Brennen Davis, Xavier Edwards and some of the best young MLBbros in baseball will take the field for The 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday at Coors Field in Denver — on the same day that the first round of the MLB Draft will be held in the same city.
Every year, the Futures Game is a showcase of the brightest young stars in baseball, the guys we really expect to carry the league going forward.
Our MLBbro and 2017 World Series MVP George Springer is one of the many notable alumni of this game.
Being selected to the game is truly considered an honor for young ballplayers, and gives our six young MLBbros (one won’t play due to injury) an opportunity to show the world the latest generation of Black ballplayers.
MLBbros Kyle Lewis, Ke’Bryan Hayes, Jo Addell, Touki Toussaint, Hunter Greene and Future Games MVP Taylor Trammell all played in the same Future Games in 2018, so the game definitely features the future stars of MLB.
Andre Jackson* – RHP – Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 27 prospect in Dodgers organization)
Bo Naylor – Cleveland Indians (No.3 prospect in Cleveland organization)
This was the toughest position to find an MLBBro to fill. Washington Nationals first baseman Josh Bell is the most notable Black first basemen of late, but as I searched through each team’s roster list there were no current first base prospects to be found.
I mentioned the need for defensive versatility before, and it seems like most black prospects are being placed where their athletic ability can be best used; shortstop or the outfield.
But with names like Frank Thomas, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray, Dick Allen, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard … I mean I could really do this for a while…There are countless Black power hitters who’ve manned first base in the Bigs, so there’s surely another in the pipeline. If I’ve overlooked anyone, let me know in the comments.
J.P. Crawford’s vibes at the plate have been immaculate as he is posting the best hitting numbers of his career through the first few months of the season. He’s especially been a killer at the plate to begin the month of June, showing he can be as effective in the batter’s box as he is on defense with his Gold Glove.
In a season that has been filled with injuries and multiple lineup shuffles for the Seattle Mariners, there has been one constant. Crawford, the starting shortstop, has been a mainstay in Seattle’s lineup appearing in all but one game this season. He has batted leadoff, fifth and seventh, but has not waivered at the plate.
He entered Sunday’s game batting .257 with 19 RBI and three home runs, which have all come within the last month; two of which came last week in games against the Texa Rangers and Los Angeles Angels.
Friday night’s blast against the Angels goes down as the longest home run of Crawford’s short career. On just the second pitch of the game, he sent Angels’ two-way player Shohei Ohtani’s 92mph fastball 430 feet to the right field bleachers.
Crawford came into this season with a few more pounds to help improve his power, although it didn’t show much during the first part of the season. Another improvement he made is seen in his numbers when facing left-handed pitching.
This season, Crawford is batting .328 with six doubles against lefties. To put that into perspective, in the Covid-shortened 2020 season, he hit .242 and in 2019 he only had an average of .160.
The month of June is looking like it will be a prosperous one for Crawford. Entering Sunday, he had a .368 batting average, three doubles, three runs, three RBI and a home run through the first five games.
His defense hasn’t faltered much this year despite the improvements seen on offense. He leads all Major Leaguers in double plays turned with 38 and his Range Factor has him tied for second.
There is still no timetable on when last season’s American League Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis will be back after his meniscus injury. Hence, Crawford needs to continue to be a consistent part of a young Mariners team that is growing each day.
Seattle will travel to Detroit this week for a three-game series against Baddoo Mania and the Tigers.
Always remember that in many instances — pitching, for example — quality trumps quantity. Justin Dunn’s pitching performance for the Seattle Mariners this season is a prime example of such an instance.
With his victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night, Dunn extended his American League-leading streak of 15 straight starts of allowing three or fewer runs.
Pitching is just different in 2021. Black in the day, pitchers were expected to throw longer into games than we see now. Rarely do we see a complete game thrown, let alone a starter even reach the seven or eight-inning mark.
With managers having the option of going to four or more guys in their bullpen who can throw 95 mph and above with dirty movement, the role of the starting pitcher now is to keep his team in a position to win, rather than go deep into games.
Throughout this season, and even extending into last, Dunn has been one of the best in baseball at getting this done.
Since August 23, 2020, Dunn has been stingy, allowing three or fewer runs in his last 15 starts. Particularly, he has been heating up over his last three starts, and this could be the best stretch of his young career.
Dunn, from Queens New York, has never been the biggest, hardest-throwing, or most intimidating pitcher, so he’d dealt with people doubting him and knocking him for not measuring up to the metrics. Those funny numbers that, falsely determine who has the goods, while overlooking things such as natural talent and heart.
