Who to Watch: The 3 Players Making Waves in 2024

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As we bid farewell to 2023 and ring in the new year, our sights are set on the upcoming 2024 Major League Baseball (MLB) season. A refreshing mix of familiar faces and rising stars is poised to take center stage, promising an exhilarating season full of nail-biting moments and game-changing performances.

In this piece, we spotlight three players who will captivate audiences and shape the narrative of the 2024 sporting season. Whether they’re seasoned pros or newcomers breaking through, these players are the ones to keep your eyes on. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our list.

Juan Soto, LF, Yankees

Juan Soto is a name that resonates with power and command in MLB. A generational talent, Soto’s career already boasts numerous notable achievements. With five home runs and a .554 slugging percentage in the 2019 postseason as a youngster, his performance on the big stage has been nothing short of spectacular.

Soto won the 2022 Home Run Derby amid swirling trade rumors, reaffirming his standing as one of the game’s premier power hitters. He was also instrumental in helping the Nationals win their first World Series back in 2019. Soto’s statistics speak volumes about his exceptional skill set and potential. He is one of only six players to have recorded at least 30 homers and 100 walks in multiple seasons before reaching 25.

This young prodigy has already had three All-Star appearances, and remarkably, at only 25, he will be playing for his third MLB team when Opening Day arrives. Soto’s move to the Yankees, one of the most storied franchises in sports and one he has dreamed of playing for since he was a child has significantly shifted the 2024 MLB playoff odds. His presence will undeniably electrify the atmosphere as he continues to captivate audiences with his awe-inspiring gameplay. With Aaron Judge alongside him, the Bronx Bombers could live up to their name.

Zack Greinke, RHP, FA

Zack Greinke is a name that has been etched in the annals of Major League Baseball. As a right-handed pitcher, Greinke has carved out an impressive career that spans nearly 20 years, and he’s not done yet. With 2,979 strikeouts to his name, Greinke is on the precipice of joining the esteemed 3,000-strikeout club, a feat that would further solidify his standing as one of the best pitchers of his generation and almost certainly earn him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Despite retirement rumors, recent reports suggest that Greinke is gearing up for another year on the mound. The question remains: which team will he represent in his pursuit of 3,000 strikeouts? A seasoned veteran with a proven track record, Greinke would like to pitch for a contender needing some depth. At 40 years of age, Greinke’s potential pursuit of this milestone is a narrative that will surely be one of the most captivating storylines in the 2024 season.

Paul Skenes, RHP, Pirates

Paul Skenes, the right-handed pitcher for the Pirates, is a name you’ll want to remember. Fresh off an outstanding collegiate career that saw him lead LSU to a College World Series title, Skenes is considered one of the most promising pitching prospects in recent Draft history. His credentials are impressive: a dominating 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame, a power fastball, a ruthlessly effective slider, a reliable changeup, and the control to utilize these tools to devastating effect. 

Skenes’ rapid rise through the Pirates’ system has been a thrilling sight to behold. In only a handful of games, he was quickly elevated from Rookie League to the organization’s Double-A affiliate before being shut down. Given that he’s already demonstrating top-of-the-rotation potential, there’s a strong possibility of him reaching Pittsburgh by midseason. When that day arrives, all eyes will be on this prodigious talent who could spearhead the next generation of MLB aces and potentially bring playoff baseball back to the Steel City.