Biggest MLB Surprises of 2016; Trevor Story on Fire
(Biggest MLB Surprises of 2016) – Major League Baseball has reached the sixteen game mark, meaning that roughly ten percent of the regular season has already passed us by. While sixteen game stretches to most are only a small glimpse of a team or players’ long term performance, it is a substantial sample size to really look at in terms of fast starts and slow movers.
Today will begin a two-part series in which we will be looking at some of the seasons’ early surprises, both good and bad.
Trevor Story – Colorado Rockies
The play of the seasons’ young rookies have gone beyond expectations. Certain prospects have played beyond their years, others broken records, and some have already exceeded the high expectations placed due to their organization rankings as well as the MLB Pipeline rankings placed on them at the beginning of the season.
Rockies’ Shortstop Trevor Story crashed the Big League Scene with unbelievable Debut weeks; earning MLB Player of the Week honors in his division. Corey Seager started off laser hot, but has cooled down as of late.
With Story, a 2011 1st round (45th overall) pick, the Rockies have a power hitting, slick fielding shortstop to replace another power hitting, slick fielding shortstop. In his first three weeks at the big league level, Story is hitting .274/.313/1.047 with a major league leading 8 homeruns and 14 runs batted in. Armed with arguably the organizations best bat speed; Story looks to be a keeper; so long as he can cut down on his MLB leading twenty-five (25) strikeouts.
Bryce Harper – Washington Nationals
The reigning National League MVP has started the 2016 season right where he left off, scorching hot. Through Thursday, Harper was slashing to a .327/.417/1.253 line with 8 homeruns and an NL leading 23 runs batted in. This has been by far Harper’s fastest start to any season, considering he has historically started slower when it came to showing his power in the early going.
Harper’s fast start has also helped ignite the entire Washington Nationals lineup, helping to fuel the teams 11-4 start; the third best start in the Montreal Expos-Washington Nationals franchise history. If Harper’s play continues, and the improved pitching continues; the Washington Nationals and their power rotation could potentially dethrone the New York Mets atop the National League East.
Coming off the Orioles 2014, AL East Division title, the Baltimore Orioles failed miserably in 2015 to match the leagues expectations. With a 81-81-.500 finish to the season last year, Baltimore General Manager Dan Duquette set his attention on improving the ballclub while continuing to keep the core intact.
Following the drama behind Chris Davis’ lengthy contract negotiations and the constant game of cat and mouse, the Orioles were held to signing RHP Yovani Gollardo and 1B/3B Pedro Alvarez. In either case, both players – along with the resigning of Chris Davis, and set-up man Daren O’Day, the Orioles are off to one of the franchises best starts at 9-4. Fueled by a reliable rotation, good bullpen and a potentially lethal lineup filled with big bats and great gloves; the Baltimore Orioles could be the surprise winner in a talented, but brutal AL East.
(Biggest MLB Surprises of 2016)