Diamond In The Rough | Get To Know JC Gamble, One Of The Best Baseball Players & Athletes In The Country

Diamond In The Rough | Get To Know JC Gamble, One Of The Best Baseball Players & Athletes In The Country

Sometimes the obvious isn’t evident, but one thing that’s certain is switch-hitting phenom JC Gamble is a unique baseball player and one of the most talented athletes at his age in the country.

 

Gamble’s talents at shortstop and second base were on full display against some of the best high school baseball players and future MLB draft picks, during the MLB Breakthrough Series, held this past summer at Dodgertown in Vero Beach Florida

 

 

 

Established in 2008 by both the MLB and USA Baseball, the Breakthrough Series is a pipeline for Black players to showcase their talents to collegiate coaches and MLB scouts and help diversify the game. Gamble has been a top performer in this program since the age of 12.

 

 

According to USA Baseball, the program helps develop players on and off the field through seminars, mentorship, gameplay, scout evaluations, video coverage and the highest level of instruction. Another key thing about this series is that all costs are covered by USA Baseball. With baseball becoming more of a pay-to-play sport, this program tries to help change that narrative.

 

“For those young players to get that type of instruction, to have the ability to ask questions…it just gives them a leg up on the competition and that’s what we’re trying to do: give these kids the opportunity to succeed and be the best player they can be…and be the best person they can be,” said Tony Reagins, MLB’s Chief Baseball Development Officer, about the series back in 2022.

 

MLB Breakthrough Series 

 

 

JC Gamble was one of over 50 players (2024-25 graduates) invited to showcase his elite talent and learn from former MLB players during the four-day program from June 8-11, hosting the best Black baseball talent throughout the country, as MLB continues to dedicate resources to locating and developing future MLBbros.

 

In addition to the future stars of tomorrow, the second-generation ball players in attendance ran deep. From Jayden Fielder, son of MLBbro legend Prince Fielder and grandson of slugger Cecil Fielder, to Adrian Beltre Jr., the son of future Hall of Fame third baseman Adrian Beltre, to Noah Sheffield, son of MLBbro Gary Sheffield. Jayden Stroman, the brother of Chicago Cubs ace Marcus has also attended the program as well as most of the African-American players drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft over the past five years. 

 

 


Gamble, a 5-foot-8, 166-pound gifted baller with plus speed (6.7 60-yard dash) and quick hands (94 exit velocity according to his Best of the US Showcase numbers in August) has been doing exceptional things on the baseball field since the age of 5, a few years after his Dad introduced him to the game and started cultivating him for his journey.

 

It’s his versatility that immediately stands out, with his million-dollar smile being a nice added sweetener to his package.

 

Gamble can play any of the eight non-pitching positions on the field. He’s also a legit switch-hitter. There are many players who claim to be switch-hitters, but Gamble actually stays true to his ability to attack pitchers from both sides of the plate with equal success. Those tools combined with a mature eye makes him a player who is on base with regularity, one way or another. 

 

Gamble, a former student at Bo Porter Baseball Academy in Rosharon, Texas and ranked as a Top 10 Future MLB Prospect at the program while there, has played all over the country and even spent a few weeks in the Dominican Republic at age 13, exploring the country’s baseball culture, while being chaperoned by Power 5 college coaches.  

Porter, a former MLB manager for the Houston Astros, former front office exec and current MLB Network analyst, has worn many hats in his career and is a respected evaluator of talent. In addition to a scholarship to his academy in 2022, Porter has offered guidance to Gamble throughout his journey.

