In every campaign of any sport, the inflow of the young and talented personality has always been a base for the success of the team and Baseball been an American sport is not immune from this fact. While young talent has always been a critical part of winning games and franchise success, each season have always produced handful of prospects which could break through to the big leagues, including many who got a taste the prior season.
With 2020 disrupted with the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 season brought talk of clear Rookie of the Year favorites, but once the season actually got going, there were more than a fair share of rookie standouts that didn’t appear on those early lists.
Just any other player in his team,Yermín Mercedes is growing into a one hell of a player while he will be in the front to aid the White Sox to the 2021 Major League Baseball victory in AL Central at +130 odds according to the Major League Baseball odds. But below are the 10 best rookies who currently plies their trade in MLB.
Randy Arozarena (Tampa Bay Rays)
The Cuban had been a little off color since the genesis of the campaign, but with 10 homers in 20 postseason games, last campaign’s playoff hero is performing solidly enough to ascertain his 2020 ingenuity was not a flash in the pan.
The Cuban international has begun to show glimpse of some good leather in right field for the Rays, including the catch-of-the-year candidate he made on April 5 at Fenway Park.
More so, Randy has opened 11-for-38 (0.289) with two homers, a double and five run battle in. He also began the campaign on an eight-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all nine of his 2021 contests. Even at the preseason American League rookie favorite is rightly using his ammunition and with the performance he has put on so far, the only thing stopping the Cuban international is himself.
Michael Kopech (Chicago White Sox)
With that kind of pitch, Kopech might just be a candidate for the rookie of the year. While he is averaging a pitch of 97mph on his fastball, while he keeps getting a whiff rate of 41.9 percent on that pitch alone, but banging 70 percent whiff rate with the slider, and that might just be the better offering right now.
Moreover, seven of his 11 K’s over 6 1/3 innings have come on the slider. The 24-year-old American has yet to allow the opposition earned run in three appearances, while he has surrendered only one single and two walks to the 22 batters he has faced.
The American international has the stuff to be an effective starter, but if he continues to dominate out of the bullpen, the White Sox might decide to keep him where he can be truly elite. But the 24-year-old right-hander is certainly pitching like a reliever capable of winning a Rookie of the Year Award.
Casey Mize (Detroit Tigers)
After much struggle in his last campaign, the Tigers rookie is certainly enjoying a fresh bit of air as hetossed seven scoreless innings against the Astros on April 12, while he has begun to complete his best start in the campaign so far.
While making 0.82 earned run average within two outings marking him to be the lowest among all rookie starting pitchers on the young season, and the American has matched his slow start to the season with nine punchouts in 11 total frames.
Casey has upped the usage of both his fastball and splitter in his early starts of 2021 and he is averaging 95.2 mph is sign of good thing to come later in the campaign for the American international.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. (Miami Marlins)
Jazz Chisholm has cemented his place in the heart of Marlins as one of the most exciting players in the team and the Majors at large
Although he justified while everyone is singing his praise by taking his average pitch to 100.4 mph from deGrom deep into the Citi Field upper deck on April 10. In fact, his two theft on consecutive occasions make Chisholm the only rookie with multiple steals at this stage of the season.
Furthermore, Chisholm 0.888 on-base plus slugging aided by six walks in 30 plate appearances place the Bahaman international on fifth among qualified rookies. But, the combination of his pop, speed and middle-infield play would certainly make the 23-year-old a South Beach sensation for years to come.
Dane Dunning (Texas Rangers)
While the season current season has been nothing but a stunning campaign for the American international as the 26-year-old right-hander has allowed only one earned run over nine innings between two starts again the Blue Jays and Rays.
The Rangers pitcher has fanned 11 and walked only two in that span. With four above-average pitches and good control, Dunning has the armor to fit comfortably into the Rangers’ League rotation, and these early signs could point to him taking an even larger role as the season wears on.
Trevor Rogers, (Miami Marlins)
Rogers was no stranger to the strikeout, having fanned 39 in 28 innings, even while he was stating 6.11 in his earn run average in his last campaign. But, his love for the strikeout has continued with a rookie-best 16 in 10 innings, and the rest of his numbers have caught up as well, with 1.80 earn run average and 1.10 walk and hit per inning.
The 23-year-old American pitcher is getting whiff rates above 50 percent on both his mid-90’s fastball and low-80’s slider. Rogers won a rotation spot for Miami coming out of Spring Training and doesn’t look like a pitcher who will give up that placement anytime soon.
Zach McKinstry (Los Angeles Dodgers)
The left-handed slugger has gone 9-for-28 (0.321) over nine games, while his 0.679 slugging percentage is tops on the defending World Series championships, his six extra-base hits is also ranked second, behind only Justin Turner’s seven.
The absolute insanity about the McKinstry game is the fact that he doesn’t play like a minor but his stance as a major is not emphasized enough, while his defensive flexibility at second base and the outfield could help his case as a regular for the Dodgers throughout the season.
With all his attributes and his double-digit hit on home runs only once in his four Minor League seasons prior to 2021. Zack would not ne looking to be a regular with Dodger but making a case as one of the best rookie in the current campaign.
Akil Baddoo (Detroit Tigers)
For a player who has play any game in two years, thanks to Tommy John Surgery in 2019 and Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the 22-year-old American outfielder has certainly made a lot of impact in the current campaign, while the only thing holding the American international back from the top two spot was the lack of consistent playing time in the opening days of the season.
For a player who is enjoying life to his game with his Game one’s homer on the first pitch he sees, game two’s grand slam, third’s walk-off single in the 10th, fouth’s left-handed slugger which picked up seven hits in his first 19 at-bats, and fifth of those have gone for extra bases, including three homers. But, his 1.00 slugging percentage and 1.38 On-base plus slugging are both tops among rookie qualifiers. However, as the season unfold, the 22-year-old will be vying for the best rookie in the current campaign.
Phillip Evans (Pittsburgh Pirates)
The 28-year-old first appeared in the Majors in 2017 but retained his rookie status going into this season due to a limit on his at-bats and days on the roster. Now, Evans is fully ensconced in the Bucs lineup and making the most of his playing time that has only grown since went on the injured list with a wrist.
Evans started out 13-for-32 (0.406) with three homers and two doubles over nine games as of April 12, while playing third, left, right and even pitcher for a game on April 6. But with his tenacity and exquisite influence on the game so far, the Mexican-American infielder will looking to finally land the rookie of the year and maybe found his regular berth at the expense of Ke’Bryan Hayes.
Yermín Mercedes (Chicago White Sox)
The Dominican slugger opened the season going 16-for-32 with two homers and three doubles over eight games. With 16 hits, 25 bases and 0.556 on-base slugging percentage are all tops among rookies, while he remains the only qualified Major Leaguer hitting 0.500 or above.
However, with such numbers at the base of his season stats, Mercedes who is a catcher in the Minors is yet to play any position and the 28-year-old Dominican international has already provided the White Sox with plenty of value with his bat alone.