Nick Gordon has settled in nicely in his second season with the Minnesota Twins. This season, the 26-year-old has played both the infield and outfield and has had success at the plate as well. You can call Gordon a man who wears many hats because wherever you put him in the field, he’s going to go out there and make the plays.
Looking at his numbers he’s really stepped up offensively this season. That’s just the sign of hard work. Gordon has shown a lot of maturity and you can tell he’s a lot more confident.
And he has already seen more playing time than last year and that will continue to happen as the season progresses. He recently had one of his best performances, against the Detroit Tigers. On Monday, Gordon went 3-for-4 with a stolen base.
It was his first three-hit performance this season.
Let’s be real, if you can have success at the plate, you will find yourself in the lineup. And if Gordon can continue that success, the Twins will find a way to make a spot for him. The Twins are in a position to make the playoffs and having a versatile player like Gordon on the team is beneficial.
Gordon stepped up significantly at the beginning of the season when All-Star outfielder Byron Buxton was out due to injury. He held it down out there in centerfield and gave Twins fans something to look forward to. Even when Gordon’s bat isn’t clicking, he can be used as a defensive replacement in close games down the stretch and anywhere on the field.
Our MLBbro had a hot start to July, where he had a six-game hitting streak. He then cooled off a bit and has picked things back up during the last three days of the month. This will be a crucial month for the Twins as the race in the American League Central could potentially come down to the wire.
And look for Gordon’s name to be called on more and don’t be surprised if you see him come up in clutch situations where the game is on the line. Whether he’s running down a fly ball in the outfield or making a diving stop in the infield, Gordon will leave it all out there on the field.
Marcus Semien had a Tuesday that will be etched in baseball history forever as he became the first player since Hall of Famer Joe Morgan in 1973 to have three home runs and seven hits on a calendar day. Simply put, the best second baseman in the Majors is back.
Marcus Semien is the first player with 7 hits and 3 homers on a single day since Joe Morgan on July 31, 1973. pic.twitter.com/Ul6hO2TfdC
Last season, Semien hit 45 home runs, breaking the record for most in a single season by a second baseman in Major League history. This year, it took Semien 44 games to hit just one, and it came by way of a grand slam against his hometown team, the Oakland Athletics.
Since that swing, Semien has slowly begun showing signs from his MLBbro Player of the Year campaign MVP campaign of 2021 and Tuesday that culminated with a seven-hit, three-home run day in Cleveland.
Semien’s seven hits in a double header tied a franchise record with former MLBbro Marlon Byrd, who accomplished the feat against Cleveland back in September of 2009 and Fred Valentine.
“He’s not a big mechanics guy,” manager Chris Woodward told reporters. “It’s more like his feel, and when he feels good you can see it. He can turn around a speeding bullet. There is no pitch that he can’t hit. With Marcus, there is complete trust in those swings I saw today.”
Semien began the doubleheader with a single, stolen base and then came around to score to set the tone for the day. On a 3-0 count in the seventh inning, he hit the first home run of his day, pulling the ball just fair to left field.
“I think double headers are weird,” Semien said. “You can show up and the swing feels good, and you are getting pitches to hit and taking balls. I felt that way in the first game, and I did not change anything between games. I just kept the same mindset and felt good.”
All signs point to Semien being back in form. He capped off the doubleheader going 4-for-4 with two home runs to help lead Texas to a 6-3 win. He finished the day going 7-for-8 with three home runs, three RBI, two stolen bases and a walk.
Now, it is apparent wherever Semien goes this season the rest of the Rangers roster will follow. Since he has shaken off his slow start the team has climbed their way back into the race for the final American League Wild Card spot.
Over his last 15 games, Semien has gone 20-for-63 for a .317 average, 13 RBI, seven steals and six home runs.
It is going to be a full season grind for Semien to get his numbers to where they were last season, but if he can go on a run during the month of June and early July, he could be able to find his way back to the All-Star game for the second season in a row.
The New York Mets are standing tall at the top of the National League East as the only team with a record above .500. Not only are the Mets 9.5 games ahead of the reigning World Series Champion Atlanta Braves (at the time of publishing), they have the most wins in the majors with 35.
