10 position players off to surprisingly hot starts in 2024 MLB season

Apr 14, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Colton Cowser (17) celebrates
Apr 14, 2024; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Orioles outfielder Colton Cowser (17) celebrates / Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports
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Ryan McMahon, Colorado Rockies third baseman. The Rockies may be off to a dreadful start, but it could be worse. They could be doing it without McMahon.

Through his team’s first 16 games, McMahon is batting .373 with a 1.016 OPS. Both figures lead the Rockies by imposing amounts. He leads the team in RBI (11), walks (10), hits (22), and slugging (.559).

Josh Naylor, Cleveland Guardians first baseman. In tandem with Gimenez, Naylor has juiced a Cleveland offense that ranks sixth in all of baseball in OPS and eighth in runs per game. He’s the power source, with four home runs on a team that’s only hit 16 of them.

Naylor’s batting .347 with a dozen RBI and a healthy .431 on base average. Combine that with his .673 slugging and you have a 1.116 OPS. In short, Naylor’s doing what Guardians fans always dreamed he might someday do, but which he never has.

Logan O’Hoppe, Los Angeles Angels catcher. If it isn’t putting too much pressure on him, the 24-year-old O’Hoppe has begun 2024 playing like the next Mike Trout. He, not Trout and not Anthony Rendon, is a major reason why the Angels are hanging around .500 and in contention in their division.

O’Hoppe’s .364 batting average is 128 points above his 2023 performance; his on-base percentage and OPS are improved by similarly astronomical amounts. He leads the Angels in average and on base, and if he keeps it up, he would reach 7.0 WAR by season’s end. That won’t happen, but it doesn’t diminish O’Hoppe’s meteoric start.

Tyler O’Neill, Boston Red Sox outfielder. Like Marcell Ozuna, Adolis Garcia and Randy Arozarena before him, O’Neill basically got ejected from St. Louis only to prosper in his landing spot.

Happy in Boston, O’Neill entered play Tuesday on track to produce career highs in batting average (.304), on base (.448), slugging (.761), and OPS (1.209). He’s already hit seven home runs, although due to lack of support they’ve only netted eight RBI.