2016 MLB rookie crop
The 2016 MLB rookie crop will be fun to watch, given the enormous crop of talent that either barely exhausted their rookie status in 2015, or will make their debut in 2016. Depending on how things shake out for each player and their respective team, the race for each league’s rookie of the year could be wide open.
Let’s take a look at the some of the top rookies heading to the big leagues this year:
- Corey Seager, SS, Dodgers
The hyperbole train has already left the station when it comes to Seager, with some people calling him “The Phenom” and “The Can’t Miss Kid” after he beat out veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins for the starting job last September, and got off to a monster start during his 113 plate appearances at the end of last year. In September (and the first four days of October), Seager led the Dodgers in hits, runs, RBI, doubles, home runs, batting average, OPS, wOBA (.421) and was second in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage. He only had one game — at the end of September — where he didn’t reach base by a hit or a walk. He’s bright, he’s mature, and he’s got special tools: his glove is good, but his bat is even better. He’ll be the centerpiece of the Dodgers attempts to get younger.
- Byron Buxton, OF, TwinsHe’s still technically a prospect — he’s only 22 years old and has played in only 46 big-league games — and it’s still more about what he can be versus what he’s shown, but Buxton has one of the highest upsides of any prospect this year. He’s plus-plus defender, and boasts elite speed on the bases. With the bat, Buxton has some swing-and-miss in his game, but he can do damage on balls in play, and he’s got on-base skills. Even if the bat doesn’t develop as hoped, Buxton will provide enough value on the field and on the bases to be a useful regular for years to come. There are some questions as to whether he’ll be ready for the full time job this early, but he was the consensus top prospect in all of baseball for two years running, so it’s time to see what he can do.
- Trea Turner, SS, NationalsWith incumbent shortstop Ian Desmond likely to leave Washington as a free agent, Trea Turner looks to become the everyday shortstop for the Washington Nationals much sooner rather than later this season. At worst, he may split time with the offensively-challenged Danny Espinosa. Turner’s well-rounded offensive skill set boasts the ability to hit for average, pop a few to the gaps (40 doubles and nine triples in 185 minor-league games), and turn those long singles into doubles with his speed around the bags (his speed will be particularly appealing to Nationals’ new skipper Dusty Baker).
- A.J. Reed, 1B, Astros
Reed is a hulking (6-foot-4, 240-pound) legitimate left-handed power threat; the biggest question about him will be seeing him realize that power at the major league levels. As a career .324-.415-.583 hitter, he also doesn’t strike out much, which might make him that much more valuable of an addition to the current Astros roster as they try to fortify their 2015 playoff run.
- Jose Berrios, RHP, TwinsOne of the very best pitching prospects over the last couple of years, Berrios brings a combination of “the right stuff” and an intuitive feel to the mound. He’s got the talent, the attitude, the work ethic, the preparation, and most of any other intangible you’d need from a young pitcher to succeed. He’s going to have to earn his way into the Twins rotation this year — he’s got all the ability in the world to do so — or he could be brought along slowly as part of a six man rotation, to ensure he can properly take the workload of a full MLB season.