These 3 MLBbros Need To Step It Up In The Second Half Of The Season

These 3 MLBbros Need To Step It Up In The Second Half Of The Season

It’s easy to highlight all the players who are leading their teams to great things, like J.P. Crawford, Triston McKenzie, etc. But what about the guys who still have some room for improvement? Three bros in particular definitely need to step it up for their respective teams, or even just for their own stock.

1. Marcus Stroman

After a pretty solid 2021 season for his old team in New York, Stroman left ivia agency and signed a 3-year contract with the Chicago Cubs, worth up to $71 million.

The Cubs were paying for a player they believed could be a front-end starter for this season, but Stroman’s pitching has been subpar to say the least.

He posted a 3.02 ERA in 33 starts last season. His ERA has been up about one and a half runs, posting a 4.69 ERA this year, in only 11 games. He has already given up a little less than half of the runs he gave up last season, but in only a third of the starts. Stroman has a 2-5 record, and has only gone past the fifth inning three times this season.

With the Cubs playoff chances essentially out the window, Stroman could have had the potential to build his worth and get traded to a contender, but that door seems to be closed. It’s crucial for him to try and finish the year as strong as possible to show that he still has it, and that his days of being an elite pitcher aren’t over just yet.

2. Marcus Semien

With his career year in Toronto, Semien signed a 7-year, $175 million contract with the Texas Rangers, pairing him alongside fellow new signee Corey Seager. Many considered them to be the best middle infield duo in the league at the beginning of the season. So far, not so good.

Semien’s batting average is down 20 points, at .245, compared to .265 last year. He managed to hit 45 out of the yard, with 102 RBI playing in all 162 games. That earned him All-Star and All-MLB first team honors, as well as a Silver Slugger. This season, he has only 13 home runs and 44 RBI in 91 games played.

The Rangers are currently 7.5 games back in the Wild Card race. It’s a big mountain to climb, but it’s certainly doable. That peak will not be reached without Semien, and if he continues to play like he has been, consider kissing those playoff dreams goodbye. While the whole team needs to play better, it starts with Semien.

3. Ke’Bryan Hayes



There have been very few things to look forward to as a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, as they have been a bottom team for the past five seasons. One of the very few glimmers of hope has been Hayes.

After being selected 32nd overall in the 2015 draft, Hayes made his major league debut back in 2020, and boy did he make a splash. In 24 games in the shortened season, he batted .376, with five home runs, and 11 RBI. Many saw this kid as being a potential MLB star. Finally, there was hope in Pittsburgh.

Hayes put up a good 2021 season, not as electric as 2020, but still good. This season, he’s been average to say the least, batting .251, with four home runs and 28 RBI in 86 games. The Pirates are by no means competing for the playoffs, but with the recent call up of O’Neill Cruz, there’s been more and more glimmers of hope. It’s important for Hayes to show the team that 2020 was no fluke, and that he and Cruz will be an exciting duo for years to come.

Ke’Bryan Hayes Is Looking Gold Glove Special At the Hot Corner For The Bucs

Ke’Bryan Hayes Is Looking Gold Glove Special At the Hot Corner For The Bucs

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes has had an impressive season and is establishing himself as an elite player. The 25-year-old is already a top player on his team, and he’s shown that he can make an impact at the plate and in the field.

This brother can certainly flash some leather out there and he makes it look easy too. Through 82 games at third base, Hayes has a .970 fielding percentage with eight errors. Despite having eight errors, Hayes leads all infielders in one category.

According to the SABR defensive index, our MLBbro was at 7.7 when the last figures were released on June 19. That’s the highest among any player in the league.

For those who may not know, the SABR defensive index is a metric that is widely used to determine Gold and Platinum Glove winners.

They look at two different types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts.


Ke’Bryan Hayes Is The Future Of The Pittsburgh Pirates Franchise


Hayes is in the driver seat right now and has a chance to take home his first Gold Glove Award. Now there is a lot of season left, but for Hayes to be at the top of that list, speaks volumes to the type of player he is on the field.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton knows that Hayes is a special talent at third base.

