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Venezuelan Luis Arráez of the Miami Marlins in the race to match Ted Williams

Venezuelan Luis Arráez of the Miami Marlins in the race to match Ted Williams

For a few days and for a long time, the eyes of the sports world will be on Miami.

The South Florida city has become the epicenter of great events.

As the Miami Heat find themselves locked with the Denver Nuggets in a battle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy and the Florida Panthers battle for the NHL title against the Las Vegas Golden Knights, last Wednesday afternoon the sports industry was paralyzed when Lionel Messi announced that he will transfer his talent to the MLS to play with the Miami franchise.

In the midst of the avalanche of good news for the fans of this paradisiacal Caribbean city, there is a Venezuelan who is building a historic season within Major League Baseball.

At a time when the power of the swing is rewarded with the most important offensive recognitions, Luis Arráez has managed to capture attention for his ability to almost always make contact with pitches.

The 26-year-old Latin American infielder, he has become a hit collector as old school baseball used to do.

On Wednesday, as Messi uncovered his soccer plans and the Heat lost Game 3 of the Finals, Arráez had his fifth straight multi-hit game to raise his batting average to a staggering .403.

To put in proportion the number that Arraéz has reached, the second-highest batting average in the league as of before the start of the weekend series is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman at .333.

With practically two calendar months consumed, The Venezuelan has played 58 games and continues to hit in two out of five of his turns with the wood.

This is the most advanced season a player has had a batting average of .400 while qualifying for the batting title since Chipper Jones in 2008.

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While the season is still just over 50 percent away from completion, the baseball world is wondering: Could Luis Arráez become the first player since Ted Williams in 1941 to finish a season with a batting average above .400?

Arraez is showing that he can hit almost any pitch from any pitcher, so his health will be vital to reach the emblematic brand.

Arráez was the American League batting champion last season with the Minnesota Twins and that prevented Aaron Judge from taking the Triple Crown. The Caribbean can match what was done by DJ LeMahieu who won the National League crown with a .348 average for the Colorado Rockies in 2016 and the American League crown with a .364 average for the Yankees in 2016.

Contrary to numerous reports crediting LeMahieu as the only person to accomplish the feat, he already has company. Ed Delahanty won the National League crown by hitting .410 for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1899, and then won the American League crown by hitting .376 for Washington in 1902, both mentioned on his Hall of Fame plaque in Cooperstown .

The .400 batting average mark is certainly the most attention-grabbing stat, but Arraez can capture others on his journey.

The infielder already hit for the first cycle in the history of the Marlins and reached 500 hits in his career, then.

The marks I could reach

The second player in the modern era (since 1900) to win a batting title in both leagues: DJ LeMahieu was the first.

**The last player to win back-to-back batting titles in any league was former Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich in 2018 and 2019 for the Milwaukee Brewers.

**Hanley Ramirez currently holds the Marlins record for highest batting average in a season at .342 in 2009. For his part, Juan Pierre holds the club record for hits, with 221 in the 2004 season. Arraez has 87 hits so far this season and would need to average around 1.4 hits per game the rest of the way.

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