else is doing or has done for years, everyone takes notice,” Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings said. “And that’s what sandy did this year, pitching so many innings and still being as dominant as he was. I feel privileged to have gotten to catch him this year and am so happy for him to win the Cy Young Award.”

Alcantara tossed at least 8.0 innings in 14 starts, more than double the amount of anyone else and the most such starts in a single season by any MLB pitcher since 2014. He also held opponents to two earned runs or less in 25 starts, matching the club record set by Kevin Brown in 1996. During those 25 starts, he recorded a stretch of eight consecutive outings in which he pitched at least 7.0 innings and held opponents to two earned runs or less from May 11 to June 19, the longest stretch by a Major League pitcher since Felix Hernandez in 2014.

Alcantara’s dominant season was highlighted by his 228.2 innings in which he faced 886 batters, more than 150 more than each of his NL Cy Young finalist counterparts: LHP Max Fried (185.1 IP, 733 BF) and LHP Julio Urias (175.0 IP, 689 BF). His total marked the most innings pitched in a season since David Price’s 230.0 innings with the Red Sox in 2016, and the most by a National League pitcher since Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (232.2) and the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta (229.0) in 2015.

A first-time NL Cy Young winner, his ERA finished as the third-lowest mark in club history behind Kevin Brown (1.89, 1996) and José Fernández (2.13, 2013). His innings pitched total set the fifth-highest mark in club history and marked the most by a Marlins pitcher since Dontrelle Willis’ 236.1 innings pitched in 2005. His strikeouts and WHIP both rank as third-highest in a season in Marlins’ history, while his opponents’ batting average ranks as the fourth-lowest mark.

“I could not be any prouder of Sandy. Anything he does is done with the utmost hard work, discipline, and dedication necessary to achieve what he did in an unbelievable year,” Marlins Pitcher Pablo Lopez said. “His level of dominance and consistency is one of the best things to witness every five days; everyone knows who they are up against, and believe me that they do not like it nor enjoy it because Sandy is trying to beat you with his best stuff. I’m so happy for him, and I’m sure this will not be his only one; he’s got a lot of hardware left to come.”

Alcantara’s six complete games were the most by a Marlins pitcher since Dontrelle Willis threw seven in 2005 and the most in the Majors since Boston’s Chris Sale also had six in 2016. He joined an elite list of Marlins pitchers to throw six or more CGs, alongside Willis, Liván Hernández (9, 1998), A.J. Burnett (7, 2002) and Kevin Brown (6, 1997). His nine career complete games and three career shutouts each rank fifth in Marlins all-time history.

Alcantara surpassed 200.0 innings and 200 strikeouts for the second consecutive season, becoming the first pitcher in Franchise history to accomplish the feat in multiple seasons and the first MLB pitcher to have back-to-back seasons of such caliber since Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Jacob deGrom in 2018-2019.

“It has been an honor to watch Sandy every fifth day.  This year, he emerged as one of the best pitchers – from his workhorse mentality to his masterful, dominating performances,” Marlins General Manager Kim Ng said. “From teammates to Marlins coaching staff and employees, to opponents, to fans around the world – so many watched in awe as Sandy assembled a truly wonderful season.   We are excited for what the future holds for Sandy as he strives to fulfill his full potential.”

Since making his Marlins debut in 2018, Alcantara has taken over as the ace of a strong Marlins pitching staff and climbed his way into Marlins all-time pitching leaderboards. His 3.09 ERA with Miami is good for the fourth-lowest mark in club history (min. 300.0 innings pitched), is tied for sixth in strikeouts with 628 and ranks ninth with 707.2 innings pitched. He has also held opponents to a .224 batting average, ranking third behind only A.J. Ramos (.196) and José Fernández (.209).




Miami Marlins Communications contributed to this column

Author: West Lamy

My passport requires no photograph. Experienced play-by-play broadcaster and multimedia sports journalist with years of producing and covering sports. WORLDWIDEWEST is a journey; in this journey my feet don't get blisters, but my shoes do.

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