By: Noah Wright
I think we all expected Mike Trout, and Ronald Acuna Jr. to get off to hot starts to the season. They are some of the most talented MLB players. However, the season has had tons of surprises. Some of those include some unusual starts to the season from players you wouldn’t expect to be large contributors with the bat to the team.
- Freddy Galvis (SS):
Galvis has always been one of those light hitting, glove first shortstops. Between 2015 and 2018, Galvis’ highest batting average was .263, and his highest OPS in that 4 season span was just .690. However, he always showed decent defensive prowess, having racked up 3.2 dWAR in his time as a Phillie and Padre. Galvis latched on with the Toronto Blue Jays for 2019 on a one year deal (plus an option for 2020) to kind of fill as a stopgap for top prospect Bo Bichette. So far, Galvis has been the best hitter on the Jays. He currently holds a .351/.383/.684 line in 60 plate appearances. He’s been worth a 188 wRC+. While his dWAR says he’s been worth just -.3, so far this year Galvis has made up for it with his bat.
- Tim Anderson (SS):
Anderson throughout his career with the Sox was similar to Galvis. He was never much of a presence with the bat, but a good defensive SS. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped Anderson from being a great batter in 2019. So far, Tim is leading the entire MLB in batting average at .429. He also has a strong 1.093 OPS. Though his glove has been looking so-so in his first 12 games. Anderson’s strikeout to walk ratio is slightly worrying, as he only has walked once, compared to 10 K’s.
- Byron Buxton (CF):
Many may have already written off Buxton as a bust, but he’s doing everything he can to change his critic’s minds. Buxton, who’s highest single season OPS before 2019 was .728, has put up a .937 OPS and .300 batting average. He has stolen 3 bases as well. This just might be the former #1 prospect’s big break out season he’s not had yet.
- Enrique Hernandez (2B):
Enrique Hernandez had a solid 2018 breakout season. He blasted 21 home runs enroute to a .256/.336/.470 batting line, and 118 wRC+. He also carried around a solid glove, providing .3 dWAR. Even though Hernandez’s 2018 season was a substantial step-up from his previous seasons, he has been one of the Dodgers best bats to start the year off. In 59 PA’s, Hernandez has hit an outstanding .320/.407/.640 with 4 home runs. He has given the Dodgers 3 DRS, and a .1 UZR so far at second base. In total, he’s been worth 171 wRC+, and a .9 bWAR. His outstanding showing from the start to mid-April has earned him the starting tab at 2B until further notice.
- Tyler Glasnow (SP):
Now I for one always thought Glasnow had the stuff to be a capable MLB pitcher. However he clearly struggled with his confidence at least with the Pirates. Even though Glasnow had potential, and showed a bit of improvement in 2018, I don’t think anybody thought he would be coming out of the gates the way he has. Glasnow has only waled 3 batters in 17 innings of work. Walks was something he greatly struggled with in the past. He has also given up just 1 long ball, something else he struggled with in the past. Glasnow’s ERA of .53 leads the AL, and he has an extremely low FIP of 1.97. He is striking out batters at a very high rate as well (11.1 per 9).