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.
Ed Howard and Brennen Davis are two of the top five prospects in the Chicago Cubs farm system.
The idea of becoming a foundational piece of a rebuild should excite any ballplayer, but for these two young MLB bros, the opportunity to do so in a Cubs uniform can add to a rich history of Black baseball on Chicago’s North Side.
Howard, the 19-year old Chicago kid who rose to fame during his historic Little League World Series run with the Jackie Robinson West program, was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2020 draft.
The pick was loved all over the city, and Howard seemed more than ready for the challenge of playing at home.
“I was looking forward to it,” Howard told MLB.com. “I wanted to be a hometown kid. I’m excited it’s with the Cubs. I think that’s a great organization. I watch a lot of Cubs games, follow them, know a lot of their players and things like that, so I’m excited to be a hometown guy. It’s special.”
The 6-foot-2, 185 pound Howard is projected as a plus shortstop with consistent hard contact and gap power with room to grow. The consensus top prep shortstop in his class will be given every opportunity to become a staple of the Cubs middle infield of the future.
But Howard, a smooth fielder, wouldn’t be the first MLB bro to make noise at short for the Cubs.
Made popular by his catchphrase “Let’s play two”, Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks was signed by the Cubs from the Negro League Kansas City Monarchs in 1953. Once in Chicago, Banks quickly cemented himself as the greatest power-hitting shortstop in the game.
After hitting 19 home runs his rookie season, Banks hit 44 bombs the very next year and would go on to hit 40 homers five times from 1955-60. Banks’ unprecedented power from the position wouldn’t be matched until deep into the “steroid era”.
Now for Davis, there aren’t any additional pressures of being a hometown kid, but there are still some lofty expectations being placed on the 21- year old, 2018 second-round pick. Just listen to Iowa Cubs’ manager Marty Pevey:
“I’ve never — and this is the God’s honest truth — I have never seen power like this kid’s going to have. I’m not talking about pull power. I’m talking about just raw, leverage power — like Dale Murphy driving the ball to right-center early in his career. Holy smokes, he’s got some pop.”
Murphy was a great power hitter in his era, but when you began to see “30-30 talent” on scouting reports, you have to immediately think of another former Cub. Andre Dawson flirted with the 30-30 club early in his career but didn’t become a league MVP until joining the Cubs in 1989.
In order to revive the game of baseball in the Black community, we need an influx of young, Black, exciting talent.
With MLB bros like Howard and Davis in the pipeline, the future looks brighter than ever.