As we creep closer to the MLB Trade Deadline talks around the sport have been quiet as around 80% of teams are in contention for a playoff spot. However, here are a few MLBbros flying under the radar that could be moved and make an impact in the postseason race.
1. Michael A. Taylor
Michael A. Taylor made one of this season’s top plays when he robbed a home run against the Cardinals back in May.
That was the beginning of his campaign to earn the first Gold Glove award of his career, and he has continued to build on that with four outfield assists and a 0.9 defensive WAR which ranks fourth among American League center fielders.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers are two teams that should be in on Taylor.
Taylor, who is batting .271 with 23 RBI and five home runs, fills a major whole for a Phillies team that has gone years without having a solid outfield backing up an always suspect bullpen.
They signed two home run hitting sluggers over the offseason, which helps them get off fireworks but not so much when it comes to plays needing to be made with the game on the line in a tough National East division where every game will matter at the end.
Taylor knows what it takes to get the job during “Money Time” in the fall. He won the 2019 World Series with the Washington Nationals and hit a home run in his first ever World Series at-bat. Having Taylor covering ground in Arlington would instantly make the Rangers one of the best defensive outfield groups, especially when it comes to throwing the baseball in the Majors.
2. Jo Adell
The relationship between Jo Adell and the Angels needs to end so Adell can become his best self.
Before the season the organization made it known they wanted to see Jo Adell get a full year of time in the Majors, but that hasn’t been the case with him already being sent to Triple-A twice, including the last time on June 11th when he was 6-for-12 with two doubles, two walks and two runs driven in the four games before his demotion.
He has since been on fire while in Salt Lake, including hitting a homer on the Fourth of July to cap off a strong weekend at the plate.
The Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants should each make a push for Adell.
The Angels are seven games out of the final Wild Card spot so it is not clear whether they will be buyers or sellers. If they do not see a future with Adell, they could try to sell him off while playing some of his best baseball in order to get his greatest value.
The O’s are one of the most fun young teams in baseball and even with their newly raised left field wall I think the situation could bring a spark to Adell while in a lineup where the rest of the guys are still wanting to find themselves.
Both the Mariners and Giants have underperformed this season particularly in their outfields and from the right side of the plate. The Giants, who have found success using the platoon system the past few seasons, would be a perfect fit.
3. Mycal Givens
Bullpens are where baseball games are ultimately won and lost so whenever a solid reliever is on the market, EVERY team in the Majors should make a call.
Mycal Givens of the Chicago Cubs has not given up a run in his last seven games. Over that span he has 10 strikeouts in nine innings and only issued two walks.
His record on the season sits at an unblemished 4-0 with a 3.34 ERA. The fact that this MLBbro’s Cubs are 10 games behind in the National Central and looking to rebuild is no fault of this rising star. Givens could find himself pitching in crucial innings come September and July.
Michael Harris II gave us the blueprint on why he will be one of baseball’s best outfielders for years to come as he won the National League Rookie of the Month award in his first full month as a Big Leaguer.
Michael Harris II is currently the youngest player in Major League Baseball but showed he brings a grown man’s game to the ballpark over the first month of his career.
The Braves’ top prospect entering the 2022 season won the National League Rookie of the Month award for his play during the month of June, posting a .347 average with four home runs, 16 RBI, four steals, seven doubles, two triples and a slugging percentage of .574.
“I feel like as soon as he came up here, he kind of changed the whole complexion of our team,” said Braves pitcher Kyle Wright on Harris’ impact on last season’s World Series Champions.
His .327 average was the highest through a player’s first 31 games by a Braves hitter since 2011, he was the first rookie to homer in back-to-back games for the team since 2019 and his eight-game hitting streak was the longest for a Braves rookie since 2018.
I know teams are developing scouting reports on Harris II with each passing day, but if he can sustain his level of play through this season the Braves will essentially gain another All-Star in what is already one of the most stacked lineups in the Majors.
This season Harris is batting .308 with 18 RBI, 21 runs, four home runs, four steals and an .841 OPS.
He and his Braves are set for a four-game series to start their week beginning with a Fourth of July matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Josh Bell cemented his case for the National League Player of the Month award as well as an All-Star berth with a .583 batting average in the last week of June, giving him the top spot in Week 12 of our #HighFive List.
1. Josh Bell
Despite not getting much love in the All-Star fan votes, Josh Bell was Major League Baseball’s top hitter for the month of June. He finished first in on base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS while finishing second in average and third in WAR.
Bell’s .319 batting average is the highest for any switch hitter in the Majors and is tops among MLBbros and good for eighth in all of baseball entering Friday.
Last weekend Bell made a statement during his return to his hometown of Dallas, Texas where he attended Jesuit high school.
Friday, he went 3-for-4 with a triple, double, RBI and scored the game-winning run late in the eighth inning, finishing the series 7-for-12 with an RBI and three runs scored, missing the series cycle by just a home run.
This weekend Bell and the Nationals welcome the Marlins to D.C. who will be without superstar Jazz Chisholm Jr. after he was placed on the Injured List with a lower back strain.
2. Devin Williams
“The Airbender” is pitching on a level he has never reached before as he has gone 20 innings without allowing a run to go along with 30 strikeouts, six walks and just five hits.
Williams, who won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2020 has been a major part of a Brewers bullpen that is one of the top groups in the Majors, and this season it looks like he will be a lock for his first career All-Star Game.
This season Williams has a 2-0 record with a 2.12 ERA and 49 K’s.
Even though his offense got off to a slow start, the 2021 American League All-Star starting center fielder has yet to lose a step while patrolling the outfield5.
5. Josh Naylor
Josh Naylor added to his folklore in Cleveland with the second walk-off home run of the season to lift his Guardians over the Twins.
