Aaron Judge, Cedric Mullins and Mookie Betts are three of the hottest players in the Majors post All-Star break. Here is a look at their numbers and a preview of what’s ahead for them over the last two months.
1. Aaron Judge
Statistically, Aaron Judge’s 2022 could end up being the greatest regular season for a New York Yankee in their franchise’s history and he has shown little signs of slowing down during the first few weeks of the second half.
He ended July by being unanimously voted for his fourth career American League Player of the Month award after slashing .333/.446/.806 with 32 RBI and 13 home runs including the 200th of his career a few Saturdays ago.
Judge began August on pace to hit 67 home runs which would be the most in a single season since Sammy Sosa hit 66 in 2001 and the most by a Yankee since Babe Ruth had 60 in 1927.
Coming down the stretch, the Major League leader in home runs is going to have to stay locked in not only for his pursuit of a record amount of home runs, but also so his Yankees can earn the top seed in the American League.
His outfield mate and fellow MLBbro Aaron Hicks is 0-for-29 since his last hit on July 27, newly acquired Andrew Benintendi has just two hits in 25 plate appearances as a Yankee and Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with an Achilles injury that will be worth watching as we inch closer towards fall.
2. Cedric Mullins
Cedric Mullins set the tone for the Baltimore Orioles after an emotional trade deadline that saw locker room favorite Trey Mancini sent off to Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros.
In his first swing, he muscled an opposite field home run to the left field foul pole at GlobeLife Field.
That hit re-energized the entire roster as they would go on to sweep Texas to begin what is now an undefeated month of August.
Mullins, who last season became the first Baltimore Orioles player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season is now the clear cut captain and catalyst of Major League Baseball’s biggest surprise team.
His O’s came into Sunday just one game out of the final American League Wild Card spot and will have plenty of chances down the stretch against other contending teams to earn their first playoff berth since losing to the Blue Jays in the 2016 Wild Card Game.
Even though the home run pop is not there this season Mullins is still one of the most solid players in the game on both sides of the field.
He is going to eclipse the 30 steal mark for the second season in a row while setting a new career high and he ranks in the top 15 for hits in the American League.
3. Mookie Betts
Everyone in baseball is looking forward to a possible October matchup between the star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers and the league’s newest “super team” the San Diego Padres who just added MLBbro Josh Bell along with All-Stars Juan Soto and Josh Hader.
In addition to DJing in the locker room after victories and some wild home run celebrations Betts, whose 25 home runs put him in the top five in the National League and his 78 runs scored first, has his Dodgers with the best record in the Majors and 9-1 in their last 10.
Over his last 15 games, Betts is batting .299 with nine RBI, four home runs and a stolen base.
Mookie Betts got his half started with an epic game against the Dodgers biggest rivals then followed by joining the 200-career home run club, giving him the top spot in Week 16 of our #HighFive list.
1. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts carried his MVP caliber first half of 2022 into the second part of the season as his Dodgers now have their National League West division lead reached 11.5 games.
Betts hit a bottom of the eighth inning three-run game winning home run in one of Major League Baseball’s top three rivalries: the Giants vs Dodgers Thursday night in the first game back from a brief All-Star Break.
That put a cap on an impressive five-run comeback, and Betts put the final bow on the victory with a diving catch to end the game.
Saturday night he hit the 200th homer of his career and number 201came shortly after that via a leadoff shot off former Dodgers top prospect and current Washington National Josiah Gray.
This week Betts is batting .300 with three homers, five RBI, six runs scored and a stolen base.
He will take his Dodgers into Denver, Colorado for a four-game series beginning Thursday night.
2. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge continued on his quest for the greatest season ever by a New York Yankee with five home runs in his last seven games and a .393 average at the plate.
Judge leads the Majors with 38 home runs as he continues on his pace to become the first player to hit 60 home runs in a season since Babe Ruth did it in the stone age of 1927.
