Making a good first impression is something many people aim for in various areas of life. MLB rookies will now have to chase the ultimate first impression made by New York Yankees catcher, Gary Sanchez, this past summer.
Yankees fans knew Sanchez was expected to be the future for this franchise behind the plate, but had to do quite a bit of waiting before it actually happened. Sanchez accumulated two plate appearances in 2015, followed by another four in May of this past season before getting any kind of consistent opportunity.
But then, it happened – general manager Brian Cashman executed New York’s first sell-off at the non-waiver trade deadline this century, which paved the way for Sanchez to finally get everyday at-bats at the big league level.
Did he take advantage of it? I’d say so.
He immediately endeared himself to Yankee fans eagerly awaiting his arrival, rewarding their patience by providing a historic month of offense – especially considering he entered it with just six big-league plate appearances to his name.
Now that it’s been about a month since the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and we’re assured there won’t be a work stoppage related to Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, baseball’s full focus can officially shift to 2017.
With MLB’s Winter Meetings on the horizon, we’ll soon be engulfed in countless rumors as front office executives attempt to improve for next season.
While that’s all taking place, players — who are obviously the subject of these impending rumors — are likely at home watching it all happen as they mentally and physically prepare for 2017 themselves. Some are feeling confident after a solid showing over the past several months, but others are looking to regain their old form.
Just as we recently pointed out a handful of starting pitchers who are entering next season with a lot to prove, we’ve chosen six hitters also feeling that same kind of pressure. However, unlike those hurlers, not all of the below hitters are coming off disappointing campaigns.
For a Major League Baseball team to experience success, it’s necessary to receive contributions from all 25 men on the active roster. However, because of injuries, lack of production or a combination of the two, it normally takes even more than that to reach the postseason and contend for a World Series title.
That’s why those under-the-radar signings in the winter are so important. You know what else is important? The contributions from rookies, who began their season in the minor leagues, but are ready and able to make a significant impact at the big-league level.
The following seven rookies are in the future plans for their respective organizations, but may have not been expected to do a whole lot in 2016 after starting the year in the minors. Upon getting promoted, they’ve done one of two things:
- Fortify the roster for an expected playoff run in October.
- Help those far-fetched dreams of reaching the postseason not seem so crazy.