The 2021 MLB season has been filled with surprising moments, from breakout rookies to disappointing performances from top teams. Here are the 10 biggest surprises so far:
1. Brent Rooker’s Power Surge: After hitting just 82 home runs in his first five minor league seasons, Twins outfielder Brent Rooker has exploded upon his arrival in the big leagues, hitting seven homers in just 32 games.
2. Shohei Ohtani’s Two-Way Domination: Many fans knew about Shohei Ohtani’s talent as a hitter, but few expected him to excel as a pitcher as well. Ohtani has shown dominance on the mound, striking out 63 batters in 43 innings while also hitting 15 home runs.
3. Buster Posey’s Return to Form: After a rough 2020 season, Giants catcher Buster Posey has bounced back in 2021, hitting .329 with 12 homers in his first 55 games.
4. The Rise of Adolis Garcia: Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia came out of nowhere to start the season, hitting .290 with 16 homers and 42 RBI in his first 59 games.
5. The Disappointing Los Angeles Dodgers: Despite being one of the most talented teams in baseball, the Dodgers have struggled to start the season, sitting below .500 through their first 59 games.
6. The New York Yankees’ Last-Place Stumble: No one expected the Yankees to be in last place in the AL East this late in the season, but their anemic offense and inconsistent pitching have led to a disappointing start.
7. The Emergence of Vlad Guerrero Jr.: After showing flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons, Blue Jays slugger Vlad Guerrero Jr. has taken a major step forward in 2021, hitting .331 with 20 homers in his first 63 games.
8. Max Muncy’s All-Star Performance: Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy has been one of the most productive players in the league, hitting .266 with 14 homers and a .983 OPS in his first 58 games.
9. Tyler O’Neill’s Breakout Season: Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill has taken a major step forward in his third season, hitting .284 with 12 homers and 26 RBI in his first 45 games.
10. The San Francisco Giants’ Surprising Success: Few expected the Giants to contend in the loaded NL West, but they’ve been one of the best teams in baseball so far, posting a 38-23 record through their first 61 games.
Overall, the 2021 MLB season has been filled with surprising moments, and there’s sure to be plenty more as the season continues.