In his last start this past weekend, Dunn went 5.2 innings, striking out eight and allowing one run in a 3-2 victory aided by MLBbro shortstop J.P. Crawford’s second home run of the season. Dunn’s stat line was very similar just two starts ago when he struck out a career-high nine in a loss to the Detroit Tigers. In his last three games, Dunn has an ERA of 2.20 and a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 0.92.
Dunn’s beginning to find his All-Star stride on the mound. He was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2016 draft after posting a 2.06 ERA in his junior season at Boston College.
Going into the 2018 season, Dunn was ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Mets farm system.
Later that year, he was involved in a trade that sent him to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for one of the best second baseman of our generation in Robinson Cano (who was aging at the time) and closer Edwin Diaz. Justin made his MLB debut on September 12, 2019, against the Cincinnati Reds.
Dunn recorded a 4.34 ERA in 10 starts during the Covid l9-shortened 2020 season.
The kid they used to count out is currently putting together a quality resume for 2021. He has a 3.18 ERA and has struck out 45 batters this year.
Opponents have not been able to make solid contact on him either. His .168 batting average against is good for the second-lowest in the American League behind the White Sox’s Carlos Rodon.
Dunn and MLBbro rotation partner Justus Sheffield are one of two rotations in baseball that feature two black starters. The other rotation resides in Flushing, Queens and consists of Black Knights Marcus Stroman and Taijun Walker.
Sheffield got the job done for the Mariners Friday night as he was awarded the win after going five innings allowing just two runs on six hits.
Dunn’s current streak of 15 straight starts, allowing three or fewer runs is good for the fourth-longest such streak in Mariners’ history trailing Seattle legend Felix Hernandez, Roenis Elías and Erik Bedard.
Dunn’s next start is Friday in Los Angeles as he and High Five member Kyle Lewis take on Justin Upton and the Angels.
Two MLB bros from the Nation’s capital have been making headlines with their plate and field performances.
Washington Nationals‘ first baseman Josh Bell takes the top spot in this week’s #HighFive list that also features his longtime teammate Josh Harrison.
1. Josh Bell
The former Pittsburgh Pirate has seen his numbers rise after a slow start to the 2021 season. In his last seven games, Bell is batting .385 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI while slugging .654. Just this past Monday, Bell was featured on our “Home Boi Highlights” segment for his performance last week, when he batted .429.
The former All-Star was traded to the Nationals in December with hopes of him helping to get them back to the World Series. He has worked his way into the three-hole spot in the lineup and in a competitive National League East could be the difference in whether or not they make the playoffs.
2. Marcus Semien
I do not think anyone had a better month of May than Marcus Semien. He leads all of baseball with 35 hits this month after hitting back-to-back home runs with his double play partner Bo Bichette in game 1 of the Blue Jays doubleheader Thursday.
In the last seven games, Semien has hit three home runs, slugged 742, and almost hit for the cycle in last Friday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
This season Semien is making the statement that he is the best 2nd baseman in baseball. His 13 home runs and 31 RBI lead all second baseman by a wide margin.
3. Josh Harrison
One of the most exciting bros in baseball makes his well-deserved first appearance on our #Hig Five list this season. Josh Harrison hit a huge grand slam last Saturday that had the DMV going crazy. He has 7 hits in his last 21 at-bats while driving in five runs.
Harrison owned the Orioles in their three-game winning series batting .500 to power a clean sweep of their Beltway Series rival.
4. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge is probably going yard as I write this list because he’s been on fire. As a matter of fact, there it goes, a two-run homer against the Toronto Blue Jays to tie Thursday night’s game at 3-3 and help propel the Yankees to a crucial 5-3 win. Judge executed his role as a stopper to perfection, helping the Yankees salvage the last game of a three-game series.
Aaron Judge is still carrying the Yankees and keeping them alive in a tough #ALEast Division
2-run bomb to tie the game as the Yankees attempt to avoid the doubleheader sweep to @BlueJays
During his recent hot streak Judge has been more than a home run hitter, even walking off for a win, via the base on ball.
In his last seven games entering Thursday, the Fresno State alum was batting .348 and walked four times, which is always good to see from a power hitter. His contact-first philosophy has fueled his elevation towards the Top 10 in American League batting leaders. He doesn’t have any room for regression, especially with Twin Tower and MLB bro teammate Giancarlo Stanton still on the shelf.
5. Kyle Lewis
After missing the beginning of the 2021 season with a leg injury, it has taken last year’s American League Rookie of the Year a few weeks to find his groove. But he’s getting ready to start dancing like Mike soon.
He had both a .400+ OBP and slugging percentage in his last seven games and recorded at least one hit in six of them.
He’s shown flashes of power this season including the bomb he hit on Monday in Oakland. His bat flip only warrants a 7/10 rating and will be looking for him to impress us a little more when he connects on his next one.