Starting Off Strong

A Recap of April in MLB


The baseball season is finally back at a halfway filled Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo courtesy: Brian Massey, April 11, 2021.

Brian Massey and Cal Wrigley

     Due to the pandemic, last year’s Major League Baseball season was shortened, but the 2021 season has started off with a bang, providing excitement for all of the patient fans who have waited to witness a full season. 

     So far this year, there have been many surprising occurrences, as some teams and players have suddenly thrust themselves into the baseball spotlight. 

     After a tremendous 2020 season, the World Series Champions Los Angeles Dodgers, and American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays looked poised to build a dynasty, and were surefire picks to contend and lead their divisions the majority of the next year. 

     This has not happened at all, as both teams have had some serious slumping issues during the first month of the season, causing stress and worry to their fanbases. 

     The Dodgers, opening with a great thirteen and three record, with a great offensive display, have dropped nine out of their last twelve games to end April. Key players such as Mookie Betts and Max Muncy saw their batting averages plummet under .250, which is abysmal compared to their 2020 campaigns. The Rays have also had their struggles, especially at the plate. 

     According to ESPN’s team batting statistics, the Rays are ranked as the 25 best hitting team in baseball, with a horrible team .233 averages. Their underachievements have allowed new and what appear like unproven teams to climb the rankings. 

     Among these teams, the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants have turned their losing records from 2020 into first place spots on the leaderboards. 

     Avid baseball fan and junior Barry Held is thoroughly impressed by the Red Sox’s ability to rebound from last year, saying, “I wrote the Red Sox off before the season. When you look at the teams that they have to play against, it was hard to see them contending. However, they proved me wrong and have quietly been one of the best teams in baseball.”

     Since the Red Sox ranked the number one offense, and the Giants ranked seventh in pitching, these teams are making a case to be serious playoff contenders.

     As for player performance, the most shocking story is Chicago White Sox rookie Yermin Mercedes. Mercedes is quickly establishing himself as a premier hitter, putting up a tremendous .386 batting average, which is second in the American league.

     Sophomore Evan Kerzner is astonished by this once small prospect’s talent. He states, “What surprised me is how well he is seeing the ball for his first month in the majors. Not only that, but he is playing one of the toughest positions in baseball, being a catcher.” 

     Mercedes, who was never thought of as a contender for the Rookie of the Year award, is now competing and excelling over his fellow rookie counterparts, leading the White Sox in hits and is third in RBIs. It is only April, but Mercedes is already proving doubters wrong and is shining on the diamond. 

     The month of April pumped up baseball fans with exciting young prospects, sneakily good teams, and a full season scheduled. Only time will tell if these teams and players will still succeed, but a great start in April will always impact a season for the better.