Article by: Zach Henley
Every season there are break out rookies who take the league by storm. Some years are better than other years, but this year might be one of the best.
1. Pete Alonso: New York Mets
The first rookie in the spotlight is Pete Alonso for the New York Mets. Alonso has taken the national league by storm by crushing 30 home runs, which set a new team record and winning this year’s home run derby. Although the Mets have been struggling thus far this season, easily their biggest upside is the potential that Alonso has shown in his first year in the majors.
2. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.: Toronto Blue Jays
Following in his hall of famer father’s footsteps, Vlad Jr. is also playing in the north but for a different team. This team being the Toronto Blue Jays. After being the number one prospect and having one of the most anxious debuts, Vlad Jr. has shown promise and potential in a slow start for the rookie phenom. After only hitting 8 home runs since is his debut, he showed some serious power and energy in the home run derby. The slugger set the record for home runs hit with 91. Teaming up with Cavan Biggio, the Blue Jays have some serious talent and could become a home run team in just a few short years.
3. Austin Riley: Atlanta Braves
As the Atlanta Braves continue their success with one of the youngest teams in baseball, their secret weapon might be rookie Austin Riley. The 22-year-old outfielder came to the big leagues after Ender Inciarte went on the IL. In his first month as a major leaguer, Riley hit 7 home runs along with 20 RBI’s and helped Atlanta stay in the top half of the NL East standing. Since being called up, the rookie has showcased his power and clutch performances with runners on base. The biggest drawback to his game is his average and contact rate. Where there is power, usually comes with a lower average than a basic contact hitter. As the Braves seem to get better every game, look for Riley to become a star in the upcoming years.
4. Brandon Lowe: Tampa Bay Rays
The leading Rookie of the Year candidate has been a star for the Rays. After a couple of struggling years, the Tampa Bay Rays seem to be hitting their stride once again and they’re led by rookie Brandon Lowe. Supporting a .276 batting average along with 16 home runs, Lowe has helped the Rays stay in the playoff race and in contention with the Yankees for the division. Even though he's on the IL right now, Lowe will be coming off soon, and I think he'll lead the Ray into the playoffs, not just this year, but for years to come.
5. Fernando Tatis Jr.: San Diego Padres
Maybe the most exciting rookie and player to watch, Fernando Tatis Jr. is a human highlight reel. The shortstop, son of former player Fernando Tatis, had great fielding and baserunning skills. No other rookie has stolen home plate more than him and much like his gold glove teammate, Manny Machado, Tatis Jr. can make unbelievable plays from anywhere on the diamond. If Pete Alonso wasn’t in this year’s class and crushing home runs left and right, Tatis Jr. would be my pick for this year’s NL Rookie of the year.
If you enjoyed this article about an all time classic, be sure to check out some more content!
Thanks for reading and to keep up with all things sports, be sure to see it here at Heated Sports!