Kansas City Royals ourfielder Michael Taylor went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI and a home run off fellow MLBbro Taylor Hearn on Opening Day. Taylor hit .244 this season with 12 homers, 54 RBI and won the American League Gold Glove for a struggling Royals squad. Taylor was one of two MLBbros to win an AL Gold Glove alogn with Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien.
The combination of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton did their thing, but it wasn’t enough to power the New York Yankees to a win in the American League Wildcard Game.
The 37-foot high Green Monster proved to be Stanton’s worst enemy last night as just 15 feet came between him and a three-homer game that would have entirely flipped the script in the one-game, play-in against Boston, a 6-2 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
In his first at bat, everyone tuned in, including Stanton himself who broke into a home run trot thinking he had gotten one to the seats. Instead, it was just a loud two-out single and Stanton would end up not scoring in the first inning.
Judge had previously homered in three winner-take-all postseason games during his career which is tied for the most all-time, but he failed to hit one Monday, going just 1-for-4.
Judge ends his All-Star season with 39 home runs, a .287 batting average, .916 OPS and leading the league in average Exit Velocity.
He’s closing in on contract time as he’s entering arbitration this off-season and then becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2023. He and Stanton were the Yankees’ entire offense and they need to cash him out now while adding other pieces around them.
Stanton had his best season since he won the 2017 National League MVP and gave a curtain call with a home run in the ninth inning to close out his 3-for-4 night.
He ends the season with 35 bombs, a .273 average and 97 RBI.
Statistics would tell you it has been a “down” year for Betts whose .266 batting average is his lowest since 2017. But those are the type of expectations burdened by superstars of his caliber. Betts ended his All-Star season with 23 home runs, 58 RBI and an .854 OPS. His Dodgers will take on the Cardinals in a Wild Card play-in game and should they win, they would meet their divisional rivals over in The Bay.
Betts batted .269 with an .898 OPS, two home runs, two doubles and five runs scored in last year’s World Series It was the second time Betts was able to earn some bling as he won with the Red Sox in 2018.
Even when Betts isn’t hitting at the top of his game, the game saving catches he provides defensively will be a major factor in October. The Cardinals are no joke, and neither are the 107-win Giants, so the Dodgers will need their stars to be stars and show up when needed most.
Jack Flaherty was on his way to joining the Black Ace club of 20 game winners before injuries put a stop to his 2021 season. It’s taken him some time to get back to form, but now the Cardinals plan on using him as a convertible piece in their bullpen.
Last Wednesday Flaherty made his first relief appearance since 2017.
Teams typically shorten their rotations in the postseason so it’s not surprising the Cardinals choose Flaherty for the role since he missed so much time with injury. The MLBbro hurler worked a clean inning on the last day of the season, striking out two Cubs batters. He had a 3.22 ERA to go along with 85 strikeouts on the season.
It is expected that the Cardinals would use Flaherty first out of the bullpen in the Wild Card game behind probable starter Adam Wainwright.
Lo Cain finds himself back in the playoffs for the first time since his magical World Series run with the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Cain won an ALCS MVP award after posting a .533 batting average, the highest batting average for a postseason series in Royals history.
Wade is one of many unsung heroes this season for a Giants team that shocked the baseball world by having the best record in the Majors this season. I cannot wait to see this MLBbro represent in the Bay Area, especially late in games when he seems to show up most.
The 2021 season saw some MLBbros become parts of baseball history. From breaking single-season home run records the most home runs at a position to being a franchise’s first 30/30 club member and even the first walk-off in the Great state of Iowa, this was one to remember.
Here are our Top 10 MLBbros of 2021.
1. Marcus Semien
No second baseman in the history of Major League Baseball has hit more home runs in a season than Marcus Semien has for the 2021 Blue Jays, and with just a few games left, has a chance to pile on a few more.
Semien bet on himself this season and it has paid off big time. He signed a one-year deal with the Blue Jays in the off-season and even made the switch from shortstop to prove his versatility.
Semien’s 44 home runs have him fourth in the race for the Home Run crown, while some of his other numbers absolutely crushed other Major League second baseman.
He is slashing .267/.338/.881 with 101 RBI and 39 doubles and also has the highest Wins Above Replacement rating in the Majors at 7.2.
Semien was exactly what they needed in the city of Toronto to get over the hump and become true contenders.
He’ll get the chance to test the free agent waters and says he wants to be considered a short stop while doing so. I don’t think we can rule out the possibility he continues to play second base, but he should get the chance to be paid top dollar regardless of which side of the diamond he is on.
2. Cedric Mullins
Cedric Mullins may have had the greatest season in Baltimore Orioles franchise history, and the numbers do not lie.
Mullins became the fourth active player to join the illustrious 30 home run and 30 stolen base club. No other Oriole has ever done that.
Christian Yelich, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, Jose Ramirez, Ronald Acuña Jr.
The 5’8 175 center fielder has the eighth highest batting average in the Majors, the fourth most doubles and is ranked seventh in OPS among outfielders.
Mullins’ 2021 All-Star selection shocked many people, but throughout this entire season he proved his name belongs amongst baseball’s elite players.
Even though Baltimore baseball is going through tough times, they have a diamond in the rough batting leadoff and playing center field for years to come.
3. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge has had his best season since he won the 2017 Rookie of the Year award. The Empire State has been on his back this entire season, and Judge has continued to step up and answer the bell each time in pressure situations.
