Starting Fast: Baseball’s Best Hitters Out of the Gate

Pitchers tend to hold the upper hand to start the season, with batters warming up with the weather. But, some batters buck that trend and are hot to start the season, including some who do so on a regular basis. So, who are April’s heroes? Spoiler alert: they’re also the heroes in the other months of the season. More after the jump.

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Blanco Blanks Blue Jays

Ronel Blanco lived up to his name, turning in the young season’s first no-hit game as the Astros romped 10-0 over Toronto. Blanco walked the first batter of the game and the next-to-last (both former Astro George Springer) but retired everyone else, as no Blue Jay reached second base. It was the 13th no-hit game by an Astro pitcher (11th at home), and the second time Houston has no-hit Toronto. More after the jump.

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Best Rookie Audition Seasons UPDATED

September means pennant chases but, until recently, it also meant greatly expanded rosters and the chance for teams not in the post-season hunt (or even some that were) to take a look at some of their top minor league prospects. That is the topic of this post, looking at those players who made the most of a short rookie audition. More after the jump.

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All-Star Break Diversion

To tide us over for the next couple of days, here’s a quick quiz. Not very hard, but some of the names may surprise you. So, what accomplishment can be claimed only by these players?

Luis Arraez and Flirting with .400

One year after we “all rose” for Aaron Judge‘s successful quest for the AL single-season home run record, Luis Arraez (pronounced ah-RISE, per Baseball-Reference) is giving us another reason to get to our feet, as he chases one of baseball’s holiest grails, maintaining a .400 batting average as the season approaches its halfway point. More after the jump.

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