First Base: The Blue Jays Kendrys Morales homered in his 7th consecutive game on Sunday, becoming the first player in franchise history to do so, and the 4th player ever, joining Kevin Mench, Jim Thome and Barry Bonds as the only players ever to homer in 7 straight games. The MLB record for most consecutive games with a home run is 8, held by Don Mattingly, Dale Long and Ken Griffey Jr. Morales will be looking to join that elite club against the Orioles on Monday in Baltimore. Morales had a mediocre first half of the season, but has been red hot since the All Star Break, hitting .300/.386/.564 with 9 home runs in 30 games. The 35 year old veteran is on his 5th team in his 12 year career, and has been an above average hitter for most of it, with a career 114 OPS+.
Second Base: The White Sox called up top pitching prospect Michael Kopech this past week. Following an impressive rain-shortened start on Tuesday in which he only threw two innings, Kopech picked up his first Major League win on Sunday in Detroit against the Tigers, throwing 6 innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 earned run, no walks and 4 strikeouts on 86 pitches. The White Sox have high hopes for Kopech, who was the prize of the Chris Sale trade 2 years ago along with teammate Yoán Moncada. Kopech is the White Sox #2 prospect behind Eloy Jimenez , and was ranked as the #13 prospect in all of baseball on Baseball America’s Midseason Top 100 Prospect list this past July. Armed with a 100 mile per hour fastball and luscious golden locks of hair, Kopech has been compared to the Mets Noah Syndergaard. Kopech is a key piece to the White Sox rebuild, and could emerge as the ace of the pitching staff on a team that is on the rise.
Third Base: The Nationals conceded their season on Tuesday, trading free agent to be Daniel Murphy to the Cubs, and first baseman/outfielder Matt Adams to the Cardinals. Bryce Harper was claimed on waivers by the Dodgers, but they couldn’t work out a trade, so he will remain with the Nationals for the rest of the season. The Nationals have struggled mightily this season, hovering around .500 for most of the year, after being expected to win the division. While there are many issues that add up, a combination of injuries and the unexpected swift rise of the Braves and Phillies is likely to blame for their struggles this year. With an aging core and Bryce Harper likely leaving in free agency, the Nationals will have to make some good moves this upcoming winter if they want to keep up with the Braves and Phillies, who are two of the youngest teams in baseball and on the rise.