As the month of May rolls onward, the MLB has beheld several players on the diamond looking to get their names out there. While some have picked up where they left off in April, others are eager to strike big this time of year. The season is still young, but already, new and familiar faces are catching fire immediately. These are some to watch out for in April.
This time around, we will not be focusing so much on the household names, such as Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Jose Altuve. We will be highlighting some players not as popular as the previously mentioned that have been firing on all cylinders in recent weeks. These are some players who we might see in the All-Star Game this July, and potentially more in the future.
pitchers to watch out for
The Tampa Bay Rays are trying to find a consistent winning rhythm, though they have won six of their last 10. One pitcher helping the team stay in the race is Jake Faria.
The 24-year-old currently rocks a 3-1 record in 2018. Though his ERA is a little higher than desired, Faria has shown great improvement throughout this season. If he continues this, Faria can be the next elite arm in the AL.
As for the rest of the Rays’ pitching staff, more work must still be done. But Faria and the rest of the staff will need to keep firing to catch up with the surging Yankees and Red Sox.
Speaking of the Red Sox, Rick Porcello has shown no mercy from the pitcher’s mound. He remains undefeated this season, in addition to a 2.14 ERA. The 29-year-old ace also has an AL CY Young Award under his belt, and is a frontrunner to take the coveted hardware again in 2018.
The rest of Boston, on the other hand, is a well-oiled machine in the pitching department. But the Red Sox must keep their foot on the throttle with the Yankees hot on their tail.
Over in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have taken the lead in the Central Division. 26-year-old Carlos Martinez has been one of many assets to St. Louis’ success this season. He has chalked up a 3-1 record and 1.40 ERA. The Cardinals boast one of the most dominant rotations in the entire MLB. Martinez is a big reason for that.
batters to watch out for
The Boston Red Sox, as a team, lead the American League in batting average. One of several reasons why is one of the newer Red Sox players this season: J.D. Martinez.
This season, Martinez has belted eight home runs and 27 RBIs. He also has a .349 batting average. Although teammate Mookie Betts has garnered more attention, Martinez has become one of the players to watch out for in the batter’s box. Fail to prepare for this left fielder, and he will make you pay dearly.
The next player making splashes at the plate is A.J. Pollock of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his last seven games, Pollock has put up four home runs and eight RBIs, not to mention a .423 batting average.
His season numbers are 10 home runs and 29 RBIs with a .306 batting average. Pollock and the Diamondbacks will need to keep it up if they want to remain at the top of the National League.
Over in the NL East, the race for the top is very tight. One of the teams fighting for the top spot is the Atlanta Braves, where you will find Nick Markakis. The two-time Gold Glove winner is heating up in the batter’s box, with a .344 batting average. His 25 RBIs and six home runs are nothing to sneeze at either. With the NL East race neck-and-neck, Markakis and company will need to take every opportunity possible to get ahead.
Still to come
New weeks and new games await, and every player is looking for a chance to shine under the lights. As we await the upcoming games, we anticipate more players to watch out for on the radars of fans and analysts alike. Whoever it might be, we will be hopeful to see them in the All-Star Game in Washington D.C.
Featured image by AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
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