People gave the Houston Astros some grief for not having any MLBbros on the World Series playoff roster last season. While Dusty Baker is an elite representative for the MLBbros, Michael Brantley AKA “The Professional”, the only prominent Black position player on the Astros, was injured and it has carried into this season as the 35-year-old MLBbro is expected to be out until late April while recovering from a labral tear in his right shoulder.
Corey Julks Finally Gets the Call To The Show
Enter highly-touted rookie Corey Julks, a 27-year-old late bloomer of sorts, who is now a rising MLBbro making his first career start on Friday night in a 6-3 Astros win over the Chicago White Sox.
Julks went 1-for-4 in the game. The rookie, starting on the night when Houston received 2022 championship rings, wasn’t fazed by the moment, just ignited by the opportunity to play on the big stage out of the gate.
Uncanny Raw Power: Julks Smashed 31 Homers In 2022
Julks, a 2017 eighth-round pick out of the University of Houston and Clear Brook High School brings a raw power that you can’t teach. His 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame packs quite a punch. of his opportunityAccording to reports, the slugger was thought of as an organizational player, but after posting a 2022 to remember, he became the talk of the Astros franchise.
After never hitting more than 20 homers in any of his previous Single-A and Double-A seasons, Julks had a career-best .854 OPS while recording a whopping 31 homers, 22 stolen bases, 89 RBI and 100 runs in 2022 at Triple-A Sugar Land.
In February, Astros assistant general manager Pete Putila raved about Julks.
“He’s one of our biggest, strongest guys in the system. He’s very athletic. But with his swing, he just wasn’t getting the power production that we thought he could achieve.”
Spring Training Solidified Roster Spot
Once his potential started translating into results, Julks’ stunted progression through the MLB system was accelerated and now he is a starting designated hitter for a World Series championship team with aspirations to repeat.
Julks followed that season up and made the most of his opportunity as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, where he posted a .275/.318/.55O slash line with two home runs, three doubles, one triple, 12 RBI and six runs scored in 18 games.
Julks’ surprising display of pop is a welcomed sight for the Astros who are looking for another power bat to team with Yordan Alvarez, the All-Star slugger who’s hit 70 homers the last two seasons.
“Being a 5-year-old playing a game, and now, being able to say I made the Opening Day roster, dream come true,” Julks told Jeremy Rakes of mlb.com in an interview. “It’s awesome — getting the opportunity to play for my hometown team. Watching them when I was a kid and now actually playing for them, I’m at a loss for words.”
Corey Julks reached the 30-homer plateau but didn't stop there.
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 29, 2022
Dusty Baker Believes That Corey Julks Is A Big Time MLBbro Bomber
Dusty Baker is a master talent evaluator with a half century of experience in the game as a player and title-winning manager and owner of over 2,000 wins. With Houston in need of some added power, Julks was an obvious choice to throw into the fire. He’s waited six years for this.
“He deserved it,” manager Dusty Baker told Jakes. “He’s come a long way. It hasn’t been easy. He hit 30 home runs last year. It’s hard to take that away from him. He’s worked hard on his defense. He’s worked hard on his throwing. You prefer a left-hander, but then, that’s only a side of a plate. If you can hit, you can hit on either side. We feel he can hit.”
There’s nothing better than the confidence of your manager. Sticking around in MLB is about capitalizing on your opportunities. Julks took the place of Yainer Diaz, who went 0-for-4 and struck out with Kyle Tucker at first base to end Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Chicago.
Let’s see if he can cut the mustard. Hunger won’t be a problem.