MLB Meter: 10 Best Players of April 2014

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In a season that began with a rash of Tommy John surgeries for 15 Major League Baseball pitchers, contenders like the Atlanta Braves and Oakland A’s appeared to be at a disadvantage out of the gate. One month later, the Braves and A’s proved their pitching depth could withstand multiple losses. Both teams sit comfortably in first place in their respective divisions and appear capable of continuing.

Elsewhere around the league, two big-name international free agents have proven that they belong in the Major Leagues, while familiar faces from All-Star teams past have reasserted their dominance on the baseball diamond during the first month of action. Here are the 10 best MLB players of April 2o14.

American League pitchers

1. Jesse Chavez, Oakland A’s

After injuries to A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker, Oakland desperately needed someone to fill the holes in its rotation. Journeyman reliever Jesse Chavez has given the A’s more than anyone expected. Through six starts, Chavez’s stats are eye-popping: 1.89 ERA, .199 batting average against, and 41 strikeouts versus just 8 walks.

He capped off this elite performance in April with seven innings of one-hit ball on April 30 against the Rangers. That victory closed out Oakland’s three-game sweep of the Rangers in Texas. Even after his breakout spring, the A’s couldn’t have dreamed Chavez would perform on this level through his first month in the starting rotation.

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