The 2018 MLB season is still far from over as we’re still patiently waiting to see who claims World Series glory. However, in reality, several organizations are enjoying the off season and are preparing for the next couple of months as we head to March. Some MLB players are relieved the regular season is behind them, but most will take the time to look back on the last 6 months, hoping they can continue their momentum during 2019.
Baseball is essentially a game which is defined by valleys and peaks and the primary objective is to maximize peaks while also minimizing valleys as much as possible. Most MLB players had loads of opportunities to make a significant impact this season. However, some took way more advantage of it when compared to others. The following players have managed to separate themselves from the rest in a very big way.
Mike Trout is yet again at the top of another list. During Opening Day, most fans wondered if the young MLB outfielder could further improve on his discipline. While his strikeout rate of 20.4% managed to increase for the first time since late 2014, his walk rate of 20.1% managed to improve for the 4th successive year, which led the qualified hitters in the MLB league.
Mike Trout might have won the battle, but Mookie Betts certainly won the war. After he flirted with it in both 2016 and 2017, the outfielder for the Boston Red Sox finally managed to join the 30-30 club due to his 30 stolen bases and 32 dingers. A major role to his outstanding success can be attributed to hard-hit rate of 44.5%, soft-hit rate of 12.2%, pull rate of 47.2%, and line-drive rate of 231.2%.
J.D Martinez was an enormous hit during his initial year at Beantown. Boasting with a second successive 40-homer season under his belt, Martinez has now slugged 88 homers in a total of 1,138 appearances on the plate since the start of the 2017 season. His slugging percentage of .655 from 2017 is leading everyone in baseball. Mike Trout is currently in second position with .629. In fact, there’s only two MLB players with a mark of more than .600.
Christian Yelich is a front runner for the National League MVP and receives additional dap for the only player on this list from the Senior Circuit. The most obvious reason is certainly his 36 homers which he accomplished with only 655 appearances on the plate, but required 1,354 journeys to the place between 2016 and 2017 in order to hit 39 dingers while playing for the Miami Marlins. It’s also worth mentioning that the only month Yelich recorded a hard-hit rate under 45% was during May.
If the American League was so flooded, Alex Bregman will undoubtedly receive more MVP love. However, whatever love he does receive is well deserved. His lowest wRC+ was a mere 123, against the cutter and none of the other players fell under 150.