The 2022 MLB draft is just around the corner, and there are plenty of young Black players for you to look out for. According to MLB.com, these five players are are almost a lock to have their names called in the first round.
1. Elijah Green – OF – 6’3”/225, IMG Academy
Listed at 6’3” and 225 pounds, Elijah Green could have followed in his NFL dad Eric Green’s footsteps, but fortunately he chose the baseball diamond instead.
You usually don’t see a player of Green’s stature move the way he does, but his 70-run grade tells you everything you need to know. Green uses his frame to cover an elite amount of ground out in center, and with a plus arm rating and power potential, Elijah will be off the board quickly.
2. Termarr Johnson – 2B – 5’10”/175, Mays (GA)
Johnson is currently listed as the 4th best prospect, but the hype surrounding his bat may lead to Termarr being selected with the first overall pick in the draft. Labeled by some as the best prep hitter in decades, Johnson has turned heads at the plate.
His hit tool was graded at a 70 on the 20-80 scale, while his power was given a 60. He’s committed to Arizona State, but the hype surrounding Termarr may be too much to ever step foot on a college campus.
3. Cam Collier – 3B – 6’2”/210, Chipola Junior College
The son of former major leaguer Lou Collier, Cam is a prospect who is looking to make the show sooner than later. Originally classified as a 2023 draft prospect, Collier decided to get his GED and enroll at Chipola Junior College to prepare for this year’s draft.
Our next prospect is another MLB baby. The son of former All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford. Justin is without question one of the best athletes in this draft class, possessing elite level speed which could make him a force on the base paths and in the outfield.
He is currently listed at 175 pounds, but most scouts believe that he will continue to fill out his frame and become a serious threat in the box from the left side of the plate.
5. Kumar Rocker – P – 6’5”/245, No School
Kumar Rocker is probably the most intriguing prospect in this entire class. The 10th overall pick by the Mets in last year’s draft, New York decided against signing Rocker due to concerns about his pitching arm.
After a minor scope of his arm and an impressive stint with the Tri-City ValleyCats of the independent Frontier League, Kumar is once again high on several teams’ draft boards. HIs agent Scott Boras has assured teams that his client is healthy and ready to become the next great Black Ace.
The 2022 MLB All Star Game is almost here, which means it’s time for MLBbro.com to give you an All Star team of our own.
Bros like Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts are a lock for the MLBbro.com All Star roster, much like any other Black player who made it through to the final phase of voting. The remainder of the roster will be filled with the best bros in the game.
Let’s get to it.
Outfielder – Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
The only bro with a guaranteed nod, Judge has made the Yankees regret not locking him up long term since the opening pitch this season. Judge is currently leading the bigs with 29 home runs and the Yankees are running away with the AL East.
Outfielder – Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers
Mookie has bounced back in a major way for the Dodgers, and even a quick trip to the IR couldn’t stop him for nearly securing an automatic bid to the summer classic. Betts will certainly be front and center in Los Angeles, but we’ll take this bro in any setting.
Outfielder – George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays
Tim Anderson may be the best leadoff man in the game, but George Springer has the most pop. With 50 career leadoff homers and playing high end centerfield, OG George brings a lot to any ball club, and would be a killer in this lineup.
1st Base – Josh Bell, Washington Nationals
Josh has been on fire all season, slashing .318/.399/.514, but he has gone nuclear in his last seven games. Josh is hitting .423 with a .500 on base percentage for the ball club representing the nation’s capital. Bell could be an intriguing name to look at before the trade deadline.
2nd Base – Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins
The swaggiest player in the game, Jazz belongs in LA for every All-Star festivity. Jazz has turned it on as of late with a starting All Star spot in the balance, slashing .400/.520/.700 over his last seven games. Jazz has hit 14 bombs and stolen 12 bases so far this season, so 20/20 looks more than achievable.
Shortstop – Tim Anderson, Chicago White Sox
Arguably the best leadoff man in baseball, Anderson is still in the running for the spot of starting SS for the American League. He’s cooled down lately, but Anderson is slashing .333/.372/.432 on the season, and is looking to help the Sox repeat as AL central champs.
