Triston McKenzie was on another level this past Sunday as he was just fingertips away from making history.
He almost threw the first perfect game Major League Baseball has seen in nine years.
The last one was tossed by Mariners Cy Young ace Felix Hernadez, who threw one against the Tampa Bay Rays.
That earns him the top spot in Week 19 of our #HighFive list.
1. Triston McKenzie
We have known since last season that Cleveland Guardians pitcher Triston McKenzie can be one of the most electric pitchers in the Majors when he’s on, and last Sunday he showed the Detroit Tigers exactly that.
McKenzie pitched a career high eight innings, allowing just a single hit and recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts as he vibed out on the Motor City mound.
“He was so chill, so under control, so confident, I loved it,” said Guardians catcher Austin Hedges when speaking on McKenzie’s demeanor on the mound.
Is anyone responsible for jinxing Triston McKenzie's perfect game bid?
McKenzie has been sent up and down from Triple A multiple times this season; he never truly got the time to get reps in the Minors as he has been forced to learn on the fly due to injuries in the rotation.
After a few good starts leading up to his near bid at perfection, it seems he may have finally turned a corner.
McKenzie will look to build off his effort during his next start Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels.
2. Aaron Judge
It may finally be time to say it, the Yankees are back, and their resurgence has a lot to do with the play of their All-Star outfielder Aaron Judge.
Had it not been for Tim Anderson’s heroics in the ninth inning of the “Field of Dreams” game, the sports world would have woken up to headlines of Aaron Judge being the biggest name in baseball.
Judge has seen his Yankees climb back into the thick of the playoff race over the last few weeks as they have won 10 of their last 11 series including taking two out of three against the White Sox and then sweeping their rivals, the Red Sox to begin the week.
The MLBbros decided to turn Week 12 of the season into a seven-day Home Run Derby. They hit a pair of grand slams while mixing in a few game-winning homers in between.
Michael Brantley, however, takes the top spot on our High Five list after batting .500 during the Houston Astros’ current 10-game winning streak and taking the top spot in the race for baseball’s batting title.
If the season ended today, Michael Brantley would take home Major League Baseball’s batting championship, and right now it’s not even close. His .356 average is .16 higher than the closest player.
On June 8, he returned to play after missing time with an injury and he’s lived up to his nickname, “The Professional” at the plate since.
In his last seven games, he is batting .400 with a.500 OBP, 12 hits, nine RBI, six runs and three walks.
Brantley has been the main catalyst in the resurgence of Dusty Baker’s Astros this season. During their four-game sweep of Tim Anderson and the White Sox last weekend, Brantley was 5-for-16 with six RBI, a double, triple and a three-run home run.
Michael Brantley is absolutely destroying baseballs this season. This 3 run bomb raises his average to .347 on the year pic.twitter.com/va9Xo5dePO
Brantley is also the American League leader in doubles and heads to the Motor City this weekend for a four-game set against the Tigers.
2. Tony Kemp
Tony Kemp played a lot bigger than his 5-foot-6 frame this week, earning the second spot on our High Five list.
In 35 games since May 8, when Kemp was hitting .190, he is 34-for-95 with a .358 batting average. He has seven doubles, two triples and four home runs in that span.
Two of those homers came last weekend in the Bronx. In the sixth inning of Friday night’s game, he hit what would end up being a game-winning three-run home run. He would then follow up with a first-inning shot the next day.
Long has eight RBI in his last seven games with a .609 Slugging Percentage. Injuries have played a major role in the Mariners’ season, including to Shed but he’s getting playing time now and making the most of it. Seattle will have a fun matchup this weekend as they play on the South Side of Chicago.
4. Cedric Mullins
I may never watch baseball again if Cedric Mullins is not an All-Star this season. He’s been doing everything he can to climb up the top of the fan vote, but with a few outfielders currently sidelined with injury, he could easily find himself starting the game in center.