Those 60 would be two more than former Philadelphia Phillie World Series Champion Ryan Howards’ 58 in 2006 and still 13 behind home run king and seven-time MVP Barry Bonds.
What’s Poppin’ features the best bro in the game. @TheJudge44 blasted his league leading 38th HR of the season yesterday against the @Mets. Judge has the second best 82 RBI and third best OPS at 1.035.
Judge sits second in RBI and third in OPS and will be battling with Shohei Ohtani for this season’s American League MVP award.
This weekend the Yankees will take on Michael A. Taylor and the Kansas City Royals for four games in the Bronx.
3. George Springer
It seems like the entire Blue Jays rosters carries themself with the same swag as All-Star outfielder George Springer whose .300 average and Gold Glove caliber defense has helped Toronto go 8-2 in their last 10 games including a 28-5 beat down of the Boston Red Sox last Friday.
He has hits in five straight games and in six of his last seven.
Thompson is slashing .267/.359/.815 with three home runs and seventeen RBI this season.
5. J.P. Crawford
J.P. Crawford and his Mariners just keep winning and it always seems like he is exactly in the middle of it all. Crawford’s solid month of July comes on the heels of June where his average was just .202 and served a four-game suspension for his part in the benches clearing brawl between the Angels and M’s.
That fight seemed to not only spark the Mariners who are 20-5 but also Crawford who is batting .292 with three doubles and a triple since. This week Crawford batted .259 with three runs, three walks and seven hits. His Mariners have a huge series in Houston against Dusty Baker in the Astros who are accountable for three of four losses this month.
Mookie Betts hit the 200th home run of his career Saturday night to put a cap on a special week for the face of baseball. If he was not there already, there is now no doubt about Mookie Betts’ place on Major League Baseball’s Mount Rushmore of current best players as well as his spot on the front lines for promoting the sport to the next generation of fans.
The six-time All-Star got to participate in the event for the first time in his career as a representative of the Dodgers and was given the title of host for this year’s Mid-Summer Classic held in Los Angeles.
He began by wishing a very special happy 100th birthday to Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson, before driving in the first run of the All-Star Game on a single in his only at-bat.
Thursday, when Betts’ Dodgers took on San Francisco in the most recent chapter of one of baseball’s best rivalries, Mookie made two plays at the end of that game that’s sure to be played on the video board at Dodgers Stadium during his future retirement ceremony.
He then put the final dagger in the backs of the Giants with a game-ending diving catch on the warning track. He also added his seventh stolen base of the season to check off the final box of his five-tool display.
Over the last five plus years, Betts has scored runs around the clip of current Miami Marlins speedster Billy Hamilton, and has a defensive runs saved number close to Tampa Bay Rays Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.
Then came Saturday, where Betts became the newest member of the 200-home run club with a full count two-out homer to get the Dodgers on the board on their way to a 14th win in 15 games.
“All it means is I have a long way to go before catching Barry Bonds,” Betts told reporters postgame.
That adds another accolade to Betts’ already stacked resume.
Just months away from his 30th birthday, Betts has two World Series rings, an MVP, five Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards. In addition to being poised for another postseason run, Betts is one of the few possible candidates for this year’s National League MVP race.
Entering Sunday, he sits just 10 homers shy of his career high 32 which he had during his 2018 MVP season with the Red Sox, and he also has a chance to lead the National League in runs scored this year.
(@mookiebetts) Mookie Betts With Message From The 2022 All-Star Game: “We Need More Black People In The Stadium”#MLBbro content reporter @_teammill gets this interview.
The loudest message Betts sent this week was made without voicing a single word. During batting practice before the All-Star Game, he rocked a shirt that read “We need more Black people at the Stadium.”
Mookie Betts is one of a kind, and Black people should make an effort to see him play in person at least once per season, as well as some of the other MLBbros around the league.
