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Team of the Week (Week 11: June 7 – June 13)

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Previous Weeks:
Week 1; Week 2; Week 3; Week 4; Week 5; Week 6; Week 7; Week 8; Week 9

I missed last week, but for the sake of consistency, I won’t turn this into a team of two weeks. Instead, I’ll give a quick mention to the Team of the Week for Week 10. Last week saw some of the best performances we’ve seen this year, and it really sucks that I missed it. They, however, will still be counted towards the final tally.

Team of the Week – Lineup

Catcher – Max Stassi, LAA

10-22, 3 2B, 3 HR, .615 wOBA, 301 wRC+, 0.7 WAR

Max Stassi is becoming one of the best catchers in baseball, as over the past two years, he’s been able to combine his elite defense with a plus bat. He has a 151 wRC+ since the start of last season, with an xwOBA of .385 in 2020 and .394 in 2021. He also has one of the best power bats at the position, as he now has a .275 ISO on the season. Stassi has always been one of the best defenders in baseball, and adding a plus bat could turn him into a huge fourth star for Los Angeles. Last week, the team of the week catcher was Eric Haase, who had a huge week for the Tigers, almost entirely out of nowhere.

1st Base – Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR

9-20, .577 OBP, .950 SLG, .613 wOBA, 297 wRC+, 0.7 WAR

Surprise? MLB’s leader in practically every statistical category, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., had another huge week this week, as the Blue Jays traveled to Chicago and Boston to face the American League’s two top teams. Vladdy homered in each of the four games played in Boston, although the final was on Monday so that counts towards next week. For Guerrero Jr., he has made two major adjustments, putting the ball in the air, and improving his plate discipline, and he’s now made three appearances on the Team of the Week. Last week, the first baseman was Ryan Mountcastle of the Orioles.

2nd Base – Jean Segura, PHI

10-21, 2 2B, 3B, .542 OBP, .514 wOBA, 231 wRC+, 0.5 WAR

Jean Segura is quietly having his best season since 2016 when he put up a five-win season for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has a .379 OBP, .365 wOBA, and 133 wRC+ on the season, and this week was no different. He’s been incredibly reliable for Joe Girardi‘s Phillies, who have needed his production every day as their 2nd baseman. He had nine hard-hit balls and three barrels this weak, as he continues to have his best batted-ball profile since 2016. Last week, the 2nd baseman was Jonathan Schoop, who had a 299 wRC+ this week.

3rd Base – Cavan Biggio, TOR

6-12, 2 BB, 2 HR, 2 2B, 1.167 OPS, 352 wRC+, 0.5 WAR

Before I get to Cavan Biggio and the great week that he had, I think it’s unfair to Patrick Wisdom to not go over the incredible numbers that he put up last week. He finished the week with six home runs, a 1.261 SLG, and a 355 wRC+. Now for Biggio, he came back off the IL on Friday, but had a huge two games on Saturday and Sunday in Boston that landed him on the team of the week. The utility man homered twice, and had a 72.7% HH%.

Shortstop – Bo Bichette, TOR

12-27, 2 HR, 2 2B, .741 SLG, .519 wOBA, 234 wRC+, 0.6 WAR

With how many Blue Jays have made this team of the week, you’d think they had a great week as team, but they went just 3-3. Three of their four infielders are here, and the fourth, Marcus Semien, has already made his fair share of appearances as he’s in the top-10 in the league in fWAR. Bo Bichette has gotten going after a slow start, as he now has a 125 wRC+ on the year. Bichette had four multi-hit games this week, including a 4-6 performance with a double and a homer on Sunday. He had 15 hard-hit balls and three barrels, as well as a maximum exit velocity of 111.1 MPH. Last week, Carlos Correa had his second straight team of the week caliber week, as he is solidifying himself as the top of the class in free agency this offseason.

Left Field – Michael Brantley, HOU

12-20, 5 2B, .652 OBP, .850 SLG, .633 wOBA, 316 wRC+

Michael Brantley, the ultimate professional hitter, returned from the IL on Tuesday and started right where he left off. He had two barrels, twelve hard-hit balls, and an average exit velocity of 93.8 MPH. One of the most consistent hitters in baseball, Brantley has a 150 wRC+ on the year, and although his walk rate is down, he still has a .389 OBP. He only has three home runs on the year, and only had five last year, but despite the downturn in home runs, his slugging is on par with his 2017-19 seasons, as his is ISO. Last week, Justin Upton had one of his patented insane weekout of nowhere after being moved into the leadoff spot, earning him the spot on last week’s team of the week.

