Week 7 of the MLB season is in the books and one of the top MLB Bro’s in Major League Baseball has finally answered our questions on whether or not he could step up and return to his MVP type form in the Bronx.
Yankee slugger Aaron Judge claims the top spot in this week’s #HighFive after his performance this week in light of his Twin Tower teammate Giancarlo Stanton being placed on the Injured List.
1. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge sits at the top of our High Five list this week after batting .385 with four home runs and five RBIs this week. We questioned whether it was foul or fair that the Yankees needed to look into dealing Judge, but he quickly proved us wrong and earned a spot on our Rob Parker’s “Homeboi Highlights” this past Monday.
Judge is tied for third with 12 home runs and he hit at least one home run in all three games of the Yankees sweeping of the Baltimore Orioles including a two-homer game last Friday while winning AL Player of the Week.
Injuries have plagued the Yankees’ plans for a Murderer’s Row lineup. Now, with Aaron Hicks’ availability the rest of the season in question as well, Judge will need to continue to stay hot when he brings his bat back to the Bronx to take on Tim Anderson and the White Sox for a weekend series.
2. Michael Brantley
One of the most underrated hitters in all of baseball takes the number two spot on this week’s High Five list.
The Astros have faced three of their American League West rivals in the past eight games, and Brantley has been teeing off all of them.
Tonight marks José Ramírez's third career game with three doubles. It's the first for the Indians since Michael Brantley on May 3, 2018 against Toronto.
Brantley is batting .314 with four runs and five RBI during that span as his Astros have recorded a 7-2 record. He has been one of the most consistent hitters in all of Major League Baseball throughout his entire career and is earning every penny of the $32 million deal he earned from the Astros this past off season.
3. Jack Flaherty
This week Jack Flaherty moved closer to joining one of the rarest fraternities in all of baseball, Black Aces, after earning two more wins this week raising his major-league lead to eight.
In his last 12 innings, Flaherty has given up two runs on 13 strikeouts while allowing just four hits in each start.
Cardinals win, 8-5, and pick up a game in the division. They are 25-18. Jack Flaherty improves to 8-0 in his first nine starts. The only other Cardinal pitcher to do that in team history? Why, that would be Bob Gibson.
His bat traveled with him from the west coast as he is batting .280 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI this year which leads all Major League second baseman.
In his last three games, Semien is hitting .538 with 6 RBI and two home runs including a three-hit performance Saturday against the Phillies.
5. Tim Anderson
The 2019 batting champion has continued his strong showing at the plate this season as he earns the number five spot on this week’s High Five list.
Tuesday Anderson saw his 12 game hitting streak come to an end. Despite that, he still hit .300 this week including having three multi-hit games. His White Sox are tied for the best record in the American League league despite losing multiple players to injury, including 2020 MVP Jose Abreu.
The former batting champ is still influencing the culture on and off the field.
Anderson’s biggest play this week came off the field when he came to the defense of his teammate Yermin Mercedes who was punished by their manager Tony La Russa for hitting a home run on a 3-0 count during a 15-4 blowout of the Twins.
The game wasn’t over! “Keep doing your thing big Daddy!,” said his Rookie of the Year candidate teammate.
T.A. has shown great leadership both on and off the field this season. With a lot of drama surrounding the South Side, Anderson will continue to be one of the best hitters in baseball.
Through the first month and a half of the Major League Baseball season, Cardinals’ pitcher Jack Flaherty is on his way to joining one of the rarest fraternities in baseball: Black Aces.
The title of ace is given to a very select few in the game of baseball. It comes with high expectations. When an ace is on the mound, it is win day; period. They stem the tide and stop losing streaks while also being able to be called on to perform in the biggest moments of the season and take down the best hitter on the planet.
The Black pitcher, in general, is a rare sight to see in our game. We see many of our MLB Bros showcase their athleticism while roaming in the outfield and even more recently have seen them anchoring defenses throughout the infield, most notably Gold Glove shortstop J.P. Crawford.
The term “Black Aces” derived from a book, “Baseball’s Only African-American Twenty Game Winners” written by former pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant, who was the first 20-game winner in the American League when he did it for the Minnesota Twins in 1965.