In a weekend series against May’s American League Player of the Month Marcus Semien and the Blue Jays, Mullins added to his legend in the Charm City. He hit four home runs and had six RBI in a two-day span.
This month, Cedric is 26-for-73 with a .356 batting average, five doubles, seven home runs and 12 RBI. He now sits ninth in the Majors in batting average. His O’s will get their shot at revenge against Semien and the Blue Jays after they lost last weekend’s series.
5. J.P. Crawford
The Gold Glover takes the five spot on this week’s #HighFive list, but it has everything to do with his performance at the plate.
Last week, he was named our Home Boi Highlight after riding an eight-game hitting streaking with a .351 average with seven RBI, six runs and two home runs including a grand slam Saturday night in the Mariners Seattle Steelhead Negro League throwback jerseys.
Crawford’s hitting streak reached 10 games after going 2-for-4 with a double Wednesday night. During that span, he has four multi-hit games and eight runs batted in. All signs are beginning to point to him being named the Mariners’ representative for this year’s All-Star game in Denver.
Last year’s Gold Glove award winner at shortstop deserves his shine and his chance to showcase his talents on one of the biggest stages in baseball.
This weekend’s Mariners vs. White Sox matchup will feature two of the most exciting shortstops in the game, J.P. and former batting champion Tim Anderson who just celebrated his 28th birthday on June 23.
Week 7 of the MLB season is in the books and one of the top MLB Bro’s in Major League Baseball has finally answered our questions on whether or not he could step up and return to his MVP type form in the Bronx.
Yankee slugger Aaron Judge claims the top spot in this week’s #HighFive after his performance this week in light of his Twin Tower teammate Giancarlo Stanton being placed on the Injured List.
1. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge sits at the top of our High Five list this week after batting .385 with four home runs and five RBIs this week. We questioned whether it was foul or fair that the Yankees needed to look into dealing Judge, but he quickly proved us wrong and earned a spot on our Rob Parker’s “Homeboi Highlights” this past Monday.
Judge is tied for third with 12 home runs and he hit at least one home run in all three games of the Yankees sweeping of the Baltimore Orioles including a two-homer game last Friday while winning AL Player of the Week.
Injuries have plagued the Yankees’ plans for a Murderer’s Row lineup. Now, with Aaron Hicks’ availability the rest of the season in question as well, Judge will need to continue to stay hot when he brings his bat back to the Bronx to take on Tim Anderson and the White Sox for a weekend series.
2. Michael Brantley
One of the most underrated hitters in all of baseball takes the number two spot on this week’s High Five list.
The Astros have faced three of their American League West rivals in the past eight games, and Brantley has been teeing off all of them.
Tonight marks José Ramírez's third career game with three doubles. It's the first for the Indians since Michael Brantley on May 3, 2018 against Toronto.
Brantley is batting .314 with four runs and five RBI during that span as his Astros have recorded a 7-2 record. He has been one of the most consistent hitters in all of Major League Baseball throughout his entire career and is earning every penny of the $32 million deal he earned from the Astros this past off season.
3. Jack Flaherty
This week Jack Flaherty moved closer to joining one of the rarest fraternities in all of baseball, Black Aces, after earning two more wins this week raising his major-league lead to eight.
In his last 12 innings, Flaherty has given up two runs on 13 strikeouts while allowing just four hits in each start.
Cardinals win, 8-5, and pick up a game in the division. They are 25-18. Jack Flaherty improves to 8-0 in his first nine starts. The only other Cardinal pitcher to do that in team history? Why, that would be Bob Gibson.
His bat traveled with him from the west coast as he is batting .280 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI this year which leads all Major League second baseman.
In his last three games, Semien is hitting .538 with 6 RBI and two home runs including a three-hit performance Saturday against the Phillies.
5. Tim Anderson
The 2019 batting champion has continued his strong showing at the plate this season as he earns the number five spot on this week’s High Five list.
