First off, I apologize to my few readers that this didn’t go up yesterday; I had a busy day that was capped off by watching the Chicago Cubs slaughter the New York Mets live from Citi Field. Although the game was a complete blowout, it brought a hot take regarding the Cubs to my mind. Aaron Judge hasn’t slowed down a bit, and after his mammoth home run Sunday at Yankee Stadium, where does he rank among the best hitters in baseball today? The MLB Draft took place Monday evening, and the Twins surprised everyone by selecting Royce Lewis with the first overall pick. Did they find a future all-star or make a big mistake?
The Cubs Should Fire Joe Maddon If They Fail to Make the Playoffs
Would this ever happen? Probably not. Maddon is a three-time Manager of the Year with two World Series appearances, the most recent one snapping a 108-year championship drought for the Cubs. But with the team struggling this late into the season, Maddon shouldn’t be as safe as you’d expect. The Cubs are still the popular choice to win the National League Central due to the underwhelming competition, but the Brewers, Cardinals, and Pirates could all pose as major threats to steal the division if the Cubs don’t pull away soon. Joe Maddon’s lineup creativity is interesting, but flawed. His use of Kyle Schwarber in the leadoff spot failed miserably, and while Anthony Rizzo was great as the leadoff man on Tuesday against the Mets, why would anyone put one of their best two power-hitters at the top of the lineup? Rizzo’s on-base percentage gives the move some potential to succeed, but the offense as a whole will suffer without his bat in the cleanup spot.
Judging the Best
Aaron Judge is no fluke. The man can seriously hit, which he has proven by leading the American League in basically every offensive category through June now that Mike Trout does not qualify due to his thumb injury. If Judge didn’t have the world’s attention yet, he certainly grabbed it Sunday when he blasted a baseball over the left field bleachers in Yankee Stadium. The surefire American League Rookie of the Year may be second to only Mike Trout now as a hitter, possibly better than the likes of Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, and Kris Bryant despite his extremely short track record.
Lewis a Twin Bust
Royce Lewis was projected to be a top-five selection in this year’s draft, which was perfectly reasonable. Lewis has undeniable upside for his elite speed and defensive prowess. He also has a bat that could produce at the big league level with some improvement. But the Twins taking Lewis at number one was a mistake. With Hunter Greene and Brendan McKay available, the Twins could have easily grabbed one of the best two-way players in recent history. Greene has the most upside out of anyone in this year’s draft, while McKay may be the biggest sure thing as a pitcher or a hitter. Instead, the Twins gambled on Lewis because he was willing to cut a deal and sign for less money. Lewis resembles former Twins’ first-rounder Byron Buxton, and while the former 2nd overall pick has time to right the ship, Buxton has been a huge bust to this point. Lewis profiles similarly to Buxton, which should’ve prompted Minnesota to make a different selection. That being said, Lewis’ character and incredible maturity could help him be successful. The high school star is an extemely humble young man who already talks and acts like a professional.