To qualify for the fraternity of Black Aces, you must win 20 games in a season. Looking at the current landscape of the game, there is one pitcher who looks like he will be on his way to having his own Probate this season, and it’s Flaherty.
The former 34th overall pick in the 2014 draft currently sits alone on the top of the throne for the Major League lead in wins. His record stands undefeated at 7-0 this season with a 2.47 ERA. He recently became the first Cardinals pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1965 to record a win in seven of his first eight games while having an ERA under three.
Flaherty will be compared to the late Gibson – who passed away last year at the age of 84 to cancer – throughout his entire career.
Gibson pitched for the Cardinals during his entire 17-year career and is one of the original Black Aces in the game of baseball. He recorded five 20 win seasons during his time in St. Louis, which is second most all-time only trailing Ferguson Jenkins who had seven such seasons.
Flaherty is trying to be the newest member of the Black Ace fraternity since David Price joined the group in 2012.
Recently retired future Hall of Famer C.C. Sabathia joined the group in 2010 and former pitcher Dontrelle Willis did so as well in 2005. Before then, the feat had not been reached since 1990 when it was accomplished by Dave Stewart who remarkably completed four straight 20 win seasons from 1987-1990.
Early this year, Sabathia presented Price with a custom sweatshirt and joggers. The logo has an Ace of spade between the two C’s with a B hovering over the Ace of Spade.
The numbers Flaherty is putting up this season have put him in the category of potential starters for the National League All-Star team in Colorado this summer, which won’t be easy in a National League that has the best pitcher in baseball – Mets’ Jacob Degrom – and the Padres’ Yu Darvish who has one of the deepest bags of pitches and the Brewers’ Brandon Woodruff whose strikeout-to-walk ratio is incredible. Hence, winning and continued quality starts will be key for Flaherty to give himself the starting nod.
After a shaky start on Opening Day, Flaherty has responded with a 1.47 ERA in his last 43 innings pitched. He has only allowed one home run in the past seven games and has currently registered six quality starts in a row.
He is yet to walk more than two batters in a start this year and in his last four starts, he has at least six strikeouts. Also this year, he joined the “Pitchers Who Rake” club when he hit his first career home run while pitching seven scoreless innings against the Rockies earlier in May.
The Black Ace Fraternity is ready to welcome Flaherty with open arms. He is closing in on the halfway point to be allowed in the club, and there’s a possibility that he’ll break past the bouncer before seasons end.
His next chance to start comes today as he will be on the mound in front of the St. Louis faithful taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Last time he faced them, he notched a season-high nine strikeouts on May 1st.
The reigning American League Rookie of the Year got a late start after beginning the season on the Injured List. But now he’s heating up, going 8-for-20 with a .400 batting average the past week, entering Thursday night’s game.
For that, he makes his first appearance this season on our #HighFIVE list — and gets the top spot.
Lewis came to Texas and his bat was as hot as the weather. He recorded multiple hits in each of the Mariners’ three games during their weekend series against the Rangers, including three knocks in Friday’s opener.
As the Mariners begin to call up some of their top prospects this week, Lewis will need to grow up fast and even add the role of mentor to his job description.
If anyone knows how to successfully navigate the on-and-off the field issues a player can face during their rookie year, the recent hardware in Lewis’s trophy case would prove he’s the guy for the job.
2. Cedric Mullins (Baltimore Orioles)
Cedric Mullins has been one of the top players in the game through the first six weeks of the season.
After collecting a hit in seven straight games, including one of the most impressive triples you will ever see, we gave him the nickname “CM Storm” and he claims the second spot on our #HighFive list.
Mullins has begun to blossom this season. He ranks second in hits while leading all MLB center fielders with 98 putouts. Mullins also hasn’t committed an error this season. Amazing since he plays one of the toughest positions in all of sports.
3. Jack Flaherty (St. Louis Cardinals)
This week, Flaherty gained separation as he now leads Major League Baseball with seven wins. The next closest pitchers have five.
