There might not have been a better year for baseball rookies than 2015, a situation that was so good, the hobby flourished for the first time in years. Now that we are coming up on the all star break for 2016, there have been more flame outs than expected, even if that isnt the final endpoint for many of these guys.
Kris Bryant – 2015 ROY
Of all the guys in the class, Bryant is still at the top and deserves it. Although Correa looked like as good a bet last year, Bryant has since shown everyone that he deserves the top billing. The Cubs are one of the best teams in the league, and Bryant might be well on his way to leading them to the promised land. His 25 HR is just a crazy total for someone his age, and I would say that its a good thing for the hobby he is holding strong.
Check out his cards right now:
Carlos Correa – 2015 ROY
Unlike 2015, where you literally could not get him out, this year has been rough for both him and the Astros. Their cinderella story last year didnt translate to a fast start to the year, and Correa’s batting stats didnt get him a nod to the all star roster. Although that is FAR from the definitive measure of a player, its telling that he hasnt quite matched his potential from last year. He isnt playing anywhere close to bad, but he isnt the superstar player he was last year, either.
Here are his cards right now:
He stormed onto the scene last year, and played exceptionally well through the whole season. This year’s campaign was cut short early on, and these types of injuries are never great. However, with the way people have been able to recover, Schwarber could come back good as new. We will have to wait and see for 2017, and that hurts hobby value a bit.
The Twins are fucking terrible, and it sucks that they fell so far after being a few games back of the playoffs last year. Like Houston, they dragged off to a horrid start in April, and Sano really had a lot of reason to do with it. The team’s acquisition of Byung Ho Park pushed Sano out of the DH spot, and for some god forsaken reason, they put him in RF. This led to some pretty hilarious bloopers, of which none are good for his hobby value. Now that he has settled in at 3rd with an injury to Trevor Plouffe, he has shown that it was the team making dumb plays putting him in RF, instead of his own lack of skill. He should end up hitting 30 HR, but because he has signed so much, his cards have never had a huge amount of value.
Last year was a struggle for Buxton at the plate, but he flourished in the field. His speed is top notch, and he needs to develop more before a final judgement can be made. That being said, his stats are not great, and that’s what collectors like. Since he is still so young, its far from a time to give up on him.
Jung Ho Kang
Before he got injured last year, he was playing very well to the point that he was in the ROY discussion. Since then, he has fallen back to earth, and has been accused of sexual assault. Even if the charges are dropped, the blemish is there. Kang just isnt the guy I am looking to put money into at this point.
Like Bryant, Lindor has reclaimed the magic on a surging Indians team. He has great hitting stats, and has played well in the field. It led to an all star appearance for him, and we could see his value skyrocket in the playoffs if Cleveland continues to play out of their mind. Lindor plays a value position, so its going to be interesting if the hobby reacts. His stuff was relatively cheap last year, and they havent picked up too much this year.
Like his second half last year, Pederson hasnt really matched his torrid pace to start 2015. He has struggled at the plate to get any real traction, and the Dodgers recently placed him on the DL with a shoulder injury. Not a good way to close out the first half. Going to be interesting if he can grow at the dish, because he really has some great skills.
Again, as said before, baseball prospecting can be as much of a crap shoot as football. I dont think the final verdict is in for most of these guys, but the window might be closing to get any real hobby value built up. Bryant still rules the roost, but a season and a half does not a career make. Keep that in mind.