Cedric Mullins is about to put the cherry on top for one of the greatest seasons ever for a Baltimore Oriole. He is now one home run away from joining the 30/30 Club and may have pulled off the robbery of the year this week.
For that he takes the top spot on Week 24 of our #High/Five List.
1. Cedric Mullins
I think we should start this #High/Five List with what may be the catch of the 2021 season.
Cedric Mullins got HOPS! And he showed them off by taking this home run away from Gary Sanchez last week.
What Cedric Mullins has accomplished this season is a testament to the work he put in to turn his career around over the off-season. After stealing two bases on Saturday against the Red Sox he officially reached 30 stolen bases on the year, which is good for second in the American League.
Now, he is just one swing away from being the first member of the Baltimore Orioles to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season. A feat that Adam Jones, Don Baylor and Reggie Jackson could not even reach.
The first time All-Star is sure to steal some MVP votes this season, and not even those can do him justice. He’ll look to join the 30/30 Club this weekend in front of the Baltimore Faithful during their series against the Texas Rangers.
2. Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen is coming alive as the Phillies attempt to chase down a playoff spot entering the final week of the season. Wednesday night his two-out two-run home run in the bottom of the 6th inning propelled the Phillies to a 4-3 win.
Over his last seven games McCutchen has a .259 batting average, five RBI and scored seven runs, but it’s something he did without even taking a swing that may have been his greatest play this week.
On Sunday Cutch wore a “Fair Ball” wristband during the game. The wristbands were worn by some Phillies and Mets minor leaguers for a protest towards minor league payment wages.
The maturation of McCutchen from his electric rookie season, to Most Valuable Player award winner to now veteran and leader for all of baseball is one of the great aspects of his illustrious career. The journey has been plentiful.
3. JP Crawford
J.P. Crawford has his Mariners fighting to end the longest postseason drought in baseball, all while making his case at back-to-back Gold Gloves.
However he has become much more than just his glove. In addition to his leadership, since being moved into the leadoff spot, Crawford has been one of the better hitters in baseball posting a .267 batting average, nine home runs and 50 RBI.
Entering Thursday the Mariners are just two and a half games behind the Yankees for the final wild card spot. They control their own destiny with a series against both their divisional rivals the Angels and Athletics to end the season.
4. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien has a chance at history as he is just two home runs away from tying the record for most home runs in a season by a second baseman in Major League history.
If it wasn’t for Semien’s teammate closing in on a Triple Crown, and Ohtani’s performance as a two-way star, Semien would be the clear cut favorite for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award.
His 6.7 WAR is fourth in MLB and he has added 41 home runs, 97 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
Entering Thursday his Blue Jays are just a half game out for the final wild card spot.
5. Aaron Judge
This season Aaron Judge has shown he is a top 10 player in the Majors, but that won’t mean anything if he can’t carry his Yankees to the playoffs.
In an era that places emphasis on slugging percentage, exit velocity and several other metrics meant to enhance run production, there are many who question the importance of a high batting average.
Despite these recent naysayers, MLBbros like Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley and Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson continue to show the value of having a batting champion in the lineup.
On Friday, both Brantley and Anderson, along with fellow MLBbro Cedric Mullins, held three of the top five spots for batting average in the American League.
By Saturday it was a completely different story.
With less than 20 games to go, will any of the bros be able to catch Starling Marte for the batting crown?
Cedric Mullins has been killing all season in a Baltimore Orioles lineup that doesn’t afford him much protection. He’s on his way to a 30-30 season despite playing on a team void of superstar talent.
While winning the crown would be dope, this late season stretch represents more than a batting title for Anderson and Brantley.
Both of their teams are in first place and with each team’s magic number under 20, the only scoreboard watching necessary will involve each other.
The Tampa Bay Rays currently hold a 5-game lead in the American League, which means at this point the Astros and White Sox are battling for second.
The Astros are 5-2 against the White Sox this season, so in order to secure that second spot, the White Sox will need to make up some ground on Houston.
Unfortunately for Chicago, Anderson has been mostly unavailable in September. After racking up 10 hits, 5 RBI and hitting an impressive .323 over his last 7 games played, Anderson was placed on the IL with what has been described as hamstring soreness.
Anderson’s presence has been missed at the top of the lineup, as the team has struggled to score runs against quality opponents at times.
Over their last five games as of Saturday, the White Sox have hit just .250 (9-for-36) with runners in scoring position.
Even with his team struggling to score and his average sliding in the ranks, Anderson remains focused on the main goal; a deep run in October.
Even when he’s not circling the bases with one swing, Mullins is doing the job of a leadoff hitter and getting on base in any way possible.
Mullins has gotten on base in 15 consecutive games, not including his pinch hit appearance on August 30th and scored 15 times.
5. J.P. Crawford
The Mariners 19-year long playoff drought is currently the longest in the Majors.
At some point this season, they were supposed to fall off, but led by last year’s Gold Glove shortstop J.P. Crawford, they have won 7 out of 10 games and are two and a half back of the final wild card spot.
Crawford put the Astros on ice with a two-run homer in the ninth inning Wednesday to save Seattle from getting swept.
Over his last seven games Crawford is hitting .323 with six RBI, four walks and eight runs.