STAR SPOTLIGHT: Luis Arraez, 2022-23 AL, NL batting champ

It’s almost a shame Aaron Judge had a once-in-a-lifetime season in 2022 highlighted by slamming 62 homers. The Yankee right-fielder’s quest to break the AL single-season home run record — while vying for a rare triple crown — completely overshadowed the accomplishments of Luis Arraez.

The then-Twins infielder hit .316, enough to win the American League batting title — and prevent Judge, the runner-up with .311, from achieving the first triple crown since Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Then Arraez did it again in 2023. After a shocking trade to the Miami Marlins, he hit a Major League-leading .354, becoming only the second player to win batting titles in both leagues (DJ LeMahieu did it with the Rockies in 2016 and the Yankees in 2020). Arraez is also the first player to do it in consecutive seasons.

Arraez has hit .300 in four of his first five years, a now-rare commodity in an era when power is seen as a more valuable commodity than contact.

Born in San Felipe, Venezuela, Arraez signed with the Twins as a 16 year old and made his major league debut in 2019, quickly becoming a fan favorite with his clutch hitting and penchant for getting on base. He hit .334 in 92 games and finished sixth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.

In the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, the sweet-swinging lefty hitter hit .321 in 32 games and continued to show his ability to make consistent contact — a throwback to Twins’ icon Rod Carew. He finished the season with a .294 average and carried that momentum into his title-winning 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Career highlights: 

Hit .334 in 92 games as a rookie, the fourth-best average in the American League.

Became the first rookie in MLB history to record four hits in his postseason debut game, on October 4, 2019.

In 2020, led the league in contact rate (93.3%) and had the lowest strikeout rate (6.9%) in the majors.

Finished the 2020 season with a .321 average, seventh in the American League.

Won the AL batting title in 2022 with a .316 average.

Was the NL batting champ in 2023 with an MLB-leading .354 average and a career-best 10 home runs, 69 RBI and 203 hits.