As the first month of the MLB season comes to a close, there has been no shortage of early storylines. There have been surprises, disappointments, and if April is any prediction, we are in for a thrilling summer.
You can’t talk about baseball without mentioning Eric Thames. After three seasons in South Korea, Thames has made a splash with his return to the states. With 11 home runs and a .350 batting average in the month, it is safe to say Thames is the hottest hitter in the league. It will be interesting to see if he can keep pace with his new standard, but for now, Thames is the number one storyline of the MLB season.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Toronto Blue Jays have to be the league’s biggest disappointment. After 89 wins and an ALCS visit last season, the Blue Jays are currently sitting at 8-17 and eight and a half games back in the standings. It took them 14 games just the win three games. You can’t make the playoffs in April, but you can knock yourself practically out of contention.
Madison Bumgarner is likely to be out until at least the All-Star break. Yes, the pitcher does have a serious shoulder issue, but it isn’t from throwing. On April 20th Bumgarner got himself into a dirt bike accident. While his San Fransisco Giants have been a perennial powerhouse, they are currently only 9-17 and in last place in the NL West. Without their ace, it would not be shocking for the giants to fall further off pace in the season’s first half.
The Bronx Bombers are back and have taken the form of 6 foot 7 inch, 282 pound monster Aaron Judge. Not only does the Yankee’s rookie have 10 home runs in just 21 games, Judge is hitting the ball harder than anyone ever. That is not a figure of speech. His April 28th home run was hit at 119.38 miles per hour. The fastest ever recorded in the Statcast era. It will be interesting to see how pitchers adjust to Judge, but for now he is basically a video game character.