10 moments and stories we hope to see in the second half of the season
We are halfway through the season, and the All-Star Week festivities have not left us disappointed.
The much-anticipated T-Mobile Home Run Derby had a little bit of everything. We witnessed it all: doughnut breaks, Giancarlo Stanton commentary and, of course, Aaron Judge's performance. The entertainment value was through the roof -- much like the rookie's moonshots. And this was all before the American League defeated the National League, 2-1 at the 88th All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
While we say farewell to the first half of the 2017 season, let's preview some of the awesomeness we hope to see in the near future.
The thrilling conclusion to Cody Bellinger's rookie campaign
Rookie Cody Bellinger had a unique experience during All-Star Week. Not only was it his first All-Star selection, but he also had the opportunity to have his father -- former big leaguer Clay Bellinger -- throw to him during the T-Mobile Home Run Derby.
The experience was the cherry-on-top to a 25-homer first half with the Dodgers, who are in first place in the NL West.
The tools are certainly there for a continued second-half barrage, but the pitchers he's facing know how to pitch to him now. During his time in the Minors this season, he made an adjustment to his swing and started to understand it more -- leading to the first-half success. But the secret could be out on the 21-year-old with a half-season under his belt.
When it comes to his power, that won't go anywhere. And even if he regresses slightly, he will certainly be a major factor in the Dodgers' success the rest of the season.
Adrian Beltre's 3,000th hit
The season didn't start off on the right foot for four-time All-Star Adrian Beltre, who dealt with some calf issues. But at the moment, he has 2,978 career hits over a two-decade career. That means he needs just 22 more hits to join the 3,000 club.
If we are lucky enough, maybe he will get that No. 3,000 from his knee. That's what he does best.
Can the D-backs continue their success?
When you have a team filled with names like Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and Robbie Ray, you're going to be considered a top-tier team.
However, when you find yourself in a division like the NL West, it may not be that simple. You're surrounded by dominant teams like the Giants, Dodgers and Rockies (the last of whom have that confidence boost in Coors Field).
The D-backs went into the season knowing this, but didn't feel as much pressure surrounding them after a testy 2016.
Their first half was not a fluke by any means. Though they're just outside the top-10 in batting average as a team, they're one of the top clubs in stolen bases and have a ton of power. In short, they figure out ways to win.
Francisco Lindor being Francisco Lindor
Francisco Lindor landed an All-Star roster spot for the second time in his career, and it was well deserved. Another reason to love Lindor is the fact that -- well, he is who he is.
When he finds the camera, or the camera finds him, he's engaging and has a presence you're automatically drawn to -- especially when he grabs the microphone from a broadcast.
What will he do next? Stay tuned ...
Will the Cubs turn it around?
The Cubs have had an interesting season coming off a World Series Championship.
They didn't make any outlandish trades during the winter months, so most anticipated that their similar lineup would have similar success. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. Kris Bryant's numbers don't match up to last year's first half and the loss of David Ross means the team lost a leader on their team.
The second half will be a true test for the team, but they're more than capable of overcoming the odds. The rest will help, Jon Jay is proving himself and we haven't seen Anthony Rizzo's peak performance yet.
Luckily, for all teams, there are 162 games in the season. Will the team make it to postseason play? Perhaps. Either way, expect them to at least make it interesting within the division.
Aaron Judge's 50th home run
Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge put on an unforgettable performance at the Derby on Monday night. A 513-foot shot and 47 home runs that measured at a length of 3.9 miles led him to go home with the trophy.
During the first half, he slammed 30 home runs over the fence. If he can keep that pace up, he should reach the 50 home run threshold as the weeks go by.
Eric Thames' continued success at the plate
March and April were great to Eric Thames. There was no better bat in MLB, with him sporting a .345 batting average and a whopping 11 home runs over that span. While he started to regress in the following months, his numbers began to rebound this month prior to the All-Star break.
What Thames needs to do is find a happy medium to even out those extremes. He also needs to relax a bit, according to manager Craig Counsell.
Thames will be a force to be reckoned with once again when he returns to the Brewers, a team that has shown surprising success and leading the National League Central with a 50-41 record.
The Return of Mike Trout
This season, Mike Trout landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career with a thumb injury, but he will be back at the beginning of the second half. We have really missed him. We weren't able to see him participate in the Home Run Derby or the All-Star Game, and it didn't quite feel right.
The two-time MVP drew massive crowds during his rehab assignments of course, but we will be very happy once he is back in a Halos uniform.
The A's lucky fan snagging more foul balls
Remember Ryan Noone?
He was the lucky fan who caught three foul balls in one game when the A's were playing the Braves in the Bay Area recently.
The first two were on consecutive pitches, which was a miracle in itself, but he wasn't done.
That's right, during the bottom of the 10th inning during that same game, he caught a third foul ball.
The Redwood City, Calif., resident is a season ticket holder and goes to quite a few games during the season, so expect his foul ball collection to be thriving come season's end.
The anticipated return of Bartolo Colon
When we found out Bartolo Colon had been DFA'd, fans were left sad and unsure what the future would hold for the 44-year-old pitcher.
Luckily, the uncertainty didn't last long when Colon signed a Minor League deal with the Twins.
According to MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger, he will only be in the Minors for a short time and will soon be up with the big league club.
"He's confident and he said he feels just as good as he's been the last couple of years," Derek Falvey, the Twins' chief baseball officer told MLB.com.
The baseball world is excited to have him back.