 

“As Director of Player Development for the MLBPA, I evaluated J.C. to be a notch above his counterparts. I could see that there was something compelling about this student-athlete something that went beyond his baseball skills. He was “coachable,but more importantly, he was “teachable.” In fact, as I worked with J.C. that week, I became more intrigued once I discovered that he was an honor roll student as well. J. C. is a great example of a kid who listened, learned and applied lesson. J.C. and I have developed a mentor to mentee relationship, and I believe he’s one of the most amiable young men I know. I would describe him as a leader who is respectful, inclusive, open to learning, grateful for opportunities, and transparent in his lifestyle. I would fully endorse and support any college, university or organization that add a student-athlete the caliber of J.C. Gamble to their program because I know the value he will bring to that college, university or organization.”

 

His Dad says it was important to get JC that experience to see how his game measures against kids from other parts of the world, also as an important phase in JC’s maturation process. While some people label baseball boring, particularly in urban pockets of the country, when Gamble is on the field, “Mr. Electricity” would be a better description.

Gamble is currently ranked in the Top 10 players at his position in New York State and Top 500 in the country (and rising) according to Perfect Game.

 

There are other players who are ranked higher and come with more hype, but watching this kid make a diving play at shortstop or an over the shoulder catch and then throw to double up an unsuspecting runner, it’s clear if he continues to develop, he has a chance to play the sport at the highest level. 

 

Great Baseball Mind: The Future Is Bright 

 

A career as a front office executive position is also very attainable for Gamble once he decides to hang up his cleats, as he’s been an astute student of the game since his days in kindergarten, where he would often discuss statistics and baseball history with his Dad JR, who has covered the MLB as a reporter since 1996. 

 

JC has a clutch gene and profound grasp of the game’s nuances that is evident. 

 

Part of being an elite athlete and successful person in life is being able to adjust to challenging circumstances. JC has proved that. A stress reaction injury slowed his progress just as he prepared for his first Spring season at Bo Porter Academy and he was forced to return home for physical therapy, while missing his junior Spring season at school. 

 

 

While at the academy, Gamble played the middle infield with precision, intelligence and a rare athleticism. His ability to track balls in the hole is probably on par with any infielder in the country, as is his quickness to the ball. 

 

Resilience In The Face Of Challenges 

 

Upon returning to New York City, JC found out that the school board would not respect his reclass to 2025. Gamble says their reasoning is that he’s too academically advanced with his credits and under NY rules, your clock is ticking once you enter high school, so while his age isn’t a problem, he has too many credits to be acknowledged as a junior.

So, whereas Gamble should be enjoying his junior season and preparing for senior recruitment, he was forced to jump to his senior year after missing his Spring junior season nursing his first injury, which definitely threw a wrench in things. That’s after dealing with the stress of a COVID pandemic that confined him to remote learning and a quarantine that severely limited his baseball activities as a freshman. In addition to having to take the SAT a year earlier than expected, Gamble’s recruiting process just got cut in half as well. 

 

Groomed For Success

The 2024 graduate is just entering his senior season in high school and according to several scouts, including Brewers scout Chip Lawrence, his journey to the Big Leagues “may take a bit longer” because he doesn’t possess an imposing physical frame, as he’s still developing at 17, but his baseball IQ, natural athleticism, speed, gap-to-gap power, bat skills and defensive ability is quite a package. 

 

Gamble has been a product of MLB’s development program since the age of 12, attending the exclusive, invite-only Hank Aaron Invitational four times, and with the help of coaches of have done it on the Major League level, he’s improved and matured every season. 

 

JC Gamble at Hank Aaron Invitational after winning Gold Glove at age 12 in Vero Beach, Florida. (Photo: Candice Shaw)

 

Del Matthews, MLB Vice President of Baseball Development, has known JC since middle school and speaks glowingly of him in this passage from a recommendation letter that Matthews wrote.

 

“JC is an intelligent, thoughtful, principled and determined young man. I have observed him grow not only in stature, but also more importantly in character and as a leader. JC does not hesitate to express his opinion amongst his peers and will stand up for what he believes is the right thing to do.

