There are numerous MLB players around the league making their 2021 debut as the playoff picture becomes clearer. Baltimore Orioles infielder Richie Martin made his season debut this month.
Martin is no stranger to the Big Leagues. He made his debut in 2019 with the Orioles. That season he played in 120 games and finished with a .208 batting average, with six home runs, 23 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. As a rookie, Martin impressed many and was determined to show improvements in the future.
He made his way back to the majors this season and so far he’s put up some solid numbers.
A well-placed 320 feet from Richie. pic.twitter.com/seuo0FispM
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) August 14, 2021
Martin has played in 10 games and is batting .233 with a home run and four RBI. He recorded his first hit of the season in his third game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
That game he went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI.
He recently has been impressive at the plate. From August 12 to the 16 he has put together a four-game hitting streak.
It’s safe to say that Martin is making the most of his opportunity in his second stint in the majors.
The 26-year-old has dealt with his fair share of adversity in the past year, but that has not stopped him from putting on those Orioles colors.
After he finished the 2019 season, the Orioles had plans to send him down to Triple-A to start the 2020 season. But when COVID-19 interrupted those plans, Martin was among a group of many minor league players who did not have a season.
And to make things worse, Martin suffered a wrist injury in July of 2020 that required surgery.
Our MLBbro suffered another injury going into 2021 and he was forced to miss the start of spring training. Injury setbacks became the common theme for Martin.
In each instance, however, Martin rose to the occasion and pushed through the recovery process to get himself back on the field.
When 2021 came, Martin was in the Orioles farm system. He played one game of rookie ball, then spent some time in Double-A and finished playing 13 games in Triple-A. During his time in the minors, Martin spent time in the outfield. He’s the type of player who is versatile and can play in the infield or outfield.
But when he was playing the outfield, he suffered another setback. He fractured his left wrist in May after crashing into a wall trying to make a catch.
So once again Martin would have to miss time due to an injury.
But like the previous times before, he wasn’t going to let his injury stop him from getting back to the league.
So here we are now and Martin is back on the Orioles. This brother can play some ball and the Orioles can move him around on defense too, which is a good thing. With the position that the Orioles are in, there will be a good chance Martin will stay on the roster throughout the remainder of the season.
Perserverence has been the secret to Martin’s success.
A towering and chiseled six-foot-five, 212 pound man, Lewis Brinson always looked like he was a power hitting outfielder.
There was a reason that the Texas Rangers used a first round selection on the Florida high school phenom in 2012. He slashed .283/.345/.523 in his debut with the Rangers affiliate in the Arizona League.
Brinson was on pace to be a star before a trade sent him to the Milwaukee Brewers. Just 21 games into his big league career, he got moved again.
The top prospect in the entire Brewers organization was sent back home to Florida as part of the deal for Christian Yelich. He was destined to be one of the centerpieces of the Marlins’ rebuild under new CEO Derek Jeter.
However, from 2018-2020, he was one of the worst hitters in baseball. His strikeout total (224) was higher than his batting average (.195).
Expectations were lowered.
This season, he got off to another slow start. On June 16, he was hitting just .221 with only two home runs and 14 total hits. He had been called up and sent down over and over again. It took the Marlins being eliminated from playoff contention, Miami figured it had nothing to lose.
Give the one time jewel of the organization another, and maybe his last, chance.
The last 20 games though, Lewis Brinson, the prototype power hitter, is back.
Brinson has destroyed opposing pitching since being reinserted into the lineup on July 19.
Lewis Brinson has finally started to show glimpses of the player the #Marlins thought they were getting when they traded Christian Yelich for him and other prospects. So far in the month of August he’s batting .351 with 12 RBI’s. #MLB #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/Nv3Gv3S2bB
— Jacob Aframian (@JacobAframian) August 12, 2021
The slash line reads .349/.406/.698 over his last 63 at-bats. Brinson has hit five home runs and driven in 18 RBI. Twelve of his 22 hits have gone for extra bases.
— MLB (@MLB) August 11, 2021
In his last five games, Brinson has really gone off.
First, he punished the Colorado Rockies for two nights, going 5-for-7 with three doubles.
He followed that up with six hits, six RBI, five runs scored, and three home runs. Two of those coming during his first two ABs in Wednesday night’s 7-0 win over the San Diego Padres.
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) August 11, 2021
There is hope that Lewis Brinson has finally figured out how to hit something other than a fastball.
