Two of the three MLB Pack Pros have had a rough go of it recently, as the bats of Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Andrew Knizner have gone cold. On the other hand, Chicago White Sox left-handed pitcher Carlos Rodón is maintaining pace for his best season yet and possibly building a resume to contend for American League Cy Young Award.
Trea Turner, shortstop, Washington Nationals
After a red-hot start to the 2021 season, Trea Turner’s bat is cooling off quite a bit. Since May 22, the 27-year-old has gone 8 for 29 with no home runs and four RBIs, dropping his season batting average by 13 points. The only performances similar to those earlier in the season were on May 22 and May 23 against Baltimore when Turner went 4 for 9 with two RBIs.
This regression is powered by an abysmal last seven games. Turner has slashed .182/.269/.182 in that period, failing to register even one extra base hit. There is hope in this stretch, however, as Turner showcased his trademark speed to swipe a pair of bags on May 26 against the Cincinnati Reds and another pair in the latter game of the May 29 doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Carlos Rodón, left-handed pitcher, Chicago White Sox
Rodón is continuing to put up elite numbers in 2021 after rebounding from a rough start on May 15. The southpaw notched 10 strikeouts in six innings of one-run ball against St. Louis on May 26. The lone run came on the only hit Rodón gave up, a solo homer by second baseman Tommy Edman in the top of the third.
Whether Rodón will finally put together a season worthy of his status as the third overall pick in the 2014 draft remains to be seen, but so far the 28-year-old is doing just that. He may even earn some end-of-season recognition at this pace, as Rodón is currently ranked third in ESPN’s Cy Young Predictor for the American League, sitting just eight points behind current leader, and White Sox teammate right-handed pitcher Lance Lynn.
Andrew Knizner, catcher, St. Louis Cardinals
As the heir-apparent to longtime St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, Knizner is starting to see significant playing time in preparation for the starting role. Knizner produced mediocre results at the plate in these opportunities, engineering two late-inning walks in four plates appearances in a 4-0 win over the White Sox on May 26, the same game that saw Rodón strike out 10.
One positive that can be taken away from Knizner’s recent outings is that he is striking out less. The 26-year-old started the month striking out eight times in his first 20 at-bats of May, but has only gone down swinging or looking twice in his last 10 plate appearances.