If the season was only seven weeks long, Aaron Judge would be the American League’s Most Valuable Player. He rolled the dice and if things continue to go his way, he will be baseball’s highest-paid player by season’s end.
For the second time this season, he takes the top spot on our #HighFive List.
Aaron Judge has his Yankees off to their best start since 1998 when they went on to win 114 games and swept the San Diego Padres in the World Series.
Judge, whose 14 home runs lead the Majors, takes the top spot on our #HighFive list once again and deservedly so. He is leading baseball’s best team in average, on-base percentage, runs, hits and OPS while only trailing fellow MLBbro and #HighFive member Giancarlo Stanton for the team lead in RBI.
“It’s fun with this team,” Judge told reporters after his 4-for-5 with two home run performance on Tuesday. “We want to play two games a night if we could.”
That was Judge’s third career four-hit game. He now has his average sitting at .306 with 30 runs batted in and an OPS of 1.049 to go along with those 14 homers.
Our captain @RobParkerFS1 joined Episode #7 of the High & Outside Podcast to give his take on why Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are the best one-two punch in baseball. Check out the full episode on both YouTube and SoundCloud. https://t.co/3Exj7tlY2lhttps://t.co/YptaSexfN1 pic.twitter.com/EfN2JRMABg
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 17, 2022
His Yankees will welcome Tim Anderson and the White Sox into the Bronx for a three-game series this weekend.
2. Hunter Greene
I have seen plenty of heartbreaking moments in baseball over my twenty plus years on Earth, but there are not many I can think of other than the look on Greene’s face after his team allowed no hits and still found a way to take the loss Sunday against Pittsburgh.
No pitcher in the Majors has thrown more pitches in a game than Greene’s 118 on Sunday. If it had not been for a few untimely walks, he may have had a chance to throw a few more.
He struck out a career-high nine batters in the game, but also gave up a career-high five free passes to Pirate hitters, including two in the 8th that led to him being taken out just five outs away from history.
“It would have been great to have a different result,” said Greene in this postgame interview. “But it is what it is. This is my team, ride or die with them.”
The Reds are in rebuild mode this season, but one positive I can take away from Greene’s outing was the fact that manager David Bell actually gave him a chance to build strength and confidence for starts farther down the line in his career. Typically, we see young pitchers held back and catered too when they first enter the league, but Greene was ramping up for the day he officially becomes an ace.
On the season, Greene now has a 1-6 record with 44 strikeouts and a 6.21 ERA. His next start will be Saturday in Toronto where he will take on the Blue Jays.
3. Giancarlo Stanton
No visiting player had hit a home run over the new left-field wall in Baltimore’s Camden Yards. That was until Stanton stepped into the box and launched one in the 4th inning of Thursday’s game.
People have been waiting for Stanton to fall off from his hot streak that began last season and has carried into 2022.
He, along with Judge, are Major League Baseball’s current leaders in average exit velocity and both are in the top 6 when it comes to hard-hit percentage.
A little over a week ago, Stanton had a stretch where he homered five times in five games. Through his last seven games, Stanton is 12-for-26 with a .462 (emphasis on the .462!) batting average with 13 RBI, a 1.000 slugging percentage, four home runs, a .548 on base percentage all while drawing five walks in the process.
4. Michael Brantley
Michael Brantley has set the tone for the Astros’ lineup during their current hot streak as he leads the team in batting average and on base percentage this season.
Brantley is batting .321 over his last seven games with five RBI, a .504 on base percentage and one home run, which came during Houston’s Monday night massacre of the Boston Red Sox.
His three-run home run was one of five dingers the Astros hit in an inning, making them just the eighth team in Major League history to accomplish the feat.
This weekend, Brantley’s Astros return to H-Town for the Silver Boot Series against Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers. If all goes according to the plan, the lefty will matchup against Taylor Hearn Sunday afternoon.
5. Jazz Chislohm Jr.
Euro-stepper Jazz Chisholm Jr. is doing everything humanly possible to be the face that represents the Marlins franchise.
Swag, charisma, skill – the “Bahamian Blur” has brought it all to Loan Depot Park, and now he is putting up the numbers at the plate to make his case.
Chisholm currently leads the team in batting average, home runs, RBI, runs scored, hits, triples, stolen bases, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and on base plus slugging percentage.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 19, 2022
Those are “main event” type numbers that we rarely see a player put up for his team, but we have known since last season Chislohm is different. If he stays on this wave, he has a chance at taking the crown for best second baseman in baseball.
Over his last seven games, Chisholm is batting .286 with two home runs and four RBI. This weekend, he’ll have a chance to take on the reigning World Series champion Atlanta Braves.