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2022 Padres Player Review: Austin Nola

Nola caught every postseason game for the Padres

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Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Five Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

2022 Regular Season Statistics

0.2 fWAR, 110 G, .251 AVG, .321 OBP, .329 SLG, 91 OPS+, 40 R, 40 RBI, 4 HR

Positives From This Season

Austin Nola caught the majority of the Padres regular season games, as he was able to stay off of the IL the entire season, which is something he wasn’t able to do in 2021. He did hit the paternity list, which is a positive for he and his family. Congratulations to them!

The 32-year-old caught 834.2 innings for the Friars and was in the single digits in errors (6). Padres fans have to give Nola props for catching every single out of the postseason, which is the most games he’s caught consecutively without rest in his career.

It was evident how important he was to the team in October when Jorge Alfaro and Luis Campusano never got a single at-bat. The coaching staff didn’t trust either of those backups so if Nola faltered, the Padres would’ve been in trouble. The great news is he didn’t falter.

Sure, he struggled in the NLCS at the plate but hit .381 with a .916 OPS in the Wild Card and Division Series. Nola got the big go-ahead hit in Game 3 against the Mets, threw out Mookie Betts in Game 2 of the Division Series to prevent Betts from getting into scoring position and made no errors the entire postseason.

Negatives From This Season

It is well known Nola isn’t known for his bat and that still rang true during the regular season and in the NLCS. He went 1-for-19 (.053) vs. the Phillies and had a .649 OPS during the regular season. Nola finished with a 91 OPS+, which is below league average.

He caught 8 runners stealing all regular season long, which is last (15 out of 15) among all catchers who caught at least 800 innings. There were teams who turned singles into doubles because they would just steal second base right after getting a hit.

With this said, Nola likely is the starting catcher next season unless A.J. Preller makes an unexpected run at Willson Contreras in free agency.

If you wish to listen or watch me talk more about Nola’s season on the Talking Friars Podcast/YouTube show, click here!