While JC loves to participate in multiple sports, I have had the pleasure to evaluate his skills on the baseball field. He is quite the student of the game demonstrating an infectious love and passion on the field and through detailed conversations with coaches and staff. JC possess a high level of energy that is contagious and engaging to teammates. He loves to hustle and takes a great deal of pride in his approach at various positions he’s capable of playing. He’s developed the ability to switch hit and as he continues to gain strength, will no doubt make an outstanding collegiate student-athlete.”

 

So it’s clear that Gamble has attributes that translate to being a general on the field. What your teammates say about you is also very important when assessing a player’s potential impact. 

 

“JC has always been one of the best players and the funniest players in the dugout,” said Gamble’s former high school and travel ball teammate Jayden Blalack, a highly-touted recruit out of Texas. “He’s always smiling regardless of the score, but most of all he’s calm, kind and always encouraging his teammates.”

 

Gamble clearly stood out at the 2023 Breakthrough Series, as he’s begun drawing interest from D-1 colleges and MLB scouts. He’s still uncommitted, which is actually a blessing for schools still looking to add potential starters to their recruiting class. 

 

In addition to his baseball prowess, he’s very tough and dynamic on the football field with elite “to ball” skills having scored 11 TD and recording five interceptions in 2021 for Newfield High School in Selden, Long Island, to go with being an honor student holding a 3.7 GPA.

 

 

If you haven’t seen JC Gamble in action, make it your business to check out this rising star and find out why his name is buzzing in renown baseball circles and why his unique style of play and combination of speed, swag, defensive wizardry and bro bombing has put him on the map.

 

Gamble has been described as “a combination of Rickey Henderson, Jimmy Rollins and Ozzie Smith.”  

 

With a flair for the dramatic, the most exciting thing about this rising prospect is that he’s probably only 70-75 percent of what he will be once he graduates high school and receives the constant professional training and the “hype” that other select players from the south and west and abroad are receiving daily.

 

Baseball can be a very cookie cutter sport with very rigid ways of approaching the game. It’s always a joy watching the even-keeled Gamble do his thing because you never know what you will get from him in terms of electric plays – and from watching him, it’s clear his future is bright and that he’s only touched the tip of the iceberg.

 

JC Gamble is an example of the kind of hidden gems that MLB has devoted their resources to finding via its diversity programs. He’s a poster child for everything baseball is and should be. He represents the underdogs with elite talent who have earned all of their praise and accolades by putting in work and taking no days off.

He’s still seriously slept on by many in the baseball community and is eager to show what he can do as he moves up the ladder and competes with the best of the best.

                                                JC Gamble (L) and MLB legend Ken Griffey Jr (R) at Hank Aaron Invitational in 2021. (Photo: MLB Develops)

The college that ends up signing this kid probably has a player with All-American potential in the fold. No cap. At the very least, they have a talented and passionate “baseball player” and scholar in their program.  

Adam Jones Retires As A Baltimore Oriole | Jones Was A Five-Tool Player, A Voice For Black Baseball & Class Act

Adam Jones Retires As A Baltimore Oriole | Jones Was A Five-Tool Player, A Voice For Black Baseball & Class Act

LOS ANGELES – The best team in the American League is signing a franchise legend one last time.

 

The Baltimore Orioles announced that former outfielder Adam Jones would sign a one-day contract with the team to officially retire as an Oriole. The team announced that they would be having a ceremony on September 15th before their game against the Rays to commemorate Jones and his 11 seasons that he wore the O’s across his chest.

Jones ranks among the top 10 in Orioles history in games played (1,613), hits (1,781), homers (263), doubles (305), RBIs (866) and runs scored (875).

 

Adam Jones Was An MLBbro All-Star 

During his tenure from 2008-2018 playing his home games at Camden Yards, Jones had a .279/.319/.459 slashline and didn’t miss a single game during the 2012 season. 

