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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2023 – It’s a Whole New Ballgame

The major leagues have instituted a number of rule changes this season with the objectives of speeding up the game and increasing offense. A quarter of the way into the season, it is abundantly evident that those objectives are being met, with games proceeding at a pace not seen since the 1980s, and offensive results providing some of the largest ever year-over-year increases for many metrics. More after the jump.

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Winning 20 Games for the First Time

This past season, Braves’ right-hander Kyle Wright won 20 games for the first time. His majors-leading total of 21 wins came in his 5th major league season, though it was really Wright’s first opportunity to win 20 games as he did not appear in more than 8 games in any of his four preceding seasons. In winning 20 games in his first opportunity to do so, Wright became the 87th such pitcher since 1901 and the second in as many seasons, after Julio Urias recorded the same feat in 2021. More after the jump.

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Circle of Greats 1978 Run-Off: Beltran vs. Dahlen

For the second year in a row, there was a tie vote in the annual Circle of Greats Balloting, so we will have a run-off election between the two tied players, Carlos Beltran and Bill Dahlen.

Beltran was bested in last year’s run-off against Roy Halladay, a contest that presented the challenge of evaluating an everyday player against a pitcher. This year’s contest is equally as challenging if not more so, comparing two everyday players whose careers are separated by more than a century. More after the jump.

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