Mad Money Mike

Mad Money Mike

Michael Harris II bounced back nicely from a recent ten game slump, going 3-3, including an RBI single to center field that drove in Austin Riley, to extend the Braves lead in the 4th inning. He also ran down and snagged a screaming drive to deep center field in the bottom of the seventh inning, preventing a sure extra base hit off the bat of J.D. Martinez to help temporarily hold on to a no-hit bid. The Braves would go on to lose the no-hitter in the ninth inning, but ultimately won the game 4-1.

The Braves center fielder was overdue for a breakthrough game at the plate. Coming into Saturday’s game against The Mets, Harris II was batting a paltry 0.28, with just one hit in his last 36 at-bats. Unsurprisingly, the Braves played mediocre baseball, going (5-5) during this time frame.

Like most quality hitters enduring a prolonged hitting slide, the numbers suggested Mike was pressing a bit, as his chase rate had noticeably increased this season to 44.9%, a career high. Or was it simply just bad luck? Harris has walked just two times during his hitting funk, and has been putting the ball in play, making a lot of solid contact in his plate appearances. His hard hit rate is just slightly down from last season, 48.5% to 46.4%.

 

Michael Harris II Is The Five-Tool Diamond-Igniter For Lethal Atlanta Braves Squad

Last season, Money Mike, slotted mainly between the middle and lower half of the order, saved his best for the nine hole, where he became the most feared nine hitter in baseball. He hit .293 with 18 bro bombs, and 57 RBIs in 2023.

The ‘24 season started off promising for Harris II, as he was leading the team or near the team lead for hits, triples, home runs, total bases, batting average, slugging percentage and WAR during the first 21 games of the season, in which ATL held a 17-7 record. We at MLBbro believe Money Mike to be the backbone of this Atlanta Braves offense.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the hottest team in baseball right now, leading the league in wins with 28 while sweeping teams left and right courtesy of their solid pitching and impressive, offensive production. When you take a look inside the numbers, it’s not hard to figure out why; they rank top three in almost every major hitting and pitching statistical category.

Yet, in spite of all of that, the Atlanta Braves are sitting just 2.5 games out of first place, continuing to stay dangerous in the NL East, a division they’ve maintained a chokehold on over the past six seasons. If the Braves plan to keep pace with the red hot Phillies, and eventually supplant them atop the division, they’re going to need more performances from Michael Harris II, like the one they got yesterday against the Mets.

Pace Setters: MLBbros Help To Drive Early League Power Rankings

Pace Setters: MLBbros Help To Drive Early League Power Rankings

On Monday as the first full month of the 2024 season nears closing, MLB.com released another rendition of its weekly power rankings. Naturally, the rankings are opinionated and will change throughout the year based on the source, but it’s always fun to take a deep dive into these things. 

5. New York Yankees

 

Over their last seven games, Yankees captain Aaron Judge has finally given the Bronx faithful a glimpse of what they hope will be a fruitful partnership with outfielder Juan Soto. J

 

 

Judge has begun to heat up at the plate, slashing .294/.424/.667 with three home runs, seven RBI and five walks for New York.

 

 

Marcus Stroman has continued to be strong for the Yankees, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.69 ERA and an impressive 58.4 percent ground ball rate. 

 

4. Cleveland Guardians

 

 

Josh Naylor and the Guardians have been one of the best teams in the American League thus far, and young Josh Naylor has been a major contributor to their success on offense. A mainstay at the heart of their lineup, the lefty has provided power for the Guardians’ cleanup spot while also sporting an impressive K percentage of 11.4 percent. 

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

 

The Dodgers have never been a stranger to headlines, and despite causing a different type of hysteria the on-court product has been as advertised. The Dodgers have built the largest early lead of any division leader, and Mookie Betts has been so good at the plate it sometimes slips your mind that he is playing a new position full-time.

 

 

Betts currently has an OPS+ of 162 and looks like an early front-runner for National League MVP. 

 

2. Baltimore Orioles

 

Baltimore came into this season with tremendous expectations, and while they’re still waiting for their star prospect to shine, Cedric Mullins and the big-league club have continued to show why they are one of the most exciting young teams in all of baseball.

 

 

Mullins is still looking to find his groove at the plate, but has already turned in an early contender for Catch of the Year. Perhaps this is the year Mullins can finally snag his first Gold Glove Award.

