MLB's Opening Day is coming on Thursday, March 30th. With it comes a youth movement, and a focus on letting the kids play. With that being said, there are plenty of kids in the big time that are primed for breakout and some that should shy away from the limelight...
Best: Hunter Greene, SP, Cincinnati Reds
Greene has been described as 'Electric but Rocky' and the stats back that up. From May through July of 2022 his ERA was 5.49, but he recorded 39 pitches that registered over 100 MPH. After a shoulder strain, Greene came back and found success. In his last four starts of 2022, a sub-one ERA with an astounding of 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings, which leads me to believe there is more to come out of the young fireballer, making him one of the best 'kids' to look out for come Opening Day.
Worst: Jason Kidd, Head Coach, Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks have not been shy to the limelight since the shocking trade for Kyrie Irving. But since the deal has come only failure. 3-7 in their last ten, and in the midst of a four-game losing streak, Dallas has fallen out of the play-in picture and into the eleventh seed and there is more to blame than the play on the court.
Jason Kidd falls in to one of the worst 'Kid(d)s' coming into Opening Day. Fans are quick to blame Kyrie for some of the struggles in Dallas, and while some of it is well-warranted; the rotations that Kidd have been using are some of the worst in the NBA. A man's job should not be talked about, but I would give Kidd's head coaching spot until the dog days of summer.
Best: Cristian Javier, SP, Houston Astros
At 26 and pitching in fourteen career postseason games, 'kid' might be a stretch for Javier. But his career as a starting pitcher is in the 'kid' stages as this will be the first full year for Javier as a starting pitcher.
A short stint of eleven and two-thirds innings in Spring Training saw Javier strike out ten and win one of his two starts. Expect more success in his 2023 season, as Justin Verlander left the Astros this offseason. Stemming from that move, Javier will become the three-four spot in the rotation with expectations to jump up into one of the ace spots alongside Framber Valdez.
Worst: Kid 'n Play
Why cannot we leave the past along. Why did we need a remake of the 1990 classic original 'House Party', and why did we need LeBron James here? Both those questions are unanswerable... But they are enough to make them one of the worst kids heading into Opening Day.
Best: Vinnie Pasquantino, DH, Kansas City Royals
I know what you are thinking, who let this New York pizza stand owner hit clean-up for the Kansas City Royals. But this NY pizza stand owner can flat out rake. The 25 year-old in his debut season in 2022, hit .295 with 10 home runs, and walked more than he struck out.
Pasquantino puts the bat on the ball with hard contact consistently. MLB fans may not have too many eyes on the Royals, but with young kids on the roster like Bobby Witt Jr. MJ Melendez, Nick Pratto, and one of the best kids on the diamond and tossing pizzas, Vinnie Pasquantino.
Worst: Kid Rock
***For obvious reasons***
Best: Felix Bautista, Closer, Baltimore Orioles
Not only does this 6'8" 285 pound monster come out to one of the league's best walk-out songs in Omar's whistle from the Wire. But he also boasts a fastball that averages near triple digits and an overpowering slider. The 27-year old came into his first Major League action last season and in near 66 innings, recorded a 2.19 ERA with 88 strikeouts. This electric arm out of the Baltimore pen will for sure be one of the top kids to watch play this season.
These Kids and Many More Lace 'em Up Thursday!
Baseball is in a great spot with many of the kids listed ready to make it an even better spot. There are many more exciting young players ready to leave an impact this 2023 season, and I only listed a few. Comment some of the kids that are the best and worst heading into Thursday's date!