Young MLB Rookies Evan Carter and Corbin Carroll Unfazed by High-Stakes Playoffs

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Young MLB Rookies Evan Carter and Corbin Carroll Unfazed by High-Stakes Playoffs

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In a crucial October play at Citizens Bank Park, Johan Rojas raced toward the warning track, skillfully gauging the trajectory of the hard-hit ball hurtling towards the fence. With a spectacular leaping catch, he secured the out before colliding with the wall, prompting a thunderous roar from the crowd.

Notably, Rojas is a relative newcomer to the big leagues, joining the ranks of impact-making rookies in this year’s postseason, including Corbin Carroll from the Arizona Diamondbacks and Evan Carter and Josh Jung from the Texas Rangers. Their contributions signify the continuation of a remarkable regular season for rookie hitters, marking a significant presence in MLB history.

Up to Monday, 18 rookies had registered at-bats in the postseason, collectively averaging a .247 batting average and an .819 OPS. Notably, five rookies, including Carter, Carroll, Gunnar Henderson from the Baltimore Orioles, and Royce Lewis and Edouard Julien from the Minnesota Twins, boasted OPS scores exceeding 1.000, with Jung closely following at .947. In contrast, the postseason average for all players stood at .710.

This trend represents a broader pattern of rookie players dominating the postseason. Notably, two of the last three ALCS MVPs, Randy Arozarena in 2020 and Jeremy Peña in 2022, were rookies, with Peña also clinching the World Series MVP title.

The 23-year-old defensive whiz Rojas is celebrated for his extraordinary fielding skills, evidenced by his pivotal catch against Ronald Acuña Jr. during Game 4 of the NL Division Series, which helped propel the Phillies to victory over the Braves and secure their spot in the NLCS.

Conversely, Carroll, aged 23, has emerged as a top contender for the NL Rookie of the Year, having showcased his prowess with 25 homers and 54 stolen bases during the regular season. Unfazed by the playoff pressure, Carroll has maintained a strong performance in the postseason, boasting a .333 batting average, along with two home runs, two stolen bases, and six walks across seven games.

Both Rojas and Carroll represent the rising talent among the younger players, setting a high standard for performance and composure in high-stakes games.

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy expressed his admiration for the composure displayed by the young talents, noting their impressive performance and resilience in the high-stakes games. He highlighted their unwavering focus and fearlessness, emphasizing their eagerness to take on challenging moments.

“These two players exhibit a genuine passion for the game and thrive in the intensity of the field. Their enthusiasm is palpable,” Bochy added.

Corey Seager, the Texas shortstop, credited Jung’s return and Carter’s recent call-up for revitalizing the team’s spirit during a late-season slump. The Rangers are currently leading the AL Championship Series 2-0 against the defending World Series champions, the Houston Astros.

Seager commented, “The added energy and edge brought by these players are instrumental in pushing us forward, reminding us of our position in the season and what we aim to achieve. It’s been immensely beneficial for the team.”

The quartet of young stars has gained significant popularity in their respective home markets, a testament to their remarkable performances. Even though Henderson, Lewis, and Julien couldn’t continue their journey in the postseason, they still made noteworthy contributions in October.

Rojas, expressing his gratitude, stated, “The warm reception I received from everyone was incredible. As a rookie, there’s nothing better than feeling welcomed like this. I’m thrilled to be playing for this team, this city, this enthusiastic crowd, and these fans. It’s an incredible experience.

Reference:

https://www.ballysports.com/southwest/news/evan-carter-corbin-carroll-and-mlb-s-precocious-rookie-class-unfazed-by-pressure

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