Taijuan Walker has silenced many of his haters this season by taking the city that never sleeps by storm. He has the seventh-lowest ERA in the Major Leagues and struck out a career-high 12 batters during his start this week against the Chicago Cubs.
Through the first three months of the season, Taijuan Walker has been the steal of the off season. The Mets were the only team to offer him a contract, which is for 2 years and $20 million with a player option for the third.
“Everything’s worked out well for everyone,” Walker told reporters. “I’m glad the Mets were my only offer.
Taijuan Walker's 2.12 ERA is the second-lowest in history by a Met in his first 12 starts with the franchise.
The lowest: Al Leiter, who produced a 1.70 ERA over his first 12 starts in 1998.
In Tuesday’s start against the Cubs, Walker struck out a career-high 12 batters and lowered his ERA to 2.12 which is good for seventh in the league. It was his third start this season without allowing a walk and he has caught fire since returning from the Injured List.
In the four starts since his return, Walker has thrown 24 innings and struck out 31 hitters.
His Black Knight rotation mate Marcus Stroman has been the Andre 3000 to Walker’s Big Boi. In his last two starts, Stroman has thrown 13 innings with 15 strikeouts and only one earned run.
Taijuan will get the Fathers Day start for the Mets as they travel to the nation’s capital to take on Josh Harrison, Josh Bell and the rest of the Nationals.
2. Mookie Betts
We have high expectations for Mookie, being that he is the best player in all of baseball. He got off to a slow start this season for his standards, but during the past week, Betts showed flashes of his MVP-caliber skills.
He’s hit .318 with three home runs, four RBI, eight runs, five walks and a .727 Slugging Percentage in his last seven games.
Bett’s has four multi-hit games this month and on Tuesday night against the Phillies, it was the 7th inning of a 3-3 game when Mookie stepped to the plate and blasted a solo home run.
It was the first time he hit a homer with Dodger stadium completely full.
Mookie travels to Arizona this weekend to take on the Diamondbacks who will be rocking their city connect uniforms on Friday night.
3. Marcus “Rock Any Park U” Semien
Marcus Semien has kept his hot bat from the month of May going in June. The reigning American League Player of the Month is batting .263 with three home runs this month, including a leadoff bomb Wednesday night against the Yankees’ Garrett Cole.
Through his last seven games, Semien is hitting .286 with three home runs, six RBI, seven runs and a stolen base. He is on track to start at second base for the American League All-Star team and is in the middle of what is a career year leading up to his free agency this offseason.
Bobby Bradley has been rocking out since joining Cleveland on June 5th as they have been riddled with injuries and he has given them exactly what they have been missing: power at the first base position. Thursday Bradley hit his fourth home run in just 10 games this season. He is now batting .375 with four home runs and 11 RBI.
Bradley has also helped the Indians stay afloat in a wide-open American League. Since his call up they have a record of 8-2 and sit in second place in the American League Central, four games behind Tim Anderson’s White Sox while being only a game back of Michael Brantley and the Houston Astros for the final Wild Card spot.
After finishing a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Bradley will travel to Pittsburg to take on Ke’Bryan Hayes and the Pirates.
Justin Upton was named Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlight after batting .360 with 10 runs scored and two home runs last week. He recently moved to the leadoff spot in the Angels lineup and raised his batting average from .120 to .232.
Jason Schwartz of Heavy J Studios is revolutionizing the world of baseball card collecting through clip art. Kids are learning about the legacy of Josh Gibson and the history of baseball while making their trading cards and embarking on a new hobby in creating their own collection and competing in a virtual tournament in cyberspace.
Mark Gray has the story which chronicles how this new hobby may land Gibson’s name on an MLB MVP Award.
The Baltimore Orioles may finish with the worst record in baseball this season. Still, the organization has a player on their roster worthy enough to send to Denver next month for the Midsummer Classic.
His name is Cedric Mullins AKA CM Storm.
