Real or not? A midseason verdict on MLB's biggest surprise stars of 2022

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Cardinals shortstop Tommy Edman recently made a play where he started on the shortstop side of second base before ranging well to the left of the bag to make a spinning, off-balance fling to throw out Christian Yelich at first base. It was a difficult play that Edman made look rather routine.

Bally Sports Midwest summed it up in five words: "Tommy Edman: good at baseball."

That's perfect, isn't it? Edman doesn't hit the ball the hardest or for the highest average, he might not have the strongest throwing arm, and he's not the fastest guy in the league, although he's certainly plenty fast. But on any given night, he can beat opponents with his bat, or his glove, or his legs, and often enough this season, all three. He finds ways to win that go beyond just hitting home runs, and, frankly, we could all use a few more Tommy Edmans in our baseball lives.

As we reach the end of June, it's time to check in for another edition of Real or Not, this time looking at some of the biggest surprises of the 2022 season. Are these surprising performances, like Edman's 2022 breakout, real signs of full-season stardom, or are they first-half flukes destined to fade as the year plays out?