Isaiah Saint Hilaire
As in every professional sport, the veterans players on teams are who the fans count on the most to reel in a victory for their team. However, young hitters of the 2017 MLB season have been playing extremely well and have been improving their teams as well.
Aaron Judge, the rookie stud of the New York Yankees, is hitting an outstanding .332 average and leading the major league in Home Runs, (26). The rookie sensation for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger, has been keeping pace with Judge, hitting 24 Home Runs with a .274 average. They both have 50+ Runs Batted In with both being 25 years of age or younger.
Bellinger (who can barely purchase an alcoholic beverage) is helping the Dodgers improve their record and leading the NL West with 50+ wins.
The second-year pro out of the Dominican Republic, Yankees Catcher Gary Sanchez has continued his success. Last season (when he hit 20 Home Runs, being the fastest player in MLB history to do that until Bellinger recently broke the record) Sanchez provided a spark for the Yankees. Although they did not make the postseason, they were excited for the rising star to emulate his hard-work from the 2016 season.
These young men have been playing at a level that many veterans wished their bodies could allow them to play. With this sudden burst of young, superb play, these young men will look to carry their teams into the playoffs, in hopes of securing a World Series championship.
The New York Yankees’ premier hitter for 2017 has been on a tear in recent weeks. Although the Yankees have not been in sync, as a whole unit, that hasn’t prevented Aaron from giving opponent pitchers “Judgment day.” Of course, Aaron Judge’s 6’7” frame helps his right-handed stroke hit the ball into the second level of Yankee Stadium, and that mostly happens when he hits it down center field. His mechanics have somewhat remained the same, but his patience at the plate and pitching selection has improved, creating a prodigious swing for him that compels pitchers to throw a weak slider outside the box. Aaron Judges’ 50+ RBI’s is evidence that he helps his teammates in being successful too. That is the reason why the Yankees are one of the top-notch teams in the AL East and fighting with Boston in getting that number one spot in the East.
Not only has Aaron Judges’ play been great for the Yankees team, but it’s been great for the organization as a whole. His play off the field (during interviews) reminds many Yankees fans of the recent retired captain, Derek Jeter. Jeter was caught smiling many times when he wasn’t playing baseball. Jeter’s leadership propelled the Yankees to five World Series Championships. Judge hopes to do the same, but he plans on being Aaron Judge, as he said during an interview.
“There’s only one Derek Jeter, It’s an honor being in the same category as him but I want to be the best Aaron Judge I can be.”
Judge’s leadership is great, and it has made an impact for the New York Yankees thus far at almost the mid-way point of the season.
Outfielder, first baseman, and the rising star for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger, has been improving his game each week. Breaking the record for the fastest player to reach 20 Home Runs in a season, (previously held by Sanchez) Cody Bellinger has been a star and is keeping up with Aaron Judge while being four years younger than him. The 21 year old rookie has been on fire for the past month with a National League-best, 24 Home Runs, just two behind Aaron Judges’ MLB-leading 26. Bellinger also has 50+ RBI’s as he has helped the Dodgers get the first place lead in the NL West. It has been very humbling for people to see Bellinger play at only 21 years of age and with his success, Bellinger hopes to lead the Dodgers to postseason success.
Gary Sanchez is a player that blossomed toward the end of the 2016 season with the Yankees when he finished the season hitting 20 Home Runs to provide that hope that Yankees needed for this season. After his exceptional rookie season, the Yankees leaned on him at the beginning of the 2017 season to provide that burst of power that he had in the latter part of the 2016 season.
Unfortunately he was hurt the second week of the season and ended being out until early May. Again, although the Yankees as a team have not been doing well with the ratio of losses outweighing the wins, Gary Sanchez has also been slowly but surely getting back his strength at the plate. Sanchez so far has hit over 10 Home Runs, with over 30 RBIs and hitting JUST under .300 for the season.
Sanchez too, has provided well-needed power hitting for the Yankees who aim to get back on track by utilizing these two 6 feet and above, big-bodied men. Sanchez’ success has come in month June hitting the majority of his 13 four baggers and finding success at the plate. Sanchez has also become a leader for the Yankees as many of the players look up to his stellar play to provide the help needed to win ball games.
All three of these players have been great for their teams. Not only have they earned votes for the upcoming All-Star Game, but they have earned respect from their team. They have helped their team be successful immensely and it’s hard to imagine their teams without their vigorous play.
Although some veterans have been playing well, these rising stars are earning their stripes in the league and they won’t stop until they’re embracing that trophy that tells them they’ve done it all.