We're almost a month into the 2023 MLB season, and we've had our share of dominant performances (Rays hitting, Rays pitching), surprise performances (how does "first-place Pirates" sound?), disappointments (Cardinals, White Sox lead the way) and outright disasters (A's, Royals). But it's early; it takes only one mini hot streak to get back on track.
Now let's turn our attention to the standout individual performances of the season by taking a run through the early All-Star leaders at each position for both leagues. For a little twist, we'll also look at a breakout candidate at each position -- and someone who is struggling, including a few big stars. Call it April's All-Stars and Uh-Ohs.
The Braves didn't need to acquire a catcher in the offseason since they already had solid veteran Travis d'Arnaud and 2022 All-Star William Contreras, but with concerns about d'Arnaud's age and Contreras' defense, they made an outside-the-box trade of Contreras and prospects for Murphy -- and then signed their new backstop to a six-year extension. Murphy has rewarded Atlanta with a great start, hitting for power and getting on base, with six home runs and a 1.056 OPS.