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.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Akil Baddoo had a breakout year last season.
His first MLB season was one to remember. Baddoo finished the 2021 season hitting .259 with 13 home runs, 55 RBI, and 18 stolen bases through 124 games.
This brother was electric on the field, bringing the energy every time he suited up. He was a player the Tigers definitely needed, and the fans welcomed him with open arms.
Akil Baddoo hit the ground running with two homers in his first two career starts, including a grand slam on Monday. The unknown prospect has become an overnight sensation for the Detroit Tigers. @carrpediem21 is in the Three Spot today with A Bro You Need To Know. pic.twitter.com/wvxYGkLltT
Through 24 games with the Toledo Mud Hens, Baddoo is hitting .303 with three home runs and 13 RBI.
Tigers manager, A.J. Hinch wants Baddoo back on the team, it’s just a matter of timing at this point.
“We want Akil on this team,” Hinch said Monday in an article from the Detroit Free Press. “It’s just a matter of when we feel like he can be a contributor, when the playing time is there for him, what he can offer to a club.”
“He’s a big-leaguer. We knew that when we sent him down. We also wanted him to decompress and get back to being himself again. He absolutely factors in, present, future, in all aspects.”
Now Detroit will have its hands full, trying to factor Baddoo back into the lineup. The team has five outfielders on the active roster and when Austin Meadows returns, the team will have to make another roster move.
There’s no question that Baddoo deserves to be back in the lineup for the Tigers. The brother can impact the game in multiple ways.
It’ll be interesting to see how long the Tigers wait to bring him back up. Let’s hope it’s not too long.
Once he makes his return, it’s going to be a different outcome than earlier this season. Baddoo is a competitor, and he wants to go out there and be the best.
His time in Triple-A is exactly what he needed and he’s ready to go out and put that old English D back on.
Michigan Wolverines outfielder Clark Elliott burst onto the scene in 2020, one of the new, Black faces of college baseball playing for a Big Ten power team that had just made it to the College World Series final against the Vanderbilt Commodores in 2019.
Michigan opened the 2020 season against Vanderbilt and Elliott was given his opportunity to shine on a big stage and he didn’t disappoint.
Trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, Elliott battled back from down in the count to get a huge single, against Vandy’s nearly unhittable closer Tyler Brown. The next batter hit a game-winning two-run homer, and the story of Clark Elliott began.
Elliott’s head coach Erik Baluch knew he had something special in this player and recalls Clark’s memorable first hit fondly.
“For him to extend the inning like that and not be a typical freshman and try and yank it or swing and miss because he is over swinging. Just to stay neutral and stay in the middle and just take what the elite pitcher on the mound was giving him, and hit a line drive the other way. I just thought to myself, “Yeah that kid is gonna be a special hitter.”
Excited to announce that I have decided to commit to The University of Michigan to further my academic and baseball career! Go Blue〽️ pic.twitter.com/SQwPZS7lbp
That moment was the beginning of Elliott becoming a formidable hitter and rising MLB prospect.
Elliott Is The 64th Ranked Prospect
Baluch’s prediction was spot on and over the next few seasons Elliott played himself into the top 75 MLB prospects for the 2022 MLB Draft which takes place July 17-19. Currently, the 64th-ranked prospect, it’s his combination of speed and power that excites MLB franchises.
Bakich believes that is what sets him apart as a hitter, his bat velocity and power.
“He’s a combination of speed and power. His best skill is just the ability to hit the ball hard and hit the ball often. He is a proven hitter, he’s done it in the Big Ten, he’s done it in the Cape Cod League. As a prospect there’s not a whole lot of guess work with him. He has proved himself at the collegiate level. It is very easy to look at a kid like that and to think he could move quickly through an (MLB) organization and hit his way to the big leagues.”
Elliott Made All Big Ten
Elliott was dynamite in his junior season. He led the Wolverines in batting average (.346), runs (61), extra-base hits (29), home runs (12), RBIs (58), OPS (1.078), and walks (43). Elliott also ranked second in stolen bases with (15).
Now Elliott will likely hear his name called early in the three-day draft festivities schedule for the middle of the month. Whatever team lands this elite talent is getting a quality young man first of all, but also one who loves the game of baseball.
Despite missing most of June due to a strained right groin, Anderson has still been a fan favorite and a player fans want to see.
Our MLBbro suffered his injury back on May 29 against the Cubs when he was making a play at short.
It was a significant blow for the White Sox as the team had to play without its star player.
While he was away from his team, Anderson spent a brief time in the minors for a rehab assignment.
He appeared in four games with Triple-A Charlotte and went 5-for-15 during that time.
