There are moments in life when you encounter a person that just takes your breath away. Someone who makes a million butterflies storm in your stomach every time you see the person. That person for me this season has been Luis Arraez.
I don’t love him; I adore him.
Marlins traded for Arraez this offseason, sending Pablo Lopez and Jose Salas to the Twins. Many pundits kept wondering whether the price was too much for the left-handed hitter even though he was coming off a season that earned him the American League batting title.
Marlins desperately needed a bat in the lineup as the offense had been woeful for the past years. Going after a proven bat was a no-brainer but there is always a benefit of a doubt when you talk about the Marlins making moves.Embed from Getty Images
The year before, they had acquired Avisail Garcia as a free agent signing and he was presented to the Marlins fans as a player who hits the ball harder than anybody else. The Marlins even gave him a four-year $53 million contract. Not trying to be harsh but at the moment a grilled cheese sandwich would do a better job at the plate than him.
So I had my doubts about the Arraez trade, as any sensible Marlins fan would, even though last season Arraez, nicknamed the La Regadera (meaning watering can), had posted a .316/.375/.795 slash line in Minnesota with 173 hits to his name. My hope of him succeeding in Miami was quite low, but every night I prayed for him to be a stud, and Lord have mercy on my soul, he is a menace!
Opening Day against the Mets, it took him just two pitches to record his first hit as a Marlin. Two days later, he had four hits against the Mets. In his first five games, he had 11 hits. His batting average was .524, and I had to take a cold shower for five minutes just to cool myself down because this man was beginning to force a piping hot steam out of my ears. An actual hitter in the Miami Marlins! He did’t stop hitting there. Oh no, he was just getting started.
As I have been watching this team now for roughly six years, it wasn’t a shock that the Marlins were the final remaining MLB franchise that had never had a player hit for a cycle. Marlins entered the Major League back in 1993 so it had been 30 years and 4700 games without a cycle. It took just 12 games for Arraez to hit the first cycle in the Marlins’ history. Who are you, and what have you done to my Marlins?
What baffled me the most is that Arraez is only 26 years old and already has four years in the Majors under his belt. In his four years with the Twins, he had 444 hits and a .316 batting average. His OPS+ was well above league average with 120. Why would you let that go, Minnesota? Thad Levine is the Minnesota Twins’ General Manager. Thad, if our paths ever cross, I will hug you until you call the cops.
The Twins already extended Pablo Lopez to a long-term deal signing the former Marlins pitcher until 2027. Luis Arraez hasn’t even played a full month in the Fish uniform, but he should already be locked to a long-term deal, have his number three retired, and a statue to built outside the loanDepotPark. He is under club control until 2025, but if he keeps hitting like this, poor Bruce Sherman, owner of the Miami Marlins, doesn´t have pockets deep enough to pay this man.
Arraez currently sits in third place in hits and is posting the highest batting average in the league with .444. Jumping away ahead of myself now, but it would be the first time ever in baseball history for a player to win back-to-back batting titles in different leagues. New York Yankees DJ LeMahieu has won both the American and National League batting titles but not in back-back-to years.
The Marlins broke my heart when they let Brian Anderson go – my first true love in baseball. I never thought there would be another but then came Luis and swept my legs away. If this franchise is so arrogant and so stupid that they don’t try absolutely everything in their power to lock this man to a long-term deal, not only they will break my heart again, but it would be unforgivable.
Marlins, don’t go breaking my heart.
Tomi Korkeamäki is the Miami Marlins writer for Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @tkorkeamaki