From his late home run in the Field of Dreams Game to his go-ahead double against the rival Red Sox this past weekend on Sunday Night Baseball, Judge showed this year he is one of the most clutch players the game has to offer.
We told you back in April his health was key to a Yankees playoff berth.
He’s given us more than a few missles and treasured moments.
This view of Aaron Judge's Field of Dreams homer >>>>>>
Judge leads the Yankees in almost every offensive category this season: games played, hits, doubles, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS or WAR.
He now has 38 home runs, 96 RBI and an OPS of .916 this season.
4. Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson has become one of the faces of baseball over the last few seasons and continues to make his case for best shortstop in the game every time he steps on the field.
TA7 is one of the most feared leadoff hitters in all of baseball. He has the ability to make it 1-0 before most fans can make it to their seats from the concession stands.
Anderson sits slightly out of the Top 10 for average in the Majors at .301. He also adds 17 home runs, 18 steals, 59 RBI and 92 runs scored to his season totals.
5. Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton has been the Robin to Aaron Judge’s Batman this year, especially during the second half of the season when the Yankees made their run to get themselves back into contention.
Stanton has the second highest exit velocity average on batted balls this year at 95.3, just slightly behind Judge who is at 95.9. He also has 35 home runs, 96 RBI and an .881 OPS.
Stanton etched his name in the history books of one of baseball’s best rivalries, the Yankees and Red Sox. In their final time in Boston this season Stanton became one of four Yankees to have three home runs and 10 RBI in any 3-game span vs the Red Sox.
6. Marcus Stroman
Marcus Stroman sat out the entire 2020 season, and for him to return in 2021 and lead the Majors in starts, he deserves some respect on his name.
Stroman finished with a career high 33 starts and posted the second lowest ERA of his career.
Jazz Chisholm ends up on Marcus Stroman’s back, and the two laugh about it after. This is some wholesome stuff between two great players. pic.twitter.com/WirpC8d4m2
Despite having the “best pitcher” in baseball (Jacob deGrom) the and a 2021 All-Star in their rotation (Taijuan Walker) Stroman was the most consistent Mets pitcher throughout the season.
He’ll have the chance to test the market as a free agent and will have multiple suitors as he may be the most marquee name behind Max Scherzer.
7. Mookie Betts
Despite fighting through multiple injuries and maybe a little 2020 World Series hangover, Mookie Betts had a fine 2021, even if some of his numbers are a peg lower than what we’ve become accustomed too.
Betts was named an All-Star this season and currently has 22 home runs, 56 RBI, 89 runs scored and a .371 on base percentage. His OPS is quickly approaching .900 as well.
He’s been a swiss army knife for the Dodgers, moving around in the lineup as well as playing second base for a few games and turning out a few web gems.The formed MVP will surely save his biggest moments for the playoffs.
8. J.P. Crawford
J.P. Crawford put himself in rare company last season when he became one of the few recent black Gold Glove winning infielders and it looks like he’ll repeat again this season.
He leads the Majors in putouts and assists and seems to give the west coast jaw dropping highlights every single night.
At the plate Crawford made some improvements from last season. His average against left handed pitchers increased from .242 to .276. Crawford ranks 14th in the league in total hits and leads all Major League shortstops with 37 doubles.
On the year he is slashing .273/.336/.715 with 52 RBI and nine home runs.
9. Michael Brantley
If Michael Brantley could have avoided the injury bug this season, he would have had a legit chance at the 2021 batting championship.
Dusty Baker on Michael Brantley back in the lineup (DH): “It feels great..a big part of our lineup. We missed him big time.” pic.twitter.com/RYi6NlxPP8
He started the season off hot, earning his fifth career All-Star appearance as he led the Majors in batting average for most of the first half of the season.
He’s only appeared in 118 out of 159 games this season and has 29 doubles, a .311 average and a .798 OPS. Another great season for “The Professional.”
10. Triston McKenzie
Triston McKenzie had to learn on the fly this season, and grew up in front of our eyes with some dominant starts, particularly on August 15th when he pitched eight innings out one hit baseball and a career high 11 strikeouts.
At one point of the season McKenzie put together seven consecutive quality starts from August 5th to September 14th.
McKenzie is also going to lead the team in strikeouts, becoming one of the youngest to do so in franchise history just behind C.C. Sabathia who did it at age 21.
Josh Bell– Despite the struggles of his Nationals, Bell had himself a great year. He is at 27 home runs, 88 RBI and a .814 OPS.
Jazz Chisholm Jr.– Injuries at the beginning of the season stopped Jazz from being a 2021 All-Star, but we still got the chance to see him Euro step across the plate 17 times.
He has an outside chance at winning the National League’s Rookie of the Year award, but the only Bahamian born player currently in the Majors has already impressed folks around the league
LaMonte Wade Jr.– Wade Jr. is the epitome of what the San Francisco Giants have been able to do this season. He continually stepped up especially in late game situations earning himself the nickname “Late Night Lamonte”
Jack Flaherty – Jack Flaherty was on his way to becoming a black ace and winning 20 games before an injury stalled his season for a few months.
The Cardinals seemed to come back alive when he returned as they rattled off 17 consecutive wins at one point. It seems Flaherty might come out of the bullpen for St. Louis during their playoff run if they can get past the wild card games.
It’s been a great season and we’ve brought you the best of the Black and Brown players in MLB. We’ll be back next season with our #HIGHFIVE lists.