Ronald Acuña Jr., Bo Bichette headline Ben Verlander’s team of the week

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Another week of baseball means another new crop of top players. The latest, as Ben Verlander highlighted on his “Flippin Bats” show, features a heavy dose of young standouts.

That includes Astros pitcher Hunter Brown, a right-handed fireball whose start this season mirrors that of idol Justin Verlander last season.

So who rounds out the team of the week? let’s get into it

Jarred Kelenic and Ronald Coin Jr. tops Verlander’s Team of the Week

Jarred Kelenic and Ronald Coin Jr.  tops Verlander's Team of the Week

Catcher: Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles

Verlander’s thoughts: “He’s been a gift since the day he came up to the Orioles, and he’s continued that stretch this week: .400, three homers, eight RBI, a to leave. … He’s quickly becoming one of, if not the, best catcher in the game of baseball.”

First base: Rowdy Tellez, Milwaukee Brewers:

Verlander’s thoughts: “I was struggling to start the year… [On the podcast], talked all about his hitting, and his mindset at the plate … to start the year, and how he was going to turn it around, and he did. The day I talked to Rowdy Tellez … he hit a home run and then ends up hitting four for the week, .320, and he was a big part of that big series for the Brewers beating the Padres on the road” .

Second base: Brandon Lowe, Tampa Bay Rays

Verlander’s thoughts: “Brandon Lowe has had an MVP-caliber season to start the year, and he was on a team that went 13 games undefeated….409 on the week, a couple of big flies…I think which has been the best second. base to start the year. Four home runs, nine RBI by Brandon Lowe.”

Max Muncy of the Dodgers hits a solo home run against the Mets

Max Muncy of the Dodgers hits a solo home run against the Mets

Third base: Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers

Verlander’s thoughts: “.389, five homers, 12 RBI and an .OPS over 1.700. Grand slam on the week, hitting balls at McCovey Cove against the Giants. Max Muncy had a great week.”

Short stop: Good Bichette, Toronto Blue Jays:

Verlander’s thoughts: “.346, one home run, two doubles, three RBIs… I really feel like Bo Bichette is one of the most underrated players in the game of baseball, and it’s because he’s not going to put up the power numbers that we see from Vladdy. [Guerrero] in Toronto, but he can hit for power, average, and was arguably the hottest shortstop in baseball this week.”

Gardener: Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners

Verlander’s thoughts: “We’ve been waiting for Jarred Kelenic’s breakout. It didn’t come a couple of years ago, it didn’t come last year … A completely revamped swing, it’s quieter, it’s smoother and it’s got tons of pop. hit a ball over 480 feet the other day at Wrigley… Four homers, .409, six RBIs, seven runs scored. [He’s] arrived”.

Gardener: Hunter Renfroe, Angels of Los Angeles

Verlander’s thoughts: “Hunter Renfroe is heating up for the Angels..Slow first week of the year, and then he really flipped that switch..This week, a .409 batting average, two homers, seven RBI, has continued his stretch. the piece the Angels need in this lineup.”

Hunter Renfroe hits three home runs to give Angels lead over Red Sox

Hunter Renfroe hits three home runs to give Angels lead over Red Sox

Gardener: Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves

Verlander’s thoughts: “Now he’s back and he’s hitting .500 on the week, 12 hits on the week, seven RBI. I’m very happy that Ronald Acuña is back and healthy and playing good baseball. This is the Ronald Acuña that the game of baseball needs . . .

Designated Hitter: Brent Rooker, Oakland Athletics

Verlander’s thoughts: “A lot of you won’t know that name…He hit .400 this week with four home runs, 11 RBI; Brett Rooker has been on a tear.”

Starting pitcher: Hunter Brown, Houston Astros

Verlander’s thoughts: “He’s the best pitcher in the baseball game of the week. Why? Well, because he went 2-0 on the week, 14 innings pitched, 12 strikeouts, zero earned runs and seven hits… Not one earned run given up ., this guy has a lot going on one year, and he’ll be in contention for the AL Rookie of the Year award.”

Closer: Kenley Jansen, Boston Red Sox

Verlander’s thoughts: “The Red Sox have their closer … He finished with three innings pitched, three saves and five strikeouts in that time with three hits given up. Kenley Jansen: He’s still doing it and he’s still doing it well.”

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