This week the team decided to make some adjustments to their roster by optioning our MLBbro, Dominic Smith to Triple A Syracuse and bringing in a right handed pitcher, Adonis Medina this week. A move that was discussed by manager Buck Showalter via ESPN.
“We needed a pitcher to try and keep everybody healthy down there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “And Dom was the option we ended up with.”
The demotion is a chance for the team and Dominic to reset and figure out where their future lies. After finishing 13th in the NL MVP voting with slashes of .316/.377/.616 while hitting ten homers and driving in 42 runs in a shortened season, Smith looked like a can’t miss prospect for the future.
He was quietly doing damage in 2021, flirting with a career year, but inconsistency has been his Achilles heel. Since that 60-game explosion in 2020, our MLBbro has struggled at the plate with hitting slashes of .235/.301/.346 with 11 home runs. The biggest issue at the plate is his rhythm as he has three times as many strikeouts as walks in his last 594 plate appearances before being optioned.
This season almost became a parting of the ways for the Mets and our MLBbro. With the new designated hitter option in the National League, the Mets saw it as a possibility to get another big bat in the lineup. On top of his slow development, Smith’s struggles were also attributed to a lack of conditioning that compounded wrist problems and sleep apnea issues.
“I was a little bit banged up… “The wrist (strain) started in spring training on a check swing. I didn’t want to miss much time, so I just wore a little tape on my wrist and went after it.
“But then because my wrist was hurting, I wound up messing up my labrum due to my one hand follow through on my swing.”
This adjustment has brought our MLBbro to this point where he has bottomed out with a .186 batting average with zero homers this season. The Mets believe that optioning him to Syracuse will get his groove back at the plate and alleviate the frustrations and pressures of not playing every day.
“In the situation that we are in, we have a really good first baseman in Pete Alonso,” Showalter said. “[Smith] is probably feeling like every at-bat, he has to hit four home runs in one at-bat.
“[We want him to] settle in a comfort zone, just remind himself how good [he is]. He’s a confident guy. I see the work he keeps doing, trying to be perfect in every at-bat. It’s hard to do in this game. The pitchers are really good. Just try to settle into some consistent at bats and know what he is going to be out there every day. Just get into a groove where he can be who he is capable of being.”
There is the plan for our MLBbro for now. Dominic gets time to find his consistent stroke to get back to the majors. When he returns, will it be in a Mets uniform? Who knows? Smith’s slump has put him in the rumor mill for quite a while. It was reported that Smith was being dealt to the Padres in exchange for Chris Paddack, Eric Hosmer and Emilio Pagan. Issues with Paddack’s medical report kept Dominic in New York. Paddack eventually got Tommy John surgery.
Smith’s last shining moment was on May 1st when his four hits effectively landed him this final roster spot at DH and ended the Robinson Cano era in the Mets organization. Since then, Dominic has been in a 6-for-46 slump.
The Mets still say they believe in Smith’s potential.
Mets general manager, Billy Eppler said, “It was hard, but I made sure to articulate how good of a player I thought he was and still do,” Eppler said. “It’s a point of adversity. But he’s got our support, and any resource that he can help with, anything he needs from us, he’s got it.”
Look for Dominic Smith to get hot and be ready for the DH role down the stretch for the Mets this postseason. Even if that doesn’t work out, he could be traded to a team for what he truly wants, which is being in the lineup every day.
St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Jordan Walker continues to plow through the minor league system like a rocket headed towards baseball heaven. The 19-year-old, sweet-swinging power hitter has played in exactly 55 minor league games, and from the looks of it he won’t be there for much longer.
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound MLBbro by way of Stone Mountain, Georgia is batting a ridiculous .327 with three homers and 10 steals this season. His .943 OPS is otherworldly, and the kid doesn’t turn 20 until next Sunday.
Thank you to @Cardinals for selecting me to be a part of your organization. I’m very blessed and excited to become a Cardinal!! Looking forward to playing for such a historically established team. Go Cards!🔴⚪️ https://t.co/uq0S5Wg4Ck
Walker’s hard work has helped him ascend from the 21st overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft to MLB’s 29th overall prospect. His defense on the hot corner (third base), has improved dramatically. That with his powerful and efficient bat make him a real candidate to be called up to the big league’s sooner than later.
