LaMonte Wade Jr. | Get Hip To The San Francisco Giants Wood Wacker

LaMonte Wade Jr. | Get Hip To The San Francisco Giants Wood Wacker

LaMonte Wade Jr. is a hidden gem in San Francisco Giants organization. The 27-year-old outfielder is in his first season with the Giants and he has immediately made an impact on the team. 

In his last game, he hit his first home run of the 2021 season as that helped the Giants defeat the LA Angels 6-1.

 

 

Through nine games this season, Wade Jr. has been on a tear. He’s batting .350 while slugging .550. 

He missed some time during the season due to an oblique strain, but he returned in full force. Giants manager Gabe Kapler did not waste any time putting Wade Jr. in the lineup when he returned from his injury.

 

“We’re going to give Wade a chance to play and see how he looks,” Kapler said in an article from the San Francisco Chronicle. “He was swinging the bat very well when he went on the IL, and we want to give him an opportunity to show us what he can do.”

 

This guy has some versatility as well. Not only can he play the outfield, but he can also play first base. He’s already made it known that he knows how to hit. His debut with the Giants was one to remember. 

 

 

MLBbro went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in his first game against the Colorado Rockies. Now that’s how you make an appearance to your new team right there.

When Wade Jr. has heard his name called, he’s stepped up so far this season. He’s on a five-game hitting streak and though he’s not an everyday player, he’s making a name for himself.

The Giants will have no choice but to find a place for Wade Jr. in the lineup if he continues to have this kind of success at the plate.

 

 

In 2019, Wade Jr. made his MLB debut. The Twins promoted him to the big league roster and he appeared in his first game on June 28 against the Chicago White Sox. He played in 26 games, finishing with a .196 batting average.

 The next season he saw his batting average increase during the shortened season. He finished with a .231 batting average through 16 games.

 

 

The Twins selected Wade Jr. in the ninth round of the 2015 draft. Our MLBbro put together an impressive performance during his time in the minors. In 2016, he started in the Midwest League All-Star Game. That season he finished the season batting .293 and hit eight home runs.

The years later he was named a Southern League mid-season All-Star and was promoted to the Rochester Red Wings of the Class AAA International League in June of 2018.

This man was one of the top prospects in the Twins’ organization and he put the work in to get that recognition. 

The Twins traded Wade Jr. to the Giants earlier this year and right now it’s certainly looking like the Giants are benefitting from that trade. 

Don’t be surprised to see more of Wade Jr. in the lineup for the Giants as he continues to swing a hot stick.

Justin Upton Is Proudly and Publicly Leading The Fight Against Emanuel Syndrome

Justin Upton Is Proudly and Publicly Leading The Fight Against Emanuel Syndrome

There are numerous prestigious titles that one could use to identify Justin Upton.

First Virginian drafted No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft. Three-time Silver Slugger winner.  Angels left fielder. The better Upton Brother.  

All of those titles are worthy, but according to Upton, being a full-time Dad trumps everything. Performing on a baseball field is something Upton does for a few months out of each year.  Fatherhood, however, is a 24-7, 365 days a year position. It’s the title he’s most proud of.

He and his wife Ashley welcomed their first-born daughter, Sydnee, in 2016. In May of 2019. 

 

 

Upton and his wife welcomed their second daughter, Evyn.

On the field, 2019 had been a challenging year for Upton. He suffered a turf-toe injury during a Spring Training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The injury caused him to miss the Angels’ first 71 games of the season. Later on that year, an MRI revealed that Upton needed a platelet-rich plasma injection. He’d be out for the rest of the season.

From the outside looking in, 2019 was difficult for Upton the baseball player. But what many people didn’t know was that it was an even more challenging year for Upton the full-time dad. 

Two weeks after his daughter Evyn’s birth, a doctor noticed that the youngest Upton had some medical concerns. From that point on, the Upton family spent the following months seeing different doctors and specialists.

