MLBbro.com’s David Grubb breaks down the Marcus Stroman vs Bob Brenly Du-rag drama
The Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves at the bottom of the pack in a loaded NL West division. It’s going to be a battle for the Diamondbacks to make a strong push for the playoffs and they’ll need production from every player.
One player who is new to the team and trying to make a name for himself is Nick Heath. Heath is in his second year, though he did not play a full season in 2020. He’s looking to change that in 2021 and become a mainstay in the league.
The 27-year-old had a memorable performance in his Diamondbacks debut on April 18 against the Washington Nationals. Our MLB Bro was on fire at the plate, going 3-for-4 in that game.
Heath was filled with excitement after his productive performance.
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) April 18, 2021
“Being able to come out here and be yourself and know these guys are pulling for you even though you’re the new guy on the block, man that’s pretty awesome,” he said in an article from ArizonaSports.com.
The days leading up to his debut with the Diamondbacks were a complete rollercoaster. Going into the season, the outfielder was a member of the Kansas City Royals, but that didn’t last long.
He found out that the Royals designated him for assignment, removing him from the team. Here, you had a player unsure of what his future would look like and wondering what his next move would be.
Well, the Diamondbacks saw something in this brother and decided to pick him up.
“Showing up, I didn’t know what to expect,” Heath said in the article. “Didn’t know what role I was going to be in. … It’s kind of tough, these guys losing somebody they’ve been around for a while so the goal for me right now is to just step in and be able to fill in the role.”
Heath is still considered one of the young guys. He’s just getting his feet wet and his career has a lot of chapters to still complete.
After his breakout debut with Arizona, Heath’s bat went cold. Through 31 at-bats this season, he has only five hits, with three of them coming in the same game. But 31 bats is too small a sample size to judge right now. In fact, he’s only had 53 major league plate appearances in his lifetime.
The good thing about baseball is that it’s a long season and Heath has the potential to get out of this slump that he’s in. He’s currently batting .161 with an RBI.
The Royals drafted Heath in the 16th round of the MLB draft out of Northwestern State University. He spent five seasons in the minors before getting the call-up with the Royals in 2020.
He appeared in 15 games that season and recorded two hits. The journey to get to the big leagues is a tough one and Heath has put in the work to reach the big stage.
Now, it’s all about staying there. This season, he’s already spent some time with the AAA affiliate team, the Reno Aces. Our MLB bro will have multiple opportunities this season to make a name for himself and show why he belongs in the league.
Don’t sleep on our brother Heath, this guy is talented.
Justin Upton is one of the most storied Black baseball players in the history of baseball and he’s gotten some of his swagger back early this season as he currently carries a 10-game hitting streak.
Upton is often overshadowed playing under the bright lights of Los Angeles with three of the most iconic figures in baseball: The best player (Mike Trout) most interesting (Shohei Otani) and one of the greatest hitters ever (Albert Pujols).
Maybe the fewer eyes and pressure on him, the better, as he is getting more pitches to hit and he is not letting those opportunities go to waste as he has gotten a hit in each of his last 10 games heading into Tuesday night’s contest against the Texas Rangers.
Upton is 11 for 39 with a .282 average during the streak. He has 7 RBI’s and has hit 4 home runs, including a 412ft, 103MPH laser to left field Monday at Globelife Field.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 27, 2021
That Upton bomb must have put something in the air as veteran Albert Puljos would go back to back with him.
Upton is the former 1st overall pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2005 MLB Draft. His brother B.J. was drafted 2nd overall in the 2002 draft. This made the Upton’s the first set of brothers to be picked in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots of any draft.
The brothers also hold the record for most home runs in a single game while on the same team with five, passing Jason and Jeremy Giambi as well as Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero.
They are so much alike that they both decided to hit their 100th career home runs on August 8th of 2012; Justin got his 30 minutes before B.J.
Upton is a four-time all-star and a three-time winner of the Silver Slugger award. He also is fond of hitting deep shots to left on April 26th, which he had done in both 2009 and 2021.
This season Upton is hitting .239 with 5 Home runs and 12 RBI. He has dealt with multiple injuries in years past and is already nearly equaling his home run total from last year. If he can keep this pace up, he can get to the 30 homer mark for the first time since 2018.
On paper, the Angels have one of the best lineups in all of baseball. Pitching will play a key role in their goals to reach the playoffs this season, but in a wide-open American League West, maybe they can hit their way to winning the pennant. Upton’s ability to serve as protection in the lineup for Trout and Ohtani will go a long way towards helping the LA Angels finally get back to the playoffs.