This week Andrew McCutchen was vibing like he did during his 2013 National League MVP season.
He terrorized the Washington Nationals by hitting three home runs on three consecutive game days including a walk-off three run game winning shot in Monday’s game.
For that, he earns the top spot on our Week 16 MLBbro #HighFive list.
1. Andrew McCutchen
“Cutch” was up with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning with two ducks on the pond during Monday night’s game against the National. The vet came through in one of the biggest moments of the Phillies season, deciding to call “game” by hitting a walk-off home run over the right field fence.
Baddoo and his Tigers will take on Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins and the Baltimore Orioles in a four game set this weekend..
4. George Springer
George Springer has recovered from the bumps and bruises that impeded the first half of his season and is tearing the cover off of baseballs, as well as being one of the more elite defensive outfielders in the game.
He was recently named as Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlight.
The Detroit Tigers have sent utility player Niko Goodrum to the Injury List Saturday after his hematoma started bleeding.
The initial injury occurred July 10 when Goodrum fouled a pitch off his lower extremities in the seventh inning matchup against the Minnesota Twins.
Although he is down and out, some minor nicks and bruises didn’t stop the newly found tradition as the infielder/outfielder is a man of the people.
For the third time in the past four years, Goodrum joined forces with the Asbury United Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan, where he donated 275 cases of water to the residents who are still without clean water.
Partnering with the United Way of Genesee County, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, and the Detroit Tigers Foundation, Goodrum’s, “do GOOD things,” foundation started in June of 2020 before the pandemic shortened season as he and the league had a lot of time on their hands.
“I’ve been giving water back to Flint for two years now, dating back, this is my third year doing it,” said Goodrum to Detroit Tigers TV.
He said, “That sparked the idea of, let me get something going where people can donate to me if they want to contribute. I was getting checks from random people to the stadium. I talked to Jordan Field (Director, Player Relations & Detroit Tigers Foundation), and I was like, ‘what do I do with this money?’ and that’s how the foundation came about.
“When there is a need, when there is something, I can do in Detroit and Flint or back home in Georgia, whenever I see a need, I always want to give back. It is very important to me as my parents instilled in me at an early age to give back to people, and that is what we are here for, to give back to people.”
Teammate “Real Deal” Akil Baddoo was also at the giveaway, passing out clean cases of water. He chimed in on his experience and said, “this is what it’s all about. I play this game for the families like this, the unfortunate, and come out here and see the smiles on their faces and the joy we bring. That’s what it’s all about.”
The church, which serves about 300 members, gives out cases of bottled water every Tuesday since the inception of the Flint Water Crisis came into effect in 2014.
The event, which runs like your favorite fast-food chain, gives insurance that those of the community in need will have safe and clean drinking water.
Goodrum has proven to be more than an athlete. The people affected most will remember his humanitarian work long after his baseball career comes to an end.
Without even making a dent in the schedule, MLB has rebounded strongly from the challenges of last year’s COVID season. After already seeing two no-hitters, a bench-clearing brawl, and what feels like daily game-winning hits from new and established MLB talent — these first two weeks only make fans crave for more.
As far as MLB Bros go, there are 69 Black and Brown (125 including Alternate Site) players in a league of 906 players. Believe us when we tell you, that 7.6 percent is making a tremendous impact on the league.
This week’s #HighFive features a new player at the top:
1. Byron Buxton
Buxton makes the jump to the top of the list after continuing his solid start to the season. He has a .469 Batting average with 5 Home Runs and 9 RBI’s while having a hit in all 9 games he has played in.
The work he put in during the offseason is paying off as he gained around 15 pounds of muscle and changed his approach to more of a power swing. Defensively he has always been one of the best in the game and it’s good to see him putting it together on both sides. Health has been the major factor in Buxton reaching his full potential and it’s worth noting he has missed the last few games, including Jackie Robinson Day, with hamstring tightness.
2. Akil Baddoo
Real Deal Akil “BADDOO, BADDOO, BADDOO” was walked down by Buxton and fell from the top spot he owned last week. However, it’s no knock on the impact he has had on the Tigers.
The rising rookie is hitting .370 with four home runs, including a two-run shot to left against the Astros in Houston. Baddoo has been a spark plug for a surprising Tiger’s team, currently tied for first in a wide-open American League Central.
3. Cedric Mullins (Baltimore Orioles)
Cedric Mullins has been one of the hottest hitters on the planet as he has a 15-game hitting streak dating back to last season. Entering Thursday’s games, Mullins was 5th in the league in batting average and 2nd in hits with 19.
Mullins has become more of a complete player. Last year he was known for his bunting and defense in centerfield. His ability to be a table-setter at the top of the Oriole lineup will be key in helping this Baltimore team gel fast.
