by Charles Dunkin | May 19, 2022 | 5TH SLOT
All eyes on me.
In a press conference today on May 18th, 2022, top high school prospect Jackson Cotton announced that he will play baseball at Texas A&M University.
After he made his commitment, Jackson got a very special phone call. Del Mathews, from Major League Baseball, was on speaker and wanted to say that he was “so proud of the way he (Jackson) has conducted himself and the way he has gone about his business. Keep grinding and I am looking forward to seeing you this summer.”
Jackson was honored to be on MLB’s map at such a young age.
“It’s a really big accomplishment because it shows how much they value me as a player and how much my hard work has paid off.” Jackson said. “Without any of this, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today.”
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Jackson Cotton is an outfielder and LHP from Missouri City, TX. He stands at 6’0 tall and weighs 160 lbs. He currently attends Episcopal High School, home of the Maroons, where he will graduate in 2025. He is the son of former MLB Draft pick and Olympic Gold Medalist, John Cotton, who played 15 seasons in the minor leagues after being drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 10th round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft.
Everyone wants a piece of Jackson; Bo Porter being one of them.
Bo knows good stock and in the case of Jackson Cotton, Bo has taken the Texas lefty under his wing and will have him join his Academy for Athletic Excellence (Bo Porter Academy), a new baseball school that stresses academic and athletic excellence and a holistic life experience.
Setting the standard. Striving for excellence. Producing productive people. This is… Bo Porter Academy. Bo helps student athletes to become tomorrow’s transformational leaders and influencers, both in sports and in life, which will surely help this up-and-coming star.
Bo has had a big impact on Jackson and helped him make his decision to join the Aggies in 2025.
When asked why he chose Texas A&M, Jackson said, “it was the first college that really showed a lot of interest in me. I loved the atmosphere; it just felt like home.”
Jackson hits from a spread and even stance; he shows good separation, presents bat speed on a clean path, and is consistent with his barrel skills with big power projection.
Over the past season, Jackson has mainly played in the outfield for Episcopal. He has easy strides with obvious athleticism. His play is under control and balanced. Under the radar, he clocked up to 85 mph on throws.
Jackson is also a pitcher for the Maroons. His up-tempo delivery with compact mechanics makes him extremely dangerous; he will most likely fool quite a few hitters this Summer and Fall. His favorite pitch is his fastball, which sits at about 80-82 mph and his sharp slider, with a flashed feel to spin.
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Jackson is a high-level two-way projection. In 2021, he was added to the National Underclass South Showcase Top Prospect List. Jackson headlines the first distinguished recruiting class of Bo Porter’s elite academy and joins other national prospects from within Texas; such as infielder Kaden Williams (Class of 2024), imposing 6-foot-7 pitcher Kobe Beaudion (Class of 2024) and frontline catcher prospect Avery Spriggs (Class of 2025).
Porter is also adding elite out-of-state recruits such as switch-hitting, shortstop/utility specialist JC Gamble (Class of 2025) from Long Island, NY, who’s also known as the “Human Highlight Film” and one of the best high average hitters and all-around defensive players in the state of NY.
Jackson Cotton will be an early difference maker for BPA with “baseball in his blood.” Give this kid a chance and never look back. We could be looking at a future MLBbro.
by Charles Dunkin | May 5, 2022 | THE LEAD OFF
The trailblazer is now immortal.
On the heels of Jackie Robinson’s 75th anniversary of breaking the color barrier, the ultimate bro made history. In his 25th year as a big league manager, Astros head man Dusty Baker became the first Black manager to record his 2000th with a shutout win on Tuesday beating the Seattle Mariners 4-0.
Baker is only the 12th manager in MLB history to win 2000 games, joining Connie Mack, Tony La Russa, John McGraw, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Sparky Anderson, Bucky Harris, Joe McCarthy, Walter Alston, Leo Durocher and Bruce Bochy – 10 of those managers are enshrined at Cooperstown.
So we here at MLBbro believe that it’s time to pay tribute to the man, the myth and now…the legend. Actually, this is long overdue.
Baker is a California native and the oldest of five. He earned the nickname “Dusty” from his mother because he would always play in a dirt spot in their backyard. Baker excelled in baseball, basketball, football, and track at Del Campo High School and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1967.
