May 1, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (25) reacts after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The first month of the baseball season brought unforgettable performances, unlikely heroes and everything in between. But with every surprise, there’s always disappointment.

Here are three surprising teams and three disappointing teams in April.

Biggest surprises

Minnesota Twins

It’s Byron Buxton’s world, and we’re just living in it. When healthy, Buxton can be a top-five player in baseball, and he has played like it, producing a 1.069 OPS with six homers in 14 games last month. The scariest part for the rest of the American League Central is that free-agent acquisition Carlos Correa hasn’t even swung the bat well yet.

Besides Buxton’s heroics, the starting pitching has carried Minnesota so far. The starting rotation was the biggest question for the Twins coming into this season, but it logged a 2.78 ERA in April to lead MLB.

Colorado Rockies

The Rockies shockingly won the Kris Bryant sweepstakes in the offseason, but they’ve continued to surprise with their hot start in 2022 behind an offense that leads the majors in average (.262) and OPS (.760). Connor Joe, Randal Grichuk and slugger CJ. Cron have done the heavy lifting. Cron, who shares the MLB lead with nine home runs, hit seven in April to aid the Rockies’ .424 slugging percentage, tops in the National League last month.

It’s going to be tough for Colorado to contend in a competitive NL West, but for Rockies fans who have been waiting to see signs of life from their team, the Rox are competing. Not every fan base can say that about their club right now.

Miami Marlins

There’s something going on down in South Beach, and it has the Marlins feeling really good. They’ve had great starting pitching from ace Sandy Alcántara, Jesús Luzardo and Pablo López, who has been one of the season’s early breakout performers. In April, López went 3-0 with an eye-popping 0.39 ERA and was named NL pitcher of the month. Miami’s lineup has also been energized by second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr., one of MLB’s new exciting players.

The Marlins have been looking for some young stars to build around, and they may have found them.


Miami Marlins' Jazz Chisholm Jr. celebrates scoring a run in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, May 2, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Jim Rassol)

Biggest disappointments

Boston Red Sox

No team wants to get off to a slow start, but in a division like the AL East, a slow start could mean a long summer. The Red Sox (10-14) have stumbled out of the gate with their quiet offense being the biggest issue. While Xander Bogaerts has played up to expectations, the rest of the lineup has not come together. Boston managed an April OPS of .609, which ranked 26th in baseball.

With the Yankees hitting the ball out of the ballpark and the Blue Jays looking like a team with its sights set on the postseason, the Red Sox need to figure things out sooner rather than later. The rest of the division isn’t waiting for them to get it right.

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox are probably the most surprising team on either list. Long thought to be the runaway leader in the AL Central, the Sox (10-13) have come out flat. Injuries haven’t helped the South Siders, who have been without Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez for a period of time in April. But they also haven’t played good baseball due to sloppy defense, quiet bats and questionable decisions by manager Tony La Russa.

The White Sox are finding out the hard way that this year’s division crown will have to be earned.

Texas Rangers

It's hard to put a team that lost 102 games last season into the disappointment category, but after going out and spending big on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, you would have liked to see a little more from the Rangers, who are last in the AL West at 9-14. Seager (.270 average, four HRs, 12 RBIs) has started to look like the player they expected, while Semien (.163, zero HRs) has had a much slower start at the plate.

The Rangers are still probably a year away from contending, but it's important for the organization to see steps taken forward this season, not backward.

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