A 10-win pitcher traded for a .399 slugger…and a .399 batting average…chasing an ML dream for the fourth time in 82 years.

Outfielder Luis Arajuez, 26, acquired in a trade by the Miami Marlins, has raised his season batting average to 3-for-9. He’s now within striking distance of the major league dream of hitting .400 for the first time in 82 years.

Araújo started at first base and went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored in Miami’s 9-6 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday (June 6) at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida.

After grounding out to second base in his first at-bat, Arajuez doubled to left in the fourth inning and followed it up with a single up the middle in the sixth to complete the multi-hit performance. He also had a three-hit game with a single to left in the sixth. He is 10-for-13 in his last three games, including a 5-for-5 performance against the Oakland Athletics on April 4.

That raised Arajuez’s season batting average from 3-for-9 to 3-for-9 (208-for-83). He leads both the American League (AL) and National League (NL) with a .333 batting average and has a significant lead over second-place Bo Bissett (Toronto Blue Jays-.333).

Arajuez, a right-handed hitting infielder from Venezuela, made his major league debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2019. After leading the AL in batting average (.316) last year, he was traded to Miami. Miami received Arajuez in exchange for 10-win pitcher Pablo Lopez.

At the time of the trade, it was considered a favorable deal for Minnesota. Some questioned Miami’s decision to move starting second baseman Jayson Chizom Jr. to center field in exchange for Araujo.

However, since signing a four-year, $73.5 million extension with Minnesota in April after the trade, Arajuez has exploded while Lopez hasn’t lived up to expectations with a 3-3 record and 4.54 ERA in 12 starts.

He went 4-for-8 (39 RBI in 89 at-bats) in 25 games in March and April, including the franchise’s first hit for the cycle on April 12 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He cooled off in May, hitting just 3-for-33 (33-for-100) in 26 games, but is approaching .400 on the season with a 5-for-79 (11-for-19) mark in five games in June.

His overall numbers for the season through 56 games are also impressive: 3-for-9 with one home run, 29 RBI, 19 walks, 11 strikeouts, a .450 on-base percentage, a .495 slugging percentage, and a .945 OPS. His lack of power is offset by his ability to make extreme contact, which is why he ranks first in batting average and slugging percentage. Thanks to Arajuez’s hot streak, Miami has also won four straight to improve to 33-28 and sit in second place in the NL East.

The last major league hitter to hit .400 was Ted Williams in 1941. He went 4-for-6 (185 in 456 at-bats) for the Boston Red Sox. After that, there was another 81 years without a .400 hitter until last year. Tony Gwynn (.394) of the San Diego Padres in 1994 came closest, but a season-ending players’ union strike ended his quest for the record in vain.

According to MLB.com, since 1941, there have been eight players to hit .403 with 61 games played in a season: Ted Williams (.403) in 1941, Stan Musial (.408) and Williams (.407) in 1948, Paul O’Neill (.411) in 1994, Larry Walker (.416) and Tony Gwynn (.405) in 1997, and Chipper Jones (.418) in 2008. However, Williams was the only player to achieve a season-ending .403 batting average in 1941.안전놀이터

It’s been 82 years since Araúez has achieved the dream, but there are still 101 games left in the season. It’s premature to talk about a .400 season when we’re not even halfway through. Instead, Araujo is closer to becoming the first player in baseball to win back-to-back batting titles. Last year in the AL, this year in the NL. DJ LeMahieu (New York Yankees) is the only other player in history to win batting titles in both leagues, but not in consecutive years. LeMahieu led the NL in batting average (.348) with the Colorado Rockies in 2016 and won the AL batting title (.364) with the Yankees during the 2020 shortened season.

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