#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.

Soul Patrol: Kyle Lewis & Taylor Trammell Give Mariners Dynamic Offensive Potential

Soul Patrol: Kyle Lewis & Taylor Trammell Give Mariners Dynamic Offensive Potential

The return of Taylor Trammell and Kyle Lewis has injected some much-needed soul power into the Seattle Mariners as they look to get back into the AL West division race after a slow start to 2022.

 

Take That | Former Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis Returns

Last week the Mariners locker room and offense got a much-needed boost after learning outfielder Taylor Trammell was called up from Triple A to make his season debut after suffering a hamstring injury that had him sidelined since early April.

Trammell is one of the top rated prospects in the Mariners organization.  He was originally selected as the 35th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds out of Mount Paran Christian School in Georgia, where he was considered one of the best two-sport athletes in the state.

Then in 2019 he was sent to the Padres in a three-team trade that involved Trevor Bauer before ultimately landing in Seattle following a 2020 deal for Austin Nola.

Trammell joined a Mariners team that in 2021 had more Black players on their roster than any other Major League organization.

J.P. Crawford, Kyle Lewis, Taylor Trammell, Kenyan Middleton, Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn were all a part of the core that saw 90 wins last season, which were the most in franchise history since the 93 games they won in 2003, which happens to be the last time they made the playoffs.

 

 

Trammell got his first start of the season this past Friday night, helping the team beat down Cy Young candidate and future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander.

In the fourth inning and in true MLBbro fashion, he became the first Mariner to bunt for a base hit this season. Then in the sixth, he smoked the ninth home run of his career to officially put the candle out on Verlander’s night.

That homer by Trammell was one of four hit by a Mariners player under the age of 27 in the same game, which had only happened four times in the franchise’s history.

 

 

One of those four home runs was hit by 2020 MLB Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis.  It was the first for Lewis since March 28 of last season and looks like it could be the beginning of his ascendence back into the conversation of best young talents in baseball.

Entering Sunday Lewis had homered in two straight games and driven in three runs against Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros.  

It was the fourth straight game Lewis saw his name in the lineup as the Mariners Designated Hitter, a role it appears he will have for the foreseeable future coming off his ACL injury.

His name was originally in Seattle’s Sunday lineup, but ultimately the team would decide to let him rest for the day, which is not surprising with it being a day game after a night game.

Coming into the season the Mariners were a popular pick to not only make the playoffs but also make a run at bringing a World Series Championship to the Emerald City.  However, entering Sunday they sit seven games under .500 and have not gotten much of anything on the offensive side of the ball from anyone not named J.P. Crawford or Julio Rodriguez, who has filled in nicely in center field for Lewis.

The energy Trammell brings to the locker room will need to be matched by his production at the plate. In 51 games last season he batted .160, had an on base percentage of just .256 to go along with eight home runs, 18 runs batted in and two steals.

This week the Mariners will match up against Cedric Mullins and the Baltimore Orioles before heading down to Texas to face off against Marcus Semien’s Rangers.

 

The Return Of Kyle Lewis Has The Mariners Thinking Audaciously

The Return Of Kyle Lewis Has The Mariners Thinking Audaciously


 

The Mariners have kept the ship afloat without him, but with Kyle Lewis back from a deep knee bruise that kept him off the field for the first 17 games of the season, they look to take the American League West crown and run with it.

 

 

The city of Seattle is one of the best baseball towns in America.  Its fans are no different than the 12’s who spend falls at Seahawks games or the ones who inhabited the SuperSonics arena years ago.  

They are being treated to an excellent brand of baseball on the field. Great pitching, great hitting and all across the diamond, spectacular plays are made on a daily basis.  And it’s being done by some of the best young talent in baseball. 

On Tuesday, the best apple out of that bunch made his 2021 debut. Lewis saw his name in the lineup for the first time in 2021, as he went 0-3 with a walk, in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers.

The 25-year-old Black Knight hopes to pick up where he left off in 2020 when he became the second rookie in Major League history to lead a team in batting, home runs, run scored, and walks, joining Mark McGwire who did it in 1987 with the Oakland Athletics.  He also was tied for the rookie lead in home runs while leading in walks and runs during the 60-game season. 

 

 

Lewis is no stranger to hardware as he’s filled his trophy case in the last half-decade, en route to becoming a premier center fielder in the game. He won Baseball America’s 2016 College Player of the Year as well as the 2016 Golden Spikes Award to go along with the Southern Conference Player of the Year before being drafted by Seattle in 2016.

He hit the ground running once he arrived in the league.  In his debut on September 10th of 2019, Lewis cranked a home run off 2020 Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer.  He also homered in the next two games,  joining Trevor Story as the only players to hit home runs in the first three games of their career.

 

 

While Lewis was on the Injured list,  the Mariners called up outfielder Taylor Trammell a bit earlier than expected. The rookie is adjusting to MLB pitching and will get to roam the grass at T Mobile Park, alongside Lewis for years to come.  

On Monday night he had his first career game-winning, extra-base hit in a 4-3 victory over the World Series champion Dodgers.

The Mariners’ 11 wins have them currently tied with the Red Sox for first place in the American League.  They are one of the early surprises as they sit in first place in the AL West without the services of their best player. 

As Lewis gets reacclimated to the game, a strong sophomore season can provide the final push the Mariners need to go from pretenders to contenders.