MLBbro.com is a website that celebrates the great black and brown baseball players in the Major Leagues. Even though the staff knew that there was supreme talent that was overlooked, even we couldn’t have foreseen two MLBbros in Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts not only being superstars for their respective teams but dominating their leagues as well.
These two players are setting historical landmarks this season and could possibly be the first African American tandem to each bag MVP awards from both leagues this season. But while the Shohei Ohtani argument only shows the statistical side of the story and is fueled by the novelty of him being a two-way player, the real MVP is the best player in all aspects.
Just look at the overall impact that both Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts have on postseason bound teams going into October. As covered by MLBbro.com’s Kevin Moore, they rank first and second, respectively, in runs scored.
But with all the similarities of how dominant these two MLBbros are in their leagues, their differences are a very interesting study.
Aaron Judge (New York Yankees): Potential AL MVP
This MLBbro MVP has the world paying attention to every at bat these days as he tries to match both the American League and Yankees franchise home run record held by Roger Maris.
Since this bomb to tie Babe Ruth, Judge has lost his rhythm a little bit. Much of the problem is that teams have now taken to walking him intentionally while Aaron is starting to get under the ball slightly which could be from trying too hard. He is now batting .278 (5-18) with three doubles, eight walks and eight strikeouts.
In the recent 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night, Judge went 1-3 with two walks (including an intentional walk to load the bases in the 10th inning). Now our MLBbro’s homerless streak has extended to 25 plate appearances, his second longest streak this season behind the 41 plate appearances in August.
But despite the slowdown in his nuclear production, he is still in rare air in the American League all-time single season home run rankings.
Roger Maris, New York Yankees (1961): 61
Aaron Judge, New York Yankees (2022): 60 with eight games left as of this writing.
Babe Ruth, New York Yankees (1927): 60
Hank Greenberg, Detroit Tigers (1938): 58
Jimmie Foxx, Oakland Athletics (1932): 58
But what makes Aaron Judge a potential lock for MVP is his pursuit of the AL Triple Crown this season. With his complete dominance with his home run and RBI numbers, only the batting average race between our MLBbro and Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is being watched at this point. Going into the Yankees game against the Blue Jays on Tuesday, Judge is on top with a .314 average.
But while everyone (MLBbro.com included) marvels and watches Judge’s exploits with the baseball bat, we all can forget that this guy may be in the running for a Gold Glove as well. He is athletic in the field at 6’7 and it’s not the greatest idea to test that cannon of an arm he has.
Mookie Betts (Los Angeles Dodgers): Potential NL MVP
While Aaron Judge is overshadowing baseball with his storyline stealing power, Mookie Betts is dominating the National League as the best player on the best team in Major League Baseball. Betts is staking his claim as being the best skilled player and leader in all of baseball. A recent illustration of that fact was in last week’s Dodgers win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Despite the fact Mookie was held out of the starting lineup, he still made an impact as a pinch hitter by delivering a walk-off single to win 3-2. That added to Los Angeles’ total of 45 come from behind wins. It just adds to the options that the Dodgers have at their disposal of using Betts as an offensive weapon. Even when the team is resting him for the postseason with the NL West wrapped up, our MLBbro is still engaged. It was the first walk-off hit for Betts since joining the Dodgers.
He shared his thoughts after the game via MLB.com.
“It’s cool,” Betts said. “Actually, I think that might be one of my first pinch-hit hits, so that part was pretty cool in itself. But we got a win and that’s all that really matters.”
But Mookie’s accomplishments should stand next to his MLBbro counterpart in the American League as well. Recently he made franchise history by becoming the first player since Duke Snider in 1954 to hit 35 home runs and 35 doubles in a season.
With his home run tonight #MLBbro Mookie Betts becomes the first @Dodgers player to hit 35 homers and 35 doubles in a season since the great Duke Snider did it in 1954. https://t.co/ttBN7uukza
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) September 22, 2022
But what makes Betts a MVP candidate is how he has affected his team in a positive way. His ability to move to second base has allowed Trayce Thompson to become a factor in the lineup. A move that was just a stopgap for Betts’ injury has become one of the most underrated signings in MLB baseball this season.
Not only did this diamond in the rough finding allow Betts to prepare for the postseason, but the Dodgers didn’t overspend or make any unnecessary trades at the deadline like their NL West rivals, the San Diego Padres. The financial flexibility for the future is tied to Mookie Betts and his all-around play.
By the way, he can play right field pretty good too…