It truly feels like the Cleveland Guardians are just one bat away

The Cleveland Guardians have had one of the best offenses in baseball since the beginning of June; one more bat and it feels like they'll be a true contender.
Cleveland Guardians v Pittsburgh Pirates
Cleveland Guardians v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

This might surprise you, as the horrors of April and May have been hard to overlook, but since June 1, the Cleveland Guardians have had one of the best offenses in baseball.

In that time, the Guardians sport a 109 wRC+ as a team, good for seventh in all of baseball. Their strikeout rate has been typically stellar, as they have the lowest rate in that span at just 17.6%. Again, this might make you fall out of your chair given how low things got in April and May, but the Guardians also have the second-highest batting average in baseball (.278) since June 1.

Much of the offense's success in that span can be contributed to the dependable José Ramírez (slashing .315/.388/.539 with eight homers and 25 RBI in that span) and, of course, Josh Naylor, who has essentially been the best hitter in all of baseball since the beginning of June.

Oh, and by the way, Andrés Giménez is hitting .268/.359/.482 in July, with three home runs, three doubles, and nine RBI. It's been a long road back to relevance, but there are signs Giménez is turning it around.

All of this is to say that it feels like the Guardians - currently still one game under .500 fighting for their lives in the worst division in all of baseball - are truly just one offensive piece away from being a true World Series contender.

Whether that happens this season or perhaps in the offseason remains to be seen, but they're no doubt on the cusp. The black hole in the lineup, the true missing piece, is right field. Solve that and everything else will fall into place. Right now, it's still a nightmare zone consisting of Will Brennan, David Fry, and Gabriel Arias on any given day, but the Guardians certainly have the prospect capital to bring in either an established major-league bat that can contribute right away or a highly-touted prospect.

Fans certainly seem to think so too; the team is playing in front of more sellouts than they've seen in years and currently rank 21st in attendance as they continue to climb up that list.

It's important to remember too that this is still essentially the youngest team in baseball, still contending for a playoff spot despite losing its top two starts in Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie, relying on a trio of rookie starters and enduring the fact that the bullpen can't seem to hold a lead on a regular basis.

A lot of people get hung up on the struggles of guys like Myles Straw and Amed Rosario, letting that cloud their vision into what is truly an exciting - albeit frustrating - young team. Straw, for all of his offensive struggles, is a vital component to this team, even if his role shifts into more of a fourth outfielder/stellar defensive replacement. And Rosario, well, whatever you feel about him, the fact is he won't be in Cleveland next season.

Don't get caught up in the struggles of a few players or the unfortunate bad luck of injuries; take a look at the big picture and you'll find this team is closer to true contention than you think. Now it's up to the front office to get that final piece because, truthfully, it's not coming from within the organization at this point.