Many coined the season the "Year of the Rookie" or "Year of the Prospect," and they're not wrong. An astounding 16 position player rookies last year posted a Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) above 2.0. In 2014, that number was seven. In 2013, it was eight.
While we probably won't see another season like 2015 for a long time, if ever, 2016 could be shaping up to have another fantastic rookie class.
I'm not just judging this based on the first week of the season. Well, I am, but I'm also taking into account what could happen over the rest of the season as well.
Both the American League and National League Players of the Week last week were rookies: Tyler White of the Astros and Trevor Story of the Rockies. It's amazing that, in just a week, both those players are almost at a whole win above replacement.
Not far behind are a trio of Cardinals--Jeremy Hazelbaker, Aledmys Diaz, and Greg Garcia--who have all opened the 2016 campaign with some hot hitting.
Oh, and not to mention, Nomar Mazara also just received a promotion to the Majors, and he had five hits in his first eight at bats, including a home run. Mazara, rated as baseball's 16th-best prospect (via MLB.com), is just getting started.
And we're only in the first week of the season too.
J.P. Crawford (Phillies), Orlando Arcia (Brewers), Joey Gallo (Rangers), and Trea Turner (Nationals) are four more top prospects that are expected to be up in the Majors at some point this year. Not to mention the fact that they're all in the top-10, according to MLB.com.
Baseball is in a supposed youth movement, with many young stars having come up to the Majors in the past few years. Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are the obvious ones, but the game also has Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Correa, Paul Goldschmidt, and many other young players to be able to boast in the coming years.
And if 2015 was any indication, the rookies may begin to make a ripple too, creating a whole league of young talent.
Year of the Rookie, Part 2? Count on it.