Volume 97 Issue 10 Sports

2016 Major League Baseball season: who’s hot and who’s not?

by Zach Seyko

With the 2016 MLB season underway, teams and players have gotten off to fast and slow starts. While these trends could continue, some are more likely to than others. Furthermore, some players and teams still need that right spark to breakout, but have not reached their true potential in the first few weeks.

Trevor Story (Hot): The Colorado Rockies rookie has been all the talk of the league in 2016. The shortstop homered in his first four career games and hit a total of six home runs in four games. He is the first player in history to hit a homerun in the first four games of a career. Currently, he leads the MLB in home runs with seven and is the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year Award. It can be expected for Story’s trend to continue and hit about 25-30 homeruns. He plays 81 games in Colorado, after all, so his batting stats should be extremely inflated. Verdict: Legit.

New York Mets (Cold): The Mets are 4-6 to start the season. While 4-6 does not seem so bad of a start, considering their losses puts their first 10 games into perspective. The Mets dropped two series to the Miami Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies, two teams projected to finish the year with the worst records. Similarly to last season, the Mets struggled in team hitting and right now they are batting .216 as a whole.

To combat this, they signed Yoenis Cespedes who was supposed to add that spark to the offense, but his bat has not been as loud as before. Cespedes, who hit 17 home runs in 52 games last season with the Mets, is one of the many cold bats in the lineup. One revelation on the team is sophomore pitcher, Noah Syndergaard. “Thor” has been seriously dominant in two starts and looks like the ace of the future, owning a 0.69 earned run average. The Mets rely on pitching, which wins championships in my opinion. New York lags behind the first half of the season usually, so do not expect to fall too far behind. They are still a playoff contender, especially in the NL East. Verdict: Fluke.

Starting Pitcher Jake Arrieta and the Chicago Cubs (Hot): Arrieta and the Cubs are off to one of the best starts in franchise history at 9-2. The Cubs sport the number one offense and Arrieta has a 3-0 record with a 1.23 ERA. Led by the young group of players that includes Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Jorge Soler,. tThey suffered a huge blow after losing breakout candidate Kyle Schwarber to a horrid knee injury. The Cubs have quality outfield depth after resigning Dexter Fowler, but Schwarber’s power bat is difficult to replace. This should not deter their route to October. Verdict: Legit.

Chicago White Sox (Hot): The White Sox are off to an incredible, but very surprising 8-3 record. Starting pitcher Chris Sale is paving the way for them with a 3-0 record. While Chicago leads the AL Central division, they are not one of the better hitting teams. It is due to their league-leading team ERA of 2.05. As I said before, pitching wins championships in my opinion, and it has translated to wins for the White Sox. Although it is a nice start, the White Sox have not exactly played top talent. They took games against the Oakland A’s, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians. The AL Central also contains the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals, so they will be seeing talented teams quite a bit this season. That team ERA will not stay around two runs per game. Verdict: Fluke.

Alex Rodriguez (Cold): Some baseball fans might be ecstatic to read this, as the Yankees hitter is ice cold to begin the season. One of the most infamous players in baseball is currently batting .100, with one homerun and three hits total. The Yankees have a solid offense, but A-Rod has been nonexistent in the batting order. It could be that his age and the lack of steroids have finally caught up to him. Rodriguez says that he is considering retirement after next season, that decision might be on his mind sooner rather than later. Verdict: Legit.

Vince Velasquez (Hot): Another young player that has gotten off to an amazing start is Philadelphia Phillies pitcher is Velasquez. Velasquez did the unthinkable and struck out 16 batters in a game against the San Diego Padres. Granted, the Padres are one of the worst hitting teams, but it was an electrifying performance and a pleasing view into the future for Phillies fans. Velasquez was acquired in the offseason from the Houston Astros in exchange for up and coming reliever Ken Giles, who is currently a set up. Velasquez’s start is rated as one of the best starts by a Phillies pitcher in franchise history. Hopefully the trend continues, as the 23-year-old has a promising career ahead of him. It can be assumed that Velasquez will continue to be dominant, but he will not get the wins that he deserves because a of poor Phillies lineup, similarly to Felix Hernandez who won the CY Young award with a 12-12 record. Verdict: Legit.

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