 

1. Atlanta Braves

 

Atlanta has come back from a disappointing divisional round loss last season to once again position themselves as frontrunners for the National League Pennant. The Braves’ offseason additions to the pitching staff have come in handy with the loss of their ace Spenser Strider for the season, but once again it’s their offense that is making the most noise.

 

 

Michael Harris II and the Braves offense once again lead all of MLB in run differential, and Harris himself is slashing .315/.351/.823 headed into Monday night, a complete 180 from the slow start he had last season. 

Michael Harris II Is The Five-Tool Diamond-Igniter For Lethal Atlanta Braves Squad

Michael Harris II Is The Five-Tool Diamond-Igniter For Lethal Atlanta Braves Squad

The Atlanta Braves are the hottest team in Major League Baseball right now.

 

Winning nine out of their last 10 games, the team has looked sharp early and emerged as a top threat in the entire league.

While Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Olson have gotten off to slower starts than expected, MLBbro Michael Harris II has continued to improve his play.

In just his third season Harris is emerging as the catalyst and most important player in the Braves’ lineup. Starting in every game this season, he has helped lead the team to a 17-7 record.

 

Game Recognize Game: The Future Is Bright For Black Baseball

 

MLBbro Michael Harris II is at the top of the team in numerous hitting categories. Harris II is in the top three for hits, triples, home runs, total bases, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage and WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

He has become the backbone of this offense, and is integral to the success of this potent scoring machine. He hits well against both righties and lefties, and is also a demon on the bases with five stolen bases.

MLBbro ‘Money’ Michael Harris II Uses His Catch 23 Foundation To Attack Social Issues & Improve His Community

In the past week, the Braves have played six games. During this stretch “Money Mike” has batted .480, tallying 12 hits to only five strikeouts.

The Braves do have a stacked lineup, which allows the MLBbro to hit in different parts of the lineup, but with his continuous development, Atlanta should take a look in placing him in the heart of the lineup.

Harris has spent most of the season batting 5th or lower in the lineup, but placing him second behind Acuna could help the team go to the next level. But the Braves are in a good place to be right now, being one of the hottest teams, with one of the hottest hitters.

If he continues at this rate, the eight year, $ 72 million contract he signed in 2022 will become one of the best bargains in all of sports.

Relatated: Debatable | Was Michael Harris II Contract Reflective Of His True Value ? | mlbbro.com

Game Recognize Game: The Future Is Bright For Black Baseball

Game Recognize Game: The Future Is Bright For Black Baseball

 

Opening Day should be a time for all fans to celebrate, but with the disappointing percentage of MLBbros in the game (less than 7 percent) it has also become a somber moment for Black fans clamoring for a resurgence of Black players to climb toward numbers we’ve seen in the past. 

Per last season’s official numbers released by MLB, American-born Black players made up 6.2 percent of all players, the lowest we have seen since 1955. While there has been an explosion of Afro-Latino and Caribbean-born players throughout the league, the amount of American Black players continues to dwindle.

 

Numbers Low, But Black Baseball Spirit Is High

 

Despite the overall decline, the idea that baseball is dead in Black communities across America couldn’t be further from the truth. As we continue to place a spotlight on Black ball players past and present, it’s imperative that we remind fans that the future of Black baseball is beaming with elite talent.

That brings us to Mookie and those Dodgers. Loaded with what on paper is easily the most star-studded roster in baseball, LA can credit Betts for having made the biggest impact on the field so far for the club, and he is in position to once again make history. From a new position.

Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts shocked some when he announced that not only would Mookie be moving to the infield this season, but he would also be the Dodgers’ everyday shortstop. Now officially at the position he has always wanted to play, Mookie is poised to continue his climb up the all-time list. 

Atlanta is another powerhouse that has an MLBbro poised to take the leap into superstardom. Outfielder Michael Harris II has been a staple in center for Atlanta, and the Decatur, Georgia native has not disappointed. Harris shook off a slow start last year to once again posted solid numbers for Atlanta while playing a Gold Glove caliber centerfield. 

If Harris makes the leap many expect, the collision course Atlanta and Los Angeles are seemingly destined for would become a foregone conclusion.   

