Yasiel Puig is getting the lion’s share of rookie exposure from the media. And, I’m not going to say he doesn’t deserve credit for what he’s doing (1.024 OPS in his first 54 games). But, because the media is so infatuated with the Dodgers’ rookie, we are missing out on some of the other rookies around the league that are playing exceptional baseball. Take a look at these young players who might not be on your radar – but should be:
- Wil Myers (TB) – he was called up to Tampa in mid-June. In 39 games he has 8 HR, 30 RBI, is batting .329 with a .912 OPS, and has yet to commit an error in 300+ innings in right field. He’s a legit contender for AL ROY.
- Matt Adams (STL) – when Lance Berkman went on the DL for the second time, the Cardinals called up the left-handed hitter for his second stint with the team this year. He started out primarily as a pinch-hitter who would occasionally give a regular starter the day off. But, since late June, he has been St. Louis’ near-everyday first baseman (while Craig has played a lot in LF). His numbers have slipped since he started playing every day, but overall, he has done well this season: .286, 8 HR, 32 RBI, .832 OPS, 134 wRC+.
- Yan Gomes (CLE) – since being called up in early April, he has forced the Indians to find ways to get him in the game. Starting catcher Carlos Santana has played several games at 1B and DH this year, allowing Gomes to play behind the plate. In 47 games, Gomes has a .310 avg. with 7 HR, 26 RBI, an .874 OPS (which includes a massive .529 SLG), and 142 wRC+.
- Jose Fernandez (MIA) – the Marlins’ lone representative in the All-Star game continues to pitch very well. In 21 starts this season, he has dominated NL hitters to the tune of a 2.54 ERA, and a measly 1.01 WHIP. Meanwhile, he’s striking out batters at a rate of 9.73 K/9. He’s only 8-5, but that has more to do with his pitiful 3.67 RS – one of the worst in the NL.
- Jim Henderson (MIL) – the Brewers’ “new” closer (he turns 31 in October) has done very well for them. He has 15 saves in 18 save opportunities, along with a minuscule 1.94 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. He also carries a very impressive 10.37 K/9 rate.
On the Horizon
There also are a number of young players who have been performing very well in the brief amount of time they’ve been playing thus far. Keep an eye on these guys, because if they keep playing as well as they are, they will be a force to be reckoned with by the end of the season.