After ten seasons of professional ball, 2,300 at-bats in the Minor Leagues, three organizations, and independent ball, outfielder Dillon Thomas finally got the call that the Seattle Mariners were picking up his contract from Triple-A Tacoma ahead of Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Detroit Tigers.
Thomas didn’t waste any time flashing the stellar defense that he’s displayed throughout his decade in the minors, robbing MLBbro Niko Goodrum of a potential extra base hit in his Big league debut on Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old was filled with emotions as he described his big-league call-up to the media, prior to the game.
He told reporters, “My daughter was playing with her Barbies on the hotel floor, and I just looked at her and a wave of emotions came over me. My girlfriend woke up as she heard me on the phone. I looked at her, we both started crying, and my daughter came up to me and asked, ‘Daddy, what’s wrong?’ I was like ‘daddies going to the big leagues,’ and she got excited and said, ‘Daddy’s a big leaguer.'”
Holding back tears, he added, “My parents were the first call. That’s a moment I thought about for years, and I wanted to share that moment with them. To have them and all my family here is truly a blessing, and I am grateful for the opportunity.”
He played with that same passion in his debut as he manned the Mariners outfield with fellow MLB bro Taylor Trammell.
Before the life-changing call-up, Thomas was raking.
In 80 at-bats, Thomas accounted for 19 runs batted in, six homers, five doubles, and four bases on balls to average .338 with a .459 on-base percentage, a .625 slugging percentage, and an OPS of 1.084 with the Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers.
Dillon Thomas got the call to play for the Mariners after 10 seasons and over 2,300 AB in the minors!
Thomas was selected in the fourth round (138th overall) by the Colorado Rockies during the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Westbury Christian School (TX), where he spent six seasons in the team’s farm system.
The super athlete had stints with the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2018-2019 season and the Oakland Athletics during the pandemic shortened season before ultimately signing with the Mariners as a minor league free agent on January 14.
How bad do you want it? How long will you follow the rainbow before you reach that pot of gold?
During this long and arduous journey, Thomas’s dedication, hard work, patience, and sacrifices proved that his hunger for greatness was more potent than the negativity he received from all the naysayers who told him to give up on his dreams.
The man is living proof of the saying “Be so good that they can’t ignore you.”
Wednesday night was a great start. Everyone should embrace this Black Knight’s story.
The Detroit Tigers have been seriously affected by the injury bug and scrambling around trying to find a consistent outfield throughout the 2021 season. They might have finally found a winner in MLBbro Derek Hill.
On June 4th, outfielder Victor Reyes was put on the 10-day Injured List with a left intercostal strain.
With Reyes out, the Tigers were in search of a player to call up. They called up a player from the Toledo Mud Hens who has been dominating this season.
With the numbers that Hill has put up this season in the minors, it was hard for the Tigers not to call him up.
Check out these stats.
Through 21 games with the Mud Hens, he posted a .355 batting average and is a top defensive player in the Tigers farm system.
It was a no-brainer for Tigers’ general manager AJ Hinch to bring Hill up to the team.
“Very easy (decision),” Hinch told the Detroit Free Press. “We had a couple of options. JaCoby (Jones) is down there on the roster. Daz Cameron is playing very well. And then Derek has really outperformed everybody. We’ve seen Derek a couple of times up here. I’m really glad that he gets a chance to stick up here.”
Entering Tuesday’s breakout game, Hill was 1-for-9 at the plate, before breaking out with two hits in three at-bats, an RBI, and a stolen base. It was a great example of his all-around ability and potential as an everyday player.
The 25-year-old has impressed a lot of people throughout the Tigers’ organization and there’s a reason he got the call-up.
Now he just needs to perform on the big stage and prove that he belongs. He certainly has the skill set to do that.
If Hill can put together a few games like the multi-hit gem he produced on Tuesday, there will be a good chance the Tigers keep him around throughout the season.
Hinch gave a lot of credit to Hill’s offensive approach, which is something very good in Hill’s case.
“He’s not in the mode of trying to hit the ball in the air a ton, but he’s also just not content touching the ball and hitting the ball on the ground,” Hinch said. “The line-drive stroke, combined with the knowledge of a ball from a strike, has created some offensive opportunities for him. I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to do that.”
Hill has spent seven seasons in the minors and this season is arguably his best one. Throughout his minor league career he’s batting .248, with 25 home runs and 180 RBIs.
The Tigers selected Hill with the No. 23 overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Our MLBbro can get it done at the plate and in the field and he can become a valuable asset to the Tigers this season and in the future.
Pay close attention to Hill this season ladies and gentlemen and don’t be surprised if he has a few more breakout games.
The name Curtis Granderson is synonymous with players know for leaving it all on the field. He made sure to give his best effort out there and he made a name for himself during his time in MLB.
Granderson spent 16 seasons in the league and played for seven different teams. When he got that opportunity he made the most of it and became a well-known player throughout the league.
The three-time All-Star could get the job done in the field and at the plate. Baseball had a positive impact on Granderson’s life and he’s able to make an impact on the community because of this sport.
This is one Black man who cares about the community and giving back and he’s been doing that since he was playing in the league.
In 2007, he founded the Grand Kids Foundation. He had a vision to help aid youth development through education, physical fitness, and other positive initiatives. Not only has he impacted communities in his home state of Illinois, but he has also made an impact in other areas of the country as well.
“We started this in Detroit, here we are 10 years later getting a chance to celebrate a lot of different things we’ve done. Helping kids get introduced to the game of baseball, feeding kids, getting kids active and emphasizing the importance of education,” Granderson said in an article from nydailynews.com. “We’ve done it in a lot of different places: Chicago, Michigan, Florida and New York, so it’s been really cool to have that reach and ability because of baseball and because of this community.”
For Granderson, it was more than just playing the game. He used his platform to impact many people across the country and that just shows the kind of person he is.
Granderson last played in 2019, and he continues to be involved in the game even though he hasn’t touched the field in two years.
He serves as the president of The Players Alliance, a group made up of more than 100 former and current baseball players who come together to use their voice and platform to make new opportunities for Black communities in areas regarding baseball and society.
Granderson is not afraid to speak out on different topics or issues or take action. In July of 2020, the MLB and teams gave players the option of wearing a social message on their jersey for opening day, in the midst of everything that was going on in the world at the time.
Granderson and current MLB player Andrew McCutcheon were the two people in coordination with the league regarding that matter. So you can see that Granderson is passionate about the things he’s involved in and you just love to see it.
The Detroit Tigers drafted Granderson out of the University of Illinois-Chicago in the 2002 draft. During his time in Detroit, he established himself as one of the team’s top players.
During the 2007 season, he posted a .302 batting average, the first time he batted over .300 in his career.
In 2009, Granderson was selected to his first All-Star Game. He went on to finish the season with a .249 batting average and 30 home runs.
Batting in the leadoff spot, Granderson could change the game with one swing of a bat. He had power and speed, a deadly combination.
After a successful career in Detroit, he went to the east coast to play with the New York Yankees and the Mets.
Granderson had arguably his best season in 2011 with the Bronx Bombers. That season he was named an All-Star and won a Silver Slugger Award. He batted .262 and hit 41 home runs.
He went on to make one more All-Star team in 2012 with the Yankees. Granderson finished his career playing for the LA Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Miami Marlins.
No matter what team he went to, he was always loved by fans. Baseball has had a positive impact on Granderson’s life and he continues to impact the lives of others daily.