By Michael Lacy
We often see in sports the breakout players that emerge out of nowhere to the casual fan. While scouts and general managers have a better idea what a player is capable of, there is still a handful of athletes who have had great 2013 seasons and are most likely playing for a new contract. Lets take a look at these players by position. (Note: All salaries are for the 2013 season only.)
1st Base- Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks $500,000. The well rounded 1st baseman has been a big part of the first place diamondbacks success this year hitting .309 with 21 home runs and 78 RBIS. He also leads first basemen in stolen bases, slugging, and is second in on base percentage behind Joey Votto. Only downfall for Goldschmidt is he’s in the top five in strikeouts for his position. But if he can put up the other numbers on a yearly basis a lot of other teams will be interested in paying him.
2nd Base- Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals $504,000. In only his second full season, Carpenter has taken the league by storm leading 2nd basemen in most offensive categories and being in the top five in others. And with only 8 errors on the season and 65 double plays turned, he has proven he can be just as reliable defensively.
3rd Base- Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates $700,000. The second overall pick back in 2008 has displayed his power this season belting 24 home runs and driving in 62 RBIs. Downside being he is top 5 in the league in strikeouts, batting only .240, and is a little of a defensive liability. He he can improve on those areas we will be seeing a lot more of him around the league.
Shortstop- Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers $492,000. Segura in his first full year as the brewers shortstop has out performed every other shortstop in the league with the exception of Troy Tulowitzki, but has had more at bats and appearances than Tulo. Keep an eye on Segura as I feel he will not be with the brewers long if he continues this performance.
Catcher- Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers, $750,000. After Buster Posey and Yadier Molina in the national league catcher spotlight there is Lucroy on another tier. Hitting a solid .285 with 14 HR and 56 RBIs, he has also thrown out 20% of runners that attempt to steal which is middle of the pack. His salary increases to 2 million next year so his value could drop a little bit.
Left Field- Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies, $500,000. Brown has helped resurrect the Phillies by hitting 24 HRs and driving in 69 RBIs. Also shows solid speed and a good arm with 7 outfield assists.
Center Field- Ben Revere, Philadelphia Phillies, $515,000. Revere came over from the Minnesota Twins at the beginning of 2013 and has been very valuable. He’s batting .305 and has 22 steals on the season. Defensively bring great range and acrobatic catches.
Right Field- Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins, $537,000. Even being injured for the better half of the first half of the season, Stanton’s skill set speaks for itself. Expect him to be moved so the Marlins get something for him.
Matt Harvey, New York Mets, $498,750. 8W, 2L, 2.23 ERA, 157 SO
Patrick Corbin, Arizona Diamondbacks, $494,000, 11W, 1L, 2.35 ERA, 109 SO
Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins, $490,000, 5W, 5L, 2.75 ERA, 103 SO
Travis Wood, Chicago Cubs, $527,500, 6W, 6L, 2.79 ERA
All these players have been key to their teams(even the losing ones.) These are the new faces of the national league and while they might not be the next Pujols, Jeter, or Halladay, they are becoming stars of this game. It will be interesting which players will have long successful careers and who will be one or two hit wonders.