Congratulations @Jack9Flaherty he became the 1st pitcher to reach 7 wins this season after throwing 6 scoreless innings and striking out 6. This was his 5th straight quality start in a row. https://t.co/V2KLPlcKLx
Thursday made it five straight quality starts for Jack as he defeated the Brewers 2-0. He went six innings allowing no runs on just four hits while striking out six. In his two starts this week, Flaherty did not give up a single run in 13 innings. He struck out 12 batters and his Cardinals recorded shutout wins in each game.
He’s on fire and it might be time to start talking about the possibility of Flaherty becoming MLB’s first Black Ace (20-game winner) since David Price in 2012.
4. Taijuan Walker (New York Mets)
The Black Knight pitcher in New York always finds a way onto our list and this week will be no different. Walker sits in the third spot in this week’s High FIVE and has proven to Mets’ fans that he was one of the top free agent acquisitions this off-season.
Walker currently sits 13th in ERA for Major League Baseball after lowering his down to 2.20 on Wednesday after his start against Baltimore. In his last two starts, it seems that he’s finally found his stride as he is raking up strikeouts and going deep into games.
In the 14 innings, he pitched, he only gave up one run, while striking out eight batters. Importantly to Met fans, he’s only walked three batters. He had given 13 free passes in the four previous starts before.
The Mets are 6-1 in games started by Walker this season.
5. Tim Anderson (Chi-Town White Sox)
When it’s all said and done, MLBbro.com expects Tim Anderson to be right in the running for the second batting title of his career this season. T.A. has collected a hit in eight straight games and recorded six RBI during his streak.
Anderson hit a home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the first, and the White Sox held off the Twins (minus Byron Buxton) for a 4-2 victory Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field. It was their sixth straight win and 14th in 18 games.
This week’s #HighFIVE is highlighted by the American League Player of the Month, a man swinging the hottest bat in baseball, and a player who committed a Bro-on-Bro crime with his grand slam last Saturday.
Byron Buxton was named American League Player of the Month for his MVP-type performance to open the season in April. He hit eight home runs and batted .426 with a .897 slugging percentage while stealing three bases to go along with 14 RBI and 15 runs scored all while playing just 18 games. He set franchise records for the Twins with the highest batting average, slugging percentage and OPS for the months of March and April.
Last Friday night, Buxton reminded us he is still a beast on the defensive side. He made a diving catch then caught another while leaping against the center field wall in a Twins victory over their divisional rivals in Kansas City.
2. Giancarlo Stanton
Giancarlo Stanton has been stunting with his bat on his way to making his first appearance on our #HighFIVE list this season. He has been on a tear and put the league on notice during his current 12-game hitting streak. Stanton has a home run in three straight games for the 17th time in his career and his five go-ahead home runs this season are tied with Fernando Tatís Jr. for the most in baseball.
Stanton has been hitting the cover off the baseball during this run. He has hit 12 batted balls with an exit velocity of 115 plus MPH — the rest of the league has just seven. He’s hit six home runs and knocked in 11, and scored 11 runs as well during the streak.
3. Cedric Mullins
Cedric Mullins has kicked his feet up and gotten comfortable being a part of our High FIVE list this season. He currently third in Major League in hits with 39 and ranks 14th with a .320 batting average.
This week, Mullins made a play that will have him eating free in Baltimore for years to come as his sliding catch in center field helped preserve John Means no-hitter, which was the first solo one by an Orioles pitcher in 50 years.
4. Jack Flaherty
Flaherty is the lone pitcher on this week’s #HighFIVE. In his last start against the Pirates, he struck out a season-high nine batters as he pitched six innings, allowing two runs in a 12-5 Cardinal win. He sits alone at the top of the wins leaderboard with a 5-0 record. Four of his last five appearances have been quality starts and he has posted a 36 to 10 strikeout-to-walk ratio during the season.
His next start will come Friday night when his Cardinals face the Colorado Rockies.
5. Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson rounds out our High FIVE by taking the fifth spot as his bat has stayed hot since his return from the injured list a few weeks ago. He is batting.298 with four home runs, 15 runs and 12 RBI this season.
Anderson was wanted for committing Bro-on-Bro crime last Saturday afternoon. The former batting champion hit a grand slam off Indians pitcher and fellow MLB Bro Tristen McKenzie.