The first month of the 2021 season is in the books, and what an exciting first month it was. With fans back, you feel a whole different vibe and the game seems more invigorating than ever. Young players are starting to emerge and veterans that have struggled are coming back strong. Both of those are featured in this week’s best hitters.
Kris Bryant CHC
2020’s shortened year is something Bryant wants to forget. He batted just .206 and dealt with injuries. It seems like that is all in the back mirror; through the first month, he’s tied for the league lead in home runs and is leading the National League in slugging percentage.
This past week he kept that momentum going. He had three-straight games with two hits and capped it off with a three-hits, two of them home runs, and three RBI. This week he had an NL best ten RBI, second in slugging percentage, helping him earned National League Player Of The Week honors.
Random thought, remember when he started his career being called Mike Stanton? Anyway, Stanton has struggled to stay in the lineup the last few years as the injury bug seems to peak its head. This year Stanton has been able to stay in the lineup, but he struggled to start the season, on April 21st, he was hitting just .158. Since then it seems like a switch turned on because not Mike is hot.
During his current nine-game hitting streak Stanton is hitting .436 with 17 hits, an on-base percentage of .450, and an OPS of 1.168, with a couple of hard hits traveling 110+ MPH. Also, the Yankees, who struggled previously, are 6-3 during that time.
Austin Riley ATL
The National League East is definitely an interested one as the 12-12 Nationals sit atop the standing. The Braves have the same amount of wins but four more losses so they’re not in first. This doesn’t mean they won’t be at some point with the talent they have, including Riley.
The Atlanta third baseman had a great week as currently has a seven-game hitting streak which includes two four-hit games. This helped him bat .467 this week with an NL-leading 14 hits.
Red Sox nation’s hearts were broken when the team decided to trade the fan-favorite “Benny.” The thought was trading him to Kansas City was considered a death sentence, maybe not. The Royals are a surprise contender early in the season as they are the current American League Central leaders.
Benintendi has played a big part, especially with the team winning seven of their last nine, having a hit in eight of those games, and batting .419 with a 1.228 OPS.
Tyler O’Neill STL
O’Neill is another one on this list that struggled to start. The left fielder and 2020 Gold Glove winner is in the lineup more for his fielding abilities, he might be turning the table.
This week is increased his batting average close to 100 points thanks to 10 hits in his last five games, his 13 for this week was second-best in the league and four home runs were tied for the most this week.