Even though the Bros put on a post-All-Star week hitting clinic, the Met’s durag-rockin’ Black Knight from Long Island AKA Marcus “Stro Show” Stroman takes the top spot in Week 15 of our #HighFive list.
1. Marcus Stroman
Marcus Stroman had two very interesting starts this week, but we will start with the one that may be the best of his career:
Wednesday he was both a hit and a walk away from perfection against the Cincinnati Reds. In eight innings he struck out seven batters while only allowing one hit and one walk. What might have been most impressive is he accomplished this in just 90 pitches, on a day the Met’s bullpen needed off in the worst way.
Out of the 26 hitters Stroman faced, he threw a first-pitch strike to 21 of them. He became the first Mets pitcher with an eight-inning shutout allowing just one hit or fewer since Jacob DeGrom in 2016.
His Black Knight partner Taijuan Walker and former Cy Young rotation mate, Jacob DeGrom, got the accolade of being named 2021 All-Stars this season, but Stroman has been the one holding it down with consistency in the rotation.
He is one of 13 pitchers to make 20 starts this season and carries a 2.58 ERA.
Now, to Stroman and the Pittsburgh Pirates executing a classic WWE impression:
"Keep talking shit!" -John Nogowski
"Nobody is fucking talking shit to you!" -Marcus Stroman
After getting Pirates John Nogowski to line out in the fifth inning of Friday night’s game, Stroman pounded his glove and tried to fire up his dugout. Nogowski took exception to that, and after, words were exchanged and the benches cleared. No punches were thrown, but it might not be a good idea to have those two in the same room for a while.
In that game, he finished five innings allowing just two runs and striking out three.
2. Mookie Betts
Lately, Mookie Betts has gotten back to being one of the best hitters in all of baseball and before a hip injury caused him to miss a few days this week, he was on an absolute tear.
In his past five games before only appearing only as a pinch-hitter Monday night, Betts was 12-for-16 at the plate for a .750 batting average. Over that stretch, he had three home runs, four doubles, eight RBI and 12 runs. That earned him a spot on Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlights.
Ever since Tim Anderson saw his name left off of the original All-Star Game Roster, he became a different animal at the plate, showing why he has a batting championship in his trophy case.
Despite having his 16-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday, he is batting .323 with three home runs, four RBI, eight runs and two steals. That leaves him currently sitting in 10th place for the league’s batting title.
Baddoo Mania is back, as he has been putting the throttle down on his campaign to win American League Rookie of the Year. Over his last seven games, Baddoo has three home runs, including two during the team’s four-game sweep of the Texas Rangers.
Josh has answered the Bell at the plate lately as he lands the final spot on this week’s #HighFive list. Since June 1st he is one of three National League first baseman to have at least seven home runs and a batting average over .300. The other two being All-Star Starter Freddie Freeman and the Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt.
Bell had a seven-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-4 Wednesday but homered in back-to-back games to begin the week.
The Nationals are trying to tread water while trying to get their team back to full strength, but with Bell along with Josh Harrison and former World Series MVP Juan Soto holding down the lineup (and them only being six games back of the Mets for first place in the NL East) they may be in store for a run.
Tim Anderson had a lot to say this week after being left off of the American League All-Star roster.
But instead of words, the White Sox shortstop used his bat to campaign for why he should be in Denver.
And Anderson’s bat spoke volumes. He batted over .430 this week, including going 4-for-4 in Wednesday’s game against Minnesota.
For that, he claims the top spot for Week 14 on our #HighFive list.
T.A. is one of the anointed faces of the game of baseball, and the sport will be missing out on something special by not having the R.B.I. Baseball cover boy at this year’s All-Star game.
He has the second-highest batting average for all American League shortstops at .307 and has added 29 RBI, 14 steals and a .768 OPS on a first-place White Sox team that has been riddled with injuries since spring training.
Over his last seven games, he has a .433 batting average with seven runs and a .485 OBP. Anderson also has recorded multiple hits in three of his last four games and is riding a nine-game hitting streak.
He’s reached base safely in his last eight plate appearances, including three walks, four singles, and a double.
Even legendary Hall of Famer Frank Robinson had a lot to say about Anderson missing out on the 2021 All-Star game. His batting average is currently the ninth highest in all of baseball and hopefully, he will use his snubbing as fuel to the fire during his quest for a second batting championship.
Frank Thomas fighting for Tim Anderson's life out here
We have pleaded his case this entire season, and last Sunday we finally got what we wanted; Mullins is a Major League All-Star.
The 5-foot-8, multi-faceted phenom started celebrating his achievement mid-game during a matchup against the Los Angeles Angels Sunday by hitting a game-tying, pinch-hit single then following that with a go-ahead home run.
This week, Mullins hit three home runs while batting .321 with six RBI, five runs and a stolen base. He is leading all American League outfielders in hits, total bases, OPS, and his 3.9 WAR is the highest for all outfielders and sixth-highest in the Majors.
Mets’ outfielder Dominic Smith is making his first appearance on our #HighFive list this season. His year has been up and down, but lately, he has become one of the most consistent players in New York’s lineup.
Smith had the first two-homer game of his career last Thursday against the Braves. Then followed that with a home run off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole a few games later.
Dominic Smith stays hot with a classic Yankee Stadium homer off Gerrit Cole to the short porch in right.
That's Smith's third homer in his last 13 innings.
This weekend, his Mets welcome MLBBro Ke’Bryan Hayes and the Pittsburgh Pirates to CitiField for a four-game series.
4. Aaron Judge
This season for the Yankees has been disappointing, but the Tower of Power Aaron Judge has responded to the bright lights and been one of the best players in baseball this entire season.