Like many managers in the majors, Baker started as a player. His career spanned 19 years from 1968-86; his most notable stints were with the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers. During his tenure with the Dodgers he was a two-time All-star and Golden Glove winner. He appeared in three World Series with a ring in 1981.
Baker’s old-school philosophy was simple yet impactful. He saw the value in mentoring and teaching his players. “He knew how to handle every type of player, from a rookie to the biggest superstars, such as Barry Bonds,” – according to former manager Cito Gaston, the first Black manager to win a World Series.
“A lot of managers manage, but they don’t teach. And Dusty is a teacher. You can tell. I know that about him,” said Gaston. “The way he treats his players, Dusty certainly respects them. He certainly has their back.”
Building trust is big for Baker, and he expects it from both sides. “I played for him — and there’s a lot of guys that have played for him — you want to win for Dusty. He puts so much effort into it, it’s hard not to root for a guy like that,” said Blue Jays outfielder George Springer, who played for Baker in 2020.
Every team Baker has managed has gone on to the postseason under his watch. That’s five different ball clubs – another first!
There are still many who believe that his “old school” philosophy is not versed well in modern day baseball; which is why some say Baker has still not won a World Series. However, for Baker, it’s more than just victories that makes him one of the best managers in MLB history.
Baker knows of the high pressure he faces as a Black coach in the majors. “If you’re an African American, if you don’t win it all, you’re considered a failure, you know what I mean?” Baker says.
Baker spoke out just this past January on Black representation in baseball. In the article, he discusses how under-represented Blacks are as managers; with he and Dave Roberts as the only two African-American MLB coaches in all of baseball. He believes that with a larger pool of black managers, black players will follow. Currently, Black baseball players only make up 7 percent of the league and that number needs to increase.
Baker is a leader, he is a baseball purist. He believes in setting his players up for success, he has a spiritual way of connecting with them. “As one of the most successful managers in baseball history, Dusty is a trailblazer, a winner, and an example of how Black managers can succeed in leading teams for decades,” said CC Sabathia.
When you can call somebody by just one name and you know who it is, that’s a sign of true greatness. Baker’s milestones are a testament to his perseverance – a true inspiration for all Black managers.
by Charles Dunkin | Apr 22, 2022 | THE LEAD OFF
- Heckling Fans in Cleveland Get a ‘Flippin’ Reaction
Tim Anderson can’t get up.
After serving a two-game suspension to start the season, Chicago White Sox star shortstop Tim Anderson has made headlines for his display of flipping off the Cleveland Guardian home crowd.
Usually, one of the chillest Bros in the game (except when he’s celebrating a dinger) Anderson lost his cool a bit after experiencing some uncharacteristically bad defense.
Baseball is a game of extreme highs and constant lows. Anderson has been fortunate enough not to fall into the MLB matrix that can turn awesome players into mental messes in the flick of a wrist. He’s won a batting title and generally fields his position well.
In Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Guardians, Anderson felt the tension of the division rivalry early on.
He made a crucial throwing error in the first inning, which gave the Guardians the first run of the game. Anderson cut himself down again, making two more errors in the second, resulting in the Guardian’s 11-1 rout over the White Sox.
With the noise in his ear and emotions riding high, Anderson made a poor judgment call that struck him down even further. All eyes were on him as he flipped the bird to the Guardian faithful at Progressive Field. TV cameras caught the infielder in frustration in a video that has now gone viral.
Although social media actually took it in stride, the action will most likely result in a fine and another potential timeout for the White Sox shortstop. Anderson has already served a suspension for making contact with umpire Tim Timmons during the ninth inning of a game on Sept. 27.
Anderson is following a current trend in sports, using his finger rather than his play to make a statement on the playing field. Brooklyn Nets star guard, Kyrie Irving, gave Boston Celtics fans the double bird during Game 1 of the 1st Round of the NBA playoffs.
When asked about his actions during the game, Anderson brushed the media aside.
He was quoted after the loss saying:
“I feel like I’m getting to the point where I need to change the game.” However, he did add that this experience will be a “good way to grow.”
Anderson has always been a player that wants to bring excitement to America’s pastime. However, the baseball purists would probably not appreciate gestures like the one he displayed on Wednesday.
To add insult to injury, in Game 3 of the series on Thursday, Anderson made another error on his first attempt at fielding the ball. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s his fourth error in this series alone. To put that into perspective, Anderson only had 10 errors at shortstop all of last season.
When the baseball gods are out to get you… they really do not let up.