When they were children, today’s MLB players dreamed about hitting a home run in a sold-out ballpark. Now, those same children have made their marks as household names, along with snagging Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger awards along the way. Here is a look at some of the league’s best batters of 2018 so far.
Some of these players have also showcased exceptional fielding prowess. But it is from inside the batter’s box they have shown to be the most dangerous. Both the American and National Leagues host plenty of formidable batters. There is still plenty of baseball in store, but these hitters have become leaders of their respective packs.
American League’s Best Batters
In the AL, a race for the Triple Crown is picking up heat. The amazing part is the three players in the lead play in the same division, and two of them play for the same team. The first player swinging for the title is Boston’s Mookie Betts.
For someone to win the Triple Crown, that player needs to lead his league in batting average, home runs and RBIs. Betts reigns supreme in two of those categories. He shares the lead for most home runs with 15, along with a .365 batting average.
However, the 25-year-old stands 10th in the AL in RBIs with 32. This does not take anything away from what he has accomplished this season. We will be seeming him break the 100 career home runs mark well before the All-Star Game in July.
His teammate, J.D. Martinez, is the other player Betts shares the home run lead with. Martinez has tallied 15 home runs and 41 RBIs, along with a .343 batting average. In his last seven games, Martinez has gone yard five times and driven home eight on a .346 average. If he continues picking up steam, the 30-year-old could take over the AL MVP debate, as well the Triple Crown.
The third candidate for the coveted hardware is Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles. Machado currently stands as the current American League leader in RBIs. His .343 batting average and 14 home runs are nothing to sneeze at either.
Unfortunately, the All-Star shortstop is one of very few bright spots for Baltimore this season. He is almost certain to return to the All-Star Game after missing it last season. Hopefully, the Orioles can turn things around in the upcoming games.
National League’s best batters
There may not a very tight battle for an NL Triple Crown, but some players have commanded more than respect from the batter’s box. Odubel Herrera of the Philadelphia Phillies is one of them.
Herrera currently leads the National League in batting average this season. He has also cashed in seven home runs and 30 RBIs. As for the rest of Philadelphia, they have won seven of their last 10 games and are fighting for the NL East with Atlanta. If Herrera and company can continue this momentum, we will be seeing them in October.
Speaking of Atlanta, first baseman Freddie Freeman is taking names from the batter’s box in 2018 too. Freeman boasts a .321 batting average, along with nine home runs and 35 RBIs. Though Freeman has struggled a bit in recent games, the Braves are still running hot this season. Atlanta holds a slim lead over the rest of the NL East, but if the Braves wish to expand their lead, Freeman and company will have to bring more pain than ever before. Not to mention the Phillies are right on their tail.
Arizona Diamondback, A.J. Pollock, has made noise with his bat as well. Pollock has brewed up a .293 batting average with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs. However, he has hit a small slump in recent outings, as well as the rest of the Diamondbacks. But with some well-advised adjustments, Pollock and the gang could get back to dominating the NL West.
Of course, these are merely a handful of the league’s best batters. There are plenty of names around the league making impacts this season. Now the question is, can these players continue their strides for the months of baseball still yet to play? Confidently, fans and experts will watch for what these players can do, in addition to whoever begins to appear on the radar.
Featured image from Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
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