Willy Goldstein provides a round-up of the movements and shifts happening in the fresh 2017 MLB season.
Baby Bombers: Last year the Yankees youth movement were being referred to the baby bombers, but there’s nothing small about this group of guys. Led by the second best offense in the league, the Yankees are back, and it doesn’t look like they are going to let up. They are being helped by the emergence of Aaron Judge, who stands at 6’7”, and has been destroying the ball at the plate. He has 13 home runs in 28 games, the most by a rookie to start his career. They also have Starlin Castro, who is having a career resurgence, hitting .358. Their pitching has even managed to hold it together, led by Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino. The Yankees look for real right now if they can keep the bats going.
Nationals: The Washington Nationals are one of the best teams in the league, led by their offense as well. But rather than new guys stepping up, they have older guys coming back. After a lost year, Ryan Zimmerman is a man on a mission. A year after batting .218, he leads the National League with a .420 batting average, 13 home runs, and 34 RBIs. Combined with Bryce Harper returning for form, they create as formidable of a middle of the order as there is around the league. Harper is batting .385 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. These numbers probably won’t hold all season, but Zimmerman is on pace for a historic year.
Old Guys Getting it Done: The 34-year-old Vargas is having a career year for the Kansas City Royals. In six starts he has an ERA of 1.19. It is odd for a pitcher with a career ERA of 4.09. At the age of 37, Albert Pujols is fourth in the American League with 24 RBIs. Pujols has had some down years since coming to the Angels, but he is proving to still be a useful player. Another 34-year-old having a breakout year is Ervin Santana. Santana has a career 4.04 ERA, but is 5-1 this season with a 1.72 ERA. He is helping an upstart Minnesota Twins team to second in the AL Central division.
About Those Twins: One of the biggest surprises of the new season is the Twins who have gone from one of the worst teams in the league, posting a 59-103 record last year, to a middling team, with a 15-14 start. The 23-year-old Miguel Sano leads the team in almost every hitting category, hitting .300 with 8 home runs and 28 RBIs. Along with Santana, the rotation is getting help from Hector Santiago who is posting a 2.78 ERA.
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