Spring Training is under way and MLBbros are already making an impact. As we always do about this time, here’s our Top 10 Black and brown players entering the 2023 MLB season.
1. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge sits atop the throne as the best MLBbro in the game entering 2023 after launching an American League record 62 home runs and narrowly missing out on becoming the 16th player to win a Triple Crown.
The 2022 season for Judge will go down as one of the greatest single seasons for any professional athlete in sports history. He led the Majors in almost every offensive category and played a Gold Glove caliber center field with all eyes on him. Over the off-season Judge earned himself a nine-year $360 million deal with the Yankees in addition to becoming the team’s first captain since the retirement of Hall of Famer Derek Jeter.
2. Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts has been one of the most consistent players in the Majors since his debut in 2014.
Since then, he’s accrued seven consecutive All-Star appearances, an MVP, a 30-30 season, six Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger Awards.
Last year Betts, who will be representing the culture for Team USA in this year’s World Baseball Classic had his best season since he became a Dodger in 2020. He hit 35 home runs and slugged .533 with 82 RBI.
3. Triston “Dr. Sticks” McKenzie
Triston McKenzie is one of the top young arms in the game and he comes into 2023 with a puncher’s chance to become the first Black pitcher to win the Cy Young Award since David Price in 2012.
Mckenzie posted a 2.96 ERA and 190 strikeouts in 2022 and allowed a batting average against of .201. All of those put him in the top 10 amongst all Major League pitchers.
4. Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson is the unspoken hero and originator of the “Let the kids play” movement and like wine he will continue to get better with time.
Anderson, who won the Major League batting title in 2019 did not play competitive baseball until his junior year of high school, started for the American League at shortstop in last year’s All-Star Game.
He has hit over .300 for four consecutive seasons and will join Betts in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA.
5. Marcus Semien
Marcus Semien won the inaugural 2021 MLBbro Player of the Year Award for his record breaking 2021 which saw him hit 45 home runs, the most ever by a second baseman. Despite a slow start at the plate, Semien who led the American League in games played and at-bats, stole a career-high 25 bases.
His 81 RBI, five triples, 26 home runs, 31 doubles and 162 hits were all top four among his position peers.
6. Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins
Cedric Mullins is a five-tool player and is living proof that size does not measure heart in baseball. In 2021, the 5-foot-8 Mullins became the first Baltimore Oriole to join the 30/30 club.
Last season Mullins’ career-high 34 steals were the third most in baseball and he was one of the main catalysts for the massive and somewhat unexpectedly quick turnaround for the O’s franchise. He will also be joining Team USA during the World Baseball Classic.
7.” Money” Michael Harris
The 2022 National League Rookie of the Year took the Majors by storm with his combination of power and speed on offense to go along with being one of the best defenders in baseball.
Last year Harris finished with both 20 home runs and 20 steals, so with a full season and experience under his belt he will look to join Mullins as a member of the 30/30 club.
8. Jazz Chisholm Jr.
Jazz Chisholm AKA “The Bahamian Blur” is one of the most explosive players in the Majors and will become the first Bahamian born athlete to be on a video game cover when he graces the cover of MLB The Show 2023. Before a back injury ended his 2022 campaign, Chisholm, who was named an All-Star, led Miami in almost every offensive category.
Let’s shock the system! 🎷😎
Introducing Jazz Chisholm as the cover athlete for MLB The Show 23.
Pre-orders open February 6, 2023.https://t.co/B1gC8aM7Fh #MLBTheShow #OwnTheShow pic.twitter.com/d47WrJsrF9
— MLB The Show (@MLBTheShow) January 30, 2023
9. Devin Williams
Devin Williams “Airbender” changeup is one of the nastiest pitches in baseball and it has helped him rise into the conversation of best closer in the Majors.
Williams became the Brewers full-time closer after last season’s trade deadline, finishing with 15 saves, 96 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA. Williams is the only Black pitcher on the roster for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
10. Byron Buxton
The difference between being ranked at 10 and being in the top three is simply availability for Byron Buxton. Big Bux has played less than 100 games every year since 2017 due to different injuries, but when in the lineup, he stands as one of the best all-around players in the Majors.
He showed what he can do against the league’s best when he hit the game-winning home run in Los Angeles during his first career All-Star Game.