Present & Future of the AL East
Welcome in ball boys and girls! I am so excited you clicked in today. The present & future series focuses on current players who are exciting and on track for Cooperstown. The players are broken up into four categories: most exciting, on their way, honorable mentions, and HoF bound. The most exciting players category focuses on our rising and budding stars in the MLB. On their way, these players are already stars and have phenomenal careers and need to continue their success. The honorable mentions group includes players who have had promising careers worth noting but aren't the brightest stars and will most likely end up having a great career but one that is ultimately short of the Hall. The Hall of Fame-bound player pool is self-explanatory. I hope you guys enjoy it!
Most Exciting Players- Position Players
Vald Guerro Jr 3B Blue Jays- What is there not to like about Vlad G Jr. He plays a good 3B, but that bat in his hands is a thing of beauty. There is no wasted motion in his swing, and how far the ball carries off it, it's fantastic. I love seeing him hit that HR, and I know he has a long career full of them.
Bo Bichette SS Blue Jays-. It is hard not to see why Bichette next to Vald Jr is taking the Blue Jays places faster than expected. This kid is a highlight reel play waiting to happen.
Andrew Benintendi OF Redsox- Benintendi is a reliable, stalwart defender. Very good with the bat and has the opportunity before him to show why the Redsox don't need Mookie when they have Benintendi. I fully expect the 25yo to show why he was a top 10 pick now more than ever. I am rooting for this kid, and the future is bright for him.
Austin Meadows OF Rays- I mean, what can do you say about Meadows that wasn't great in 2019. 33HR, 291BA, and only 24. Man, if I were the Pirates GM, I would be kicking myself for trading this guy. Meadows has a long, long career ahead of him. As he develops more as a player, I fully expect him to keep making waves and becoming a household name to MLB fans!
Aaron Judge OF Yankees- Judge, has had too many injuries already in his young career up to this point for me to put him into the mix for these conversations. But if he can stay healthy and have a long career in NY, I think he can. Then I can see him 100% being in for a massive deal and will lead to HOF talks. He is only 27, and power can age well in the MLB. He has a cover on MLB the Show and a great fan section in NY. Health is the key for Judge.
Ryan Mountcastle 3B Orioles- The 2015 36th overall pick made his much anticipated MLB debut in 2020 and did not disappoint. Posting a 0.7WAR with 5HR and slashing .333/.386/.492 over 126AB. The 24yo is well on his way to a long and prosperous career with the Orioles.
Austin Hays OF Orioles- The now 25yo OF made his debut back in 2017 and only got to play in 20 games. He missed all of 2018 and most of 2019 with injuries. He came back and slashed .309/.373/.574 over 75PA in 2019. Then he played well again in 2020, slashing .279/.328/.393 over 134PA. Hays is looking to make up for the lost time and will be doing so coming off a healthy 2020.
Rafael Devers 3B Red Sox- The now 24yo Devers is well on his way to a great career as a Red Sox, already part of the 2018 World Series. Devers plays above-average defense and even finished 12th in the MVP in 2019. With the bat in his hands, he holds a career 6.3WAR with a slash line of .279/.332/.498 over 1680PA. Devers has 30HR/100RBI with a +slash line skill set and will look to continue to grow and develop into a marquee 3B for the Red Sox.
Alex Verdugo OF Red Sox- The most significant return for the Red Sox in the Mookie trade played well above my expectations in 2020. He posted a 2.2WAR with a .308/.367/.478 slash line over 221PA. He also finished 12th in the MVP vote in 2020. Verdugo now owns a .290/.345/.458 career slash line over 709PA and only 24 earns many Boston and MLB fans' love and adoration.
Gleyber Torress SS Yankees- Glyber, also only 24yo is already a 2x All-Star SS and is primed to go down as the Yankees second best SS of all time if he stays on the path he is on. In his short three seasons of MLB actions, he owns a 6.6WAR with a .249/.340/.493 slash over 1248PA.
Randy Arozarena OF Rays- It's hard to believe that Arozarena can still win the ROY in 2021. He already owns the most record for the most HR(10) and hits(29) in the post-season for a rookie. Once he got his shot, he never looked back as he slashed .281/.382/.641 over 76PA. The 25yo OF isn't a free-agent until 2027 and has many great years to give the Rays.
On Their Way:
D.J. LeMahieu 2B Yankees- Consistency since 2014 he has never had less than 132H or worse than a 267BA. Coming off 2020 where DJ won the AL batting title and now owns both the NL and AL titles. He is also a 3x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove winner, 2x Silver Slugger winner. At the age of 32, DJ is due for his biggest payday yet. He holds a career 24.8WAR, 1294H career .305/.357/.430 slash. He has a career .989FLD% with 60DRS and only 56E between 2B, 3B, and 1B over 9345.1 Inn. DJ looks to be able to age well in the MLB over the coming 5-8 years and, in my opinion, is on his way to Cooperstown.
J.D Martinez DH Redsox- I am at such a weird place with Martinez coming off 2020 that made me reconsider him as a future HoF. Martinez is a 3x All-Star, 3x Silver Slugger and was part of the 2018 World Series team. 2020 was not kind to the DH as he posted a -0.6WAR, .213/.291/.389 slash with 7HR over 211AB. This season should be considered an outlier for Martinez, and his worst slash line before this season was in 2012 when he slashed .241/.311/.375 over 4739PA. With otherwise great career numbers of 23.6WAR, 238HR, .290/.354/.530 slash over 4661PA. A strong end to his contract in Boston over Martinez's next two seasons, and his chances at the HoF go up.