Josiah Gray and CJ Abrams have started the revival in Chocolate City, and this season more bros are headed to help the Nationals climb back into the battle for NL East.  Trey Lipscomb is another young bro you should know. Lipscomb announced his presence in the Nats lineup with an opposite-field bomb over the weekend and is looking to stick around long-term.

 

 

Down in Miami, center fielder Jazz Chisohm Jr. and Josh Bell have another MLBbro joining their ranks, with former batting champ Tim Anderson relocating to Little Havana in search of a career reboot. If a change of scenery was really all Anderson needed, look for Miami to compete with Philly for a wild card spot.

 

Ke’Bryan Hayes has been one of the crown jewels in Pittsburgh’s roster overhaul, and soon he will have a young phenom next to him in the infield. Termarr Johnson should be up before the season is out. Scouts have raved about him and he’s looked every bit of the professional hitter he was dubbed when selected.

 

St. Louis may not be the juggernaut they once were, but their roster is equipped with young MLBbros Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn and Victor Scott II who are looking to restore the feeling in The Lou. With All-star vets like Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt still on the roster, this turn-around could happen sooner rather than later. 

 

 

The list of Black players already making a dynamic impact on the game, combined with the number of players in the minors ready to make that leap should be a cause for optimism. Whether 30 percent or six percent, Black baseball players continue to impact the game on every level. 

As we begin the 2024 season, I only have one request–The next time you hear someone say baseball is dead in our community, offer to take them to a game and show them exactly what they’ve been missing.

 

“Bro-dictions” For 2024 MLB Season (Part 1) | Look Into The Future

“Bro-dictions” For 2024 MLB Season (Part 1) | Look Into The Future

Diving into ‘24: MLB’s elite bros gear up for a season of record-breaking performances and headline-making plays. 

As the 2024 Major League Baseball season approaches, fans and analysts alike are buzzing with predictions for some of the league’s brightest stars. Of course, most everyone is locking in on bros such as Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Michael Harris II, Cedric Mullins, and Aaron Hicks and how they may fare this season.

Let’s dive into our “bro-dictions” for the 2024-2025 season, based on past performances, current form, and potential trajectory. 

Mookie Betts has consistently proven himself to be one of the elite players in MLB. In 2024, expect Betts to maintain his high batting average, hovering around .300. His blend of force and speed should see him rack up 25-30 home runs with approximately 20 stolen bases, making him a formidable all-around offensive threat. The Dodgers will need Betts to be the catalyst for this high-powered offense. 

 

 

Aaron Judge, known for his towering home runs, is likely to continue his power-hitting streaks in 2024. While his batting average might not be sky-high, expect him to blast over 40 home runs. He should finish the season batting around the .290 mark. His ability to draw walks will keep his on-base percentage at the top of the AL charts, making him a constant threat in the Yankees’ lineup. 

 

 

Giancarlo Stanton, coming off a mixed bag of recent seasons, Staton could see a resurgence in 2024. If this Yankee DH can stay healthy, he has the potential to hit 30-plus home runs. His strikeout rate remains a concern, but his home run capability should not be underestimated. 

 

 

Michael Harris II, one of the exciting fresh talents in the league, is poised for a breakout season in 2024. Expect a batting average above .290 with 20-25 home runs. His speed could position him to steal 20-plus bases, making him a valuable asset for the Braves both on the field and at the plate. 

 

 

Cedric Mullins will be a consistent bro for the Orioles. A potential 20-20 season (20 home runs and 20 stolen bases) is within reach. His ability to hit for average and power, combined with his speed, makes him a dynamic player in the birds’ lineup.

 

 

Aaron Hicks, while perhaps not the most acclimated name on this list, has the potential to be a steady contributor to the Angels. Recently signed with the Halos for a one-year deal, the 34-year-old is expected to DH and backup centerfield. Hicks’ batting average should land in the .250 range with 15-20 home runs. His real value lies in his on-base skills and solid outfield defense. 

 

 

The 2024 MLB season is shaping up to be a “bro-dacious” ride, with these players set to play crucial roles for their squads. 

While the unpredictable nature of sports, including injuries and other unforeseen events, can sway performance, the undeniable talent and proven history of these players indicate they’ll remain significant contributors in the MLB. MLBbro fans have every reason to be pumped about watching how these forecasts play out as the season rolls on.