By: Noah Wright
AP / Kathy Willens
Many young players have already made their debut this year, and some have seriously impacted their team with their performance in a good way. Some came into the season as potential Rookie Of The Year Candidates, while others weren’t even close to being top 100 prospects. Here are 7 rookies that have performed exceptionally well to start the year. (this list is in no particular order)
1.) Gleyber Torres (2B): Ranked as MLB’s 4th best prospect, Torres is living up to his hype. In his first 94 PA’s of his career, Torres has hit an outstanding .321/.389/.571, along with 6 home runs. He’s also performed well with the glove, with 5 DRS, .6 defensive WAR, and -.6 UZR.
2.) Miguel Andujar (3B): The Yankees’ other top prospect has more than held his own to start the 2018 season (made his debut last year). While he has not produced at the same level as Torres, Andujar has batted a solid .286/.296/.483. He may not be a big contributor with the glove (-6 DRS, -.5 defensive WAR, -3.5 UZR), Andujar is sure helping in the power numbers with a .483 slugging % and .197 ISO.
3.) Shohei Ohtani (SP/DH) LA Angels: The two way Japanese phenom had questions on how he’d perform with batting, and pitching in The States (but there more questions about his bat). Ohtani has put all those questions to rest so far this year. The 23-year old has batted a very good .321/.367/.619 including 6 home runs and 17 RBI’s in his first 90 PA’s. Ohtani is also performing well on mound. In his first 40.1 innings of work, Ohtani has pitched to a 3.55 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, 3.27 FIP, while striking out 11.6 K’s and limiting walks to just 3.1 BB/9.
4.) Colin Moran (3B): The corner infielder The Pirates got in the Gerrit Cole trade has performed well so far, as he’s platooned with David Freese at third base. In his first 139 PA’s of the season, Moran has hit .286/.381/.437, while showing decent plate discipline. Moran has been right around average so far with his glove, with 0 DRS, 0 defensive WAR, and -3.6 UZR.
5.) Christian Villanueva (3B): Since taking over at third base for The Padres late last year, Villanueva has performed very well. So far into the 2018 season (150 PA’s), Villanueva has batted .244/.320/.556 with 12 home runs, and 26 RBI’s. His home run and RBI total top all rookies right now. Though like Moran, Villanueva has been about average with fielding at the hot corner, with 0 DRS, 0 defensive WAR, and -2.7 UZR.
6.) Johnny Field (OF): Field is the only one on this list who hasn’t appeared on a top 100 prospect list, only making The Ray’s top 30 list once in 2015 (#30). He’s been a very good surprise to The Tampa Bay Rays, as the 26-year old has batted .308/.348/.554 with 4 homeruns, and 8 RBI’s in 70 PA’s. He’s also been good in the outfield with 4 DRS, .4 defensive WAR, and 2.6 UZR.
7.) Tyler Austin (1B): With Greg Bird on The DL, The Yankees called up Tyler Austin to take his spot for now. He’s made the best with his time in The Majors this year, batting .247/.308/.557 with 8 home runs and 23 RBI’s in 107 PA’s. He’s also been ok with the glove, recording 0 DRS, -.1 defensive WAR, and -.6 UZR.