Great play by @Sgf_Cardinals 3B and Cardinals top prospect Jordan Walker to end the top of the 3rd. Diving stop and a great throw to get the runner. Gets up shaking just hand, but batted in the bottom half. pic.twitter.com/CAKRZfuNLw
Not bad for a kid who just finished high school just over a year ago.
Walker Was Around Cardinals Stars Prior To Minors Assignment
Since being drafted by the Cardinals, Walker has been lucky enough to be at the team’s training facility in Juniper, Florida. There, prior to beginning his minor league assignments he was able to see how All-Stars, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Albert Pujols went about their daily routines.
“I just watched how they worked. I don’t even have to talk to them but I just get to watch them play and how they go about their work and how they go about their routine. It shows you what you need to do to get there. Just watching them was truly spectacular.”
Walker Embraced Callup After Dominating Single-A
After dominating Single-A, where the broad-shouldered, slick fielding Walker, batted .317 while playing with Palm Beach and Peoria. Walker got the call up to Double-A. In Single-A he demonstrated some real homerun power, hitting 14 dingers, with some exit velocities reaching the speed of major league power hitters, Juan Soto, Javy Baez and the eclectic Fernando Tatis Jr. The Cardinals felt it was time to move him, to a more challenging level. That power has also translated to the tougher Double-A scene, and is further proof that his power should translate just fine to Triple-A and the majors.
Walker made his Double-A debut in April, and he could hardly taper the excitement of the moment.
“It’s been pretty exciting. Baseball is fun and it’s been my dream to do this ever since I started playing at four years old. All I can say is that the excitement is here and I’m ready to get going.”
When it comes to performing on the field, Walker is taking it all in stride. He understands the ups, downs and intricacies of baseball and as you move up the ladder it gets harder and harder to succeed because your strengths and weaknesses are studied like a mathematical equation.
“There’s still a lot of things to work on for sure,” Walker said. “All in all, I’m pretty happy with where I am right now.”
The projection was for Walker to make his MLB debut in 2024, but if he keeps playing this way it could be sooner.
Ke’Bryan Hayes is this generation’s next great third baseman and is earning the title of highest-paid player in Pittsburgh Pirates’ franchise history with his play through the first month and a half of the season.
The hitting numbers Hayes is posting has positioned him to be the representative for Pittsburgh at this season’s All-Star Game, which would be quite an accomplishment in just his second Major League season. The son of MLBbro player Charlie Hayes would join Josh Bell and Andrew McCutchen as recent Black Pirates to obtain the honor.
Entering Sunday’s game, Hayes ranks in the top five for the National League in batting average, on base percentage and Offensive WAR. This coming after Hayes’ 2021 season was filled with injuries from the first game of the year till his last. After the second game of the season, Hayes felt a pain in his left wrist that made it difficult to grip the bat, leading to him being placed on the 60-day Injured List.
He returned to the Pirates’ lineup at the beginning of June but near the end of the season, injury struck again, leading to him being shut down in late September.
“I had to grind through it,” Hayes told reporters at the beginning of this year’s spring training. “Going into the offseason, I really wanted to forget about it and make sure that going into this next season my body is healthy for this spring training. I’m doing good, the wrist is feeling good, so I’m ready to get rolling.”
Hayes’ bank account was one thing injuries couldn’t keep down. Not even a week into the season Pittsburgh made the 25-year-old out of Tomball, Texas the highest-paid player in their franchise history with an eight-year $70 million deal with a club option for 2030.
If Hayes can stay healthy, the deal will prove to be a bargain for the Pirates.
He did scare fans during the team’s Opening Day game this season when the third baseman appeared to re-injure that same wrist that plagued him last year in the first inning and was forced out of the game. But it was just a scare, and he didn’t miss any time from it.
The one phase of Hayes’ game that may be the least surprising this season has been his play on defense.
He already has seven games this season with at least two hits, a 4-for-4 game and had two consecutive 3-for-5 games, one against the Cincinnati Reds and the other coming against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pirates Playoff Push?
Hayes has his Pirates’ record closer to the .500 mark than most thought they would be. They are a young team with players who will continue to flow to the Bigs over the next few years, but it looks like Pittsburgh has already found they can put the franchise on Hayes’ back as they work towards getting back into the playoffs for the first time since 2015.