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Rookie Ball

Square a round ball up, with a round bat. How does that make any sense at all? It is something we have all heard for years and what makes baseball one of the hardest games to play. Look at it this way, take a baseball player and drop him on a basketball court or football field. He may not look like a pro, but he will hold his own. Now take a basketball or football player and ask them to play baseball and get ready to sit back and laugh. Baseball has always been one of the hardest sports to actually play and succeed at.

60 feet, 6 inches. 100 mph fastball. That equates to 0.412 seconds, or, less than half a second. In that time you need to see the pitch, read the pitch, and react. In the infamous words of Liam Neeson, good luck.

Yet here we are, enjoying some of the best rookie play we have seen in years. When did baseball become so easy? Has it? Or are we witnessing the dawn of a movement of players that will go down as some of the best to ever play the game? Lets dive into some of these rookies and how easy they are making the game look.

Juan Soto - 19. 19 years old. Where were you at 19? I personally was on academic probation as I partied away in college. To each their own right? Anyway, Juan Soto shot through the minors. He kicked off 2018 at Low A ball and then in the blink of an eye was pulled up to High A ball where he casually posted a slash line of .371/.466/.790 with seven home runs and 18 RBI's in only 62 at-bats. Next stop was Double A ball for all of two weeks, where at that point the Nationals, depleted with outfield injuries, shot him up to the pros. What is after the pros? Considering Major League baseball has offered little resistance to the young prospect as he has batted .326 in 14 games with 2 home runs, 5 RBI's, and 7 runs. Did I mention he is 19?

Gleyber Torres - The Gleyber Torres trade may, just may, go down as one of the all time trades in baseball history. I will admit, it is a little premature to say that, but Gleyber sure looks like the real deal. He was the pride and joy the Yankees received in return for sending Aroldis Chapman to to the north side of Chicago two years ago, just to turn around in the off-season and resign him right back. It was, and has been, one of Brian Cashman's greatest moves. While fans kicked and screamed for Gleyber to start the season at the Major League level, he was sent down to Triple A to refine his skills a bit, and it sure has payed off. While Gleyber can be lackadaisical at times on defense, he never takes an at bat off and has been hitting for power with ease. He has batted .307 with 28 RBI's and 10 home runs, 4 of each came in 4 straight games at one point. All signs point to him being the future of this franchise. That's right, not Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, or Gary Sanchez, but Gleyber Torres.

Miguel Andujar - Miguel Anudjar was one of the Yankees lesser hyped prospects, but still a top prospect nonetheless. He sniffed the majors before Gleyber and has forced himself into the lineup as a regular. Andujar has been a doubles machine racking up 20 already to go along with 7 home runs, the last being a mammoth grand slam last night, giving him a slugging percentage of .542. He has been a rock solid bat in Aaron Boone's lineup and has been everything they needed at third base. Just another Baby Bomber making it look easy.

Austin Meadows - If it seems as if Austin Meadows has been a top prospect for years now, it is because he has been, but injuries have continued to shoot him down. Well, he is finally healthy and got the call earlier this season. While it has been a small sample size, it has been a very good sample size. Meadows has been blasting the cover off the ball with 5 homers in only 15 games. I think it can be safe to assume he is going to cool down a bit, but again, another rookie who has strutted his stuff at the pro level with ease.

Max Stassi - Shining in a backup role, Stassi is getting his shot to show what he has everyday with Brian McCann hitting the disabled list. Stassi has been in the Major League's, but still qualifies as a rookie because of playing time. Stassi has quietly held his own in his first full major league season. Batting .273 with 5 home runs and 17RBI's are stats to die for out of your catching position. He may make A.J. Hinch have a difficult decision when McCann is healthy again if he continues to play at this level.

Joey Wendle - Far from a kid, and someone who had a couple cups of coffee at the major league level in Oakland, he  has finally broke through with Tampa and has been a welcomed bright spot for a weak Rays team. Wendle continues a steady pace at the plate and quietly produces for a team desperate for production. He has put together a nice season of 2 homers, 14RBIs, 19 runs scored, and 5 steals while batting .283.

Ronald Acuna - The baseball world let out a collective exhale when no structural damage was found within Acuna's leg after a gruesome looking injury took place two week ago running out a single. Acuna has been talked about as the next Mike Trout and during Spring Training sure looked it. Still, Atlanta gave him the Kris Bryant treatment and started him in Triple A where he actually struggled mightily, but still got the call eventually. Acuna, has not performed with the same ease as some of the other names on this list, but he still has adjusted just fine to the tune of .265 with 5 home runs and 13RBI's. Here is to hoping his knee bounces back and he comes back stronger than ever.

Shohei Ohtani - Hitter? Pitcher? Which one do you want to talk about, because each version of him has been everything as advertised. The entire world was skeptical after a dismal Spring Training, but he has shown up and proved he belongs. At the plate, he has flashed the power he had in overseas with 6 blasts and 20 RBI's with a very respectable .289 average. On the mound, he is 4-1 with a 3.18ERA and has struck out 57 in only 45 innings. He has been everything and more and truly has the chance to be Babe Ruth reincarnated and I for one, am ashamed that I doubted him.

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