The early MLB season is generally full of surprises and that is no different this season. But there are also those stars that perform so exceptionally well we have to mention them. And there are those not so good ones that want to make you throw up. These are 5 players that have left early impressions on the MLB fan base this season.
Last year the Arizona Diamondbacks won 93 games, won the wild card matchup, and then reached the buzzsaw that was the Dodgers and got swept. Coming into the season we thought they might take a step back because after Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke, who else in this rotation is proven? In comes Patrick Corbin, who flashed at times last year, but was never truly consistent. This season is a different story so far as Corbin has brought back the magic from his 2013 All-Star appearance. Sitting at 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 20 Ks to 2 BBs, Patrick is completely dominating through 2 outings so far. And those 2 outings came against the Rockies and the Dodgers so he isn't stat padding against terrible teams. Now he will not keep up this unbelievably dominant pace but any sort of dropoff should coincide with him making a 2nd career All-Star Game.
Coming into a contract year, it would have been reasonable to deduce that Bryce Harper would certainly play with more urgency than in previous years. But through 10 games and 29 at bats, he's batting a ridiculous .345 with an OPS of 1.519 to go with his 6 homers and 12 RBI. But the most impressive thing is his strikeout to walk ratio. Last year it was 99:68 in favor of Ks. This year it's 5:16 in favor of BBs! The man is just finding ways to get no base and keep balls in play even when he isn't hitting bombs. The sky is the limit for this individual.
After last season, out of all the rookies Cody Bellinger had the most flare to him throughout the season. But there was another that had a monstrous late-season surge. That would be Rhys Hoskins. His 18 homers in 50 games took the NL by storm. And it seems he's still on that surge. With a .429 average and a 1.374 OPS Hoskins has carried his dominance over to this year. Now with only 2 homers his power has taken an expected drop off. But with less power has come more hits as he has 12 through 10 games this year compared to last year where he only had 44 through 50. But we should expect his power to come back around and when it does watch out NL East. The Phillies could be on their way.
Now it's time for a not so good impression. For the past 2 years Kenley Jansen has been the most dominant closer in all of baseball. With 47 and 41 saves in 2016 and 2017 respectively, myself and many others thought he would be one of the best finishers to ever play. But the early returns are not pretty. In 4 outings, He's 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.750 WHIP. That's not NL champion material. Now his most recent outing was a good one against the Giants and though he let a runner get to second, he was in control for the whole inning. I expect him to pull it together and become the superstar he showed us in the past but the early season returns are not promising.
I'll be honest. As an Astros fan, I was so ready to anoint him a bust. After his horrific spring training, I was already rolling out the red carpet down to Triple-A. But then his first outing happened. And then he hit 3 homers. And then he took a perfect game into the 7th inning. And now I look foolish. At 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.462 WHIP he's beginning to, along with teammate Tyler Skaggs, establish himself as an elite pitcher. But then as a hitter, he's batting .389 with a 1.310 OPS and 3 homers and 7 RBI. I really didn't believe somebody could hit and pitch regularly during the same season. But Ohtani is proving me all types of wrong. And I'm glad for it.
Stats per Baseball Reference
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