Enjoy all the action going around in the Central this week! Especially since the Cubs are back to being the best in their division and now the second half is really heating up with teams losing leads from the first half.
Also, the Royals are looking good and are definitely ready for a postseason run, but can they get to first and stay there? It sounds likely right now.
Hello and welcome to the latest news on some of the best rookies this week in the Major League!
I am trying something new this week by not featuring Cody Bellinger or Aaron Judge because there are other great rookies out there as well. However, since both keep on doing things that are exciting for baseball fans, I can do an update just for them and keep their fans involved as well.
Now, enough with those two and let's get on with learning some new names for some and seeing potential Rookie of the Month candidates.
Freeland now is tied for first among all Major League rookies with 10 wins and the player he is tied with just happens to be teammate Antonio Senzatela. Both him and Senzatela are the first rookie teammates since 1997 to have 10+ wins before August. Freeland has the advantage in how his ERA is at a solid 3.64, second among NL rookies.
He earned his tenth win this past Sunday vs. Pittsburgh and is doing great for July. In that start, him and his defence were able to hold the Pirates to two runs on six hits in his six innings pitched.
His ERA for the month is at 2.78 compared to June's 4.25. Keep in mind that he pitched two more games in June but he's really cleaned up his act in July and gets lower in ERA each time he starts.
Next Start: TOMORROW, at Washington Nationals (7:05 pm ET/5:05 pm MT). Let's see what that 4.12 road ERA is made of! (That's not a threat because I want him to do well!)
The second baseman was on fire this week, going 9-for-21 and hitting .428 in the 5 game span. I don't want to jinx him because that's the last that I want to do but he has gotten a seven-game hitting streak going on since July 21.
His offense has quietly exploded in July after hitting 8 home runs this month and batting .318 for the month. Three of those eight home runs were hit in the 5 game span as well. Maybe he should be the NL rookie of the month?
Season Stats include: .296 AVG, 14 HR, 31 RBIs, 186 AB.
Fun Fact about this rookie since this is his first time being featured: He was a biochemistry major at Illinois State University, so he's incredibly smart.
The centerfielder for the Padres has a good week so far, after hitting .523 and going 11-for-21 with two home runs. His big game yesterday saw him go 3-for-4 with a leadoff home run, a double, and three RBIs.
Margot is at 6 home runs, 19 RBIs, and is hitting .272.
If it weren't for his calf injury in late May that saw him miss most of June, Margot could've been one of the major candidates for Rookie of the Year.
Fun Fact about this rookie since this is his first time being featured: He said that becoming a dad recently gives you more 'pop', which cannot be denied with his numbers right now.
Montgomery leads all AL pitchers with 99 strike outs for the season so far; he also ranks first in wins with 7.
He earned his seventh win on Tuesday vs. Cincinnati, where he only allowed one run on two hits and pitches 6.2 innings and had a no-hitter going for five innings. He reached his highest amount of strike outs for the month that day at 6.
Montgomery's great performances could make him the runner-up in the AL rookie of the year race.
Next Start: Sunday, in New York vs. Tampa Bay (1:05 pm ET). Let's see which rookie will win, him or Jacob Faria!
Fun Fact about this rookie since this is his first time being featured: His nickname is 'Gumby', since he resembled the character in college being 6'6" and all.
In his past four games, Gamel is hitting .375 with one triple and two doubles.
He leads all AL rookies with his .324 AVG and is tied for the lead with 3 triples. Gamel now is on his second-longest hitting streak of the season at 13 games and hoping to beat his mark of 15 games.
Even though he plays right field, we could see him play first base if Danny Valencia, the current first baseman, needs a day off. He has practiced since early June and is willing to play since the Mariners would like to use him as much as they can.
Faria earned his fifth win on Tuesday vs. Baltimore and is now 5-1. He allowed 3 runs on 7 hits in 7.1 innings with 5 strike outs.
He still holds the lowest ERA at 2.67 out of all AL rookies even after his performances in July. Part of why he is so good is due to his great composure that allows him to bounce back after losses and even in games when he gives up a home run.
Next Start: Sunday, at New York (1:05 pm ET). Again, he's going against Jordan Montgomery so we will see which rookie wins this one!
Fun Fact about this rookie since this is his first time being featured: Not only is Sunday his day to start, but it's also his 24th birthday! I think we know what he wants on that day.
See you soon, maybe?
On this day in 2014, White Sox designated hitter Frank Thomas, left-hander Tom Glavine, right-hander Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, and Tony La Russa are inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Thomas becomes the first player to be enshrined having spent more than half of his time as a designated hitter while Torre is only the Hall of Famer to collect more than 2,000 hits as a player and win more than 2,000 games as a manager.
We're starting to hit trade season and now your favorite teams at the top get new faces and your teams in the bottom say goodbye to old favorites. This time of year is exciting in how you realize how serious a deep postseason run could be for your team in what they decide to do, buy or sell. Also, this time of year is sad in how some of your beloved players from years of supporting your team head on elsewhere.
Today's edition showcases the wonderful East and all its good teams. The Braves are still just below .500 but they still have a chance at being better. While the AL is one tough race with Boston and New York fighting for first and Tampa Bay not backing down. This will be one great wild card playoff game.
P.S. It's never too early to talk about hockey, so I hope you enjoy the special guest of some awesome hockey players here!!