3rd Base – Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh Pirates
Hayes remains a key building block for the forever rebuilding Pirates. If the Pirates look to return to the glory days where names like Willie Stargell, Al Oliver and fellow third baseman Dave Cash were putting in work, Hayes will be key.
Catcher – Unknown
Another year without a prominent black catcher on any roster, so we have to ask the question again–when will we see another great Black catcher?
Pitcher – Taijuan Walker, New York Mets
Walker regressed toward the end of 2021, but has bounced back to become a steady hand for the Mets. Walker swapped out his sinker for his split finger and the opposition has suffered because of it. Opponents are hitting .151 against his split finger, which he has thrown 30 percent of the time this season.
Pitcher – Triston McKenzie, Cleveland Guardians
Triston has continued to come into his own this season, and the Guardians look to have a future ace on their hands. McKenzie is currently rocking a .98 WHIP and opposing hitters are hitting .200 against his fastball and .113 against his curve.
We all know how important the home run is in today’s game, and so far, these five bros have been the best Black Bombers this season.
Aaron Judge – 29 Home Runs
New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge leads The Bigs this season with 28 bombs and counting, and he’s carried this lead for the majority of the season. Judge has cooled off as of late, with only two home runs and a .407 slugging percentage in his last seven games, but even when he’s off the Bronx Bomber still seems to hit timely bombs.
Yesterday it was in the first inning, when Aaron sent a 3-2 sinker 429 feet into the upper deck to give the Yankees an early lead against the Oakland Athletics. They went on to win the game 5-3 and for now added another half game to their staggering lead in the AL East.
Even with the recent slowdown from Judge, the Yankees are running away with the AL East and look poised to make one of their deepest playoff runs in recent memory.
Byron Buxton – 20 Home Runs
This season marks the first time in his career that Buxton has reached the 20 home run plateau in his career, and he managed to do so in 23 less at bats than it took him to reach 19 home runs last season.
So far this season, 20 of Buxton’s 50 hits have been home runs, and the Twins veteran has increased his production against breaking balls. Buxton is currently slugging .667 against breaking balls this season, a .062 increase from his output last year. Eight of his 20 home runs have come on breaking pitches.
Giancarlo Stanton – 19 Home Runs
Boom or bust has been the narrative for Giancarlo Stanton’s entire tenure in the Bronx, and this recent stretch is no different. Stantons last six hits for the Yankees have all been home runs, including a three run bomb Monday afternoon in their 5-3 victory we mentioned earlier.
Stanton’s .208 average and .321 on base percentage are nothing crazy, but his .833 slugging percentage over the same span show you the elite level of power Giancarlo adds to this Yankees lineup.
He remains in the top percentile for exit velocity and barrel percentage, so chances are more of those missiles will begin to find the seats instead of opponents gloves. It’s going to be a long summer in the Bronx.
Mookie Betts – 17 Homeruns
Mookie’s bounce back year was rolling along before this recent trip to the disabled list, and despite the 2-30 slump he was in before he made that trip, Betts had seen his power make a comeback.
Last season, Mookie battled through injury to hit 23 homeruns in 466 at bats. So far this season, he had cranked out 17 bombs in just 245 at bats. Betts was expected to return in two weeks, but Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts has extended that timeline.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. – 14 Homeruns
Jazz is another player on pace to set a career high in homers in almost half the at bats. The budding star has hit 14 home runs in 213 plate appearances, after hitting 18 in 464 last season. Chisholm has remained in the 90th percentile of barrel rate all season, so he’s making some of the best contact of his career.
The National League’s leading vote getter at Second Base was just placed on IL after suffering a lower back strain on a check swing against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Melanated Mound Marauder David Price is filling the gaps for the LA Dodgers pitching staff. Leadership, experience and talent. MLBbro reporter Dante Miles checks in with the last Black pitcher to win 20 games (2012).