When The Vets Are Away, The Kids Will Play | Los Angeles Angels Future Shortstop Kyren Paris Isn’t Wasting His Spring Training Opportunity

When The Vets Are Away, The Kids Will Play | Los Angeles Angels Future Shortstop Kyren Paris Isn’t Wasting His Spring Training Opportunity

The Los Angeles Angels are looking to finally make a splash behind superstar outfielder Mike Trout. With the team sending a whopping 18 players (10 MLB, 8 minor league) including Trout and Japan’s Shohei Ohtani to this year’s World Baseball Classic, the team had to do something to fill out their spring training roster.

One of the players who benefitted from the shortage of manpower and was invited tup for the spring is highly-regarded 2019 second-round pick, Kyren Paris.

 Drafted to be the Angels future shortstop or second baseman, the 21-year-old is right on track to reach his ceiling, and an opportunity like this is huge for his development. Paris has battled injuries, which caused some struggles early on in his development. But in August he was promoted to the Double-A Rocket City Trash Pandas after spending the entire 2021 and 2022 season with the High-A Tri-City Dust Devils. 



 Paris Has Taken Advantage Of Spring Training Opportunity


Paris, a .250 hitter in three seasons of minor league ball, has hit at that same clip through spring training. But in a breakout five RBI performance, Paris brought his bat, going 2-4 with a two-run triple, a bases loaded walk and two-run double in the ninth. Paris’ bat accounted for five of the Angels 11 runs that day, and further proved why the franchise is so high on him being one of their best future infielders. He’s a potentially-explosive player with multiple tools. 

Also possessing a great glove, and with the innate ability to wreak havoc on the base paths, the only thing holding Paris back is experience and more contact, which will come with that experience and seeing more MLB-level pitching daily.

As the Angels 10th-ranked prospect, if Paris continues on his trajectory, he’s expected to make his MLB debut in 2024. He and rising shortstop/second baseman Livan Soto will form a dynamic duo for the Angels. Soto got the call up last September, and Paris should be the next Angels infielder to receive that life-changing call.




Paris Being Drafted Made Parents Proud

Back in 2019, when the Angels chose Paris, it was as if his entire family, especially mom, Kimberly and dad LeJon had made it. All those sacrifices they made as parents paid off.

When his mother heard Kyren’s name called in the MLB Draft, mom told reporters this:

“It was a sense of complete bliss!” said his mother, Kimberly. “I was very happy that he had reached one of his lifelong goals. He has worked very hard to get to where he is today.”

“The biggest adjustment for the family is Kyren not being at home anymore,” mom added. He’s away doing what he loves to do. However, we get to talk to him every day via group chat and FaceTime.”



Dad LeJon piggybacked mom’s comments.

 “The feeling was immense joy and excitement! He and I had worked very hard together to make this dream become a reality,” said LeJon.

 Now that dream is becoming a reality and probably quicker than they thought. Paris’ spring performance has definitely placed him on the radar and possibly bolted him into contention to become an immediate part of the LA Angels’ future. 

With young MLBbros such as Jo Adell and Paris, the Angles are looking to bring some Bros to the show, sooner than later.

“I Want To Get Back To My Game” | Marlins Second Baseman Xavier Edwards Hoping To Make 26-Man Opening Day Roster

“I Want To Get Back To My Game” | Marlins Second Baseman Xavier Edwards Hoping To Make 26-Man Opening Day Roster

The Miami Marlins have accrued some young talent over the last couple of years with reigning Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara and All-Star second baseman/centerfielder, Jazz Chisholm AKA “Bahamian Blur” leading the pack.

In fact, Chisholm became the first Bahamian-born player to make an All-Star roster in 2022. While those are the cornerstones of the rebuild going down in South Florida, manager Skip Schumaker is looking to add more talent to the roster. That may come in the form of the sweet-hitting Xavier Edwards, who’s looking to make the 26-man opening day roster at second base.



The 23-year-old, versatile player
was traded by the Tampa Bay Rays and shipped off to South Beach on November 15th, after his first stint in Triple-A saw him hit a career-high five homers. While his deep-ball accuracy got better his batting average dropped from a career .300 hitter to .246, not all that alarming when you consider hitters usually see a drop in batting average when they become more locked-in on going yard. But for the five-foot-ten, 175-pound Edwards, that’s not who he is as a hitter. Now, he wants to revert back to his former approach at the plate.


