Contract years are always a gamble. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, there is no safer bet right now than MLBbro Aaron Judge. Back in April the New York Yankees offered the slugger a seven-year deal in the range of $30 million annually. The team fell short on the years and salary that Judge was asking for and he decided to play out the final year on his contract and allow himself to go into free agency following this season. At the time, this seemed like a big risk for Judge who had injuries in the past and is 30 years of age. But now that he’s compiled an historic season for the ages and will likely be named MVP, his market value has skyrocketed and put the Yankees in an even tougher position.
The Yankees have no chance at signing Judge for anywhere close to that deal now. The MLBbro currently sits at 60 home runs, which is twenty more than National League leader Kyle Schwarber. This lead would be the biggest home run lead in MLB since 1928. Judge doesn’t play favorites. The gentle giant has blessed the hometown crowds and various ballparks around the country with his power display, hitting 30 Bro bombs at home and 30 on the road.
Not only is Judge hitting for power, but he is also hitting for average and driving in runs at an elite level. In fact, not only is Judge set to surpass Roger Maris for the AL home run record, but he is on pace to lead the American League in several offensive categories. Currently Judge is atop the AL in Batting Average, RBI, Runs, XBH, Walks, OBP, SLG and OPS. Judge has done this while playing majority of his games in center field this year, further proving his defensive versatility. He may not win a Gold Glove, but he is more than capable of holding down any outfield position.
The Yankees and Brian Cashman will have to bring a very lucrative contract before Judge now. The MLBbro will be the most sought-after free agent this winter and rightfully so. Judge has expressed his interest in staying in the Bronx, but at 30 years old he must ensure that he takes a deal that fully captures his worth not only on the field but off the field. Whoever signs Judge is not only getting the best hitter in baseball, but one of the most recognizable athletes in the game. A player baseball can’t afford to be positioned in any other city. With the Yankees being the most recognizable team in the league, they’d be smart to award Judge a contract he desires.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros stand atop both of their respective conferences. This is a position both teams have become accustomed to, and this due to their brilliant managers, MLBbros Dave Roberts and Dusty Baker. Under the tutelage of these great baseball minds the Dodgers and Astros are once again the two favorites to win the World Series. Both managers are in very different points in their careers, but both are dominating in their own right. It is no small feat that in a league with less than 7% of the population being represented by Black Americans, that the top two teams are both ran by the only two full-time Black managers in baseball.
While MLBbro Dave Roberts is much less “experienced” as a manager when being compared to Dusty Baker, he more than makes up for that with his accomplished resume. Roberts has already won a World Series as a manager, something that has eluded Dusty Baker in his managerial tenure. Roberts is also on pace to have the National League #1 seed for the fourth time in seven years as the Dodger’s skipper. Roberts has a top five Winning Percentage all time for Managers which is just a credit to the repeated brilliance he has shown in the early stages of his career. He has the Dodgers fully locked in post all-star break and they seem to be headed for another NL Pennant.
MLBbro Dusty Baker has been managing since the early 1990s. With almost 30 years of managerial experience there is nothing he hasn’t seen. Not only has he helped the Houston Astros to bounce back from their tumultuous cheating scandal, but he has kept them in playoff contention on a yearly basis. Since taking over the team has reached nothing lower than the American League Championship series, and he has made them a perennial threat to contend. Although he has yet to win the World Series as a manager, he has won as a player and knows what it takes to reach the top. Currently in the top ten all times for Wins as a manager, with over 2,000 to his credit, Dusty Baker is a perfect manager to have in October.
Both of the Dodgers and the Astros are on fire and gaining momentum for the postseason. All signs point to a head on collision for not only the World Series title, but for the best Manager in baseball. Both MLBbros Dave Roberts and Dusty Baker have proven that their respective teams are two constant forces that simply cannot be ignored.
The MLB playoff race is heating up and teams are competing at a high level to vie for position. There are several MLBbros positioned to be in the playoffs this year. Aaron Judge, Michael Harris II, Triston McKenzie, JP Crawford, Josh Bell, Trent Grisham and Mookie Betts are MLBbros that seemed destined to play big roles in October.
And while we can’t wait to watch these fantastic players lead their teams in the pursuit of a World Series championship, we also proudly recognize some of the exciting MLBbros whose teams are trending toward missing the postseason through no fault of their own.
Jazz Chisholm Jr.
Chisholm was one of the most dynamic and captivating MLB players and his absence is a huge loss to the game’s desire to connect with the younger generation.
