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MLB Opening Day is Upon Us; Headlining the NL East: Soto, Acuña, Lindor and more

📸 Photo Credit: Bill Menzel/ Latino Sports

New York — Opening Day is here! Baseball fans are welcomed to the 2022 season with a total of seven games to take place on Thursday. To begin, the Nationals host the New York Mets in the nation’s capital for an NL East four-game series. Speaking of the NL East, this division contains superstars such as Juan Soto, Ronald Acuña Jr, and, of course, the reigning National League MVP, Bryce Harper. Latino Sports takes pride in recognizing players who display their love for the game along with their individual contributions. With that being said, we go deep in depth on the National League East. Baseball, here we come! 


2021 Record: 88-73, Won the NL East

2021 Result: World Series Champions, defeated the Houston Astros in the World Series (4-2)


Key Departures: Free-agent first baseman, Freddie Freeman (LA Dodgers), Free-agent OF/DH, Jorge Soler (Marlins), Free-agent pitcher, Drew Smyley (Cubs), Free-agent pitcher, Jesse Chavez (Cubs), Mutual option outfielder, Joc Pederson (Giants), Free-agent INF/OF, Ehire Adrianza (Nationals), Traded outfielder, Cristian Pache, catcher, Shea Langeliers, pitchers, Ryan Cusick & Joey Estes (Athletics), Waiver claim pitcher, Yóan Lopez (Phillies)

Key Additions: Signed pitcher, Kenley Jansen (LA Dodgers), Signed outfielder, Alex Dickerson (Giants), Signed pitcher, Colin McHugh (Astros), Signed pitcher, Tyler Thornburg (Reds), Signed pitcher, Kirby Yates (Padres, 2020), Signed catcher, Manny Piña (Brewers), Acquired first baseman, Matt Olson (Athletics), Acquired pitcher, Jay Jackson (Giants)


Ronald Acuña Jr. – La Guaira, Venezuela

Acuña belongs in the same conversation as superstars, Juan Soto, and Fernando Tatis Jr. His potential for being a 5-tool player has consistently been displayed on the baseball diamond. Acuña is recovering from a severe ACL injury that occured last season in July. In just 82 games, Acuña totaled 24 home runs, 52 runs batted in and 17 stolen bases. 



2021 Record: 82-80, 2nd in NL East

2021 Result: Failed to reach postseason


Key Departures: Free-agent pitcher, Ian Kennedy (Diamondbacks), Free-agent pitcher, Matt Moore (Rangers), Free-agent INF/OF, Brad Miller (Rangers), Free-agent pitcher, Héctor Neris (Astros), Free-agent pitcher, Archie Bradley (LA Angels), Free-agent infielder, Freddy Galvis, Club option outfielder, Andrew McCutchen (Brewers), Traded outfielder, Adam Haseley (White Sox) Traded INF/OF, Luke Williams (Giants), Waiver claim pitcher, Adonis Medina (Pirates)

Key Additions: Signed outfielder, Nick Castellanos (Reds), Signed 1B/DH, Kyle Schwarber (Red Sox), Signed pitchers, Brad Hand & Jeurys Familia (NY Mets), Signed pitcher, Corey Knebel (LA Dodgers), Signed infielder, Johan Camargo (Braves), Acquired pitcher, James Norwood (Padres), Acquired catcher, Garret Stubbs (Astros), Acquired pitcher, Nick Nelson (NY Yankees), Waiver claim pitcher, Ryan Sherriff (Rays)


Jean Segura – San Juan, Dominican Republic

📸 Photo Credit: Latino Sports

Segura is one of the most consistent shortstops across MLB. Since 2014, he has totaled 144 hits or more in each given season, excluding the 2020 shortened season. The two-time All-Star has the complete package at the plate as well as on the field.


2021 Record: 77-85, 3rd in NL East

2021 Result: Failed to reach postseason


Key Departures: Free-agent infielder, Javier Báez (Tigers), Free-agent pitcher, Marcus Stroman (Cubs) Free-agent pitchers, Noah Syndergaard & Aaron Loup (LA Angels), Free-agent pitcher, Rich Hill (Red Sox), Free-agent infielder, Jonathan Villar (Cubs), Free-agent outfielder, Michael Conforto, Club option outfielder, Kevin Pillar (LA Dodgers), Traded pitcher, Miquel Castro (NY Yankees), Traded pitchers, J.T. Ginn & Adam Oiler (Athletics)

Key Additions: Signed pitcher, Max Scherzer (LA Dodgers), Signed outfielders, Mark Cahna & Starling Marte (Athletics), Signed INF/OF, Eduardo Escobar (Brewers), Signed pitcher, Adam Ottavino (Red Sox), Signed pitcher, Felix Pena (LA Angels), Acquired pitcher, Chris Bassitt (Athletics), Acquired pitcher, Joely Rodríquez (NY Yankees), Waiver claim pitcher, Yoan López (Phillies)


Francisco Lindor – Caguas, Puerto Rico

Entering his second year with New York, Lindor must be the “Cleveland” form or in other words, his all-star caliber level for the Mets to compete within the NL East. Lindor represented Puerto Rico at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He finished last season with 20 home runs, 104 hits, and 63 runs batted in.



2021 Record: 67-95, 4th in NL East

2021 Result: Failed to reach postseason


Key Departures: Free-agent catcher, Sandy León, Released Monte Harrison, Traded OF/C, Jorge Alfaro (Padres), Traded outfielder, Connor Scott, pitchers, Zach Thompson & Kyle Nicolas (Pirates), 

Key Additions: Signed outfielder, Jorge Soler (Braves), Signed outfielder, Avisaíl García (Brewers), Signed outfielder, Delino DeShields (Reds), Acquired infielder, Joey Wendle & pitcher, Louis Head (Rays), Acquired pitchers, Cole Sulser & Tanner Scott (Orioles), Acquired catcher, Jacob Stallings (Pirates), Waiver claim pitcher, Tanner Nance (Cubs)


Jesús Sánchez – Higuey, Dominican Republic

📸 Photo Credit: Major League Baseball

2021 Regular Season Statistics (64 games):

14 home runs, 36 runs batted in, 57 hits, .319 on base percentage

Jesús Sánchez is a finalist for the 2021 Latino Sports National League Rookie Award. 


2021 Record: 65-97

2021 Result: Last place in NL East


Key Departures: Free-agent first baseman, Ryan Zimmerman (Retired), Free-agent catcher, Alex Avila (Retired), Free-agent pitcher infielder, Jordy Mercer (Retired), Non-tendered outfielder, Wander Suero (LA Angels AAA), Non-tendered first baseman, Mike Ford (Mariners AAA), Non-tendered pitcher, Ryne Harper, Waiver claim pitcher, Jhon Romero (Twins)

Key Additions: Signed DH, Nelson Cruz (Rays), Signed pitcher, Sean Doolittle (Mariners), Signed INF/OF, Ehire Adrianza (Braves), Signed pitcher, Steve Cishek (LA Angels), Signed second baseman, César Hernández (White Sox), Waiver claim pitcher, Hunter Harvey (Giants), Waiver claim INF/OF, Lucius Fox (Orioles), Waiver claim pitcher, Francisco Perez (Guardians)


Juan Soto – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

2021 Regular Season Statistics (151 games):

.313 batting average, 29 home runs, .465 on base percentage, career high in walks (145)

Juan Soto is a finalist for the 32nd Annual Latino Sports National League MVP Award.

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