Xavier Edwards Is Going Back To What He Knows

In a January interview with Baseball America’s Marlins correspondent Walter Villa, Edwards addressed that very thing.

“I want to get back to my game,” said Edwards.

That means hitting for average and spraying the baseball to all parts of the field. Not just swinging for the fences.



Edwards Is A Switch-Hitting Base Thief

One of Edwards’ other attributes is his ability to get on-base, and then wreak havoc on opposing pitchers and catchers. In his career, he’s been successful in 82 of his 109 base-stealing attempts for a 75 percent clip.

That’s eight percent better than the MLB average of 67 percent. While that percentage might drop a bit against better pitchers, catchers and infielders at the MLB level, it shouldn’t change too drastically with Edward’s innate ability to identify the opportune moment to attempt a swipe.

Edwards is also a switch-hitter and has experience playing shortstop and third base. The one thing he prides himself on is his defensive versatility.



Edwards Is Attempting To Make A Talented Marlins Infield

Earning a spot on the talented Marlins infield won’t be easy, but the belief is Edwards has what it takes to make the 26-man roster. Edwards who’s familiar with the South Florida area — having played for the Rays after spending his junior and senior seasons of high school at North Broward Prep — has many rooting for his success.

One of his biggest supporters is his high school coach Brian Campbell who lauded Edwards as a player with leadership qualities that he exudes through hard work and dedication to the craft.

“He’s an amazing leader, an incredible worker and the most special I’ve player I’ve ever coached,” Campbell said. “But I’m even more proud he’s giving back to the community.”

Edwards has held a baseball camp at North Broward Prep for the last five years. It’s a free two-day experience for over 120 kids yearly.




Edwards knows how important it is to give back and grow the game amongst the melanated brothers.

“I’ve been given a lot of opportunities. It’s important for me to try to grow the game, especially among African-Americans.“

That’s vital with only 7.2 percent of MLB players being Black in 2022.

Hopefully, this talented MLBbro will find himself in the show in 2023. He can start by taking advantage of his spring training starts.

“I’m Ready To Try And Make The Team” | St. Louis Cardinals Top Prospect Jordan Walker Is Playing For Keeps This Spring

“I’m Ready To Try And Make The Team” | St. Louis Cardinals Top Prospect Jordan Walker Is Playing For Keeps This Spring

It’s Jordan Walker’s time and the 20-year-old MLBbro from Stone Mountain, Georgia is not taking his first MLB Spring Training invite lightly.

In fact, the St. Louis Cardinals third base prospect isn’t thinking about returning to the minors. The major brands taking the field for St. Louis have recently been guys such as Adam Wainwright and Jack Flaherty, along with perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina and third-base wizard Nolan Arenado.

But if 2020 first round pick Jordan Walker has anything to say about it, as the old guard exits, he expects his name to be mentioned as one of the Cardinals best players in 2023. Heading into spring training Walker looks ready to make the jump and infuse the Cardinals lineup with some real pop, youthful energy and an above-average glove.

Walker, MLB Pipeline’s No.4 rated prospect is coming off an impressive 2022 season with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. That’s where the sweet-swinging power hitter batted .306 with 68 RBI. Walker also went yard 19 times and accrued 20 stolen bases, nearly pulling off the very rare 20/20 campaign in the minors. For a player of Walker’s talent and skillset that was just the beginning.



Walker Will Probably Switch To Outfield For Now 


Just 20-years-old, Walker also showed out in Arizona Fall League, with a .286/ .367/ .558 slash line. That also included five homers and 16 more RBI in just 21 games. There Walker spent the bulk of his time in the outfield, as he will now transition away from third-base where he’s pretty much played his entire baseball life. But with perennial Gold Glove winner the aforementioned Arenado there, the likelihood of Walker playing would only happen in emergency situations or days off for Arenado. 



Walker seems to be getting comfortable in the Cards outfield, and that’s vital considering Busch Stadium has one of the bigger outfields in the majors. During a recent visit to St. Louis for Winter Warm-Up, Walker told reporters this during his media session.

