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.
We are through the first month of the 2021 MLB season and have seen the Bro’s impact the game with their bats, glove work, and on the mound. Players have juggled being in the #HIGHFIVE top spot week after week. In Week 4, the original owner of the highest position reclaims his throne after having one of the best performances we have seen this season.
1. Byron Buxton
Byron Buxton has been the MVP of all of baseball when he’s in the lineup. The only thing that can stop this five-tool player is injury –which is the reason why he was left off the list last week.
Since coming back, it’s like he never left, as he capped off his week with a 5-for-5 showing at the plate in Wednesday’s game against the Indians, becoming the first Twins leadoff hitter to accomplish the feat since MLBbro Denard Span did it in 2009.
Buxton had two doubles, two singles and led off the game with a second pitch home run. In his last 3 games, Buxton is 7 for 13 with 4 runs, 3 RBI’s, and a stolen base.
His power game is also doing damage as he is currently tied for the MLB lead in home runs. It is important for him to stay healthy as the Twins are already one of the worst teams in baseball even when he’s doing his human highlight thing on the field.
2. Cedric Mullins
Cedric Mullins has completely changed the trajectory of his career this season as his bat has finally caught up with his defense. He leads the Majors in hits and his .340 Batting Average is good for 9th in the league and is tops for all MLB Bros.
On Monday, Mullins had a career game at the plate against one of the most historic franchises, their rival New York Yankees. Mullins went 3-for-4 with two home runs.
Mullins had a hit in six straight games this week including two three-hit games. It was noted on MLB Network that Harold Reynolds had a talk with Mullins after his first game of the season.
Whatever they discussed has played a part in Mullins quickly becoming one of the best centerfielders in MLB.
3. Jack Flaherty
Jack Flaherty has been known as a stud in St. Louis for the past few years, and it seems like he’s finally beginning to show the rest of the world.
The 25-year-old has been on fire to begin the season.
He currently leads MLB with a 4-0 record and his last start was his best performance of the year. The early NL Cy Young candidate threw 7 innings striking out 6 and allowing 1 run against a Cincinnati Reds team that’s ranked 5th in MLB Team Batting.
Flaherty currently has a strikeout to walk ratio of 27:8. His next start will be Saturday against the Pirates as looks to stay undefeated.
4. Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson takes the 4th spot in this week’s High Five. In his last seven games, Anderson has 12 hits two homers and a .414 batting average. He missed a few games with a hamstring injury but has hit in 8 of 9 games since his return.
The RBI Baseball cover boy will surely be in the running for a batting title this season as he and his White Sox look to bring some hardware to the South Side of Chicago.
5. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts rounds out our High Five list, but he may have had more fun than any of our other Bro’s as he played a role in a trailer for the new season of Call of Duty Warzone.
On the field, Betts continues to impact the game in a variety of ways. He’s always in the middle of Dodger rallies and has scored 14 runs this year.
He was hit by a pitch in the 9th inning of a game against Seattle which led to him developing a bruise on his forearm, which seemed to hamper his swing a bit before he broke out for his first multi-RBI game of the season on Wednesday.
We are watching something special every time he takes the field. He ranks 5th behind Babe Ruth, Mike Trout, Rogers Hornsby and Barry Bonds for the highest WAR rating per 162 games in Major League history.
MLBbro.com is three weeks into our coverage of the season and a few MLB Bros are putting in serious work and proving why they are among the elite players in the sport.
Injuries held some of our more notable Black Knights back to begin the year, but their presence was felt instantly upon returning to the diamond. Flash, clutch plays, intelligent baserunning, and big-time pitching performances were all on deck.
However, the man who claims the top spot for Week 3 is mesmerizing batters through the power of the durag he dawns under his cap and the all that grease he delivers from his chops.
Marcus Stroman is the definition of Black baseball on the mound. Buck O’Neil is looking down on Stroman proudly and watching him embrace the spirit of the Negro Leagues by taking the MLB by storm, fighting for social justice and leading the charge for his hometown.
The Long Island native has been in our Top 3 each of the first three weeks of the season and is clearly an early candidate for the National League Cy Young award. He is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings pitched and he’s doing it all with not one, but two durags covering his dreads.
His spice on the mound is unmatched. Sometimes it even pisses people off.
Taunting? I flashed the gold on my glove to MY dugout. Clearly. Not even slightly towards the Rockies dugout. I have nothing but respect for everyone in the league. Stop reaching for clicks while trying to cause controversy. Poo-poo take sir! 💩 https://t.co/DrQqhD9xJn
But Stroman has never been one to apologize for wearing his heart and emotions on his sleeve. That same passion that ticks off certain kinds of baseball fans also fueled his improbable rise from undersized shortstop out of Long Island, NY to elite MLB pitcher.
The Gold Glover’s most impressive moment this week came when he fielded a comebacker behind his back and threw out the runner in Colorado. He flashed his elite glove to his teammates, letting them know he makes plays like that for a reason.
2. Tim Anderson
The RBI Baseball 2021 cover boy claims the No. 2 spot in this week’s #HighFive. The former batting champion made a thunderous return to the lineup after missing time with a hamstring injury.
Since reassuming his shortstop position, Anderson is batting .500 (10-for-20) which includes a first-pitch home run on Sunday that left the park before Red Sox fans could show ushers their tickets.
That was Anderson’s 9th career leadoff home run, which tied his teammate Adam Eaton and Hall-of-Famer Tim Raines for the second-most leadoff bombs in White Sox history.
3. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts is unquestionably the best Black player in the game and arguably the best all-around player. He finally finds his way into the #HighFive after missing some early action. Betts has won four straight Gold Gloves in right field and he reminded the San Diego Padres that he’s Picasso with the web last Saturday night with a game-saving, diving catch with two runners on.
Mookie’s highlight reel is one of the best you will see, and he always seems to come through in the biggest moments. The two-time World Series champ is a catalyst for the Dodger lineup and seems to be involved with every rally and run-scoring moment. His average sits at .292 with a .914 OPS. and he was ready to put it into gear before suffering another setback. We are hoping he returns to the lineup quickly after being hit in the forearm by a 95 mph heater.
4. Jazz Chisholm
Jazz is already a prominent face of Black baseball and that’s just as much a product of his multi-colored hair, Willie Mays -style baserunning and lightning-quick bat. His captivating smile, speed, chains and euro-stepping across home plate following a home run, gives life to the city of Miami and a young team that is constantly fighting for respect.
After getting to experience the playoffs last year this Miami team is hungry for more, and Jazz will need to be the guy to continue to mature to keep the fish afloat.
5. Jack Flaherty
After a tough first start of the season, Flaherty has looked like the pitcher we all thought would be one of the best aces in the game. In his last three starts, Flaherty has gone 17 innings giving up just 3 Earned Runs and striking out 17. He has a 21:8 strikeout to walk ratio and during his last start became the fastest Cardinals pitcher in franchise history to reach 500 punchouts.
The great John Smoltz gave him major props.
Expect Flaherty to remain on this list for a while.