“There are sometimes situations where guys are gonna get errors because they’re really good,” he said in an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That sounds screwed up, but it’s because you get to more balls, whereas guys who don’t move as well might not make as many errors just because they don’t have as many chances.

“The other thing we see with Key is he makes a lot of really, really tough plays look easy, stuff you take for granted.”

For Hayes, he just wants to go out there and make the plays that he can and put his team in positions to win games.

“It’s kind of like batting average,” he said. “You can’t look at that every week. It’ll beat you up if you do. Just try to go out there and play to the best of my abilities. At the end of the year, that’s when I look at that stuff.”


With technology becoming so advanced, there are many ways to track different metrics in all of sports, allowing people to break down players even more.

“I think that’s why the advanced metrics are so important because we can see that he makes a lot of plays other people don’t make,” Shelton said. “A couple of his errors have been on balls that just took bad hops. He got caught in between. I think that’s why being able to gauge defense moving forward is so important.”

It will be interesting to see how things play out with Hayes and if he will still be in the running to win a Gold Glove once September is through. With how he’s been playing so far this season, the brother definitely deserves it.

#HIGHFIVE | Top 5 MLBbros (Week 8)

#HIGHFIVE | Top 5 MLBbros (Week 8)

Mookie Betts had a month of May for the record books and takes top spot Week 8 of our #HighFive List for the second time in a row.

1. Mookie Betts


Mookie Betts put up numbers during the month of May that have only been seen by seven players in Major League history including Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.

He should win the National League Player of the Month Award after finishing with a .342 average, 12 home runs, 27 RBI, 31 runs, 10 doubles, 13 walks and a .411 on base percentage.



Betts’ power surge at the plate has led to a National League leading 16 home runs while his league leading 51 runs have him on pace for almost 170 this season.

Voting for the 2022 All-Star Game which will be held in Betts’ home ballpark of Dodgers Stadium opens early next week and it’s certain he will be in right field batting leadoff for the National League.  The only question being whether or not he can lead all players in total votes.


Mookie Betts Is Scoring Runs At An Insanely Historic Rate | The MLBbro Can’t Miss The Dish


This weekend Betts and his Dodgers host the New York Mets who have the best record in baseball for a four-game series.

2. J.P. Crawford


Entering Thursday J.P. Crawford only trails Mike Trout and his teammate Ty France for the highest Wins Above Replacement rating in the American League, as he is keeping his Mariner team above water.


Crawford is on pace to have the best season of his career, this coming off 2021 where he put up the best numbers he has produced in almost every hitting category including a .273 average, nine home runs and 54 RBI.


Crawford hit his fifth home run of the season Wednesday and is batting .375 with a .483 on base percentage over his last seven games.

This weekend Crawford travels to Texas to take on Marcus Semien and the Rangers in Arlington.

3. Ke’Bryan Hayes


Ke’Bryan Hayes’ three-run game winning home run in the 9th inning last week against the Padres was perfect timing for his first of the season.

Hayes is the face of the Pittsburgh Pirate franchise and has put up numbers to earn that title.

Entering Thursday his .293 average was fourth highest of all Major League third basemen and he is starting to get back on track on defense after starting the year with an uncharacteristic amount of errors.



This week Hayes and his Pirates made history by sweeping Mookie Betts and the Dodgers in Los Angeles for the first time since 2000. 

He finished the two-game set going 4-for-9 with a stolen base and a run scored as his team has won four out of their last five ballgames.

Over his last seven games Hayes is batting .300 with five RBI and will travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend.

4. Triston McKenzie


In five starts during the month of May Triston McKenzie posted a 2.12 ERA and held batters to a mediocre .155 batting average and earned a record of 3-2.

Each start McKenzie threw at least six innings and gave up no more than three runs.

His best start of the stretch happened to be his last start where he went a season high 7.2 innings allowing just four hits and two runs on eight strikeouts last Saturday against the Tigers.