Last Thursday night, he was named an All-Star starter for the American League outfield and also became just the fifth Yankee ever to hit 20 home runs before the All-Star break in three straight seasons.
Judge is one of baseball’s top sluggers so it is a little disappointing he is not participating in one of the most anticipated Home Run Derby’s in recent memory, but he needs his rest as a big second half by him is a must if the Yankees, who currently sit just two games above .500, want to get back into contention for the American League East pennant.
This season has been a resurgence for Andrew McCutchen and after what he’s done to Chicago Cubs’ staff during this series, he may want to get a permanent residency in their batter’s box and on our #HighFive list.
Cedric Mullins of the Baltimore Orioles has been one of the most underrated players in the Majors this season, but during Week 13, he finally got the recognition he deserved.
Mullins was named an All Star finalist for the American League outfield and celebrated by posting a .444 average over his last seven games with a three game sweep of the first place Houston Astros.
For his accomplishments, the Orioles outfielder takes the top spot on this week’s #HighFive list.
1. Cedric “CM STORM” Mullins
Cedric Mullins was one of six MLBbros to be named a finalist to start in the 2021 All Star game in Denver, Colorado.
Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley and NY Yankees slugger Aaron Judge were also finalists for the three American League spots as well as Byron Buxton who is injured.
No more than 6 Black American players have made an All-Star game since 2015, with a low of 4 in both ‘16 & ‘19. This season could be different as a new generation of stars is starting to find its way. Check out the MLBbro All-Star update from @DMGrubb on https://t.co/ndikOTIJyDpic.twitter.com/Ivv3JBiHxs
Mullins is fourth in the league in total hits and eighth in batting average. He travels to the sunshine state this weekend for a series against J-Up and the Los Angeles Angels.
2. Trent Grisham
For bringing Slam Diego to the city of Cincinnati, Trent Grisham takes the No.2 spot on this week’s #HighFive.
Wednesday night’s game only lasted six innings after it was cut short due to rain, yet Grisham still managed to hit two home runs including a grand slam in the 5th inning to give his Padres a 7-5 lead.
He will look to add on to his five-game hitting streak this weekend in Philadelphia.
4. Josh Bell
Josh Bell got off to a slow start during his first season in the Nation’s Capital, like a lot of his Nationals teammates did.
But he is starting to find his stride and it has shown at the plate in recent weeks. Since June 16th he has 13 runs batted in and has hit three home runs, including a grand slam in a wild game last week against Philadelphia.
It came an inning after opposing MLBbro Andrew McCutchen hit a grand slam for the Phillies.
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.
Taijuan Walker has silenced many of his haters this season by taking the city that never sleeps by storm. He has the seventh-lowest ERA in the Major Leagues and struck out a career-high 12 batters during his start this week against the Chicago Cubs.
Through the first three months of the season, Taijuan Walker has been the steal of the off season. The Mets were the only team to offer him a contract, which is for 2 years and $20 million with a player option for the third.
“Everything’s worked out well for everyone,” Walker told reporters. “I’m glad the Mets were my only offer.
Taijuan Walker's 2.12 ERA is the second-lowest in history by a Met in his first 12 starts with the franchise.
The lowest: Al Leiter, who produced a 1.70 ERA over his first 12 starts in 1998.
In Tuesday’s start against the Cubs, Walker struck out a career-high 12 batters and lowered his ERA to 2.12 which is good for seventh in the league. It was his third start this season without allowing a walk and he has caught fire since returning from the Injured List.
In the four starts since his return, Walker has thrown 24 innings and struck out 31 hitters.
His Black Knight rotation mate Marcus Stroman has been the Andre 3000 to Walker’s Big Boi. In his last two starts, Stroman has thrown 13 innings with 15 strikeouts and only one earned run.
Taijuan will get the Fathers Day start for the Mets as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on Josh Harrison, Josh Bell and the rest of the Nationals.
2. Mookie Betts
We have high expectations for Mookie, being that he is the best player in all of baseball. He got off to a slow start this season for his standards, but during the past week, Betts showed flashes of his MVP-caliber skills.
He’s hit .318 with three home runs, four RBI, eight runs, five walks and a .727 Slugging Percentage in his last seven games.
Bett’s has four multi-hit games this month and on Tuesday night against the Phillies, it was the 7th inning of a 3-3 game when Mookie stepped to the plate and blasted a solo home run.
It was the first time he hit a homer with Dodger stadium completely full.
Mookie travels to Arizona this weekend to take on the Diamondbacks who will be rocking their city connect uniforms on Friday night.
3. Marcus “Rock Any Park U” Semien
Marcus Semien has kept his hot bat from the month of May going in June. The reigning American League Player of the Month is batting .263 with three home runs this month, including a leadoff bomb Wednesday night against the Yankees’ Garrett Cole.
Through his last seven games, Semien is hitting .286 with three home runs, six RBI, seven runs and a stolen base. He is on track to start at second base for the American League All-Star team and is in the middle of what is a career year leading up to his free agency this offseason.
Bobby Bradley has been rocking out since joining Cleveland on June 5th as they have been riddled with injuries and he has given them exactly what they have been missing: power at the first base position. Thursday Bradley hit his fourth home run in just 10 games this season. He is now batting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBI.
Bradley has also helped the Indians stay afloat in a wide-open American League. Since his call up they have a record of 8-2 and sit in second place in the American League Central, four games behind Tim Anderson’s White Sox while being only a game back of Michael Brantley and the Houston Astros for the final Wild Card spot.
After finishing a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Bradley will travel to Pittsburg to take on Ke’Bryan Hayes and the Pirates.
Justin Upton was named Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlight after batting .360 with 10 runs scored and two home runs last week. He recently moved to the leadoff spot in the Angels lineup and raised his batting average from .120 to .232.