Baseball is a game of streaks. Over the course of the season, each player is hoping to put together more good ones than bad ones.
And the bad ones do come, even for the best of the best. Who’s hot and who’s not across MLB? Let’s take a closer look.
Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees
Ever since our own Rob Parker called out Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ behemoth has been ripping the cover off of the baseball.
Judge entered Monday night’s game with the Texas Rangers hitting a ridiculous .571, with 12 hits in his previous 21 at-bats. Over his last six games, he hit five home runs and pushed the Yankees to a 4-2 record. Judge sent four fans home with souvenirs during New York’s most recent three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles and secured AL Player of the Week honors.
— Today in MLB (@Todayin_MLB) May 16, 2021
The rest of his numbers are just as impressive. The Judge laid down the law, scoring eight runs and driving in six while striking out only once. His 1.973 OPS topped all hitters in that time.
With these breakout performances, Judge raised his season batting average from .245 to .298, his slugging percentage from .352 to .399, and his OPS from .824 to 1.009. HE also garnered
The Rangers silenced him in a 5-2 win, but if this is the Aaron Judge that the Yankees get for the rest of the regular season, he could be in real contention for the AL Most Valuable Player award for the first time since 2017.
Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox
No one in Major League Baseball is hitting the ball better than Tim Anderson. Anderson extended his hitting streak to 12 games as the ChiSox battered the Minnesota Twins 16-4 on Monday. After going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, Anderson is hitting .448 during his streak. He’s had multiple hits in seven of those games.
It’s no coincidence that the White Sox began winning games once Anderson got back to playing like the Silver Slugger award winner he was in 2020.
Chicago is 17-7 over its last 24 games and sits on top of the AL Central standings. Anderson has 34 hits in those games, with four home runs, 14 RBIs, and 20 runs scored. Only Yordan Alveraz and Josh Rojas have higher batting averages over the last month. Tim also ranks third in MLB in hits and stolen bases in that span.
His cleats are even on fire these days.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 16, 2021
Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Milwaukee Brewers
What happened to Jackie Bradley Jr.? It seemed like he was beginning to turn his career around last season in Boston. He set career highs in batting average (.283) and OBP (.364). His slugging percentage was its highest since 2016 when Jackie made his only All-Star Game appearance.
However, this season his stick has fallen off a cliff.
His batting average has done a complete 180. Actually, Jackie’s looking up at 180. His .153 mark at the plate is the worst of his career, as is his .229 on base percentage. He did hit one offensive milestone in May.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 1, 2021
The rest of the month has been a disaster with Bradley posting just two hits. He’s gone hitless in each of his last six games. The two hits this month also equals the total number of multi-hit games he has this season. And over the last 30 days, his batting average has fallen nearly 100 points.
Whatever your faith is, light a candle for Jackie Bradley Jr.
Willie Calhoun, OF, Texas Rangers
With parts of five seasons under his belt, Willie Calhoun is trying to stick with the Rangers this year. He hasn’t played in more than 83 games in any season since making his debut in 2017. Nothing has been a bigger factor in that than his inconsistent hitting.
Calhoun has been better in 2021, hitting .278 entering Monday’s games. He seems to have broken out of a slump with a homer and two hits on Monday, but this past week, as Texas ran off six straight losses, Calhoun once again hit a rut.
In five games since May 10, he was 1-for-18 with three strikeouts. His only hit was a solo home run in a one-run loss to the Houston Astros.
Considering his play earlier this season, however, he seems to be trending in the right direction overall. It certainly looked that way when he took Gerritt Cole deep over the centerfield wall to help the Rangers snap that losing streak.
Expect Calhoun to find his way once again, sooner rather than later.