07/25/2020 4:51 AM
Article By: Michael Lane
George Springer (Wareham ‘09/’10)
In a shortened season, individual players who go an extended hot streak have the potential to carry a team. Through the 60 game mark last season, the American League MVP arguably would have been George Springer, despite the fact he only played in 47 games due to a hamstring injury. At the time of his injury, Springer led the American League in HRs (17), RBIs (43), while ranking second in runs (41) and third in OPS (1.032). After returning a month later, Springer went on to finish the season with career highs in HRs (39), RBIs (96), AVG (.292) and OPS (.974). Springer will be looking to lead the Astros back to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, before becoming a free agent this offseason.
Cavan Biggio (Harwich ‘14/’15)
Before last season, many expected Blue Jays rising star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to win the American League Rookie of the Year, but it was his teammate Cavan Biggio who ended up finishing higher in the voting. Combined during his two seasons in the Cape, Biggio only hit one home run and stole three bases. During his rookie campaign, Biggio hit 16 HRs and stole 14 bases in just 100 games. While Biggio only had a batting average of .234 last season, he had an on base percentage of .364 in large part due to his elite 16.5 BB%. Biggio should continue to develop in his second season, as a key part of an exciting young team in Toronto.
Aaron Judge (Brewster ‘12)
When healthy, Aaron Judge is one of the best players in all of baseball. Despite missing at least 50 games each of the past two seasons, he has still managed to hit 27 HRs with an OPS over .919 each year. According to MLB’s statcast, Judge led the league with an average exit velocity of 95.9 MPH in 2019. In addition to his success at the plate, Judge is a significant contributor in the field as well. Judge led all right fielders last season with 8 Outs Above Average (OAA), which measures the cumulative effectiveness of all individual plays a player is credited with. Judge will be a strong contender for American League MVP this season, as he tries to lead the Yankees back to the World Series for the first time since 2009.
Casey Mize (Wareham ‘16)
Casey Mize won’t open the season on the Detroit Tigers MLB roster, but it shouldn’t be long before he makes his debut. Mize, the first overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, is expected to be called up early in the season. If Mize’s performance during the MLB’s Summer Camp is any indication, his impact on the Tigers rotation will be felt immediately. Mize pitched two hitless innings with three strikeouts in an intrasquad game. Mize best pitch is his splitter, which gave multiple Tigers hitters difficulties during live batting practices. Mize also throws a fastball that can reach up to 97 MPH and a strong slider. The Tigers aren’t expected to contend this season, but Mize’s debut will surely be exciting to watch as they build toward the future.
Kyle Schwarber (Wareham ‘12)
Kyle Schwarber, a member of the 2019 Cape League Hall of Fame Class, will look to build off a successful season last year. In the 2019 season, Schwarber put up career high numbers in HRs (38), RBIs (92), AVG (.250), OPS (.871), and most importantly games played (155.) Schwarber also ranked fourth in baseball with an average exit velocity of 93.5 MPH. With the addition of the DH to the National League, Schwarber is expected to split time between that role and in left field. Schwarber will be anchoring the Cubs lineup this year, as Chicago tries to return to the postseason after finishing five games short of the second Wild Card spot last season.