Giancarlo Stanton OF Yankees- Injuries have derailed the 31yo career for years now. Stanton looks to make good of the remaining six years he has in the Bronx. He is coming off 2020, where he posted a 0.5WAR with a .250/.387/.500 slash line of 78AB. For Stanton's career, he owns a 41.0WAR, 312HR, 1160H, .268/359/.546 over 4991PA. If Stanton stands a chance at the Hall, he needs two things to happen: stay healthy and hit another 200+HR.
Dustin Pedroia 2B Red Sox- What a career it was for Pedroia. After 14 seasons in Boston, we will all remember him as one of the best to play 2B. 1 MVP, 1 ROY, 4x All-Star, 2x World Series Champ, 4x Gold Glove, 1 Silver Slugger. Pedroia could make one more attempt to play in 2021 as he is still under contract, but as of a 10/31 career, he is planning on ending his playing career. Regardless he is a 1st ballot HoF with a career 51.6WAR, 1805H, .299/.365/.439 slash over 6777PA. With the glove, he is just as excellent with a .991FLD%, 97DRS, 58E over 12920.1Inn. To put it simply, Pedroia was a generational talent at 2B.
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Most Exciting Players- Pitchers
Tyler Glasnow RHP Rays- in 12 games started in the 2019 season, he pitched to a 1.78ERA with 76SO over 60.2IP. The 27yo has turned the corner into an Ace level talent. In 2020 he posted a 0.8WAR, 4.08ERA/4.08FIP over 57.1IP and was a crucial player in the World Series run.
Darwinzon Hernandez LHP Red Sox- The 23yo RHRP only debuted in 2019 and has 38.2IP under his belt. He owns a career 0.5WAR, 3.96ERA/2.87FIP with a 70-34 K-BB ratio in that span. The upside with Hernandez for years to come as a key bullpen piece is real. I am a big fan of the youngsters, and I think he is worth keeping an eye on.
Conner Seabold SP Red Sox- The young 24yo SP has yet to play above the AA level and should make his debut come 2021, especially with the state of the Red Sox rotation. During his time in the MiLB, over three seasons owns a 3.52ERA, 3.66RA/9 with a 1.06WHIP with 203K-46K over 196.2IP. I can easily see Seabold fitting into the rotation or bullpen in 2021.
Nate Pearson SP Blue Jays- The exciting prospect finally made his much anticipated MLB debut in 2020, and it wasn't great. The 24yo pitched in only 18IP with a -0.2WAR, 6.00ERA/7.19FIP over that time. Pearson is primed to be back in the mix for the rotation in 2021, and I fully expect him to play much better in 2021.
On Their Way:
Gerrit Cole RHP Yankees- Cole is coming off his first season in the Bronx, posting a 2.2WAR, 2.84ERA/3.89FIP with 94K and a 4th place Cy Young finish. Cole has had nothing short of an excellent career posting a 26.0WAR, 101-55 W-L record, 3.19ERA/3.11FIP, 1.11WHIP with 1430K-332BB over 1268IP. Cole is well on his way to the HoF as he goes into his age 30 seasons.
Hyun-Jin Ryu SP Blue Jays- The 33yo Ryu showed why he was worth the big money deal he got from the Blue Jays. With back-back seasons of finishing top 3 in Cy Youg voting in both the AL and NL. Ryu may go down as one of the best KBO-MLB pitchers of all time. Ryu owns a career 17.8WAR with a 2.95ERA/3.30FIP with 737K-181BB over 807.1IP. The last few years of Ryu's career in the MLB will key to where he ends up. But the future looks bright.
Robbie Ray SP Blue Jays- Ray, much like Snell, is almost 30 and needs about five years of absolute beast mode to come close. Snell is a bit ahead of Ray as Ray only has 1 All-Star appearance. He owns an 8.6WAR, 49-51 W-L record over his career, 1042K with a 4.26ERA/4.12FIP over 842.1IP.
Hall of Fame Outlook- Pitchers
Chris Sale LHP Boston Red Sox- Sale didn't pitch in 2020 and may not be ready for opening day 2021 coming off of Tommy John surgery. Thus far in Chris's Sales career, he is a 7x All-Star, has finished 6th or better in the Cy Young voting seven times, and finished 22nd or better in the MVP vote four times. Sale is turning 32 this season, is signed through the 2024 season, and will only add to his career numbers of 45.3WAR, 109-73 W-L record 3.03ERA/2.90FIP over 1629.2IP. We can set "Sale" for Cooperstown.
Aroldis Chapman RHP Yankees- Let's start with the Carrer awards first a Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year and Delivery Man of the Year, 6x All-star, 1 WS, and the guy is turning 33. He holds a career 17.7WAR with 905K, 2.25ERA/2.03FIP with 276 saves over 547.1IP.
That is a wrap on the AL East. Please let me know over in the forums. I appreciate the support and your time in reading about the present and future of the AL East. Thanks for reading today, I am so grateful for your time reading, and I hope you enjoyed reviewing the winners as much as I have. I also want to thank my partners over at Repp Sports for RAZE Energy. Thanks to this clean and sufficient energy, I can have the intense focus to deliver content to you guys consistently. Click here to save 15% right now with the code "BALL BOY" at check out.