In what was a deflating season for his team, Nathaniel Lowe might draw some small consolation from the fact that he had a bust-out year. The Mississippi State product led all Mississippians in the majors in batting with a .302 average while hitting 27 homers and driving in 76 runs in his second full MLB campaign. Texas, which spent a lot of money in the off-season, finished 68-94 and saw its manager fired during the year. But the Rangers got plenty of bang for their buck ($700,000 in 2022) from Lowe, acquired from Tampa Bay prior to the 2021 season. In the other major offensive categories, DeSoto Central High alumnus Austin Riley of Atlanta topped all Mississippians with 38 homers, 93 RBIs and 90 runs. Tim Anderson, the ex-East Central Community College star, led in stolen bases with 13; he played only 79 games for the Chicago White Sox because of injuries. Brandon Woodruff, the former State standout from Wheeler, was the top pitcher from the state, posting 13 wins, a 3.05 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 190 strikeouts for Milwaukee. Woodruff, who spent some time on the injured list, pitched 153 1/3 innings, falling short of qualifying for the official MLB leaderboard. Kendall Graveman, another ex-Bulldogs star, posted six saves for the White Sox. Chris Stratton, a State alum from Tupelo, had two saves for Pittsburgh, none for St. Louis, where he finished the season. It’s worth noting that a number of Mississippi-connected pitchers were impacted by injuries in 2022, including Lance Lynn, Justin Steele, Chris Ellis, Spencer Turnbull, Garrett Crochet and Drew Pomeranz. P.S. The most interesting stats from a Mississippian in 2022 were produced by Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton. The 10-year vet went 1-for-20, striking out 12 times, but managed to score 13 runs and steal 10 bases. Playing for Miami and Minnesota, Hamilton was used primarily as a pinch runner.