MLB's 10 most surprising improvements, and whether they will stick

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

Two years ago, Aaron Judge hit 10 April homers on his way to a 52-homer season and securing his place among the elite sluggers in baseball. That same April, Eric Thames hit 11 homers in his first season back in the major leagues, but he was merely an average hitter the rest of the season and ended up without a starting job last season. Both players had to be considered huge surprises, but some surprises have better staying power than others.

Here are this year's big surprises and a look at whether their big starts might have staying power.

Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

Two seasons ago, Bellinger was a superstar in the making, hitting nearly 40 homers in less than a full season's worth of work. As a sophomore, he slumped to 25 homers and looked more like an above-average regular than a star. This season, stardom has struck, with Bellinger pacing the majors with nearly 4 WAR in less than two months. He has increased his walks while cutting his strikeouts nearly in half. Bellinger is on pace for one of the greatest seasons of all time, and while he might not get there, an MVP award is within his grasp.