May is officially in the books in the 2014 Major League Baseball season and what a month it was. In May we saw our first no-hitter of the season, a Toronto first basemen tie some home run history with a gentleman named Mickey Mantle, and a couple AL East teams that probably won’t be asking each other for drinks after games anymore, May gave us fans lost of fireworks that surely we can expect rest of the way. With that being said, here are this week’s MLB standout players of the week.
AL Standout – Nelson Cruz
Here we are for two straight weeks in Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz has stood out above the rest. Cruz continues his hot streak at the plate from last week into this week and proven he can still play without cheating and continues to regain fans trust. While he was taken out of yesterday’s game when he was hit in the hand by a pitch, it has been said that that injury is not too serious, I look for Cruz to make a serious run to the MVP when it’s all said and done (SIA Profile). Nelson Cruz’s week was just straight brilliant once again with a .500 batting average, .560 OBP, 1.250 SLG and has added four home runs to eight RBI. Nelson Cruz is this week’s AL standout player of the week for the second straight week.
NL Standout – Khris Davis
Milwaukee Brewers Khris Davis has put together quite a week at the plate as the Brewers are continuing to roll this year in the NL Central. I had that feeling that the Brewers could be a surprise team this year with the talent they have, but I never thought it would come this fast this early in the season and Davis has shown that this team is not just about Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez. Davis has put together a nice week at the plate with a .556 batting average, .619 OBP, 1.222 SLG and has added three home runs to 6 RBI to take this week’s NL Standout honour.
Surprise and Disappointment – Tampa Bay Rays
I truly believe the biggest disappointment this year has not been any player but a team, and that team is the Tampa Bay Rays. What can I say other than pure shock in how bad this team is playing right now and its very uncharacteristic for a Joe Maddon team. Now I can throw out the injury bug because this team has had the bug all year and not having some of your core players can have an effect on the team’s performance, but that has never been the issue with this team and so far this year it has.
While at the plate their team WAR of 6.5 is good for 12th in the majors, they are still in last place in the AL East and their woes at the plate continue. Through this season, the team batting stat line of .245/.317/.367 which put this team toward the bottom tier of the league and their pitching hasn’t been much better.
The Rays pitching has been straight brutal through my eyes so far this season. That’s really hard to say because pitching has been this teams backbone throughout the Joe Maddon era and this season has not been the case. Through the first two months of the season, the Rays have a 4.18 team era, 1.34 WHIP, and .250 opponent’s batting average. Whether you look at the leaders of each of these states, the Rays will be near the bottom of every stat and for the little Rays fan in me and all the other diehards out there it’s just plain sad.
Now if there was ever going to be a team that can turn this brutal start around it’s the Tampa Bay rays and I look for them somehow writing the ship but I fear that ship might have already sailed.
What a month of May it has been. Nelson Cruz continues his road to redemption and possibly an MVP the way he is playing at the plate and Khris Davis is showing that it’s not just a two man show in Milwaukee. May is done so bring on June and as a baseball fan I hope the excitement continues as the new month of baseball rolls on.
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