I don’t know about you, but there used to be a place for a glove liek this on anybody’s MLB field.
Pitchers always figure out young hitters, and teams read the book on Brinson. It read simply, “no fastballs.”
He chased any and every thing else. In the strike zone or out of it, he just couldn’t make contact with everything.
Now, he’s been battling pitches that he normally would have missed completely, and staying away from ones in the dirt. At least, more often than he had in the past.
It’s an encouraging sign, and a big step.
Lewis Brinson has gone from a star prospect to seeming bust to possibly resurrecting his career. It’s too early to know if this is a blip or a trend; but we’ll be watching.
The reigning World Series Champions added another weapon to their arsenal after calling up their number one pitching prospect, Josiah Gray.
Good morning to everyone, but especially to #Dodgers top pitching prospect Josiah Gray, who will make his MLB debut tonight.
It's Jojo Gray szn y'all! 🔥
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) July 20, 2021
The Dodgers added Gray to their Taxi Squad ahead of their crucial series against the first-place Giants this week. Manager Dave Roberts told mlbbro.com he would be activated before Tuesday night’s game, but since he recently made a start for their Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City, the team will likely use an Opener and let Gray work most of his innings out of the bullpen.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) July 20, 2021
Gray wasn’t on the radar for most scouts while he attended New Rochelle High School in New York. He committed to LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York as a two-way player; being the king of the infield at shortstop and controlling the game as a pitcher in 2014.
“The athleticism that made Gray a shortstop translates well to pitching,” said scouts. “He repeats his delivery well and shows the ability to harness his electric fastball and slider.”
Before his junior season, Gray decided to begin pitching full-time. In 13 starts that season he posted an 11-0 record and a 1.25 ERA.
The Cincinnati Reds selected him in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft, but he was traded to the Dodgers that same year on his 21st birthday in a deal that sent MLBbro Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig to Cincy.
Scouts are extremely high on Gray’s fastball which can reach up to 97 MPH and “seems to explode at the plate with riding and rising life.” He also has worked to sharpen both his slider and an upper 70’s curveball while at the team’s alternate training site this season.
Josiah Gray truthers check in here.
— Smith (@BelliMVP) July 20, 2021
During the 2019 season, he dominated at each of his three stops in the Dodgers organization on the way to being named their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He had a 2.70 ERA with 147 strikeouts in 130 innings and an 11-2 record through 25 starts.
Gray had his 2020 campaign lost after the minor league season was canceled due to Covid.
This season Gray has appeared in four games for the Dodgers Triple-A team, the Oklahoma City Dodgers. He is 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA, 22 Strikeouts, two walks all while holding opponents to a .145 batting average.
It’s been a great week for him, as he collected his first career hit last Thursday on an RBI hit to left.
Josiah Gray, first professional hit and RBI, you can see him call for the ball at the end! pic.twitter.com/JRFmQMtGPq
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) July 16, 2021
Gray will have every opportunity to earn a prominent role on the Dodger pitching staff whether it be as a starter or out of the bullpen. One thing is for certain, he’ll be pitching under the spotlight and with the eyes of baseball on him as he has entered one of the most competitive division races we have seen.
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.
31 of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects are on Futures Game rosters
In honor of this year’s Futures Game, I comprised an All-Star team of my own.
I’d put this All-MLBbros Futures Team up against any prospect list you can find.
Anchored by fireballer Hunter Greene and the aforementioned Davis & Edwards, these young MLBbros will be making headlines soon.
( * denotes players who are expected to play in the game.)
Josiah Gray*- RHP- Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 8 RHP prospect in MLB)
Hunter Greene – RHP – Cincinnati Reds (No. 10 RHP prospect in 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.
Xavier Edwards* – Tampa Bay Rays (No. 3 2B prospect in MLB)
Jordan Walker – St. Louis Cardinals (No. 7 3B prospect in MLB)
C.J. Abrams (replaced due to injury)- San Diego Padres (No. 3 SS prospect in MLB)
Brennen Davis* – Chicago Cubs (No. 2 prospect in Cubs organization)
Michael Harris II* – Atlanta Braves (No. 9 prospect in Braves organization)
Jordyn Adams – Los Angeles Angels (No 3 prospect in Angels organization)
These Future stars will be going hard to prove that they are the elite prospects in the game, with hopes of one day playing on Tuesday night.