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Welcome to Summer, Baseball Season Heats up with All-Star Ballots

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

New York- Summertime, here we are! Today, June 21st marks the first day of summer and trust me, I am not the only one thrilled for this time of the year. Baseball fans have been savoring what’s ahead. Take a second to realize, we are more than forty percent into Major League Baseball’s regular season (67 games). With several division leads beginning to shrink as well as Wild Card scenarios flipping back and forth, now is the best time to get down to business on what’s in store this summer across MLB. The Yankees becoming a juggernaut in all phases, the rise of Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Oneil Cruz, along with so many All-Star seasons on display, where should we begin?

In less than a month, the midsummer classic will be held at Dodger Stadium. That being none other than the Home Run Derby and All-Star-Game. One name that must become a talking point in getting his name called for an All-Star nod is Luis Arraez, infielder/designated hitter for the Minnesota Twins. In the daily box scores throughout this season, Arraez has shaped out as one of the top offensive talents across MLB. 

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

In 58 games played on the season, Arraez is batting .361 with 3 HR, 21 RBI, and 74 total hits. He currently leads MLB among first basemen in on base percentage (.443). Note this is 26 points higher than the OBP of National League MVP candidate, Paul Goldschmit (.417). Nonetheless, let’s dive into his month-by-month statistics for the 2022 season. 

Luis Arraez (25-years-old) – San Felipe, Venezuela

April 2022 Statistics (20 games)

.318/.386/.397 with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 20 hits, 7 walks, 6 runs scored

May 2022 Statistics (23 games)

.377/.480/.412 with 5 RBI, 32 hits, 16 walks, 19 runs scored

June 2022 Statistics (15 games)

.386/.444/.526 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 22 hits, 5 walks, 12 runs scored

The Rise of Oneil Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates 22-year-old Shortstop

Standing at 6 feet 7 inches, Oneil Cruz has taken MLB by storm within his first three games played in the big leagues. Last year, on October 2nd, as the Pirates faced the Cincinnati Reds, Cruz made his MLB debut finishing the day 2-5 with 1 RBI. The 22-year-old out of Nizao, Dominican Republic is ranked the #3 prospect within the Pirates organization. The skill set of Cruz is electric on all aspects of the game.

In last night’s matchup between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, Cruz made highlight after highlight, whether on the field, in the batters box or on the bases. To start off in the top of the 3rd inning, Cruz made a routine ground ball turn into one of the most impressive plays I have ever seen. On a backhander, Cruz looked to wind up all his weight and power to fire a strike to first base for the put-out. Recorded on statcast at approximately 96.7 MPH, the putout by Cruz marked the hardest throw by an infielder in MLB this year.

When asked about breaking the statcast record this season, Cruz stated, “Whatever is gonna get broken, is gonna get broken.”

Image Credit: Major League Baseball

In the bottom of the 3rd, Cruz brought in 3 runs as he lined an absolute missile that rolled to the left-center field wall. On the hit, Cruz attempted to stretch a double into a triple, but was tagged out at third. However, that’s not the concern; the line drive to left-center marked the hardest hit ball by a Pittsburgh Pirate this season at approximately 112.9 MPH. During his sprint to third base, camera angles caught Cruz smiling in excitement, as if he was having the time of his life. The 22-year-old is just beginning his reign in the big leagues. 

Yankees First Team in MLB to 50 Wins – Start Spreading the News

Image Credit: Daniel Budasoff

A buzzsaw night in and night out describes this year’s New York Yankees. On top of the AL East with a 12-game-lead as of today, the Bronx Bombers rank up as the best teams in the batter’s box as well as on the mound. Lining up team run differentials, you can’t bear to notice that the Yankees are locked in each and every game. 

Top Six Teams Across MLB in Run Differential

  1. NY Yankees +145
  2. LA Dodgers +114
  3. NY Mets +72
  4. San Diego Padres +65
  5. St. Louis Cardinals +59
  6. Houston Astros +53

In a multitude of games this season, it has felt as if Yankees starting pitchers are attempting to outperform each other’s previous outings. Combining for 178 strikeouts in 150 innings pitched on the season, Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes are setting a statement for their names to be called in the midsummer classic. “I think we’ve just got a lot of ‘dawg’ in us,” said Cole after Monday’s 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay. Take a look at how the Yankees pan out in games with each starter on the mound. 

Yankees Record with Who on the Mound?

11-3 in Gerrit Cole starts 

9-3 in Nestor Cortes starts

11-2 in Jameson Taillon starts 

9-3 in Luis Severino starts

7-6 in Jordan Montgomery starts

Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports and NY Sports Day 

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