Here Are 23 Badass Baseball Players To Watch This Season
Baseball is the great American pastime. Nothing beats stadium food, cold drinks and watching the home team take on the arch rivals. However, Latinos really make this sport one that so many people around the world enjoy. Here are some of the Latino players you should definitely be watching this season.
1. Marwin Gonzalez
CREDIT: marwingonzalez9 / Instagram
What better credentials than to be the reigning World Series champ? That’s what this Venezuelan outfielder is for the Houston Astros playing the outfield and also as a utility player. They might just repeat in 2018.
2. Jonathan Villar
CREDIT: jonathanvillar2 / Instagram
This young, up-and-coming, Dominican shortstop knows what it means to be in a winning team when he played for the Astros. Now with Milwaukee Brewers he expects to go all the way.
3. Marcell Ozuna
CREDIT: thebigbear13ozuna / Instagram
The Big Bear, as he likes to be called, is entering into his six season in MLB with the St. Louis Cardinals. Playing out of left field, this Dominican from Santo Domingo has a respectable .276 career batting average in hopes of getting all the way to October.
4. Javier Baez
CREDIT: javy23baez / Instagram
The Puerto Rican boy wonder is having one of the hottest seasons in his young career. The past few years he was plagued by a lack of hitting potential, corrected now for 2018, and the Cubs are having high expectations to get to the World Series again.
5. Willson Contreras
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The Venezuelan catcher played a key role in Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in 2016. In spite of his youth, he shows maturity in directing traffic from his field players. His bat has yet to start, but what it does… Watch it!
6. Julio Daniel Martinez
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JD, as we know him, hails from Miami, Florida, has been a key help for the Boston Red Sox in the start of the 2018 season. He plays right and left field and his bat and running skills are on fire.
7. Jean Segura
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A flashy shortstop if there ever was one, this young Dominican with the Seattle Mariners is showing great promises with his bat, and once on base he is a threat to rival catchers with his speed.
8. Giancarlo Stanton
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Yeah, his departure from Florida to the Yankees was booed by some, except New Yorkers! This Californian who did High School in Sherman Oaks is getting into his best aggressive mode ever. He needed the projection provided by the guys from the Bronx.
9. Jose Peraza
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Shortstop for the Reds, this Venezuelan can really fly the bases with his 80% effectiveness stealing. But also, his ability with the bat can bump into the next level with discipline and tenacity.
10. Carlos Gonzalez
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A respectable .287 batting average has this young Venezuelan steady with Colorado, due to his great scope from right field and over 200 HR. The Rockies are trusting he’ll make his breakthrough this season.
11. Jorge Bonifacio
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This very young man from the DR has a brother already in MLB which gave him the confidence to stride into big things with the KC Royals. His bat is showing signs of improvement as also his glove and arm off right field.
12. Martin Maldonado
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A solid catcher for the Anaheim A’s, he makes sure everything runs smooth for the So. California team in his second season there, after playing 6 seasons for the Brewers. His hitting suddenly took off in 2017, so there’s high hopes.
13. Yuli Gurriel
CREDIT: el_yuly10 / Instagram
Sure, he won the World Series in 2017 with the Astros, but this 33-yr old Cuban was just a rookie, as per US standards. He plays a crucial 1st base for the reigning champs. His bloodline has a lot of world class baseball from the island.
14. Ender Inciarte
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A strong center fielder from Venezuela, Ender is coming off a 2017 that saw him hitting over 200 hits for the Atlanta Braves. His career .293 batting average is enough to rate him a threat at home plate.
15. Jose Altuve
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Small in stature, HUGE in heart, this awe-inspiring Venezuelan was AL MVP last year when he led the Astros to an unforgettable World Series pennant. Beyond baseball, his heart shines with plenty of community outreach and a foundation for kids with cancer.
16. Jesus Aguilar
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Although he hasn’t played much this season for the Brewers, his batting average is way up there, just waiting for the right moment to shine again. He plays first base and has his best years still ahead.
17. Yadier Molina
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He’s the ultimate veteran on the Cardinal’s roster, but this Puerto Rican catcher shows no sign of slowing down. He commands the field from his vantage point, and is lauded by pitchers for his control of their game.
18. Yasiel Puig
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After a breakthrough debut in the summer of 2013, things sort of slowed down for this flamboyant Cuban from Cienfuegos. But experience has provided the necessary maturity for Yasiel to wait for the right pitch to put in the bleachers at Dodger Stadium in LA.
19. Aroldis Chapman
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Fireball. That’s all needed to describe the pitches from the flamethrower out of Cuba. He won it all with the Cubs in 2016, and returned to the Yankees where he still is the key closer in the final innings to seal the deal.
20. Gorkys Hernandez
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A solid left fielder out of Venezuela, he is batting pretty well for the SF Giants and is showing the promise that made him a viable prospect during his year of debut in 2012.
21. Francisco Lindor
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Another flashy shortstop from Puerto Rico, he almost made it to the top in 2016, but still has the eagerness to get back there. His high school years were spent in Florida, where MLB scouts found him.
22. Robinson Cano
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A seasoned veteran playing second base now for Seattle, he is widely known for his social awareness in the cities where he plays. He was one of the youngest players ever to reach the 1,500 hits plateau with the Yankees in his ninth season.
23. Juan Lagares
CREDIT: jlagares12 / Instagram
He’s commanding LF for the Mets, coming from the Dominican Republic. Although his short career has been plagued by injuries, he shows progress in defending his team from rival runs with a great jump towards balls batted his way.