Grading the Alabama baseball season

Tzali Nislick, Contributing Writer

The Alabama baseball season officially ended after the 2022 NCAA Tournament bracket was announced Monday, with the Crimson Tide not making the cut. After two SEC Tournament wins against Georgia and Arkansas, Alabama’s season abruptly ended with back-to-back losses to Texas A&M and Florida.  

The year is now over.  

Exams are in and report cards are out. That means it’s time to reflect and give final grades to the 2022 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Grading head coach Brad Bohannon

Head coach Brad Bohannon’s sixth year at the helm didn’t yield many new or improved results from the last few seasons. He earned his first winning season in 2019 and first SEC Tournament and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2021, averaging a 31-26 record in those two years. Year 6 concluded with a 31-27 record, and an identical 12-17 record in conference play to 2021 as well. Look below to see how Alabama has ranked among its SEC counterparts in certain statistical categories over the last two seasons.


Alabama (SEC) 2021  2022 
Runs scored  10th  13th 
Home runs  10th  T-10th 
OPS  12th  13th 
ERA  10th  7th 


This suggests that Bohannon’s bunch has more-or-less been stuck in neutral, despite breakouts from Drew Williamson, Andrew Pinckney and Caden Rose, and key additions in Tommy Seidl and Dominic Tamez.

Something Bohannon pointed out multiple times down the stretch was Alabama’s struggle to win one-run games.

“We continue to be on the wrong side of these one-run games,” Bohannon said following a 6-5 loss to LSU.  

When discussing Alabama’s tournament chances after the loss to Florida on Saturday, he said he wasn’t sure if the one-run losses mean anything, but that the Crimson Tide “were in a ton of games.” 

They finished 6-12 in those games, but some of those losses came against teams that Alabama was capable of beating– or should have beaten. That includes two losses each to UAB, Mississippi State and South Carolina.  

Alabama’s season wasn’t all bad though, and it can’t all be put on Bohannon’s shoulders. They were dealt a tough hand with the No. 2 strength of schedule and had to navigate the season without projected first-round pick Connor Prielipp, who has been recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Crimson Tide also won six more games against Top-10 opponents than it did a year ago, including a game against No. 1 Tennessee in Knoxville and a three-game sweep of then-No. 7 Ole Miss in Oxford.  

All the ups and downs make it difficult to judge Bohannon, but the challenges his team faced this year combined with its resume of wins, as well as two SEC Tournament victories means more good than bad. 

Final grade: C+ 

Grading the key players 

Let’s start with the man who took the ball every Friday as Alabama’s ace, Garrett McMillan.  

The junior Shelton State transfer filled in admirably for Prielipp, finishing the year with a solid 4.29 ERA and 3.19 K/BB ratio. He was a horse this year, ranking third in the SEC in innings pitched, eighth in strikeouts and his .241 opponents’ batting was good for 14th in the SEC.  

After a strong start to the year, he scuffled towards the end, albeit against some tough competition including LSU, Auburn, Arkansas and Florida.  

That’s the SEC for you.  

Given the challenge of stepping in for Prielipp and going against an incredibly demanding slate of teams, McMillan deserves high praise for his 2022 performance.  

Final grade: A- 

Andrew Pinckney was perhaps the biggest story for Alabama this season. He paced the team in OPS (.883) slugging (.500), doubles (14) and was second in batting average (.303), hits (63) and stolen bases (7). He went on a torrid stretch to end the regular season, hitting .397 with 12 RBIs in 14 games. He proved to be the Crimson Tide’s best offensive producer, something the program needed after losing stars Jackson Tate and Sam Praytor to the MLB Draft a year ago. The redshirt sophomore broke out after posting just a .630 OPS a year ago and was a big reason Alabama reached a second consecutive SEC Tournament berth. 

Final grade: A 

Drew Williamson also had a breakout season of his own in 2022, finishing the year hitting .301 with a .879 OPS to go along with nine home runs and 47 RBIs. He was a model of consistency all year long, hitting safely in 43 of 54 regular season games. The senior first baseman also rode four separate hitting streaks of at least eight games during the year.  

The highlight of his season was a 3-for-4 showing with a home run, five RBIs and three runs scored against Ole Miss on April 9. If this is it for Williamson, he ended on a superb senior season.  

Final grade: A- 

Zane Denton took a bit of a step back this year from his stellar 2021 campaign that saw him hit .308 with a .894 OPS. Those numbers regressed to .263 and .820 respectively in 2022, but he did mash a career-high and team-leading 13 home runs.  

He slumped to end the regular season (.150 batting average in final 11 games), but dominated SEC Tournament play, hitting .412 with a home run and four RBIs.  

After being selected to the 2022 Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Award Watch List, Denton’s junior season feels like it fell slightly short of expectations coming into the season. That being said, he was still an integral fixture in the middle of the Crimson Tide.  

Final grade: B 

Team grade 

It was a roller coaster of a season for the Crimson Tide. They battled a No. 2 strength of schedule without their ace and arguably best player in Connor Prielipp but found a new workhorse and enjoyed breakouts from a few important players.  

Despite another disappointing finish, Alabama fans’ attention was captured from the beginning when Owen Diodati smacked a walk-off bomb on Opening Day all the way through conference tournament action.  

As the program moves forward with Brad Bohannon for a sixth season, results will need to follow. After all, Alabama won five conference tournament championships from 1996-2003.  

That was a long time ago at this point, and if there’s one thing about the Alabama fans, they expect to win consistently. This program will need to hold up its end of the bargain.  

Final grade: B-