It’s been about a month since we’ve experienced one of the busiest and most hectic change deadlines in Major League history. Some new high-profile acquisitions have gotten off to a slow start, but many others have exceeded expectations.
Beyond small samples, it’s never too early to judge who made the best moves last month. So let’s do that with this ranking of players changed on July 23rd or otherwise who have excelled more in their new uniform.
1. Max Scherzer, Dodgers
In five starts, Scherzer has been what he is, an ace, with a 1.55 ERA and a 31.3% strikeout-to-walk ratio ratio, the best of any major league starter since July 31. On Thursday, Scherzer gave the Padres, who came very close to acquiring him before LA sneaked in, a spoonful of what they are missing with a 10-strikeout performance.
2. Kris Bryant, Giants
After hitting .192 / .300 / .346 in his last 40 games with the Cubs, Bryant has looked more like the player who won the NL MVP in 2016. His six hits this month are more than his last six hits. last 40 games in Chicago (five). Since making his debut for the Giants on Aug. 1, he’s hitting .268 / .318 / .549.
3. Starling Mars, Athletics
The Dominican has been a luxury acquisition in Oakland. In addition to providing an above-average defense in center field, he is hitting .345 with an .844 OPS in 27 games and has 40 hits, the most in the Big Top, since first unifying with the Athletics on the 29th. of July. And he’s been unstoppable on the bases, with 20 steals in 20 attempts.
4. Trea Turner, Dodgers
Turner, who came alongside Scherzer from the Nationals, has also looked like a star. He has a 122 wRC + (or 22% better than average) on 82 trips to the plate and a solid hard hit rate of 52.3%. And, more than anything, he has been a key player as the Dodgers leadoff hitter, which is key while Mookie Betts has been dealing with a hip injury.
5. Abraham Toro, Mariners, and Kendall Graveman, Astros
The controversial change has worked for both parties. At Toro, Seattle may have found its third baseman for the post-Kyle Seager era. The 24-year-old is hitting .330 with a 149 OPS + in his first month with Seattle. Meanwhile, Graveman has 14 strikeouts and zero walks in 11 innings with Houston and opponents have a .469 OPS against him.
6. Tyler Anderson, Mariners
The starter has pitched at least five innings in each of his first six starts for Seattle with a 3.19 ERA. The left-hander has given up just two unintentional walks in 34 innings.
7. Jorge Soler, Braves
The Cuban has been a key piece for the Braves’ offense to be so successful despite losing Venezuelan Ronald Acuña Jr. He hit three home runs in his first week in Atlanta and has hit base in 20 of his first 23 games with his new team. He’s cut his strikeouts by more than a third and his .922 OPS is 264 points higher than he had in 94 games in Kansas City.
8. Kyle Schwarber, Red Sox
Since coming off the disabled list on August 13, Schwarber has an impressive .353 / .522 / .559 offensive line. Five of his 12 hits have been extra-base hits and he’s also walked 12 in 11 games.
9. Josiah Gray, Riley Adams and Lane Thomas, Nationals
These three young men came to DC in the trades of Scherzer and Turner, Brad Hand and Jon Lester, respectively.
Gray, Washington’s No. 3 prospect, has a 2.89 ERA and opponents are hitting .189 in five outings for the Nationals. Adams is hitting .350 in 40 at-bats, with a 1.047 OPS since he was hired on Aug. 3. Thomas has made only 34 trips to the plate in his new home, but he has an OPS of .971.