Josh Naylor etched his name into Major League Baseball’s history books Monday night by having the greatest late game performance in league history. He is the only player to ever record eight RBI in the eighth inning or later as he carried the Guardians to one of their biggest comebacks in franchise history. For that he takes the top spot on our Week 5 #HighFive list.
1. Josh Naylor
Josh Naylor changed the trajectory of the Guardians season with a few late inning swings Monday night leading him to the top spot on our #HighFive list.
The Guardians entered the ninth inning trailing Chicago 8-2. After getting a few runs across the plate Naylor entered the batters with two-outs and his team trailing 8-4. On the first swing of his at-bat he launched a grand slam to right field off closer Liam Hendricks. He shushed the crowd as he crossed home plate, clearly saving some emotion for what was to come later.
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) May 10, 2022
Then with the game tied at nine in the 11th, Naylor launched a two-out three-run home run to break the hearts of fans on Chicago’s Southside.
It may be the best home run celebration I have seen. We see players showing emotion more so now than in years past, but I’m not sure any player has shown more excitement than Naylor did.
In addition to his eight RBI, Naylor also had a game-saving scoop on a throw from third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to give himself a chance at being the hero later on.
Over his last seven games Naylor is batting .417 with a .875 slugging percentage, three home runs, 14 RBI and an on base percentage over .440.
He has been up and down from the Majors to the Minors over the last few seasons, but by the way he is going this season, he won’t have to leave the Guardians locker room any time soon.
2. Mookie Betts
We are going to see MVP Mookie Betts this entire season. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made it clear before the season his team has one goal in mind, win their eighth World Series championship, prompting Betts to respond as the teams table setter out of the leadoff spot.
Tuesday his season long 10-game hitting streak snapped but he made up for it by nailing a runner out at home in the first inning of that same game.
.@nickhamiltonla joined the High & Outside podcast to discuss the keys to @mookiebetts hot start. Check out the full episode on our YouTube with @OctobersOwnTae and @_teammill #mlbbro #AlwaysLA #SiempreLA https://t.co/L4rJYcchUa pic.twitter.com/2eocBxaN0j
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 12, 2022
His 22 runs scored is good for second in the Majors as he trails Manny Machado by one for the lead. Over his last seven games Betts is batting .300 with seven RBI, two home runs and five runs scored helping his Dodgers get to the top of the N.L. West.
3. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge was the first player in the Majors to reach 10 home runs and has his team with the best record in the League going into this weekend as he earns the third spot on our #HighFive list.
Judge hit the first walk-off home run Tuesday night to kickoff what would be a three-game sweep in round one of their season-long matchup with the Blue Jay.
Through his last seven games Judge is batting .259 with six RBI, three walks and two home runs.
This weekend his Yankees travel to Chicago to take on Tim Anderson and the White Sox in their first matchup since the Field of Dreams game.
4. Josh Bell
Josh Bell is making a case to be named an All-Star for the second time in his career by the way his 2022 season has started.
Bell’s .349 batting average is the third highest in the Majors and he talked with our very own Nick Hamilton last weekend about what he thought were the keys to his own success.
In the Two Hole spot today:
(@1stladyofsports) Rachel Hill breaks it down about MLB’s only Black starting first baseman. Josh Bell will be looking at a nice pay day in the offseason if he keeps up this pace. Here’s First to Third! https://t.co/CuRFIDGq2B pic.twitter.com/yelSfaLudQ
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 8, 2022
Through his last seven games Bell is batting .360 with a .448 on base percentage, three RBI and six runs scored.
5. Ke’Bryan Hayes
Ke’Bryan Hayes is earning the biggest contract in Pittsburgh Pirates history as he ranks in the top 10 for both WAR rating and on base percentage while being 11th in batting average.
He also leads all third baseman in Defensive WAR, but we have always acknowledged his potential to become the best defensive player in the league regardless of position.
What’s Poppin’ takes it to Pittsburgh to feature an electrifying bro.
KeBryan Hayes went off yesterday, going 3 for 5 against the Dodgers and adding one of five runs in a solid Pirates win.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 10, 2022
Through his last seven games Hayes is batting .286 and has drawn three walks.