Coming off a season in which he appeared in a career-high 102 games, Gavin Lux again had an opportunity to take hold of an everyday role in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup.
Unlike the disjointed 2020 season, Lux this time capitalized on the opportunity and cemented himself as the Dodgers’ starting second baseman. Despite dealing with back trouble and neck injuries on multiple occasions throughout the year, Lux set a new career high by playing in 129 games.
He started the 2022 season on a high note and largely remained productive throughout the season. Lux had three separate five-game hitting streaks and finished the year batting .276/.346/.399 with 20 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, 42 RBI, a .328 wOBA and 113 wRC+.
Lux set career highs in batting average, on-base percentage, on-base plus slugging, doubles, triples, home runs, wOBA and wRC+. His seven triples additionally led all National League players during the 2022 season.
Although the 25-year-old primarily played second base, he additionally spent time at left field (28 games; 24 starts) and shortstop (nine games). Lux also made one start as the designated hitter.
“I think the outfield last year was a little bit of a grind,” he said in October. “Every game had anxiety, running out there and never really doing it but trying to grind through it and help the team any way possible. I think second base is a lot more comfortable.”
Lux being more at ease in the field helped lead to an increase in confidence heading into the postseason. He appeared in all four games (three starts) against the San Diego Padres, and hit safely in two contests during the National League Division Series.
Gavin Lux 2022 highlight
With the Dodgers on the verge of being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies in a four-game series at Dodger Stadium, Lux atoned for an error that would’ve led to a loss by delivering a walk-off two-run double against Corey Knebel.
The walk-off hit was Lux’s first of his career, though the moment initially did not sink in.
“Honestly, I hit second base and I didn’t even realize it,” Lux said after the game. “I kind of forgot that it was the bottom of the ninth, honestly. So just seeing everybody kind of run out of the dugout … it’s a really good feeling for sure.”
The Dodgers reportedly were open to trading Lux this offseason but appear intent on having him take over for Trea Turner at shortstop. Lux has a history of struggling to make throws, but Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts have both voiced confidence Lux will adjust well to being back at his natural position.
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