#HIGHFIVE | Top 5 Black and brown MLB Players (Week 11)

#HIGHFIVE | Top 5 Black and brown MLB Players (Week 11)

Michael Brantley has been one of the best hitters on the planet through the first three of weeks June, while attempting to be the only current player in the Majors with an average of .300 or over for five consecutive seasons.  Baseball’s silent assassin, “The Professional”, earns the top spot in Week 11 of our #HighFive List.

1. Michael Brantley

This month Brantley is batting .390 with a .525 slugging percentage and two home runs, including a grand slam last week against the White Sox.

Brantley, a five-time All-Star, has been one of the best at making solid contact this season.

His 24% contact rate is the second-highest rating in the league at producing hard contact this season, only trailing teammate Yordan Alvarez’s 26.5%.  Other MLBbros Mookie Betts (22.2%) and Aaron Judge (21.4%) follow Brantley on that list.

Brantley has a hit in 15 of 16 games played this month, including eight with multiple hits.

Stick Talk: Michael “The Professional” Brantley

This weekend Brantley and the Astros welcome Aaron Judge and the first-place Yankees to Houston for a four-game series beginning Thursday.

2. Josh Bell

Josh Bell gave the Phillies hell last week with four home runs in three days as he earns the two spot on this week’s #HighFive list.

Since joining the Nationals last year, Bell has eight home runs, 23 RBI, and a .293 average when playing against Philadelphia.

They might have gotten some of the worst of it, but they are not the only pitching staff Bell has been effective against during his tenure in D.C.

Last year was a great bounce back for Bell after a down year in 2020. This season he has proven to be one of the best first basemen in the National League.

Bell, batting .348 with four home runs, six RBI and a .870 slugging percentage over his last seven games ranks in the top five for OPS, RBI, average, and runs scored.

Josh Bell’s Unlimited Potential Is Truly Emerging | Washington Nationals Slugger Bringing Big Stick Energy

This weekend Bell and his Nationals take on the Texas Rangers in Arlington.  MLBbro pitcher Josiah Gray will be on the mound for Washington Friday night.

3. Devin Williams

Devin “Airbender” Williams is coming for the title of best reliever in the Majors this season. Based on his last 15 innings it would be hard to argue against it.

Williams has gone 15 innings without giving up a single run while striking out 23 and only walking three hitters.

The last time Willams gave up a run was May 10th when one of the worst teams in baseball got him for three runs.

In 21 of his last 22 appearances, he has not allowed a run to score.

Williams and his Brewers will welcome the Toronto Blue Jays to Milwaukee this weekend.

4. Money Michael Harris II

Michael “Money” Harris II has been the perfect fit for Braves Country since he was promoted to the Majors on May 28th. He makes the #HighFive for the second time in his short career.

The Atlanta native and Stockbridge High School graduate was ranked as the Braves top prospect at the beginning of the season. He will lose that title soon as he has shown he won’t be leaving the Big Leagues anytime soon.

Over his last seven games, Harris is hitting .333 with a home run, three RBI and four runs scored while giving Braves fans a glimpse into a future outfield that includes him and superstar outfielder Ronald Acuna, Jr.

Despite his late start, Harris II is already in the conversation for this year’s National League Rookie of The Year award. He already has one of the higher WAR ratings among all rookies.

This weekend Harris and the Braves welcome the Dodgers to Atlanta for the first time since defeating them in last year’s National League Championship series.

5. Taylor Trammell

When opportunity knocks you have to answer. That’s what Taylor Trammell has done since joining the Mariners in late May after a hamstring injury delayed the start of his season.

Trammell is getting significant playing time with the injury to Kyle Lewis as well as other struggles in the Mariners outfield and Trammell has made the most of it.

 

 

Over his last seven games, he is batting .313 with a .625 slugging percentage, four walks, a home run and four runs scored. This weekend Trammell and the Mariners will be in L.A. to take on the Los Angeles Angels.

Josh Bell’s Unlimited Potential Is Truly Emerging | Washington Nationals Slugger Bringing Big Stick Energy

Josh Bell’s Unlimited Potential Is Truly Emerging | Washington Nationals Slugger Bringing Big Stick Energy

Josh Bell has put up video game-like numbers through the first three months of the MLB season as a consistent force in the Washington Nationals lineup.


Bell has elevated himself among the upper echelon of first baseman in almost every hitting category. MLB’s only Black starting first baseman is becoming its biggest commodity. 

Josh Bell Is Making A Strong Case For NL All-Star Squad

Through 20 games in June, Bell is batting .282 with 16 RBI, seven home runs and a .634 slugging percentage – all while serving as lineup protection behind one of the best young players in the Majors, Juan Soto.

Entering Thursday, Bell leads the Nationals in batting average, RBI, on base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS while being second in homers, hits and walks.  He’s hit 21 home runs since last year’s trade deadline – good for second on the team, only trailing Soto.

 

 

Last week he put on a clinic against Phillies pitching. It was not his first time doing so against his divisional rival. He hit four home runs in a three-game span during the five-game series to go along with six RBI.

Now, he has an average of .293 with eight home runs, 23 RBI and 12 runs scored in just 21 games against Philidelphia.

That is just one example Bell’s success since he was traded to the National League East before the 2021 season. The former Pittsburgh Pirate second-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft has had a career resurgence since coming to the nation’s capital.

During the Covid-shortened 2020 season, he hit just .226 with eight home runs and 22 runs batted in. Fast forward to 2021. Bell raised all those numbers finishing with a .261 average, 27 home runs and 88 RBI.

This season, it looks like Bell is on track to set career highs in multiple hitting categories. It’s taking the rest of the league some time to catch onto Bell’s magnificent growth. He is currently ninth in All-Star voting for National League first baseman, even though he’s top five for most statistics.

It would be the second time he made the All-Star team in his career. The first was in 2019, when he finished with a career-high 37 home runs and 116 RBI.

As we get closer towards baseball’s midsummer classic, the August trade deadline looms not too far away on the horizon.

Bell, a 29-year-old switch-hitting first baseman in the final year of his contract, has shown he can be a plus defender over the years. He will be on the wish-list of just about every team in the Majors near the deadline.

He already has a nice payday coming his way this off-season regardless of destination, but it will be great for Black baseball to see Bell get a chance to compete and make an impact during the playoffs. Put his immense talents on display for the entire baseball world. 

Bell will get the chance to continue his hot streak when the Nationals go to his home state of Texas for a three-game set against Marcus Semien’s Texas Rangers.