After one month of baseball we have a good idea of which teams will be good and which will be selling at the trade deadline in hopes of improving the future. As far as players are concerned, a few have stepped up out of nowhere or had resurgence from their younger days. These are five big surprise performances from the first month.
An outfielder for the Colorado Rockies, Charlie Blackmon was supposed to be a platoon player in 2014. A hot start that could not be denied has put him in the everyday lineup. Blackmon has already nearly passed many offensive numbers he previously called career highs. A well-rounded player so far that can hit home runs and steal bases while hitting for a very high average, if Blackmon can keep this up he might be the ultimate Cinderella Story for 2014 and get a few MVP votes.
The son of former closer Tom Gordon, Dee Gordon is a far different player. Dee is a position player fully capable of manning shortstop and second base as well as just about anywhere else in an emergency situation. Not since his first season in 2011 has Gordon looked so good. He continues to steal bases, but the big difference this year has been the amount of opportunities he has had to do it. A high batting average in the mid-.300’s after one month has helped Gordon to become the league leader in stolen bases and given the Los Angeles Dodgers one less thing to worry about.
The big 6’7 right-handed pitcher Aaron Harang has had many ups and downs throughout his long career. When the Atlanta Braves signed him to pitch for the team in 2014 few could have thought he would contribute as much as he has. After 5 starts Harang has gone 3-1 with a 0.85 ERA. Odds are he will not continue this dominance. His role however was to hold down the fort until Mike Minor came back and in doing so Harang looks to have earned a permanent spot in the rotation.
Consistency is the one word to describe Mark Buehrle. Since his first season as a starter in 2001 he has finished the season with double digit win totals. For Buehrle the 2013 season was a bit of a disappointment, especially at the start. After being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays after one season with the Miami Marlins he struggled for the first half of the season eventually evening out and having a more respectable 4.15 ERA. So far in 2014 Buehrle has looked his best. With the exception of one start against the Boston Red Sox he has been nearly unhittable.
At 30-years-old, Chris Colabello is finally getting the chance to play in the major leagues on an everyday basis. Actually to be fair, Colabello has earned the chance to have his name on the lineup card. Colabello has helped completely turn the offense for the Minnesota Twins around. In his first 22 games Colabello drove in 27 runs. Unfortunately the team will probably still not get very far, but however far they do get Colabello will be in the middle of the lineup swinging a big bat.