Another impressive bit from McKenzie’s month is that four of his five starts were all on the road as he begins to show some signs of comfort in his third career season.

McKenzie’s next start will be another road test, this time in Camden Yards against reigning American League Silver Slugger and starting All-Star outfielder Cedric Mullins.

5. Nick Plummer


Nick Plummer came up big in Primetime this week and earns a spot on our #High/Five after the first week of his career.

Down by one in the ninth inning on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball against the rival Phillies, Plummer hit a game-tying home run on the first pitch of the at-bat, becoming the 14th Met to hit a home run as the first hit of their career.


Nick Plummer Might Be The Next Black NY Mets Superstar | The Borough Of Queens Is Long Overdue For Some Soul Sauce

For an encore the next day Plummer followed with a 3-for-4 game, hitting another home run to go along with a double and four RBI.

After the demotion of Dominic Smith earlier this week Plummer’s roster spot will be his to lose.

This weekend the Lathrup Village, Michigan native will play his first Major League game at Dodgers Stadium as he looks to outdo this weeks #High/Five leader Mookie Betts.

MLBbro Superstar Alert!! Ke’Bryan Hayes Keeps The Lights On In The Pit

MLBbro Superstar Alert!! Ke’Bryan Hayes Keeps The Lights On In The Pit

Ke’Bryan Hayes is this generation’s next great third baseman and is earning the title of highest-paid player in Pittsburgh Pirates’ franchise history with his play through the first month and a half of the season.  


MLBbro Ke’Bryan Hayes Gets The Biggest Bag In Pittsburgh Pirates History | The Franchise Cornerstone Has Security


The hitting numbers Hayes is posting has positioned him to be the representative for Pittsburgh at this season’s All-Star Game, which would be quite an accomplishment in just his second Major League season. The son of MLBbro player Charlie Hayes would join Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen as recent Black Pirates to obtain the honor.



Entering Sunday’s game, Hayes ranks in the top five for the National League in batting average, on base percentage and Offensive WAR. This coming after Hayes’ 2021 season was filled with injuries from the first game of the year till his last. After the second game of the season, Hayes felt a pain in his left wrist that made it difficult to grip the bat, leading to him being placed on the 60-day Injured List.

He returned to the Pirates’ lineup at the beginning of June but near the end of the season, injury struck again, leading to him being shut down in late September.


Don’t Even Watch Pirates Games For The Next 10 Days…Ke’Bryan Hayes Is Hurt


“I had to grind through it,” Hayes told reporters at the beginning of this year’s spring training. “Going into the offseason, I really wanted to forget about it and make sure that going into this next season my body is healthy for this spring training.  I’m doing good, the wrist is feeling good, so I’m ready to get rolling.”

Hayes’ bank account was one thing injuries couldn’t keep down. Not even a week into the season Pittsburgh made the 25-year-old out of Tomball, Texas the highest-paid player in their franchise history with an eight-year $70 million deal with a club option for 2030.

If Hayes can stay healthy, the deal will prove to be a bargain for the Pirates.

He did scare fans during the team’s Opening Day game this season when the third baseman appeared to re-injure that same wrist that plagued him last year in the first inning and was forced out of the game. But it was just a scare, and he didn’t miss any time from it.

Glove Love 

The one phase of Hayes’ game that may be the least surprising this season has been his play on defense.  



The three-time Minor League Gold Glove award winner currently leads all Major League third baseman in Defensive WAR and putouts by a comfortable margin.

Bat Attack 

At the plate Hayes is batting .309 with an on base percentage above .400 and a .799 OPS to go along with eight RBI and three stolen bases.



He already has seven games this season with at least two hits, a 4-for-4 game and had two consecutive 3-for-5 games, one against the Cincinnati Reds and the other coming against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pirates Playoff Push? 

Hayes has his Pirates’ record closer to the .500 mark than most thought they would be.  They are a young team with players who will continue to flow to the Bigs over the next few years, but it looks like Pittsburgh has already found they can put the franchise on Hayes’ back as they work towards getting back into the playoffs for the first time since 2015.