Here at Wisconsin Sports Heroics, our 2022 season report card series continues. Today, we will be evaluating relief pitcher Brad Boxberger.
Earlier, we took a look at Kolten Wong. Wong and Boxberger are similar in the fact that both have club options for the 2023 season. Wong’s option is worth $10MM with a $2MM buyout. Boxberger’s 2023 option is a $3MM deal with a $750k buyout.
Brad Boxberger’s 2022 season grade: B+
2022 was Boxberger’s second season with the Milwaukee Brewers. There are some striking similarities when you compare his first and second seasons with the Crew. For instance, in both years he led the team in appearances (71 in 2021, 70 in 2022). He additionally pitched 64 innings each year and threw just 16 more total pitches in 2022 when compared to 2021.
Performance wise, Boxberger has worked primarily as a high leverage reliever. He accumulated 29 total holds in 2022 along with one save. His ERA in 2022 was a staggering 2.95 with a 134 ERA+. This means Boxberger performed much better than your league average reliever last season.
With consistently working in high leverage, Boxberger did let some games slip away. He was charged with seven blown saves in 2022 and allowed 42% of inherited runners to score. In 2021, he had just five blown saves and only 28% of inherited runners scored.
A contributing factor to this may be that batters made more contact against Boxberger in 2022. Overall his whiff percentage was down 7.5% and strikeout percentage 5.8% when compared to a season ago. Boxberger set a career high in strikeout percentage in 2021 (31.2%), so it is not all that surprising that this statistic normalized.
All in all, Boxberger had a pretty good season. He has been a good addition to the Brewers bullpen. With Josh Hader gone and Taylor Rogers set to hit free agency, it may be in the Brewers best interest to keep the veteran reliever around in 2023.