4. Marcus Stroman/ Taijuan Walker
New York’s Black & Brown aces share cleanup in this week’s #High5. Both have come into the season on fire as they have gotten back-to-back wins twice already, the most recent coming in a doubleheader sweep of the Phillies on Tuesday.
The melanated mound marauders have combined to pitch 22.1 innings posting a 1.61 ERA with a 2-0 record. Both hurlers have been key in the Mets’ starting rotation having the 5th-best soft contact rate in the majors.
5. Joe Ross
Joe Ross is the only new member of this week’s High 5 as he mowed down two of the best lineups in baseball. He has not given up a run in 11 innings of work on the mound. He has a 1-0 record and 9 strikeouts as he allowed only 6 hits combined to the Dodgers and Cardinals.
Ross and the Nationals had a bumpy start to the season as it began with a COVID outbreak throughout their locker room. With the team in chaos early in the season, Ross’ dominance has been a stabilizing force on the field and in the locker room.
The Major League Baseball season has completed a week’s worth of games and several MLB Bros are already making major noise. From seemingly earning the keys to the city to being atop the leaderboards in major statistical categories, their impact has been felt.
Here are my #HighFive players through the first week of the 20201 MLB season.
“Real Deal” Akil Baddoo (Tigers)
“BADDOO, BADDOO, BADDOO and one more by BADDOO.”
Akil Baddoo of the Detroit Tigers takes the top spot after one of the best opening weeks we have seen in a long time. It began Sunday, as he hit a home run on the first MLB pitch ever thrown in his direction. The blast did much to relax his mother in the stands, who said she could “finally eat a pretzel” after.
On Monday he hit a grand slam. On Tuesday he came off the pine to smoke a walk-off single to beat the rival Twins. Wednesday, he completed his magical week with an RBI triple and an outfield assist.
Real Deal Akil is the first Tiger’s player with an RBI in each of his first four career games since Ron Cash in 1973. Baddoo has been all over the highlight tapes this season and is giving his entire city life.
Cedric Mullins (Orioles)
“They used to call me Sacrifice Ced…But now they call me Bat Man Mullins”
Cedric Mullins went from being a utility bunt master to a legit all-around hitter and starting centerfielder at the top of the O’s lineup this season.
His .480 batting average places him second in the league. He’s also tied for 2nd in hits with 12, five of which came in a perfect 5-knock day against the Red Sox.
Mullins continued his newfound power stroke, blasting a home run on Wednesday night against the Yankees.
The Baltimore leadoff hitter smashed his first home run of the season in Wednesday’s 4-3 extra-innings game against the Bronx Bombers. Mullins is a huge part of this young team on the rise. Don’t look now, but at 4-2 the Orioles are in sole possession of first place in the AL East
Marcus “HDMH” Stroman (Mets)
“Big Drip In The Big Apple”
The only pitcher in my #HighFive is Marcus Stroman. Stroman’s Mets had an odd beginning to the season as their first series against the rival Nationals was canceled due to a Washington Covid outbreak.
He made his first start of the year Tuesday night against the Phillies and was electrifying as usual, baffling the Phillies with an array of pitches and arm angles and a unique savvy that few pitchers possess.
He threw six innings of three-hit ball, striking out three and giving up only one run on a Didi Gregoris homer. He did this, all the while keeping his swag and his mound strut on 100. Must watch TV.
There will be plenty of eyes on the Mets this season and Stroman, a Long Island product welcomes the bright lights. He is a part of one of the strongest rotations in baseball and will be a key in what will be a tough NL East race.
Remaining healthy, of course, is the key for Stroman and if he can get 30 starts his performance is sure to be at an All-Star level.
Byron Buxton (Twins)
“If it’s up then it’s up then it’s up then it’s Buck”
Byron Buxton missed one game this week due to a non-Covid related illness, but that did not keep him down long as he hit a pinch-hit game-tying home run in the late innings on Tuesday.
He’s batting .357, tied for second in MLB with 3 bombs, and has a hit in every game he has played in.
Injuries have been a problem in the past for Buxton. He’s one of the best defensive centerfielders in the game and is starting to find power at the plate after hitting 13 home runs last season in 39 games. If he can put it all together, Buxton is a dark horse MVP candidate.
Aaron “ALL RISE” Judge
“Only God Can Judge Me”
Aaron Judge rounds out this list and if he can stay healthy I believe he will be at the top of it in no time. Entering last night’s game against the O’s, the New York slugger was batting .364 batting average and 5 RBI’s.
He hit home runs in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday including a three-run 8th-inning homer to break open the game against Baltimore.