It's been a week since MLB action resumed, so let's get to catching up! Let's start off with the favorite to win the AL Rookie of the Year and maybe MVP:
How can this guy become more interesting after all that he's done this season? Last week he won the Home Run Derby and lived up to the hype and now this week he's back at it again. Remember how Judge holds the longest distance for a home run at 495 ft? Yeah, well, he might have broken that but we have no idea because his latest bomb nearly left Seattle and it broke Statcast, the people who track home runs.
I am not kidding about this either because I wanted to know how far it was so I checked hittrackeronline and then Statcast on the MLB app and no sign of his latest home run. I knew it had to be a mistake and then the latest news shared that Judge broke the trackers so I thought it was lost in time but it was updated to 437 ft. I'm not an expert but that looked way further than 437. I mean, it went to one of the top rows in the upper level. Who does that? So, I hope that it gets updated soon because that looked like his longest this year...
Judge also leads the American League with 11 at bats per home run; he also leads in Home Runs (31), On-Base Percentage (.435), Slugging Percentage (.651), On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage (1.085), and Walks (68).
And all this success has not changed him as a person. On Thursday he was seen playing catch in the outfield, during the middle of the inning, with a young Mariners fan. How often do players acknowledge the opposing fans? Just give him the Rookie of the Year already!
Gamel ranks first in average among AL rookies at .319, but keep in mind that Judge has had 44 more at-bats than him. He also ranks third in hits and runs with 92 and 45.
Gamel is doing well against the team that drafted him this ongoing series and hitting .333 with 3 hits, including two doubles, in 9 at-bats.
Before the Yankees came in, Gamel hit his fifth home run of the season against the dominant Houston Astros, which ended an almost month long drought for him.
Benintendi ranks second in runs and runs batted in with 46 and 53.
One of the strangest things that happened to Benintendi after the All-Star break was how he managed to beat the rival Yankees. In his pinch-hit in the ninth, he managed to draw a walk which brought in Dustin Pedroia and won the game.
Benintendi needs to continue hitting to make his July a better month than it was for him and raise his average from .269. He probably will be able to figure it out soon and help his team remain in first place over the Yankees.
The rookie starter for the Rockies has something different and interesting about him and it's not just that he's a left-hander. He was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, so the altitude that normally harms the careers of numerous pitchers is what Freeland grew up with and has acclimated to.
Freeland ranks second in ERA and wins with 3.67 and 9 and has logged the most innings at 110.1 out of all NL rookie pitchers.
In Freeland's last time on the mound, he pitched three innings in relief and was hitless with 4 strikeouts.
His next start will be tomorrow vs. Pittsburgh.
Freeland's biggest moment so far was his one-hitter with a career-high 9 strikeouts in 8.1 innings right before the All-Star break. After that big game, Freeland will be hoping to do well in his first start since.
Bell has enjoyed July more than any other month with his .317 average in 63 at-bats.
Bell also leads all NL batters with 82 hits and 4 triples.
Yesterday was a big day for the first baseman as he went 4-for-6 against Colorado. His day included one double, one triple, and four RBIs in Pittsburgh's 13-5 win over Colorado.
In the Dodgers' long history, spanning from their move to LA back in 1958 to their years in Brooklyn that started in 1883, there has never been a rookie in their franchise to hit for the cycle. That is, until last week when Bellinger changed that narrative and collected all four types of hits against the Miami Marlins (the only team to not have a player do this).
Bellinger hit his 26th home run and could tie Piazza's franchise rookie record of 35 home runs or even beat it before the season is over. That is unless he does not allow himself to cool off, which has been going on for the power hitter.
On this day in 2013, the Brewers wore throwback jerseys to honor the Milwaukee Bears, a Negro League team that played during the 1923 season. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had a wardrobe malfunction where the letter 'u' on his uniform is misplaced, spelling out Milwakuee. Oh those Brewuers...
It's only been since Friday since baseball resumed from the festivities and already some good things are happening in the Wild West. It's still a one-team domination in the AL while the NL is becoming just that. Let's enjoy some good moments from two dominant teams and those who follow in their path.
On this day in 2008, Josh Hamilton of the Rangers set the record for most home runs in a single round in the Home Run Derby at 28; he even hit 13 consecutive home runs at one time. He eventually went on to lose the Derby and Justin Morneau from the Twins won the contest.
It was a definitely a good time down in Miami with rookies taking over the Derby and veterans taking over the game itself. This game really showed that the best pitching can win anything and the American League was able to slightly edge out the National League on that one.
With that being said, it was all one game where everyone could celebrate the best performances and have fun. We all need some fun before the break ends and we have to get back to business.
Your preference in the American or National League has been questionable at times? Fear not! The solution would be to take a Would You Rather quiz! All you need to do is pick whichever sounds more appealing to you and then see your results at the end!
Here we go:
Would you rather...
Have a starting catcher with one World Series ring or a starting catcher with one MVP (and multiple rings)?
Have a rookie with 30 HRs but played a little last year or a rookie with 25 HRs that only played this season?
Wear moose ears or a red beard?
Watch a designated hitter have a great season or a pitcher who rakes?
Be nicknamed Mookie or Buster?
Have a team in Canada or a team in D.C.?
Have a really tall starting shortstop (think 6'5") or a starting shortstop that likes donkeys?
Touch Salvador Perez's hair or Bryce Harper's hair?
Live in Cleveland or Chicago?
If you picked more on the LEFT, you might be an American League fan!
If you picked more on the RIGHT, you might be a National League fan!
All-Star Game starts at 7:30 pm ET on Fox!
Summer isn't complete without baseball.