Former Cedar Rapids Kernels Player Hits Big Major League Record
He wears #2, but a former Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball player grabbed a big honor to make him #1.
Here is a feel-good story even the most casual of baseball fans has to love. Luis Arraez of the Minnesota Twins has been crowned the regular-season hitting champion in Major League Baseball, according to Iowa's News Now.
He also spoiled one big accomplishment for New York Yankees' star Aaron Judge. The world has been watching Judge try to set hitting records the past few weeks but in this case, it was all Arraez, who according to Reuters, finished with a .316 batting average on the season, 5 points ahead of Judge. Don't worry, Judge can still hang on to his single-season American League home run record, for which he knocked 62 out of the park, to beat out the likes of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris.
Arraez played for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Twins affiliate, starting in 2016 (when he was only 19). He batted .347 in 114 games with the Kernels, leading them to the Midwest League playoffs. The Venezuela native is only the third alum with the Cedar Rapids minor league affiliate to win a batting title in the major leagues, and the first since Paul O'Neil in 1982 when the team was associated with the Cincinnati Reds.
The only other one to do it was baseball Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau, who played for the then-Cedar Rapids Raiders in 1938, moving on to take the AL batting title in 1944
Arraez speaks glowingly about his time in Cedar Rapids, saying:
I learned a lot of things there from my teammates, from (manager) Jake (Mauer). (Mauer) gave me a lot of opportunities. He said, 'Go out there and play baseball. Enjoy baseball and do your best.' And that's what I did. I did my best there and I win my batting title. I enjoyed it a lot there.
Now, we can say we knew him when!