Baseball is a very volatile sport in the sense that players come and go, up and down, on a relatively consistent basis. But that volatility can be one of the most exciting parts of the game when we see players that we may never have even heard of before step up and excel in clutch moments. So without further ado, here are the MLB bright spots of 2017.
MLB Bright Spots in 2017
The obvious one here is Aaron Judge. During a brief stint with the New York Yankees last season, the 6’8” monster hit a mere .179 while striking out 42 times in 84 at bats; 50 percent of his at bats. However, the offensive outburst Judge has provided for the Yankees as an everyday right fielder is something extraordinary. In 2017, he has achieved a .276 average, .986 OPS, 104 runs scored, and a whopping 39 home runs; some of which looked like they were leaving the stratosphere.
Sticking with the theme of power, it is safe to say few could have predicted the kind of season Cody Bellinger is having with the Los Angeles Dodgers. So far in his rookie campaign, Bellinger is hitting .272, has driven in 83 runs, has scored 75 times, and has hit 36 home runs…and he’s 22 years old. It’s not too often a young star gets the call to the major league level and makes the immediate impact that Bellinger did. He was the first player in MLB history to hit 21 home runs in his first 51 career games.
Jose Urena is one of those players you may or may not have heard of before the breakout season he’s having this year. He has become a very reliable starter for the Miami Marlins, something that has been lost in the shadows of the incredible season Giancarlo Stanton has put together. After back-to-back seasons posting a 5.00+ ERA, Ureña has fixed a 12-6 record with a 3.71 ERA while striking out 96 batters in 140 2/3 innings. Ureña has become the guy the Marlins can look forward to being on the mound knowing he can give 5-6 innings of quality pitching, ultimately keeping them in a baseball game.
The season Jonathan Schoop is having has been more than a pleasant surprise for the Baltimore Orioles. Schoop has put up career highs in nearly every offensive category. This is terrific timing as the O’s are in the hunt for the final AL Wild Card spot. As a career .266 hitter, Schoop has been all over the ball in 2017, batting an impressive .306; good for 6th best in the American League. The Baltimore second baseman has seen the power as well, hitting 31 home runs with 22 games remaining. Schoop has also driven in 102 runs for the Orioles; currently 20 more than his 2016 total of 82.
As September winds down and 30 teams become 10, the “bright spots” will have to shine even brighter. This is a key time as some teams gear up for playoffs while others think about their future. Will it be the same standouts or will there be different players heating up as the weather gets cooler? Buckle up, playoff baseball is just around the corner.
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