A Look Back at MLB’s 2019 Season and 2021 Regular Season Expectations

Major League Baseball announced on July 9th, 2020 that a full 162-game agenda for the 2021 season was expected. On Feb. 1st, 2021 MLB reinforced this by releasing a statement instructing that all 30 Major League Clubs report to spring training on time, opening day will be April 1st.

This comes after a historic 2020 baseball season where the COVID-19 pandemic halted spring training activities and impeded the season altogether. On Feb. 10th, 2020 pitchers and catchers reported to spring training, and position players followed 4 days later. Thereafter, in March the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic.

After many proposal exchanges between The Major League Baseball Players Association and MLB, the 2020 season would eventually start in late July. A shortened 60-game regular season and extended postseason were agreed upon.

Meaning, 2019 was the last 162-game regular season for baseball. An exciting season at that, MLB expert predictors called for Houston to be World Series Champs, the Yankees, and Red Sox also being popular picks. However, it was the Washington Nationals, late-May misfits, and National League Wild Card Game winners who captured their 1st World Series title.

Southern California dominated the Major League Baseball awards with Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels being named the 2019 MVPs. Bellinger being the 24th player in MLB history to win Rookie of the Year and MVP, and Trout being the 11th player to win 3 MVP awards.

Rookie Pete Alonso set the Met’s single-season franchise mark with his 53 home runs, as well as the all-time rookie record for most in a season. Cincinnati Red’s Eugenio Suarez follows in 2nd with 49 homers and Jorger Soler in 3rd with 48. Soler’s campaign is the first 40-homer season in Kansas City Royals history, his 48 homers are also the most by any Cuban-born player in Major League history. Bellinger falls 4th with 47, and Mike Trout rounds out 5th place with 45 home runs.

Check out the graphic below to see the home run stat leaders throughout the MLB 2019 regular season and cast your predictions on who will lead this year’s scoreboard.

Third year Communications major/Urban Studies minor at UIC

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