INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians announced today that super utilityman Ji-Hwan Bae has been named 2022 Team MVP after flashing speed, power and versatility across five different positions through the entire campaign. Right-handed pitchers Cody Bolton, Osvaldo Bido and Jerad Eickhoff, outfielder Jared Oliva and catcher Taylor Davis were also
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians announced today that super utilityman Ji-Hwan Bae has been named 2022 Team MVP after flashing speed, power and versatility across five different positions through the entire campaign. Right-handed pitchers Cody Bolton, Osvaldo Bido and Jerad Eickhoff, outfielder Jared Oliva and catcher Taylor Davis were also named as award recipients.
Team MVP – Ji-Hwan Bae
Bae, 23, was an everyday difference maker for the Indians. Rotating between second base (57 games/53 starts), third base (1 game/0 starts), shortstop (24 games/20 starts), left field (8 starts) and center field (20 games/19 starts) over 108 total games, he consistently performed at a high offensive level and leads all Indians qualifiers with a .289 average, .362 on-base percentage, .430 slugging percentage, .792 OPS, 121 hits, 81 runs scored and 30 stolen bases. Of those categories, he ranks among International League leaders in triples (T-5th, 6), runs scored (T-7th) and stolen bases (T-8th).
The speedster’s 30 stolen bases this season are the most by an Indians baserunner since Alen Hanson swiped 36 bases in 2016 and are tied with Chase d’Arnaud (2014) for the 10th-most stolen bases by an Indian since 2005.
From April 27-June 1, Bae reached base safely in a career-high 28 consecutive games, a streak which is tied with teammate Canaan Smith-Njigba, Buffalo’s Otto Lopez and Memphis’ Conner Capel for the eighth-longest such streak in the IL this season. He hit .339 (37-for-109) with five home runs, 30 runs scored and a 1.037 OPS during the stretch, which helped Bae earn Indianapolis’ May Player of the Month honor.
Pitcher of the Year – Cody Bolton
Bolton, 24, excelled in a hybrid role with the Indians in his first Triple-A campaign coming off a season-ending knee injury in 2021. The right-hander, who entered the season as Pittsburgh’s No. 30 prospect by Baseball America, went 4-2 with a 3.01 ERA (25er/74.2p) and 81 strikeouts over 29 games (14 starts). After strictly working as a starting pitcher through the first three seasons of his career, Bolton shined out of the bullpen, going 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA (9er/33.0ip) and 39 strikeouts.
Indy’s Opening Day starter stymied batters from both sides of the plate as well, compiling a .206 average against (56-for-272). Left-handed batters hit just .214 (22-for-103) with a .609 OPS against him.
Gold Glove Award – Jared Oliva
Oliva, 26, has strung together a streak of 87 consecutive games without an error since April 16 – tied for the second-longest streak in the International League this season – to be named Indy’s Gold Glove Award recipient. The streak is the longest by an Indians fielder since Will Craig (89 games) in 2019 and is Oliva’s longest since not committing an error over his entire 2019 season with Double-A Altoona (114 games).
Oliva has committed just one error in 167 total chances over 707.2 combined innings between each outfield position. The bulk of his innings have come in center field, where he has a pair of assists and no errors in 51 games (46 starts).
Most Improved – Osvaldo Bido
Bido, 26, has been a strikeout phenom since the All-Star break, compiling a 2-1 record, 2.31 ERA (12er/46.2ip) and 57 strikeouts in his last 11 games (eight starts). He has struck out seven-plus batters six times this season, five of which have come since July 24, including a career-high tying 10-strikeout performance on Tuesday night at Victory Field. In that time, he has registered a 2.59 strikeout-to-walk ratio, an improvement from his 1.48 mark (62 strikeouts, 42 walks) over his first 63.1 innings (20 games/16 starts).
The right-hander’s latest strikeout surge has moved him into seventh among International League pitchers this season with 119. In the second half of the season, he would lead the league in ERA if he had enough innings to qualify. His 57 punchouts in the second half are tied for second, just three shy of the league lead.
Unsung Hero, Position Player – Taylor Davis
Davis, 32, was unmatched with his veteran presence providing clubhouse leadership all season. The catcher not only led a mix of journeymen and young prospects on the Indians pitching staff from behind the dish, but made a difference as a vocal presence at batting practice and in the cages pregame.
When taking the field, Davis rotated between positions as needed and maintained consistency at the plate, hitting .273 (33-for-121) with 16 walks and only 21 strikeouts across 40 games.
Unsung Hero, Pitcher – Jerad Eickhoff
Eickhoff, 32, joins Davis as a leader by example for the Indians pitching staff. The Evansville, Ind. native’s professionalism and work ethic never wavered and led to him having his contract selected by Pittsburgh and a return to the big leagues on June 22.
The right-hander excelled over 28 games (20 starts) and led the Indians with six wins and 114.1 innings pitched. With just 1.2 additional innings needed to meet the qualifying mark, he would rank third in WHIP (1.15) and fifth in average against (.236) among International League leaders.