 “I got a chance to get a real long look at the field of Busch Stadium, and it really is giving me the push. I’m ready,” said Walker. “I’m ready to get going. I’m ready to try to make the team. So just being here gives me a little extra drive to try to make the team and be ready to go to St. Louis.”


Walker’s Strength Is Power: He Has All The Tools 


Standing a towering but well-proportioned 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, with long arms, Walker is an intimidating presence in the batter’s box. The only knock on Walker at the plate could be his elongated swing, something he may look to make more compact. But even if he doesn’t, his hand speed and eye coordination are good enough that he still gets the barrel of the bat to the baseball. Walker says “it’s all in the wrist.”



If Walker’s trajectory is what most experts believe, by the age 23 he could be the best power hitter in the Cardinals organization and one of the best in all of MLB. Walker also says tough love sessions from Cardinals minor-league instructor Jose Oquendo has prepared him for this moment. He recently talked with reporters from the Cardinals spring training home in Jupiter, Florida

“A lot of work with Cheo’ (Oquendo) — route running, seeing low drives, working on my first-step quickness and stuff like that — has been really good for me,” Walker said. “In the offseason I took fly balls, but being here now with ‘Cheo’ and getting the tough-love treatment and teaching from him has really helped me. I’m ready to put what I’ve learned into a game.”

Expect to hear his name called often during the 2023 season and for years to come, Cardinals got a gem.

Making History

MLB hasn’t seen many Black third baseman. The last two of note were probably Charlie Hayes and 1987 NL MVP Terry Pendelton, considered the last great Black third baseman.



Pittsburgh Pirates star Ke’Bryan Hayes, Charlie’s son, is currently one of the rising third baseman in the game and already considered a Gold Glove caliber performer. It would be great to see two brothers holding down the hot corner like modern day Clete Boyers, for now, Walker will play anywhere he needs to play — even the outfield — to get on the field, gain MLB experience and flex his bro bombing stick.

“That Ain’t Chuckie’s Game. Chuckie Hacks on 2-0” | Former MLBbro Speedster Chuck Carr Transitions At Age 55

“That Ain’t Chuckie’s Game. Chuckie Hacks on 2-0” | Former MLBbro Speedster Chuck Carr Transitions At Age 55

On Monday, former MLBbro Chuck Carr passed at age 55, succumbing to a bout with cancer. The former speedster who had a knack for stealing bases, accumulated 144 thefts over his eight-year MLB career, including 58 in 1993 as a member of the Florida Marlins. Carr played for four other teams (NY Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros) but it was the Marlins who released a statement about his death.

 “We are saddened to hear the passing of Chuck Carr. One of the original Florida Marlins. Chuck quickly engrained himself as a fan favorite as he was often seen making catches in the outfield or speeding around the bases. We send our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”


Carr Was An Original Marlin


After three subpar seasons with the Mets and Cardinals, Carr was taken in the 1992 MLB expansion draft by the Marlins. In their first year of existence, the franchise struggled to a 64-98 record, which was expected. But Carr’s elite baserunning and auspicious glove work helped him stand out. 



In 1993, Carr led the NL in stolen bases with 58, which is still fourth all-time in a single season in franchise history. The speedy centerfield also finished fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. In many cases, he was the lone bright spot for an expansion Florida Marlins team trying to compete with the dominant Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and other NL juggernauts.

In the infamous 1994 strike-shortened season, Carr tallied 32 stolen bases and was on pace to break his own record from the prior season.

That style of play immediately earned Carr the respect of his opponents. He was a game-wrecker and a handy offensive weapon for a team struggling to manufacture runs. 

Carr Also Helped The Astros Win The Division In 1997

In Carr’s final season in the majors, he played for the Brewers and Astros. In one of his more memorable moments, during a game with the Brewers, the free-swinging Carr shrugged off a take sign, swung on a 2-0 pitch and popped out.

 In typical Carr fashion here’s what he told reporters.

 “That ain’t Chuckie’s game. Chuckie hacks on 2-0.”

 He was released by the Brewers shortly thereafter.



That’s who he was, and that approach allowed him to go yard off of Braves Hall of Famer John Smoltz in the 1997 NLDS, as a member of the Astros. His arrival after being released, helped the Astros win the NL Central division. In his career he tallied 435 hits, 234 runs, 81 doubles, seven triples, 13 home runs, 123 RBI, and those 144 base thefts. Most importantly he is part of a lineage of Black baseball players that have made the game of baseball exciting and marketable. RIP to MLBbro Chuck Carr.