Medical experts diagnosed Evyn with a list of health problems, which pushed the Uptons to visit more and more hospitals in hopes of getting answers.

Finally, in January 2020, a geneticist broke the news to the family. Evyn Upton had been diagnosed with Emanuel Syndrome.

 

 

For many people, the words “Emanuel Syndrome” don’t ring a bell. The Uptons were no exception. Neither Justin nor Ashley had heard of the disease, and to their dismay, the doctors didn’t know much about it either.

In simple terms, Emanuel Syndrome, or ES, is a disorder that starts in the chromosomes. Those who suffer from the disease are likely to never walk or talk. Infants with the disease have weakened muscles and delayed weight gain.

Many also suffer from other physical abnormalities due to slow or improper developments of other parts of the body. 

After becoming aware of the health struggles that come with an ES diagnosis, the Uptons had quickly become familiar with another major aspect of dealing with Emanuel Syndrome: finances. Between countless therapies and doctor visits, families dealing with ES have a large financial burden, and the Uptons wanted to help. However, with the COVID pandemic looming, their options were limited. Their solution?

A virtual 5K to raise money and awareness for Emanuel Syndrome.

 

 

Upton and his wife took to social media to spread the word. They would hold a virtual 5K through the month of November to raise funds and awareness, all to help families in need. Their decision was strategic.

They chose November because Nov. 11 is Emanuel Syndrome Awareness Day.

The couple each posted links on their social media pages where people could sign up for the virtual 5K. They asked all participants to wear purple or blue, which are the official colors for ES.

They also asked that all participants share a picture while completing their 5K with the hashtags #EmanuelSyndrome, #EmanuelSyndromeAwareness and #EmanuelSyndromeAwarenessDay.

 

 

While those who follow the Uptons on social media can see a small glimpse into the challenges that Emanuel Syndrome can bring, there is one thing on social media that the Upton family makes very clear: they consider Evyn to be their warrior.

 


Between the loving posts of his family and the ES resources linked to his social media profiles, Justin Upton has proudly and publicly taken his stance in the fight against Emanuel Syndrome. 

Aaron Judge Is The Biggest Tease | It’s Time For Him To Lead

Aaron Judge Is The Biggest Tease | It’s Time For Him To Lead

Aaron Judge went 1-for-3 on Thursday night as the Yankees lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-1. Judge has been lukewarm this season, even during the Yankees’ recent winning streak.

He does have eight homers but has produced just one of those and one RBI in the last six games. Rob Parker says the Yankees’ slugger has to step his game up and be a true leader.

 

 

Marcus Semien Is Getting His Roll On At The Plate

Marcus Semien Is Getting His Roll On At The Plate

This season at the plate, Marcus Semien is getting his roll on.

The Toronto Blue Jays have their eyes on making the postseason again after an early-round exit to the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 AL Wild Card Series.

During the offseason, the team made a few moves, one of which was acquiring the power-hitting infielder. 

 

So far, Semien has put a smile on the faces of Blue Jays fans with his production throughout the season. Through the first  30 games, the 30-year old posted a .254 batting average with seven home runs and 16 RBIs. 

Let’s be real here, not too many players are seeing the ball like Semien is. On May 6, the Blue Jays took on Semien’s former ballclub, the Oakland A’s and boy did he have a game.

He went 4-for-6 with a home run, a double, and three runs scored helping the Blue Jays to a 10-4 win. 

This man has been locked in at the plate. He’s driven in a run in 12 of his last 13 games and registered four multi-hit games during that span.

 

Take a look at these stats in his last 13 games: .367 batting, three home runs, nine RBI and a 1.049 OPS.

Oh and let’s not forget that, going into Friday’s action, he was riding a six-game hitting streak to top it all off.

In an article from MLB.com, Semien talked about his success at the plate. “I feel good. I’m able to not think about mechanics as much,” Semien said. “I just think about the approach and what I’m looking for. That’s a good place to be. That’s where a lot of players want to be all the time, but sometimes it’s not there.”