High Five Top 10 MLBbros of the first half of the season
Aaron Judge is earning one of the biggest bags in all of baseball with his 2022 season
His league-leading 33 home runs before the All-Star Break is tied for the most in franchise history and he has his Yankees on top of baseball with 64 wins.
Judge started in his fourth career All-Star Game, leading all players with 3,726,498 votes.
The American League MVP race will most likely come down to Judge and the Angels Unicorn Shohei Ohtani, who won the award last year.
Considering Vlad Jr. nearly won the Triple Crown and still lost the race to Ohtani last year, Judge will need to hit at least 60 home runs and have the Yankees with the best record in baseball in order to gain a leg up.
“We need more Black people in the stadium,” was the message on Dodgers superstar outfielder’s shirt during All-Star Game batting practice.
Today in the Lead Off: When asked about his shirt by https://t.co/DG3CFND3cB reporter @_teammill, Betts’ response was, “there’s not a lot of Blacks in baseball, so I’m trying to change it.”
Those who have seen Betts at ballparks across the nation this year have been treated to a show on a nightly basis.
He’s having one of the best years of his career as he is on pace for a career-high number of homers with 20 already, and an RBI total that’s right in line with what he did in his MVP season in 2018.
Betts is batting .265 with an .863 OPS this season. His Dodgers lead the National League with 60 wins, which is important considering the team with the best record in each league gets a bye in round one of the playoffs.
Stanton has been Aaron Judge’s right-hand man this season with 24 home runs, just two behind Astros’ Yordan Alvarez for second in the American League.
Stanton showed off his home run power in his hometown of Los Angeles during his fifth career All-Star Game, hitting a two-run home run into the same left field bleachers he sat at as a kid.
There is no player you know it’s a home run quicker than Stanton ☄️
The American League Central race will be one of the more interesting coming down the stretch, and Anderson’s play will be a huge factor for which team goes on an early vacation.
Devin Williams has not given up a run since May 10th and is making his case to be the best reliever in baseball. The 2020 National League Rookie of the Year was a last-minute addition to the All-Star team but worked a clean inning in Tuesday night’s game.
Williams is leading the Majors in holds with a 1.77 ERA with 59 strikeouts this year.
In June, batters hit only .032 against him, and in July that number stands at 1.43.
Getting to watch Byron Buxton in a pennant race is going to be something special.
The five-tool outfielder is one of the biggest playmakers with the bat and glove in the Majors and he proved it on the biggest stage when he went back-to-back with Giancarlo Stanton in this year’s All-Star Game.
Buxton’s homer turned out to be the decisive blow in the 3-2 win for the American League. Although he did not win the MVP award, he did win a fan a season’s supply of beer.
His 23 home runs rank fifth in the American League, but he will need to get his .216 average up if he wants to get his Minnesota Twins into the playoffs and over the hump of the Wild Card Game.
Jazz Chisholm Jr.
On the back of a solid first full season in the Majors, Jazz Chisholm Jr. is putting up better numbers in almost every offensive category.
In addition to his personal highs, Chisholm also leads Miami in most hitting statistics and became the first ever Bahamian player to be named an All-Star and would have been the first starter had it not been for a back injury he suffered a few weeks before the break.
“The Bahamian Blur” will continue to crush baseballs after coming into the stadium with more swag and style than anyone else in the locker room, despite the direction where his struggling Marlins go.
Josh Bell could end up being the biggest commodities when the Major League Baseball August 2nd trade deadline comes around. Bell leads all MLBbros with a .311 batting average and is in the top 5 for first baseman in multiple categories including hits, OPS, triples, hits and average.
This is the last year of Bell’s rookie deal, so he’ll be earning himself some cash if he gets the chance to play with a contender during the final part of the season.
“Dr. Sticks” is having a great sophomore season but has done his best work in July.
In three starts this month McKenzie has gone 21 innings without giving up a run. He has 23 strikeouts with just six walks and nine hits over that span as his Guardians sit just two games back of the Twins for the American League Central pennant.
