Opening Day and What to Look For
With the 2017 season beginning today, there are many things to look forward to in the 162 game grind. These are a few that I've thought of that you should look for. Cubs dominance: The Chicago Cubs ended their 108 year championship drought, and it was no fluke. With the genius mind of Theo Epstein, to the quickly managing Joe Maddon, the Cubs were made to be a super power. Under these 2 the Cubs built their super team, getting Kris Bryant, Jon Lester, Javier Baez, among others. After almost making it to the World Series in 2015, the Cubs took what they had and added, and it worked. Despite a few injuries, the Cubs came back in 2016 bigger and better, winning 103 games, producing the NL MVP, and having not 1 but 2 Cy Young Award candidates. This Cubs team was great, blowing through the Giants in the NLDS, and didn't have a tough time with the Dodgers in the NLCS, making it to the World Series. Now although the Cubs had a little trouble with the Indians early in the series, they stormed back winning an amazing game 7. Now a few months removed from this title, the Cubs have come back, and stronger too. Adding players like Wade Davis, and having a full year of Wilson Contreras, the Cubs look like they'll have a spot in the 2017 postseason, and they may make it very far once again. Look for these Cubs to once again be a powerhouse, and make a deep postseason run. Met's Rotation: Heading to the NL East, Met's fans once again have something to be excited for. After many years of trying, the Met's rotation finally looks like it has come together the way the Met's always wanted it to. The Mets found their way to getting 6 of the best young arms in the game in Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Travis Wheeler, and Seth Lugo. Now the Mets have 6 options to fill up 5 rotation spots, and all 6 players are worth of a spot. Syndergaard was already named the Met's opening day starter, so his spot is a guarantee, and deGrom's chances are pretty solid too. Now Matz is currently battling injury, but it's nothing too bad so he should be able to return efficiently, and Seth Lugo is on the boat as well. Now when these guys return look for the Mets to play great ball, spearheaded by their elite, young rotation. If all the players can play to their potential, and stay healthy, watch for this Met's rotation to be a powerhouse for years to come. Baby Bombers: Traveling to the other side of NYC, Yankees fans also have something to be excited about. After a phenomenal Spring Training, the Yankees will come into the season knowing their future looks really bring. Over the past few years, the Yankees have been stockpiling a nice group of prospects, and the time for them to shine is almost here. With Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez, and Greg Bird already having starting spots on the big league club, the Yankees have a lot of young stars coming through the system to look forward to. This year a lot of these players will develop, and we'll get a chance to see the future of the Yankees.
At the beginning of every season MLB Pipeline releases their top 100 prospects list, and this years was very exciting. The list was topped by Red Sox's prospect Andrew Benintendi, and headlines by others. A lot of teams have stockpiled a good group of prospects, like the aforementioned Yankees, and the Braves among others. A lot of these top prospects have already guaranteed spots on their respective club's opening day roster, like Benintendi, Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon, and others are near, like Yoan Moncada of the White Sox, or Clint Frazier of the Yankees. A large group of the top 100 prospects could be seeing their first big league action in 2017, and it'll be very fun to see them play.
Changing from the younger guys entering the show, lets take a look at the seasoned players in the game. With all the younger players making their mark on the show, the veterans on their teams have almost as much importance as the youngsters. With guys like Matt Holliday, Mitch Moreland, and Chase Utley finding jobs this off-season, the importance of these veterans is being shown. Knowledge and consistency are the core of the basis for these players, and their value. Being able to teach these youngsters while being able to put up solid numbers makes the presence of a veteran not only important, but almost necessary. With a youth movement passing through most MLB teams, a teacher, and consistent player can be one of the most valuable person on a team. Watch this year for veteran players to shine, and to make a bigger impact on their team than just on the field.
So these are some of the things to look for this season. It's sure to be an exciting one, and I can't wait to see how this first week works out. Happy openining day!