His performance at the plate is rubbing off on his fellow teammates and that’s something he loves to see.

“Hitting is contagious,” Semien said. “When the whole lineup is struggling, you want to be that guy to get everybody going. That’s baseball, though. Some nights it’s there, some nights it’s not.”

Our MLBBro is playing some of the best baseball we have witnessed so far this season.

Semien has had some success during his career, especially during his time with the A’s.

During the 2018 season, he batted .255 with 15 home runs and 14 stolen bases. He was one of the best defensive players that year leading the league in assists with 459.

 


In a close race for the Gold Glove Award at the shortstop position, Semien was one of three finalists, losing out to Andrelton Simmons of the Los Angeles Angels. 

The following season, Semien turned up even more as he improved his batting average, hitting .285, with a career-high 33 home runs. He also led the majors with 747 plate appearances. 

 

At the end of the 2019 season, Semien was named to the inaugural All-MLB Second Team at shortstop and he finished third in the voting for American League MVP.

 

The Blue Jays are very fortunate that Semien agreed to move to second for Bo Bichette, a much less accomplished shortstop.

That kind of veteran leadership will be important for the Blue Jays late in the season, and if he keeps hitting how he is now, Semien will probably take some hardware home with him when the season concludes.

MLB Is Joining The Fight For Diversity, Making Jackie Robinson Day Meaningful

MLB Is Joining The Fight For Diversity, Making Jackie Robinson Day Meaningful

Major League Baseball did a tremendous thing in 2004, something still unparalleled in professional sports, in establishing a day for Jackie Robinson, and retiring his jersey number across the league. 

MLB and Clubs will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day at ballparks throughout the league today (April 15th) – the anniversary of Robinson’s historic MLB debut as he broke baseball’s color barrier. 

Players will join in wearing the No. 42 on all uniforms throughout the league. 

 

 

Almost two decades have passed since that first Jackie Robinson Day, with Mariano Rivera being the final player to wear the iconic number 42.

The parallels between Jackie Robinson Day and MLK Day are clear. In many ways, Robinson was King’s precursor in the modern civil rights movement. 

In light of where we are as a nation, seemingly in the midst of another surge in our ongoing struggle with race, there is an important question to be asked.

Are we living up to Robinson’s legacy, or just remembering it?

Part of the reason that I was so excited to join the staff of this site is knowing the role that Blacks have played in building the game, and why it must be preserved, celebrated, and promoted. 

 

When I think about writers like Sam Lacy, who championed and chronicled Robinson’s career, I remember how much power there is in the words we write.

Today, it’s important to stand alongside Byron Buxton as he plays amidst another tragedy in Minnesota. 

It’s important to enjoy the rise of young stars like Akil Baddoo and Marcus Stroman, and continue to be wowed by Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts.

 

We should recognize that Major League Baseball has worked, through the RBI youth baseball program and the effort of a number of individual players, both past and present, to develop young talent.

Three of the top 15 prospects on MLB.com are Black Americans, with more in the pipeline each year. 

Still, with all of the great things going on, there is work to be done. 

Half of the teams in Major League Baseball have one or fewer Black players on their active rosters. We must also acknowledge baseball having exactly two more active Black managers than it did when Robinson died. 

With LeBron James becoming a part-owner of the Boston Red Sox, there are now three Black men sitting in the owner’s boxes, yet there isn’t a single Black man or woman running a team’s operations.

That’s why organizations like The Players Alliance are so important. 

 

 

While our nation as a whole attempts to reckon with the issue of diversity throughout society, they work within the structure of the game to continue to break the barrier that Jackie first fought through in 1947. 

More than 150 members strong, the alliance maintains a number of programs that are focused on generating action as much as awareness.

And that’s the role I believe we want to play here at MLBBro.com. Generating action and awareness. 

Like Jackie would.