Major League Baseball Announces Eight Player Contemporary Baseball Era Committee Hall Of Fame Ballot | Barry Bonds, Albert Belle and Fred McGriff Get Cooperstown Life Preserver

Major League Baseball Announces Eight Player Contemporary Baseball Era Committee Hall Of Fame Ballot | Barry Bonds, Albert Belle and Fred McGriff Get Cooperstown Life Preserver

On December 4th, MLB’s Contemporary Era Committee will come together during the Winter Meetings to vote on which players will make it into Cooperstown. This group is comprised of some MLBbro legends who probably should have been inducted a long time ago.  Barry Bonds, Albert Belle and Fred McGriff aka “The Crime Dog.” The voting is for players who didn’t make it in during their ten-year run on the ballot and those who started their careers after 1980.

The biggest name on this ballot is MLB’s Home Run King, who failed to make it in. In January, the single-season record-holder for homers (73) only got 66 percent of the required 75 percent vote needed to make it to Cooperstown, affectionately ending his run on the ballot. But with Monday’s news, Bonds, Belle and McGriff have new life. Although the prognostications are still pretty bleak, there is a chance that Bonds gets his just due.



Ortiz Getting In And Not Bonds Caused A Stir

When former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz got his call to the Hall in his first year of eligibility, it caused Bonds’ former manager and 2022 World Series champion Dusty Baker to speak out about it.

“Same way Jeff Kent didn’t get in. Same way Pete Rose didn’t get in. Same way Roger Clemens didn’t get in.

 “The voters supposedly like guys of high character, guys with no marks or suspicions about their reputation — or maybe it’s how you treated the media.”

 “MLB is more partial to Boston and New York and the East Coast teams; we always have to see what New York or Boston is going to do before we can determine what time we’re going to be on TV.”

Baker is saying East Coast bias played a role in Bonds failing to get the necessary Hall of Fame votes over the past decade. Some believe that Bonds will never have his name called because of the controversy surrounding his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. That’s been the sticking point with Bonds not getting in from 2013-2022.

ESPN MLB analyst Jeff Passan called it a failure that Bonds didn’t get in. Passan was also quick to set the record straight when Yankees slugger Aaron Judge broke the AL home run record this past season. He proclaimed that Bonds’ single-season record is valid and still the official mark. 



Belle And McGriff Are Also Hoping For That Call

Standing at the plate, gripping his bat tightly and staring with incredible intensity…menacing even, Albert Belle was possibly the most fearsome hitter in the American League for a decade.

The numbers don’t lie. The five-time Silver Slugger award winner finished in the top five of the AL most valuable player voting in five out of six seasons from 1992 to 1998.


As a full-time left fielder and designated hitter for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and Baltimore Orioles, Belle averaged 37 home runs and 120 RBIs per season with 95 runs scored. His .295 career batting average, 381 home runs, and 1239 RBIs should be enough to put him among the all-time greats, but voters have never given Belle strong consideration.

His strained relationship with the media, the Indians, off-field troubles, and his essential disappearance from the game after the 1993 season have overshadowed the excellence of the only player to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in the same season.

As MLB evolves and metrics change the way the game is packaged, the Black baseball player continues to fight its way back into baseball’s bloodstream. In reflection, we can fully appreciate just how great some of these overlooked Black and Brown Hall of Famers were.

Crime Dog Fred McGriff, he was a true professional his entire career, but he never received more than 40 percent in any of his ten years on the ballot.

McGriff hit 493 homers in his MLB career. Clean homers. But baseball’s HOF voting committee doesn’t deem the vaunted slugger worthy of HOF induction. His career has been described as “subtle” and “very good” but not “elite”. He might end up with more homers than any PED-free player to never make Cooperstown.

McGriff was just never a transcending personality. He was tall and his bat was thundering, but few folks put the words “great” and “Fred McGriff” in the same sentence. Some say McGriff was overshadowed by the prolific stars of his era. Others hoping to get the call via this route include Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy and Curt Schilling.



Of the eight nominees no one is more deserving than Bonds who in his career was a 14-time All-Star and won seven MVPs. Add-in 762 home runs, 2,558 career based on balls and other numerous accolades.