This year McKenzie has a 3.20 ERA with 96 strikeouts and a 7-6 record.
His next start will come on the Southside of Chicago against Tim Anderson and the White Sox.
Michael Harris II
Michael Harris is the youngest player in baseball but has impacted his team maybe more than anyone on this list not named Aaron Judge or Mookie Betts.
The Atlanta native has proved to the Braves that the center fielder of their future is already patrolling their outfield ground.
He has already made some of the best defensive plays this season and will be fighting for both a Gold Glove and the National League Rookie of the Year award as this season comes to an end.
Marcus Semien – The 2021 MLBbro of the Year got off to a slow start in his first season of his seven-year, $175 Million deal, but he has heated up over the last month. Watch for him to find his way into the top 10 at season’s end.
Cedric Mullins– CM Storm is the leader on one of the most fun, young teams in baseball and the O’s will need big things out of him if they want to steal a playoff spot from one of the other American League East teams.
J.P. “The Claw” Crawford- Was on his way to making his first career All-Star Game before a suspension for fighting put an end to that. Despite that his Mariners won 14 straight to close out the first half.
Ke’Bryan Hayes – One of the best young defenders in baseball is going to be the best at the hot corner sooner rather than later.
Taijuan Walker – Walker is quietly having a better year than his 2021 All-Star season and will be a key member in the backend of the Mets rotation as they fight for the World Series.
Before the break, we broke down the American League division leaders and the MLBbros who helped to make that happen. We even saw two of the bros we mentioned, Yankees Slugger Giancarlo Stanton and Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, win the All-Star game for the American League Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Stanton was the MVP.
Now that the second half of the season is underway, let’s take an MLBbro.com look at the three National League division leaders. There are two pretty tight races brewing in the NL East and NL Central, while Mookie and the Dodgers are running away with the West. Let’s take a look at who’s holding it down up top.
New York Mets – 58-35, 2.5 games up
For a while it looked like the Mets were going to run away with the NL East. Armed with a gang of new talent acquired this offseason, New York shot out of the gates and took a commanding lead in their division. Injuries to starters Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer slowed them a bit, but the Mets closed out the first half winning six of ten.
Taijuan Walker has once again been a steady hand the Mets pitching staff needs as they await the return of their Ace. Walker is currently 7-2 with a 2.55 ERA with a 20.1% K rate to go with his 6.9% walk rate. The Mets will need to remain consistent throughout the second half, or they may see Michael Harris II and the Atlanta Braves leapfrog them in the standings.
Milwaukee Brewers – 50-43, 0.5 games up
The All-Star break couldn’t have come at a better time for the Brewers, who went into the break losing seven of their last 10. The bullpen is still dominant but unfortunately for Devin and the pen, the Brewers offense has proven to come up short as the competition rises.
When called upon, Williams has been lights out. Over his last seven games, Devin has thrown 7 innings and only given up three hits while striking out 13 batters. He has filled in perfectly at closer when needed, saving six games over the Brewers last 30.
Hitters simply can’t touch Devin, and honestly that might be putting it lightly. On the year, hitters are batting .187 against his all-world changeup and .085 against his 4-seamer. The man is ELITE, hopefully the Brew Crew can score enough runs to really take advantage of his elite ability.
Los Angeles Dodgers – 60-30, 10.0 games up
Everything is going exactly how it should be in Hollywood. The Dodgers signed Silver Slugger Freddie Freeman in the offseason and added him to a lineup that was already one of the most dangerous in all of baseball. Freeman has fit right in, and the Dodgers look poised to make another trip to the NLCS.
Mookie Betts hit 20 bombs with 47 RBI enroute to another All-Star appearance and made an emphatic statement with his pregame wardrobe while he was there. Mookie has been very selective at the plate this season, and according to Baseball Savant he ranks in the 91% percentile in both whiff% and chase rate.
Dave Roberts has his guys firing on all cylinders, and it will be tough for anyone in the West to catch LA.