Courtesy of the Charleston Riverdogs

Charleston, SC –  In September, the 2022 Charleston RiverDogs proved that they were the cream of the crop in the Carolina League by winning a second consecutive league championship. On Monday, the team was honored by Baseball America as the 2022 Minor League Team of the Year. It is the first time the franchise has received this recognition.

“We are thrilled that Baseball America chose our team for this honor. Having had the opportunity to watch them closely for a full season, I can say with complete confidence that the players and coaches deserved it,” stated RiverDogs President and General Manager Dave Echols. “Since we renewed our relationship with Tampa Bay in 2021, our fans have been treated to two incredible teams and seasons.”

The 2022 RiverDogs posted an 88-44 record and won all four playoff games on the way to claiming the title. The 88 wins set a new franchise record and were the most victories in Minor League Baseball for all levels below Triple-A, second to only the Nashville Sounds who played 17 more games. The team’s .667 winning percentage was the highest in MiLB.
The RiverDogs offensive attack was explosive throughout the season, using a large amount of extra-base hits to do their damage. The team’s 57 triples were the most in MiLB and their 120 home runs paced the Carolina League. The offense also led the league in batting average (.254), hits (1,127), total bases (1,809), slugging percentage (.408) and OPS (.754). On the mound, the pitchers were equally as dominant, posting a league-best 3.67 earned run average. The RiverDogs allowed 15 fewer runs than any other team in the circuit.

The roster was littered with exciting young players including several players that are widely regarded as top prospects in the Rays organization. Shortstop Carson Williams was honored as a Carolina League All-Star and won a Rawlings® Gold Glove as the best defensive shortstop in MiLB. Outfielder Shane Sasaki won the league batting title and was also named to the all-star team. Pitcher Austin Vernon claimed recognition as the top reliever in the Carolina League, posting a 9-1 record and 1.69 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 58.2 innings. Other top prospects that suited up in the Holy City included Cole Wilcox, Brock Jones, Mason Auer, Junior Caminero, Sandy Gaston, JJ Goss, Dominic Keegan, Ryan Spikes and Nick Bitsko.

“2022 was such an incredible year for our team, our organization and the city of Charleston,” said manager Blake Butera. “We had an exceptional group of players and staff that showed up every day wanting to improve. This was a total group effort and I couldn’t be more proud of everyone involved.”