1. Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles. Just three weeks shy of turning 23, Machado is having his best season yet. Leading off for the Orioles, he scored two runs and drove in four against the New York Yankees while tallying his 11th home run of the season. Machado has a nine-game hitting streak going and is well on his way to surpassing the career-high 14 home runs he hit in 2013. That season, as a 20-year-old, he had 51 doubles. He might be more older now, but he still has that young fan base rooting for him.
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) June 14, 2015
2. Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins. Stanton went deep for his major-league-leading 23rd home run, driving in all four Marlins runs to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1. The star Fish has shown no changes in the batter’s box since being beaned in the face last season besides a really cool face protector shaped like a G.
— #VoteMarlins (@Marlins) June 13, 2015
Since the calendar flipped to June, Stanton has been on a tear, with eight home runs in 46 at-bats. His largest home run total for a month is 12, back in May 2012, so if there’s such a thing as pace, he’s on track to outdo that.
3. Cameron Maybin, Atlanta Braves. Maybin has had a reputation as a good fielder and high-percentage base stealer but a poor hitter. Originally promoted at age 20 by the Tigers, Maybin got a shot from both the Marlins and the Padres before they ran out of patience waiting for his bat to come around. Now a 28-year-old veteran with the Braves, he has experienced more success with the stick in May and June. And his 3-for-6 effort against the Mets raised his 2015 batting average to .303 and his on-base percentage to .375.
Sometimes a change of scenery can turn a player around, but in Maybin’s case, perhaps several changes of scenery turned him around. Check back in a few months to make sure his performance is real, but so far the Braves are glad they tried him out.
4. Logan Morrison, Seattle Mariners. On Friday, the Houston Astros bounced Mariners ace Felix Hernandez after just one-third of an inning. On Saturday, the Mariners exacted a little revenge, led by Morrison’s two home runs and five RBIs, for an 8-1 victory. Former Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays prospect Mike Montgomery threw his third straight quality start for the Mariners to earn the first win of his career. Not a bad way to bounce back.
5. Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers. The rookie added some patience to his three true outcomes, or TTO, game, walking three times Saturday and hitting his third home run of the season, a 471-foot bomb. So far in 2015, Gallo has 42 plate appearances with six walks, three home runs and 15 strikeouts for a TTO percentage of 57.1. For a bit of perspective, Adam Dunn retired at a 49.9 percentage. That doesn’t make Gallo good or bad, just unique, and we like that as much as we enjoy his moon shots.