Jazz was a constant catalyst in the Miami Marlins lineup and the team has struggled mightily without him. A lower-back strain has kept him out since June 28 and has caused the Marlins to be one of the worst run producing teams in the league since. With Chisholm in the lineup the offense was much more threatening, and with their stellar pitching they were at least competing for a Wild Card spot. Marlins fans will have to hope for better health from their All-Star second baseman as the franchise pursues playoff ball next year.
MLBbro Tim Anderson is one of the top contact hitters in baseball. A charismatic and colorful player, he could be an exciting part of the postseason. However, his team, the Chicago White Sox is running out of time to surpass Minnesoita and Cleveland for the American League Central division. Not making the playoffs would not only be a blow to Anderson, but also to his team as there were high expectations for them entering the season. A return from the IL could help the MLBbro shortstop and his team make a late charge. If not, fans of Anderson can take some solace in the fact that the MLBbro will join Team USA in the WBC this offseason.
This is probably the most disappointing entry in this article. The Texas Rangers spent a lot of money this offseason on their infield, and part of the included signing MLBbro Marcus Semien. He was brought in to help bring them back to relevance and perhaps back into the postseason. This has not come to fruition, due to many things going wrong for the club this season
Semien got off to a slow start with a .225 batting average over the first couple of months in the early season. He has since gotten on track posting 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases, the latter a new career high. This is far from what the Rangers envisioned when signing him fresh off a career year but it’s a step in the right direction. His balance of speed, power and experience are still valuable traits that will be missed this postseason.
The Kansas City Royals are nowhere near competing for the playoffs but that hasn’t stopped MLBbro Michael Taylor from going on a tear recently. He’s batted over .350 this week and had multiple hits in every game since August 28. He’s been in the leadoff spot as well as cleanup, providing the club with whatever has been needed. Although he went hitless in Thursday’s contest, this recent stretch has been nothing short of impressive.
Taylor got out of the box slowly this season, batting only .184 through 17 games in April and March combined. But he heated up over the summer months posting averages of .289, .329, and .284 in May, June, and July respectively. Although he has not performed as well in August, this past week he continued to see the ball well and has 9 hits and 7 RBI this week. Although this will not spark the Royals on a major level and propel them into any contention talks, it does give Taylor momentum heading into next year.
MLBbro Taylor is enjoying a season that has seen him already post the highest WAR of his career, 2.9 so far. He also boasts the lowest strikeout percentage of his career at 24.9%, and the highest walk-rate as well at 8.4%, as of the writing of this article. The Royals chose not to trade Taylor at the deadline, and he went into a slight slump post-deadline. This recent surge should help to boost his status and make his name hot again as he should be seen as a valuable commodity in the MLB offseason. Any team looking for a veteran contact hitter with elite defense (He won the Gold Glove in 2021.) should look no further than center field in Kansas City.
It is well documented by now that whether if it’s mainstream media or in blue-collar workplaces, representation is vital. The representation of a gender or race has proven to be effective in attracting more of that class that is being initially represented. The same logic applies to professional sports. Major League Baseball is the third most popular sport in the country yet less than 8% of the league’s players are represented by black players. This is largely due to fewer opportunities for Black and brown American born baseball players to gain notoriety.
That is why the announcement of Hall of Famer, and all-time great outfielder and MLBbro Ken Griffey Jr. as the Hitting Coach for Team USA is exceptional. As one of the most notable MLBbros of all time, representing not only the MLB but America on this big stage is a great way to represent the minimal black presence in our game.
In his playing days, “The Kid” as he was known, was arguably the most dynamic player to ever step onto a baseball field. The true definition of a five-fool player, there was nothing he could not do on the field. He played with a charisma and flair that had an effect on young black kids all over the country. He made a sport that was known as boring and uneventful to some and made it seem cool and remarkable. It is only fitting that someone of his caliber be placed on to the Team USA coaching staff. Not only will his influence be welcomed with the team, but his mere presence brings not only black fans but potentially more black future players.
Griffey Jr. is more than qualified to teach the art of hitting. With over 600 Home runs, 2700 plus hits, and 1800 plus RBI he is one of the best all-around pure hitters the game has seen. He posted these numbers while batting .284 over a 22-year big league career. Not to mention “The Kid” has one of the most recognizable and iconic swings of all time.
The World Baseball Classic does not officially return until 2023, but with the addition of Griffey Jr. to the staff, the team is already gaining momentum and giving fans reason to be optimistic about a repeat of its 2017 championship. Seeing him work with the roster of some of our best players in the game should be a welcome sight. It will also be interesting to see him work with young MLBbro Cedric Mullins, who has similar tools to Griffey Jr. whose His Hall of Fame impact should have a great influence on the entire club.