Inside the Lineup: MLB Names Making Headlines

Inside the Lineup: MLB Names Making Headlines

With the 2023-24 Major League Baseball (MLB) season in full swing, there are certainly already some headliners to keep your eye on this season, most of which are no surprises.

Dodgers’ right fielder Mookie Betts, who is undeniably good at everything he does, has had an unsurprisingly stellar start.

Coming off 39 home runs and a .987 OPS, (on-base plus slugging) in his 2023 season, this should not be a shock.

MLB reports Betts has started this season with a .347 batting average, 34 hits, 24 runs, six homers and 19 RBI in only 25 games. He also currently has a 1.07 OPS, a .612 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .458.

This was after he switched from the outfield to playing shortstop at 31.

He’s also at or near the top of not only the National League, but all of baseball, in at least 5 different categories: on-base percentage (.477), OPS (1.101), batting average (.368), runs (29) and total bases (78), per the MLB.

As I said, he’s good at everything he does.

In addition to Betts, you couldn’t talk about top MLB names without mentioning the Los Angeles Angels’s center fielder Mike Trout. FOX Sports reports, “Trout ranks first in baseball in home runs with 10, has been 50 percent better than replacement level as a hitter, added value with his base running, and has an OPS of .919,” wrote FOX Sports journalist Ian Miller. “He’s cut his strikeout rate significantly from the past few seasons, and most importantly, has played in all 25 of his team’s games.”

Orioles’ shortstop Gunnar Henderson has been off to an incredible start, in only his second season in the MLB.

Having hit .288 with 10 homers (leading his team), 24 RBI, 34 hits, .980 OPS and 25 runs (again, leading his team), Henderson has no plans to slow down.

Sports Illustrated also reports he’s one of only two players to hit 28 home runs as a rookie at age 22 or younger next to Cal Ripken. He is also one of only two players with 30 homers and double digits in stolen bases and triples through 184 career games by age 22 next to Bryce Harper.

Not only is Henderson a star player, but he’s also incredibly down to Earth.

“There’s a lot of room to improve, I feel like there were a lot of things I could have done better, a lot of room to grow,” he told Sports Illustrated. “For me, honestly, it’s getting the experience because that was my first true season. I didn’t really grasp how long it actually is, you know? Just embracing the ups and downs of the season.”

Fifth on the list of players making a splash is Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who recently stole the record from Rafael Furcal for most bases stolen (190 as of April 22) out of any Braves player since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966.

Best part?

He didn’t even know.

“I didn’t know I was on the brink, to be honest,” Acuña said through an interpreter. “Usually when I’m approaching a record, someone usually tells me or I see it online. This time I didn’t see it. But I think it’s better this way. It’s great. I didn’t even know what had happened.”

Plus, his .366 on-base percentage is third on his team and his 27 runs scored are tied for second-most in the entire league.

With about 22 weeks left in the MLB season, there is still plenty of time left for new names to shine and records to be broken. 

There’s also more time for the White Sox to come back.

*Stats as of May 1, 2024*

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