Through the first week and a half of the season, the Orioles outfielder had a batting average of .459, an on-base percentage of .512, and a slugging percentage of .676.
Although still impressive, Mullins’ numbers took a hit at the plate in May as he slashed .255/.366/.396. When you’ve placed such a high bar on yourself, like most players, eventually, your numbers will begin to drop.
Some blame the dip in production on the switch hitter’s batting from the right side of the plate.
Numbers indicate he would have a better chance at longevity if he eliminated one side of the dish by batting southpaw, and the stats have shown that batting lefty is ultimately his best side.
With the change, through the first 29 games of the season, April statistics indicated that Mullins led Major League Baseball in home runs and hits.
As the calendar transitioned from spring to summer, his bat and mental focus became impenetrable as pitchers could not cool him off.
Through the first two weeks of June, Mullins has 12 hits out of 20 tries, totaling seven runs, four RBI, four walks, three homers, and zero strikeouts.
As of June 7, Mullins led the American League in hits after his previous two-game performance, where he went eight for nine with five runs, four RBI, and three home runs.
The man’s bat is hotter than fish grease.
Mullins continues to prove that his skill set is not one-dimensional, as his glovework has been astonishing in center field. Per Statcast, his Outs Above Average are top 10.
Fangraphs.com has him ranked as the best center fielder regarding wins above replacement. Fellow MLB bro Byron Buxton is second on the list, followed by Mike Trout, putting Mullins in good company.
Let us not forget about his work on the bags as he currently has 10 stolen bases on 14 tries, tied for tenth in the big leagues.
Teammate John Means told “The Leadoff Spot” on MLB Network Radio that Mullins is one of the most entertaining players to watch when he is on as he does everything so well.
Means said, “He will bunt, hit for power, plays defense, he is a gold glove caliber center fielder, it is incredible.” He continued, “I saw this coming up in the Minor Leagues as he was one of the best Double-A players I have ever seen as he does everything so well. I am glad he is starting to show.”
Through 63 games, Mullins has accumulated 34 runs with 19 RBI to currently average .321/.387/.527. He has hit safely in eight of nine games in June, collecting 17 out of 36 hits.
The man’s hustle and love for the game have been on full display as he is looking like a guy who could hear his name called for a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and probably votes for the leagues’ Most Valuable Player at seasons end.
Mullins is living proof that one must learn to shine in defeat before basking in glory, as losing builds character. Overcoming challenging circumstances will someday make you a champion, and we here at MLBbro.com champion CM smooth as a 2021 MLB All-Star.
Black in the day, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) provided a pipeline of talent that brought the flavor to the game of Major League Baseball on the field — and when given the opportunity — in the front office.
While the game struggles to survive on these campuses as many schools pulled the plug on their baseball programs, MLB continues looking to diversify its talent pool off the diamond by tapping into the Black excellence prevalent in these universities.
The Groove Phi Groove social fraternity’s chapter at Bowie State University is hosting a virtual information session on Wednesday, April 28, that will expand the knowledge of professional opportunities in baseball for HBCU students.
The hour-long zoom session is featuring reps from The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Talent Acquisition teams at MLB, who are looking to educate a generation of prospective employees who could bring diversity to the front offices of MLB teams while developing a pool of future candidates for front-office positions through its Diversity Pipeline Program.
MLB’s team of front office pros will guide HBCU students, student-athletes, school administrators, and recent alumni looking to explore career opportunities.
This career information session also features an introduction to career opportunities available through the 2021 Summer Internship Program.
This open discussion will present MLB professionals sharing information about the industry, and tips necessary to develop and thrive in it. The session also features an overview of baseball career opportunities available for business and baseball operations candidates learning about MLB career perspectives from employees of color.
MLB professionals will also share their experiences and information about the industry, and provide tips to develop and succeed in the industry. MLB teams are hoping to connect with students, student-athletes, school administrators, and recent alumni wishing to embark on baseball and business operations careers.