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Three Up, Three Down: All Rise For Aaron Judge

Each week, Kyle Glaser will take a look at the trends in major league baseball THREE 👍 Aaron Judge | OF | Yankees. The behemoth Baby Bomber turned in an April to remember. The 6-foot-7, 282-pound rookie hit .303/.411/.750 to lead the American League with a 1.061 OPS and tie for the league lead with 10 home runs. That includes the hardest-hit home run ever measured by Statcast, a 119.4 mph missile off the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman on April 29, and two other home runs that checked in at 115.6 mph (April 22) and 115.5 mph (April 19). Overall Judge was responsible for eight of the 22 hardest-hit balls in the majors in April, per Statcast, and helped propel the upstart Yankees into a tie for first place in the AL East. Miguel Sano | 3B | Twins. Speaking of massive righthanded sluggers, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound Sano punished pitchers to the tune of a .316/.443/.684 line with an AL-leading 25 RBIs in April. His 1.127 OPS was third in the league behind only Judge and Mike Trout. Though he’s been a big name for quite some time, the six-time BA Top 100 prospect is still just 23 years old and beginning to come into his own. His average exit velocity in April was 100.6 mph, best in baseball, and his walk rate is up to 18.6 percent after he entered with a career mark of 12.9 percent. Nationals No. 1 Prospects. The Nationals (17-8) finished April with the best record in baseball, and their former No. 1 prospects are a big reason why. Bryce Harper (No. 1 in 2011, 2012) returned to superhuman status with a .391/.509/.772 slash line and a major league record 32 runs scored in the month. Anthony Rendon (2013) etched his name into franchise lore with a  3-home run, 10-RBI performance against the Mets on April 30 and is on pace for a career-best on-base percentage. Stephen Strasburg (2010) delivered a quality start in each of his five starts. And Ryan Zimmerman (2005) experienced a renaissance for the ages, leading the National League in all three Triple Crown categories (.420 AVG, 11 HR, 29 RBI).
THREE 👎 Devon Travis | 2B| Blue Jays. The former Top 100 prospect claimed the unenviable title of worst OPS in the majors for the month of April. Travis, 26, hit .130 (10-for-77) with a .193 on-base percentage and .195 slugging percentage for a stunning .388 OPS. The performance of Travis, who hit .300/.342/.454 a year ago, has been a microcosm of the Blue Jays’ decline as the two-time defending ALCS participants finished April with an 8-17 record, second-worst in baseball. Hunter Renfroe | RF | Padres. The worst fear about Renfroe—that his power potential would be subdued by his lack of plate discipline—came true in the season’s first month. Renfroe struck out 28 times and walked just twice, with a .216/.231/.392 line the result. Even more concerning was his defense. Widely considered one of the best defensive corner outfielders in the minors, Renfroe led all major league outfielders with four errors and posted a minus-1.6 Ultimate Zone Rating per FanGraphs, 23rd out of 25 qualifying right fielders. Royals No. 1 Prospects. This comes with a caveat because this same group helped the Royals reach back-to-back World Series in 2014-15, but at present they are failing to perform en masse. Alex Gordon (No. 1 in 2006, 2007) hit .184 with a .486 OPS in April. Eric Hosmer (2011) hit .225/.281/.292. Raul Mondesi (2014-15) hit .103, lost the starting second base job and was demoted. Perennially injured righthander Kyle Zimmer (2013-14) was pulled from his second start at Triple-A with shoulder soreness and has yet to return. Only Mike Moustakas
Wander Franco Tomdipace (1)

Wander Franco Joins Illustrious Company As Two-Time No. 1 Prospect

Wander Franco is just the fourth player to rank as the game’s top prospect in consecutive years.

(2008-09) performed well with seven homers and an .856 OPS, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Royals entered May with baseball's worst record at 7-16.

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