 

The Players Alliance Rep & Former MLBbro All-Star Adam Jones At 2022 MLB All-Star Game

 

The 5x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove winner and 2013 Silver Slugger award winner played 14 seasons. He produced a .277 batting average, 282 Bro bombs, 945 RBI, and had 1,937 hits. Jones had many memorable moments as the party starter for the Orioles’ offense, but his proudest moment happened as a member of Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

It was another watershed moment as MLBbros led the way for USA Baseball’s first championship. Behind the superior pitching of Marcus Stroman, the clutch hitting of Andrew McCutchen and “The Catch” by Jones that will forever live in baseball lore, USA defeated DR in the semis and PR in the finals for sweet victory.

 

 

There Was Much More Than WBC Glory 

The 38-year-old Jones was selected with the 37th pick in the 2003 MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners, originally drafted as a shortstop and a pitcher out of Samuel F.B. Morse High School in San Diego, California. He made the transition to the outfield when the Mariners acquired Yuniesky Betancourt, and made his MLB debut with the team on July 14th, 2006.

 

Jones spent a season and a half in the Pacific Northwest, and then was traded along with four other pitchers to Baltimore in exchange for left-handed pitcher Érik Bédard. He didn’t see his first postseason action until 2012, when they beat the Texas Rangers in the Wild Card game, eventually losing to the New York Yankees in the fifth and final game of the divisional series. 

 

 

The furthest Jones ever made it in his quest for the World Series was the ALCS in 2014 when they were the second seed in the AL, taking out the Tigers in the divisional series, and eventually being swept in the ALCS by the Kansas City Royals.

After his final season with the Orioles, Jones signed a one-year contract worth $3 million with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he had a .260/.313/.414 slashline. He then played two seasons in the Japanese baseball league with the Orix Buffaloes, with his last baseball game being played in 2021.

 

Adam Jones Was A Voice For Black Ballplayers 

 

Besides his terrific career on the field, he was very active voice off the field. He’s been a huge voice in speaking out against systemic and overt racism in the game, as he had multiple occasions where fans yelled racist remarks and threw objects at him. He understood during his time that there weren’t too many Black players and that Black fans were underrepresented. Jones conducted himself with class and dignity, providing a serious, gritty and professional element to the locker room. The dynamic elements of his all-around game did most of the talking for him.  

 

Classless Red Sox Fans Shout N-Word Threats At Adam Jones 

 

He has also been very active with the Players Alliance, whose goal is to help create paths and opportunities to diversify baseball from the youth onward. The organization includes several retired and current players like Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, Tim Anderson, just to name a few. So while he may not be a voice as a current MLB player, he still makes sure to contribute and help change the game today. Jones is also one of the veteran presences in the game that has inspired the next generation of MLBbros. 

 

 

Ending his career as a Buffalo was not the ending that neither Jones nor Baltimore wanted. They both knew he needed to retire as an Oriole. So while his days of hitting and robbing home runs may be over, September 15th will be a day to give one final reminder to baseball fans everywhere what an outstanding all-around player and class act Adam Jones was.

Jazz Chisholm Is At A Career Crossroads | Is He All The Way Up Or Breaking Down?

Jazz Chisholm Is At A Career Crossroads | Is He All The Way Up Or Breaking Down?

LOS ANGELES – The Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm has been in a funk this season. Jazz is not having the season that he was hoping for.

To go with his .244/.297/.431 slashline, with both his batting average and on-base percentage being the lowest since his rookie season, he’s dealt with various injuries that have kept him off the field, including a turf toe that kept him out for about six weeks, an oblique strain that kept him out for almost a month, and most recently missed a few games due to a sore right hamstring.

He’s only played in 68 of the possible 121 games.

In Jazz’s four years in the league, he’s only played in 273 games and has already switched positions from shortstop to second base to centerfield.

Chisholm broke out in 2022, earning his first career All-Star appearance, being named the starting second baseman for the National League side, and had a career high .860 OPS. However, he was limited to only 60 games in 2022 due to a back injury.

