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Jeremy Peña, Luis Severino hope to bounce back

Top 5 Latino stars expected to bounce back in 2024

Unlike Ronald Acuña Jr, Luis Arraez and Adolis Garcia, some Latino baseball stars would like to leave last year in the past and focus on this season. Jeremy Peña and Luis Severino are among five top Latino big leaguers looking to bounce back.

Acuña won the National League MVP award. Arraez won the NL batting title, and Garcia helped the Rangers win the World Series. A year ago, Peña entered his sophomore season with lots of expectation after winning the ALCS and World Series MVP Awards and a Gold Glove.

Here are five Latinos who could have a comeback season. 

5. Luis Severino 

Luis Severino ended his Yankees tenure on a bad note. The hard-throwing right-hander is surely ready to move on from last season as new beginnings await. Before a high-grade oblique strain ended his season, Severino posted a 6.65 ERA and a 1.646 WHIP.

The Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic, native struggled to miss bats. He ranked in the bottom 5 percent in xWOBA, WOBA, xERA. He also had a 45 percent hard-hit percentage. The 30-year-old traveled east of New York to Citi Field. He hopes to regain the success he possessed early in his career. 

Severino needs to regain control of his fastball. His fastball velocity didn’t change much, but he often left his fastball out over the plate, especially in high-leverage situations. This led to a drop in run value. In 2022 he had a fastball run value of 11, but in 2023 it dropped to -14. 

4. Jeremy Peña

Jeremy Peña, 26, succumbed to the sophomore slump. Coming out of the World Series MVP and ALCS MVP high, Peña struggled tremendously at the plate. He blasted only 10 home runs and recorded 52 RBIs, which were a significant decline from his rookie year. 

Peña struggled to barrel fastballs, which was his most successful pitch to hit a year before. Throughout the season he couldn’t elevate the baseball powerfully consistently. 

The 6-foot shortstop showed up to spring with a new swing ready to change his fortunes around. Although he hasn’t hit a home run thus far in spring, he has produced five hits, including a triple and a double. 

3. Anthony Rendon 

Anthony Rendon is in the fifth year of his 7-year / $245 million contract with the Angels. However, a series of wrist and lower body injuries have sidelined Rendon for a major part of the past three seasons. 

The Houston native has yet to surpass 60 games played since 2019. Also he hasn’t belted more than 10 home runs in a season the past four years.


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This spring, Rendon was halted from playing due to a groin injury. It didn’t take him long to recover. He is back playing third base for the Halos. In seven games, Rendon has tallied two hits and a stolen base. 

Nonetheless, when healthy Anthony Rendon could potentially play a huge part in the Angels’ lineup. Especially since the departure of Shohei Othani, the Angels are hoping Rendon returns to his 2019 form. 

2. Edwin Diaz 

Edwin Diaz ruptured his patellar tendon in his knee with Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. The hard-throwing right-hander needed surgery that ended his season before it even started a year ago. He and Luis Severino give the Mets two pitchers looking to bounce back.

Diaz has slowly been healing in order to return back to the mound. He made his spring debut Monday. He struck out the side in a flawless inning of work in his return. The New York Mets’ closer is hoping for a repeat season that garnered him a 5-year, $102 million contract. 

After a long road of recovery, Diaz should have no problem settling into his closer role. The Mets’ will surely be blasting Trumpets on their speakers for their highly-regarded closer. 

1. Alek Manoah 

Alek Manoah’s 2023 season was a surprise for the Blue Jays and most baseball fans. Manoah was an All-Star with a 16-7 record in 2022. He finished third in the AL Cy Young voting two years ago. To much surprise, Manoah struggled mightily on the mound last year.

The 26-year-old pitcher finished last season with a lackluster 5.87 ERA, a 1.740 WHIP, a 6.01 FIP. His ineffectiveness on the mound garnered him a demotion to Toronto’s Florida complex to work out a few mechanical issues. 

Manoah has shown he has what it takes to become an All-Star. He has also shown through social media that he has been training to get better. Even though soreness in his right shoulder has cut his spring training short, Manoah is someone I expect to have a bounceback season.  

A few other candidates:  Cristian Javier (Astros), Eloy Jimenez (White Sox), Carlos Rodon (Yankees), Frankie Montás (Reds) and Zach Neto (Angels).

Featured photo courtesy of the Houston Astros.

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