With a new year just days away, let us take this moment to look back at what 2018 a great year for baseball. Yes, this year was not the best one for every team in the MLB. Nevertheless, the league in its entirety gave fans plenty of moments to enjoy.
Here are some of the best hits of 2018.
2018: A Tale of Two MVP’s
The League MVP is one of the most coveted pieces of hardware in the majors. For Boston’s Mookie Betts and Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich, the accolades also topped off exceptional season.
AL MVP: Mookie Betts
The 2018 season was a great year for 26-year old, Mookie Betts. Not only is he a World Series Champion, but he is also the winner of a plethora of honors. Such honors include “AL Batting Champion” (boasting the highest batting average in a respective league), joining the 30-30 club (at least 30 home runs & 30 stolen bases), and capturing his third consecutive Golden Glove. Not to mention number 50 has countless milestones to his name, joining elite names in the Red Sox’s history books. It seems that the sky’s the limit for the two-way star. Hopefully, he can erupt in 2019 the same way he did this past season.
NL MVP: Christian Yelich
This past season has seen a substantial amount of players hit breakthrough seasons. Arguably, the biggest one of them is Brewers outfielder, Christian Yelich. In his first season dawning a Milwaukee uniform, the former Miami Marlin found this change of scenery a favorable one. Yelich recorded career highs in basically hitting every hitting category. Once he caught fire, few in the National League could keep up with his numbers. Yelich also got his first taste of October fun, making it as far as the NLCS.
2018 Home Run Derby
For sluggers, there are few better feelings than winning a Home Run Derby. The feeling is even better when a competitor wins it in the home field. This is exactly how Bryce Harper felt when the All-Star Game was held in his native Nationals Park. With the help of his father, Bryce swung for the fences in a blaze of glory. He became the first player to win on his home turf since Todd Frazier did it as a Cincinnati Red in 2015.
Go Big or Go Home
Speaking of breakthrough seasons, several teams called 2018 a year of fireworks, especially the New York Yankees.
Prior to the 2018 season, the season home run record by a team remained with the 1997 Seattle Mariners at 264 jacks. Then came the Yankees, along with a newly acquired Giancarlo Stanton. The loaded Pinstripes swung harder for the fences than any other team in the majors. Not to mention that six different players cashed in 20 home runs or more last season. In the end, the Yankees broke a record that stood for 21 years. The home run record was now theirs, after tallying 267 home runs.
2018 World Series Champions: Boston Red Sox
If you are a Red Sox fan, 2018 was a never-ending party. The Red Sox not only held the best regular season record last season (108-54), but they also won their first World Series since 2013. They did it with a first-year manager at the helm in Alex Cora. Though previously the Bench Coach for the Houston Astros last season, Cora was a Red Sox players during the franchise’s 2007 World Series-winning season. He was well-versed in the Boston way. Yes, he had a loaded roster in tow. But coaching makes all the difference in the world. Cora players every card right and found himself back in the World Series. Defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games, Cora became the first rookie manager since 2001 to lead a team to a ring.
Featured image courtesy of abc7chicago
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