 

Many believed that injury set his career back a couple of years because he was blossoming into one of baseball’s electrifying stars. Now it seems that he’s still struggling to regain that consistent five-tool magic that had the 25-year-old Bahamian on a trajectory to superstardom. 

 

 

Injuries, Position Changes, Instability 

The Marlins traded for American League batting champion Luis Arraez (Minnesota Twins) during the 2022-2023 offseason, a fellow second baseman. The plan was to put Arraez at second, and with Chisholm’s electric speed, make him the captain of the outfield and have him play centerfield. The hope was that the injury-riddled season that affected him last year would be a thing of the past and moving to the outfield would help prevent further injuries. Unfortunately, fate had other plans for 2023.

 

Even with all those injuries to his lower extremities, Jazz still has had a decent season running the bases, having stolen 17 bases on 20 attempts. Also, Marlins manager Skip Schumaker wasn’t wrong about Chisholm having Gold Glove potential in centerfield. Jazz has only committed two errors and has four outfield assists. Not bad for a guy who just started playing the position professionally about five months ago.

 

 

Marlins Not Getting Enough From Jazz To Stay In Playoff Hunt?

After sitting pretty comfortably in second place in their division, and consistently in the first or second Wild Card spots for much of the season, the Marlins are now on the outside looking in, 2.5 games back of the last slot.

Looking ahead, between now and September 17, Miami has a murderer’s row of series against strong playoff hopefuls like the Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves. 

 

At the beginning of the season, not many people were expecting Miami to get off to such a blazing start. Them being 66-65, just a game above .500, is what seemed more realistic.

 

The bummer is that if Chisholm didn’t miss as many as the 50+ games he’s missed, Miami would definitely have more wins and a bit more breathing room in the standings since his leadership, electrifying play and clubhouse energy has been absent for almost half the year.

 

While they may be down, the season is certainly not over for Chisholm and the Marlins. If they can play the way they once were, in addition to Jazz being in the lineup more consistently, then they can still make it to the postseason for the first time since 2003, excluding the 2020 COVID year.

They do need Jazz to step it up and become the impactful force he’s capable of being.

 

Jordyn Adams Had A Lukewarm Cup Of Coffee With LA Angels This Season | The Cards Are Still In His Favor

Jordyn Adams Had A Lukewarm Cup Of Coffee With LA Angels This Season | The Cards Are Still In His Favor

LOS ANGELES – Jordyn Adams’ call up to the big leagues got off to a not-so-heavenly start.

 

As the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim look to try and get back on track as they decided to go all-in for a playoff push by making several trade deadline acquisitions, another move the organization made was calling up their 16th ranked prospect in Adams.

 


The team is 5-12 since the trade deadline, 1-9 in games that Adams has played in, and are eight and a half games back of the final AL Wild Card spot.

 

Rough Start To MLB Career For Jordyn Adams

 

The majors had a rough welcoming party for the 23-year-old, as he only went 2-14 with six strikeouts in the 10 games he played, only starting in three of those. He didn’t record a hit until his 10th game, when he went 2-for-4, as well as reaching on an error, on August 19th in the second game of a double header against the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

With his slow start in the show, as well as superstar Mike Trout inching closer to rejoining the team, Adams ended up getting sent down back to the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City.

 

It’s hard to fault Adams for not really getting his groove, as he got a limited number of opportunities, and the team as a whole has not played competetive baseball. 

 

LA  Angels Still High On Jordyn Adams

 

Even though his start was not what he was hoping for, the organization still has a lot to be hopeful about. He’s done well in the 89 games he’s played for Salt Lake, with a respectable .264/.351/.466 slashline, with 13 home runs, 60 RBI, and has stolen 37 bags, which leads all minor leaguers in the Pacific Coast League.

 

Adams Was Two-Sport Star In High School

 

Before being selected by the Halos with the 17th pick in the 2018 draft, Adams was not only a star on the diamond in high school, but also in football, where he played wide receiver. He committed to the University of North Carolina for both baseball and football but passed it up when the Angels offered him a contract worth a little less than $3.5 million.