Tuesday Anderson saw his 12 game hitting streak come to an end. Despite that, he still hit .300 this week including having three multi-hit games. His White Sox are tied for the best record in the American League league despite losing multiple players to injury, including 2020 MVP Jose Abreu.
The former batting champ is still influencing the culture on and off the field.
Anderson’s biggest play this week came off the field when he came to the defense of his teammate Yermin Mercedes who was punished by their manager Tony La Russa for hitting a home run on a 3-0 count during a 15-4 blowout of the Twins.
The game wasn’t over! “Keep doing your thing big Daddy!,” said his Rookie of the Year candidate teammate.
T.A. has shown great leadership both on and off the field this season. With a lot of drama surrounding the South Side, Anderson will continue to be one of the best hitters in baseball.
The reigning American League Rookie of the Year got a late start after beginning the season on the Injured List. But now he’s heating up, going 8-for-20 with a .400 batting average the past week, entering Thursday night’s game.
For that, he makes his first appearance this season on our #HighFIVE list — and gets the top spot.
Lewis came to Texas and his bat was as hot as the weather. He recorded multiple hits in each of the Mariners’ three games during their weekend series against the Rangers, including three knocks in Friday’s opener.
As the Mariners begin to call up some of their top prospects this week, Lewis will need to grow up fast and even add the role of mentor to his job description.
If anyone knows how to successfully navigate the on-and-off the field issues a player can face during their rookie year, the recent hardware in Lewis’s trophy case would prove he’s the guy for the job.
2. Cedric Mullins (Baltimore Orioles)
Cedric Mullins has been one of the top players in the game through the first six weeks of the season.
After collecting a hit in seven straight games, including one of the most impressive triples you will ever see, we gave him the nickname “CM Storm” and he claims the second spot on our #HighFive list.
Mullins has begun to blossom this season. He ranks second in hits while leading all MLB center fielders with 98 putouts. Mullins also hasn’t committed an error this season. Amazing since he plays one of the toughest positions in all of sports.
3. Jack Flaherty (St. Louis Cardinals)
This week, Flaherty gained separation as he now leads Major League Baseball with seven wins. The next closest pitchers have five.
Congratulations @Jack9Flaherty he became the 1st pitcher to reach 7 wins this season after throwing 6 scoreless innings and striking out 6. This was his 5th straight quality start in a row. https://t.co/V2KLPlcKLx
Thursday made it five straight quality starts for Jack as he defeated the Brewers 2-0. He went six innings allowing no runs on just four hits while striking out six. In his two starts this week, Flaherty did not give up a single run in 13 innings. He struck out 12 batters and his Cardinals recorded shutout wins in each game.
He’s on fire and it might be time to start talking about the possibility of Flaherty becoming MLB’s first Black Ace (20-game winner) since David Price in 2012.
4. Taijuan Walker (New York Mets)
The Black Knight pitcher in New York always finds a way onto our list and this week will be no different. Walker sits in the third spot in this week’s High FIVE and has proven to Mets’ fans that he was one of the top free agent acquisitions this off-season.
Walker currently sits 13th in ERA for Major League Baseball after lowering his down to 2.20 on Wednesday after his start against Baltimore. In his last two starts, it seems that he’s finally found his stride as he is raking up strikeouts and going deep into games.
In the 14 innings, he pitched, he only gave up one run, while striking out eight batters. Importantly to Met fans, he’s only walked three batters. He had given 13 free passes in the four previous starts before.
The Mets are 6-1 in games started by Walker this season.
5. Tim Anderson (Chi-Town White Sox)
When it’s all said and done, MLBbro.com expects Tim Anderson to be right in the running for the second batting title of his career this season. T.A. has collected a hit in eight straight games and recorded six RBI during his streak.
Anderson hit a home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the first, and the White Sox held off the Twins (minus Byron Buxton) for a 4-2 victory Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was their sixth straight win and 14th in 18 games.
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.