Naylor has been the juice guy for the Guardians this year as his head banging celebration sent Proggessive Field into a frenzy after another comeback victory against the team they are attempting to track down in the American League Central.
We are accustomed to seeing the typical shoving match between teams whenever benches clear in Major League Baseball, but Sunday’s brawl between the Angels and Mariners was one of the most entertaining and wild ones in recent sports history.
“I always tell them, I have got their back,” Crawford told reporters Monday. “Just know that I have got your back. When stuff hits the fan, I am going to be the first one out there every time. I am going to do that 10 times out of 10. I have always got my boys’ back.”
Seattle’s shortstop rushed in with a few flying forearms in defense of his teammate Jesse Winker, who was hit by a pitch and got into a jawing match with the Angels bench prior to the fight ensuing.
We have to go back to June 17th to discover where this beef originated.
That night the Mariners were up 7-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning against the Angels when MLBbro and 2005 first overall pick Justin Upton was hit in the head by a fastball.
It was only Upton’s third at-bat in a Mariners uniform as he was making his team debut after being released by the Angels in early April. In five seasons in Anaheim, Upton hit .232 with 75 home runs and drove in 203 runs.
Then fast forward to Saturday night, the Mariners almost hit Mike Trout, who has six home runs against them this season on two different occasions.
Sunday afternoon Angels interim manager Phil Nevins, who’s 10-game suspension for orchestrating these hits on Mariners players was longer than anyone else involved, decided to start an “opener” who is a pitcher that only throws one, no more than two innings to begin a game in place of a typical starting pitcher. Before he took him out, he made sure he hit his final batter, which ultimately caused the fight.
Crawford is still playing this week while his suspension is in the appeals process and should have an answer by Thursday if not early this weekend.
Some heads-up baserunning by J.P. Crawford and Julio Rodríguez — and some good luck — has put runners on the corners with two outs in the 8th inning instead of ending it.
When he does begin to serve his time, the Mariners will be left without the most predominant peace in their lineup.
Crawford is currently going through a 3-for-26 stretch, but still ranks in the top 10 among all shortstops in on base percentage, OPS and runs scored.
On the season he is batting .261 with five home runs, 19 RBI and a .729 OPS.
Every game moving forward is crucial for the Mariners after getting off to a slower start than most expected, but Captain J.P. Crawford’s decision to stand and fight with his team will have a lasting effect on the franchise through his tender in the Electric Factory that is Seattle, Washington.
Black baseball was on full display this weekend as the Washington Nationals made a rare trip to Texas for a series against the Texas Rangers. Here is how some of the best bros in baseball fared.
Josh Bell ended the weekend with a .308 batting average which is the highest for any switch hitter in the majors this season. He is playing the best baseball of his career and made a statement during the first game of his return series in his hometown of Dallas, Texas going 3-for-4 with a triple, double and a RBI, capping it off by scoring the game-winning run in the top of the 8th.
He ended the series Sunday going 3-for-5 with a double and a RBI.
Bell came into the series riding a high note after hitting four home runs in a three-day span against the Philadelphia Phillies, a team he has crushed in recent history with eight home runs, 23 runs batted in and a .293 average since joining Washington last season.
After this season Bell will become a free agent and things may get interesting for him as the trade deadline approaches.
Gray put his name in the conversation for the National League Pitcher of the Month award with the numbers he put up in June.
In his last five starts, Gray is 2-0 with a 1.24 ERA and has allowed only three extra base hits (all home runs) and held batters to a .155 batting average against which is the lowest in the majors since May 29.
During that time he also did not surrender a hit to a righty, holding them to 0-for-19 against him, and his 1.24 ERA over that span is the third lowest in the majors and the second lowest in the National League.
The next start for Gray will be this Friday when he faces off against “The Bahamian Blur” Jazz Chisholm Jr. and the Miami Marlins.
Carl Edwards Jr
“The Slanga” aka Carl Edwards Jr., has been solid out of the bullpen for Washington in his return to the Bigs this season.
This series he pitched 2.2 innings giving up no runs on one hit and one strikeout. He got the win in Friday’s game and is now 1-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 25 innings this season.
Carl Edwards Jr. watching the Father’s Day message from his kids on the video board is everything. 💙
He currently ranks third in the National League in opponent’s batting average, hits per nine innings and WHIP.
In a stat that will probably surprise 99 percent of baseball fans, only Josh Hader has allowed a lower opponent’s batting average for all Major League relievers other than Edwards since 2015.
Over his last 6.2 innings Edwards has only given up one hit, struck out seven and has not given up a run.
In one of the most questionable moves this season, the Rangers sent Dallas native pitcher Taylor Hearn to Triple A Roundrock after throwing four shutout innings in relief Saturday.
Hearn, who’s four wins are tied for the second most on the team was sent down to the bullpen earlier this week after a few rough outings, but looked sharp in his long relief role that may better suit him for future success at the Major League level.
The front office has not given a reason for sending Hearn down, but said he will be working as a starter while in Roundrock, which coincides with them saying they believe he can bring his best stuff in shorter stints out of the bullpen.
Hearn may only be down for a week if not shorter but that still remains to be seen.
Regardless, a homegrown pitcher who has become one the faces of the franchise as well as a leader in the clubhouse to be sent down after the best outing any reliever has had for your team this season, leaves us with more questions than answers.
The record holder for most home runs in a season by a second baseman has been grinding over the last month to raise his batting average from under the Mendoza Line to above .230.
This series Semien went 3-for-14 including a 2-for-5 game Friday night.
Semien did have the chance to drive in the winning run Friday but failed to after he flew out.
His batting average is now at .228 with seven home runs and 27 RBI on the season.
The Rangers will head out on a road trip this week beginning in Kansas City before they head to New York for a battle versus the Mets who have the best record in the National League.