MLB Surprises Thus Far


Addison Drone, Staff Writer

Even though most teams have only played a few more than 15 games, it is never too early to look into the early trends of the young season. Some contenders have started off cold, a few young teams are clicking, and, of course, there are plenty of hitters weighing their early season results. Here is a list of a few surprise teams and players thus far into the season in a “hot or not” format:



New York Yankees: The Yankees are supposed to be in rebuilding move. With some key deadline deals last July, the Yankees attained one of the best farm systems in the majors. In addition, many expiring contracts were coming off the books with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez being recent examples. However, this young core is excelling early on. With a 10-6 record and winners of 9 of their past 11, this hot team is led by Chase Headley, Starlin Castro, Jacoby Ellsbury, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia and may be even better upon the returns of shortstop Didi Gregorius and catcher Gary Sanchez.

Colorado Rockies: The Rockies were a big sleeper team coming into the season headed by a young rotation and a plethora of bats. Nolan Arenado is off to a good start, slashing a .356 average, .763 SLG , and 1.187 OPS. Also, journeyman Mark Reynolds has exceeded with four homers paired with a .291 average (his career average is .235) as the club is 11-6.

Cincinnati Reds: The Reds are not supposed to be good, and odds are they will not continue to play winning baseball for the rest of the season; however, a good start is always fun to consider. They are 9-8 and second in the NL Central, a half game behind the defending champion Chicago Cubs. Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza have already swiped 13 combined bags as they lead off the Reds’ order.

Eric Thames: Eric Thames is back in the big leagues after a stint in Korea, and he is so hot that the Cubs pitching coach even hinted at PED usage in a comparison to sluggers like Bonds and Manny Ramirez who have been caught juicing. He entered action Friday with a .400 average, 8 home runs, and an OPS of 1.430!

Ervin Santana: Last year was somewhat of a disappointment after signing a contract. However, through four starts (28 innings), he has given up only two earned runs and nine hits.

Bryce Harper: Harper is back to his MVP form after a lackluster performance last year. Already, he has mashed seven home runs to pair with an average above .400 and 20 RBIs.

Brandon Phillips: An aging Philips was cleared from the Reds roster as the team was rebuilding, but, at age 35, he has had a productive start for the Braves hitting .323 with four steals.

Kris Davis: The start Kris Davis has had this year seems to point towards his 42 home run outburst last year not being a fluke. He already has seven homers with a high .310 average.

Jay Bruce: After a sluggish campaign last year with the Mets, Jay Bruce has taken the initiative to prove himself in the Big Apple posting 6 home runs with a .293 average.


Not (hot):

St. Louis Cardinals: After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010, the Cardinals added centerfielder Dexter Fowler and also Brett Cecil to shore up the bullpen. However, Fowler has been scuffling, hitting only .162, and Cecil has an ERA of 7.94 in a bullpen that has struggled more than imaged as closer Seung Hwan Oh also has an ERA above 7. The team has only won 7 in 17 contests.

Texas Rangers: While this team can really club the ball, only Chirinos, Andrus, and Mazara, are hitting above .215. The pitching has been decent but Sam Dyson has gotten off to an awful start. In six appearances, he has three losses and an ERA of 27.00 before succumbing to injury. The Rangers are 7-10 and will welcome Adrian Beltre once he returns from the DL.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays are already eight games under .500 with a 4-12 record, which demonstrates the frustration of this team that entered the season as a playoff caliber club. The aging core of Jose Bautista, Troy Tulowitzki, and Russell Martin are going to have to lead this team out of their funk with Donaldson sidelined with a calf injury.

Rick Porcello: Last year’s AL CY Young, Rick Porcello has started off cold for the Red Sox. Through four outings, he has compiled a 1-2 record with an ERA of 5.32 and WHIP of 1.52.

Carlos Gonzalez: While his team is off to a hot start, veteran outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has made only a minimal impact. Through 60 at-bats, he has only one home run and two RBIs with a .183 average.

Jose Reyes: Jose Reyes’ play has the Mets looking for options at third base with the possibility of a release being considered. He has hit a putrid .097 and has not driven in any runs. To make matters worse, on Tuesday, he dropped a popup that would lead to the tying run scoring in an extra inning loss.

Jose Abreu: The best hitter on this rebuilding team, Jose Abreu has been lost at the plate thus far. He has yet to homer and has an OPS of only .471 to go with an average below .200.
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