Center Field – Starling Marte, MIA

14-28, 2B, 2 HR, .548 OBP, .553 wOBA, 262 wRC+, 0.8 WAR

Starling Marte led all position players in WAR this week with 0.8, as he is quietly having an absolutely elite season at the plate, despite missing some time due to injury. For the first time in his career, Marte is walking, as he’s walking at a 12.1% clip after walking just 4.9% through last season. A possible deadline move could see Marte move, and he’d be a huge addition for any team in need of an outfielder. Last week’s center fielder was Cedric Mullins II, who is in a position to start the all-star game.

Right Field – Kyle Tucker, HOU

9-26, 2 HR, 5 2B, .769 SLG, .474 wOBA, 211 wRC+, 0.5 WAR

Kyle Tucker has a .418 xwOBA. Kyle Tucker has a 129 wRC+. Kyle Tucker is the Astros’ seven-hole hitter. If that doesn’t put this lineup into perspective, I don’t know what will. The 2021 Astros have a very good argument to be the best lineup ever, as the only two currently ahead of them in wRC+ as a team (since 1900) are the Murderer’s Row 1927 Yankees and the 2019 Astros, mainly the same core. Tucker is having a season almost identical to 2020 results-wise, but his batted ball data is by far the best of his career. Last week, the right-field spot went to Juan Soto, who made his first appearance after a historical 2020.

Designated Hitter – Shohei Ohtani, LAA

6-13, 5 BB, .923 SLG, .612 wOBA, 300 wRC+, 0.5 WAR

Last week, Shohei Ohtani was a team of the week starting pitcher. This week, he’s on the team of the week as a hitter, leading all players with four appearances. Ohtani was the DH in each of LA’s games against Kansas City, then started as a pitcher on Friday. He then made pinch-hit appearances on Saturday and Sunday. He finished the week with an average exit velocity of 103.5 MPH, and 80.0% HardHit%, and 40.0% Barrel%. Last week’s DH was Austin Meadows, who had a huge week for the Rays.

Team of the Week – Pitching Staff

Starting Pitcher – Zack Wheeler, PHI

8.0 IP, 0 ER, 12 K, 0 BB, 0.16 FIP, 1.46 SIERA, 0.6 WAR

Last week’s starting pitchers were the previously mentioned Ohtani, as well as Jacob deGrom and Corbin Burnes. This week, Zach Wheeler threw eight shutout innings with 12 strikeouts and zero walks. Wheeler has put together one of the best seasons in baseball this year, as he has a 2.15 ERA, 2.43 FIP, 3.00 SIERA, 25.7% K-BB%, and 3.4 WAR in 96.1 innings. His spin rates stayed constant, which is something to look at now, and he had a 33% CSW% on the night.

Starting Pitcher – Jacob deGrom, NYM

6.0 IP, 0 ER, 10 K, 0 BB, -0.17 FIP, 0.86 SIERA, 0.5 WAR

It seems every time Jacob deGrom starts a game, he’s on the team of the week. This time out, he threw six shutout innings with 10 K’s and zero BB’s against the San Diego Padres. He left his start due to an injury, but he faced the minimum, throwing just 80 pitches in the process. His season ERA is now 0.54, the lowest mark of all time. deGrom has combined the greatest strikeout rate of all time with an uncanny Maddux-like ability to control quality of contact, which has turned him into the best pitcher in baseball, and he’s having the best season of all time.

Starting Pitcher – Clayton Kershaw, LAD

6.0 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 0.66 FIP, 1.72 SIERA, 0.3 WAR

Amid all the deGrom-Kershaw comparisons, Clayton Kershaw joins deGrom on the team of the week. The greatest pitcher of the generation turned in one of his best starts of the year, throwing six shutout innings with nine strikeouts and zero walks. Kershaw now has a 3.36 ERA which is the HIGHEST of his entire career, outside of his half-season in 2008. Kershaw has had an unbelievable career, and he’s still one of the best starters in baseball in year 14.

Relief Pitcher – Ryan Thompson, TBR

2.0 IP, 5 K, 0 ER, -1.84 FIP, -0.96 xFIP, -0.60 SIERA, 0.3 WAR

The Rays, the Rays, the Rays. Ryan Thompson is the reliever of the week, as he struck out 83.3% of the batters he faced this week. He got two outs, both K’s on Tuesday, then pitched a full inning on Wednesday, striking out the side in order, then made his final appearance of the week on Saturday, getting one out, a flyout.

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