Semien told reporters over the weekend that he “Still sees himself as a shortstop” which puts his name on a wide list of elite players at the position looking to cash out this summer, none of which have put up better numbers than he has.
Before worrying about inking a new deal, Semiens soul focus this week will be getting the Jays in the playoffs and adding a few extra dollars by showing up big in October. Toronto meets Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s Yankees for a critical three-game set on Tuesday.
Cedric Mullins is about to put the cherry on top for one of the greatest seasons ever for a Baltimore Oriole. He is now one home run away from joining the 30/30 Club and may have pulled off the robbery of the year this week.
For that he takes the top spot on Week 24 of our #High/Five List.
1. Cedric Mullins
I think we should start this #High/Five List with what may be the catch of the 2021 season.
Cedric Mullins got HOPS! And he showed them off by taking this home run away from Gary Sanchez last week.
What Cedric Mullins has accomplished this season is a testament to the work he put in to turn his career around over the off-season. After stealing two bases on Saturday against the Red Sox he officially reached 30 stolen bases on the year, which is good for second in the American League.
Now, he is just one swing away from being the first member of the Baltimore Orioles to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season. A feat that Adam Jones, Don Baylor and Reggie Jackson could not even reach.
The first time All-Star is sure to steal some MVP votes this season, and not even those can do him justice. He’ll look to join the 30/30 Club this weekend in front of the Baltimore Faithful during their series against the Texas Rangers.
2. Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen is coming alive as the Phillies attempt to chase down a playoff spot entering the final week of the season. Wednesday night his two-out two-run home run in the bottom of the 6th inning propelled the Phillies to a 4-3 win.
Over his last seven games McCutchen has a .259 batting average, five RBI and scored seven runs, but it’s something he did without even taking a swing that may have been his greatest play this week.
On Sunday Cutch wore a “Fair Ball” wristband during the game. The wristbands were worn by some Phillies and Mets minor leaguers for a protest towards minor league payment wages.
The maturation of McCutchen from his electric rookie season, to Most Valuable Player award winner to now veteran and leader for all of baseball is one of the great aspects of his illustrious career. The journey has been plentiful.
3. JP Crawford
J.P. Crawford has his Mariners fighting to end the longest postseason drought in baseball, all while making his case at back-to-back Gold Gloves.
However he has become much more than just his glove. In addition to his leadership, since being moved into the leadoff spot, Crawford has been one of the better hitters in baseball posting a .267 batting average, nine home runs and 50 RBI.
Entering Thursday the Mariners are just two and a half games behind the Yankees for the final wild card spot. They control their own destiny with a series against both their divisional rivals the Angels and Athletics to end the season.
4. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien has a chance at history as he is just two home runs away from tying the record for most home runs in a season by a second baseman in Major League history.
If it wasn’t for Semien’s teammate closing in on a Triple Crown, and Ohtani’s performance as a two-way star, Semien would be the clear cut favorite for the American League’s Most Valuable Player award.
His 6.7 WAR is fourth in MLB and he has added 41 home runs, 97 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
Entering Thursday his Blue Jays are just a half game out for the final wild card spot.
5. Aaron Judge
This season Aaron Judge has shown he is a top 10 player in the Majors, but that won’t mean anything if he can’t carry his Yankees to the playoffs.
Coming into the season expectations were not exactly high in the Steel City for the Pirates to be anything close to contenders, but they do have one of the top minor league systems in baseball and fans wanted to see some of them make a positive impact in the Bigs and Ke’Bryan Hayes and Anthony Alford have done just that.
Ke’Bryan Hayes Will Amaze
Baseball was robbed of a full season from Ke’Bryan Hayes after a wrist injury two games into his season landed him on the 60-Day Injured List.
Hayes leads all Major League third basemen with a 1.9 Defensive WAR rating and has only committed three errors in 89 games.
Even though some of those numbers may be skewed because he has played in fewer games than most full-time National League third baseman, his resume and highlight reel speak for itself, and he deserves major consideration for a Gold Glove.
On the offensive side of the ball Hayes is ending the season strong. Entering Tuesday Hayes was batting .298 for the month of September with 20 hits including his first career walk-off, three doubles, four RBI and 10 runs scored.
Hayes has five home runs on the season, even though he’s hit six out of the park.