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2022 Cubs Heroes and Goats: The Rizzo Award

Here are this year’s final Rizzo Award standings and data from the Player of the Game polls

New York Mets v Chicago Cubs Photo by Matt Dirksen/Getty Images

Where does the time go? I started writing Heroes and Goats on a part time basis in 2017. At the time, I thought I was just keeping the feature alive until Al could find someone with some actual writing skills to do it on a going forward basis. I was one of the people rushing to the comments every day back when Russ La Croix created this feature. That was in 2014. I thought it was a fun idea and so like many of you, I came here every day to weigh in on the Player of the Game and see whether I thought WPA got it right.

It’s amazing that this feature is now completing its ninth season and even more so that I’ve now been writing here for six years. I mean it definitely feels like a while, but six years? Crazy.

I still enjoy this feature and think it adds a conversation device that is a little different than the rest of BCB, and so I’ve kept it going. I’ve reached the point in life where pretty much everything is day to day. Will I be back in 2023? I just don’t know yet. This was a particularly long year for me personally. But, wait till next year looks better than some do, right? How much would I regret it if I walked away and then they blow the doors off? And how do I miss the 10th season? So probably yes, but not definitely yes. We’ll see.

But enough about me. Let’s clear the slate of the last couple of things to close out the books on 2022. Let’s pull some numbers on Player of the Game, then I’ll recap the Rizzo Award standings in full for the first time this year.

How often did the Player of the Game vote agree with the Superhero (as determined by WPA)? 109 times out of 162 games, or 67.3 percent of the time. Who got the most votes in a poll? Kyle Hendricks received 98 percent of the vote and 179 votes for Game 28 of the season. The highest percentage? That goes to Marcus Stroman. Marcus drew not only 99 percent but all but one vote in a 2-0 loss to the Cardinals in Game 134. I’ve never seen a unanimous poll vote here at BCB and so that’s going to rest in my memory banks as the closest to a unanimous vote.

Here are the top 10 in Player of the Game votes in reverse order.

  • 9-12 (four-way tie): Yan Gomes, Adrian Sampson, Drew Smyly and Seiya Suziki - 7 each
  • 6-8 (two-way tie): Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele and Patrick Wisdom - 8 each
  • 5: Ian Happ - 10
  • 4: Nico Hoerner - 11
  • 3: Willson Contreras - 11.5
  • 2: Keegan Thompson - 13
  • 1: Christopher Morel - 17

Willson Contreras was a part of the only tie vote of the season in Game 34 when he and Wade Miley received the same number of votes. There was one other game where I listed two people (Michael Rucker and Matt Swarmer) as a single entry. Someone else or, if you’d like to think of it as “other,” was the selection twice this year.

As for Christopher Morel, he was the recipient of the most Player of the Game votes and as you can see, it wasn’t particularly close.

Now, we will go last to first on the Rizzo Award.

  • Jason Heyward -15.5
  • Yan Gomes -14.5
  • Rafael Ortega -11.5
  • Ian Happ -10
  • Frank Schwindel -9.5
  • Daniel Norris -9.5
  • Alfonso Rivas -9.5
  • David Bote -9
  • Rowan Wick -8.5
  • Andrelton Simmons -8
  • Nelson Velazquez -8
  • Kyle Hendricks -7
  • Matt Swarmer -7
  • Caleb Kilian -6
  • Ethan Roberts -5.5
  • Erich Uelmen -4.5
  • Zach McKinstry -4
  • Brendon Little -3
  • Jared Young -3
  • Mark Leiter Jr. -3
  • P.J. Higgins -3
  • Nick Madrigal -2
  • Alec Mills -2
  • Jessie Chavez -2
  • Clint (Jackson) Frazier -2
  • Robert Gsellman -2
  • Nicholas Padilla -2
  • Jeremiah Estrada -2
  • Michael Rucker -2
  • Ildemaro Vargas -1
  • Kervin Castro -1
  • Franmil Reyes 0
  • Manuel Rodriguez 0
  • Wade Miley 0
  • Adbert Alzolay 0
  • Michael Hermosillo +1
  • Steven Brault +1
  • Adrian Sampson +2
  • Anderson Espinoza +2
  • Chris Martin +2
  • Luke Farrell +3
  • Javier Assad +3
  • Hayden Wesneski +4
  • Brandon Hughes +5
  • Jonathan Villar +6
  • Mychal Givens +6
  • Seiya Suzuki +6.5
  • Willson Contreras +6.5
  • Sean Newcomb +7
  • Marcus Stroman +8
  • Esteban Quiroz +8
  • Patrick Wisdom +8.5
  • Drew Smyly +10
  • Justin Steele +10
  • Nico Hoerner +10.5
  • Scott Effross +17
  • Christopher Morel +18
  • David Robertson +22.5

David Robertson is your 2022 Rizzo Award winner. David is the second consecutive winner who played a partial season, having been traded at the end of July. Last year’s winner, Frank Schwindel, received playing time with the Cubs only after the trade deadline. The award has been won four times by Anthony Rizzo, four times by pitchers (two starters, two relievers) and by Schwindel. Christopher Morel went down to the last game with a chance to still be the winner. He will have more chances in the future if he stays healthy.

Thanks again for reading and to those of you who comment. None of this matters if no one reads and interacts with what I write. I leave you with one final poll. David Robertson was the Rizzo Award recipient, Christopher Morel won the most Player of the Game votes. Now cast your vote for the Cubs Player of the Year.


Who was the Cubs Player of the Year?’

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Willson Contreras
    (27 votes)
  • 0%
    Scott Effross
    (1 vote)
  • 25%
    Ian Happ
    (80 votes)
  • 43%
    Nico Hoerner
    (134 votes)
  • 0%
    Brandon Hughes
    (0 votes)
  • 13%
    Christopher Morel
    (42 votes)
  • 0%
    David Robertson
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Drew Smyly
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Justin Steele
    (11 votes)
  • 1%
    Marcus Stroman
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Keegan Thompson
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (2 votes)
308 votes total Vote Now