Before landing on the injured list, Anderson was seeing the ball really well. He hit .356 with five home runs and 19 RBI in his first 40 games of the 2022 season.
Not to mention his eight stolen bases during that stretch as well.
“I was seeing the ball real well, so if I just stay right there where I’m at, just continue to keep pushing, I’ll be in a good spot,” Anderson said in an article from espn.com when he landed on the injury list.
When he returned from the injured list, Anderson immediately picked up where he left off. In his first game back on June 20, he went 2-for-5 with a run scored against the Blue Jays.
Andrew McCutchen, one of the few additions during the offseason for the Milwaukee Brewers, is starting to heat up and brew something for his new crew.
The 2013 NL MVP was the last offseason move Milwaukee made, as it was believed he was brought in to play some outfield, as well as to partially be the team’s designated hitter, as he has been known throughout his career much more for his ability to swing the bat. In the 63 games he has played so far, about two-thirds of those games have been as the DH, while the final third have been split between left and right field.
McCutchen has definitely improved his batting average this season, compared to his final season in Philadelphia where he finished up with a .222 batting average. This season, he is up to .244. However, while his average is up, almost all his other numbers are down. He’s only hit seven home runs so far, compared to the 27 he hit last year. He has an on-base percentage of .312, and a slugging percentage of .368, both the lowest of his career.
His last 15 games for the Brewers, however, have been a very solid stretch for the 35-year-old, hitting an average of .321, with three of his seven home runs coming during that span. He has also knocked in eight RBI, and has an on-base percentage of .438, and a slugging percentage of .566. What is really impressive is how he has been walked nine times, but only struck out four – showing the experience that he brings to the plate.
While the five-time All Star doesn’t have much postseason success, he certainly brings other assets to the table besides his abilities on the diamond. As a 14-year veteran, he brings excellent knowledge, experience and leadership to help the team throughout a long and grueling 162 game season. Furthermore, he brings a fun swagger to the table. You may recall his viral photo of him in a Phillies throwback uniform, along with his home-plate celebration he has after hitting a home run. That swagger he has always had cannot be overlooked, as he can help make the long season more energetic and help give that team a spark.
McCutchen is certainly not the same player he once was while playing for their division rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he can still put up solid numbers, even at age 35. While he may not be as valuable as players like Devin Williams, Christian Yelich, or Corbin Burnes, he can still bring value by being a quality starter for the contender the Brew Crew hope to be.
The Baltimore Orioles did something in the month of June that they have not done in almost four years. As strange as it sounds, this was the first month since August 2017 that the Orioles finished a month with a winning percentage over .500. It is a sad day when a team must make a celebration out of such a mediocre accomplishment. One bright spot to focus on is the recent hot streak that MLBbro Cedric Mullins has been on. While the Orioles reside in the cellar of the American League East, and figure to remain there for the rest of the year, other teams are wondering what it will take to move the versatile center fielder.
Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins is far off the pace from his All-Star season in 2021. His power numbers are down significantly, and his On-Base Percentage is down nearly .40 points compared to last year. That being said he is starting to regain some semblance of what made him a breakout player last year. He ended the month of June batting over .370 in the last week and helping the Orioles win five out of their last eight games in the month. If the Orioles want to get the most out of one of their prized possessions, they should opt to trade him now, rather than later.
The Orioles are going nowhere fast and look as if they will hit rock bottom again this year. They have already considered trading their star closer Jorge Lopez and one of their “older” players Trey Mancinci, who is only 29. Mlbbro Cedric Mullins is younger than both and under team control through 2026. With the speedy center fielder in the midst of a hot streak, and several contending teams needing a quality outfielder, they should be able to net a return for him that would benefit both him and the franchise.
Why the Trade Benefits Mullins
A change of scenery could rejuvenate Mullins and give him a new outlook on his career. His remaining time in Baltimore, especially if it goes beyond the 2022 season, will just consist of him waiting to be traded at the team’s convenience. The more the Orioles lose the more they look at their farm system as the way to contend inn years far from now, that will not align with the prime of Mullins. Sending him to a team like the Cleveland Guardians or the New York Yankees, would not only put him in the middle of the playoff hunt, but put him in more high leverage situations and around better talent to increase his productivity.
Why the Trade Benefits Orioles
Losing a star is never easy, but as a losing franchise it is a necessary evil. Mullins to the Yankees maybe hard to stomach, especially if he helps to deliver a World Series title to an American League East rival. But teams like the Yankees and Guardians have ample farm talent to justify making the move and giving the Orioles enough to confidently move forward into their rebuild. A separation is best for both teams as it gives the Orioles an added boost to their rebuild, something their fans are eagerly trying to speed up at this point. It also gives an MLBbro a fresh start in what should be a turnaround in his career.