 

After signing his deal, Adams was sent to the Angels Single-A affiliate in the Burlington Bees, and every year, credited to his hard work, he would make the jump to the next league, until he had reached the final destination in the bigs.

 

Adams’ bat has always been solid but not sensational, as he’s had a career slashline in his five years in the minors of .247/.332/.370. He is known however to be a great defensive player, as he’s got great speed, as well as a gifted ability to track the ball with the help of his days tracking the football.

 

Who knows if Adams will get called back up again this season?

If he doesn’t, that’s okay, as he’ll just continue to develop his game, something he’s done very well during the last five years. If he does, then it just shows that the Angels see Adams as a player they believe can help them make a late run at a Wild Card spot. 

Welcome Back To The Show Jon Singleton | Houston Astros Make Another Brilliant MLBbro Maneuver

Welcome Back To The Show Jon Singleton | Houston Astros Make Another Brilliant MLBbro Maneuver

BOSTON – Welcome back to the show, Jon Singleton.

 

After almost eight years away from the MLB, including several seasons in the minors and a stint in the Mexican League, Singleton didn’t give up his hope of returning to the big leagues. 

 

Singleton Had Shaky Stint With Brewers

 

He originally had been called up on June 3rd by the Milwaukee Brewers to help fill a void because some key players were injured. It was his first MLB game since October 2nd, 2015, when he made the start at first base against the Cincinnati Reds and batted sixth. He played in 11 total games for them and ended up going 3-for-29 with two RBI, before being designated for assignment.

That poor start was not enough to discourage him as he kept on fighting, and it was the Houston Astros who gave him his next opportunity. He signed a minor league contract with them on June 24th and ended up playing 33 games for their Triple-A affiliate, the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, where he had a .333/.446/.692 slashline, including 12 home runs.

 

Singleton Gets The Call & Responds 

 

On August 8th, Singleton was called back up to the majors to see if his luck could turn around with the defending champs. His first two games were quiet, but on August 11th against the Anaheim Angels, he finally made some noise. 

He ended up going 3-for-4 that day and had two home runs and five RBI. It was his first ever multi-home run game and was the most runs batted in he ever had for a single game as well.

 

 

So far with Houston, he’s played a total of five games, where he’s batting .167, with a .318 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage.

 

The MLB Saga Of John “Smoke” Singleton 

 

Being raised in Long Beach, California, Singleton originally committed to playing baseball for his local college, the Cal State Long Beach Dirtbags. That all changed when he was taken by the Phillies in the eighth round of the 2009 MLB draft.

 

He ended up being a part of that organization for two years and was then part of a haul of prospects sent to Houston in a blockbuster trade for outfielder Hunter Pence. After the trade and at the end of the 2011 season, Singleton was viewed as the Astros’ top prospect according to Baseball America, as he would get the nod to play in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game.

 

He would spend the next two and a half seasons in the minors before being placed on the Astros 40-man roster at the end of the 2013 season. On June 2nd, 2014, just a day before he would make his major league debut, he signed a five-year contract worth up to $35 million, with $10 million guaranteed, which was the first contract extension signed by a prospect with no major league experience.

 

Jon Singleton Is Back In Baseball | MLBbro Was Victim Of Outdated, Miseducated Hype About Marijuana As A Hard Drug

 

After the 2014 season, Singleton bounced around between the minors and majors, had a few failed drug tests that kept him from playing baseball, and just could overall never find his footing in the bigs.

He’s been given a second chance by the Astros.

With Michael “The Professional” Brantley still hurt, and now Jose Abreu being placed on the 10-day injured list, Singleton doesn’t have a better opportunity to prove himself than now. The question now will be if the 31-year-old can muster up some hits in key moments to help the defending World champs defend the title. If he can, he would be rewriting his career narrative with a perfect ending.