Dusty Baker Is Feeling Late Bloomer Taylor Jones | The 27-Year-Old Rookie Is A Tall Order

Dusty Baker Is Feeling Late Bloomer Taylor Jones | The 27-Year-Old Rookie Is A Tall Order

Taylor Jones ladies and gentleman, he’s an MLBbro you should get familiar with.

The Houston Astros have a rookie on their team that can ball. And if you look for him on the field, you can’t miss him.

Standing 6-foot-7,  Jones is a tall order and he knows how to utilize his frame well.

It took him a minute to get to The Show, but the first baseman is starting to make a name for himself, especially this month. His numbers are very impressive.

 

 

In his last seven games, this brother is hitting .368 with a home run, six RBI, and five runs scored.

Jones is making the most of his time on that field and the way he’s been performing lately, the Astros will have to keep him in the fold and consider him as a strong option as the team might lose a foundation piece and solid bat  (a trade of Carlos Correa maybe?) in the near future.

The Astros’ minor league system has produced some All-world talent over the last decade including Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. Jones can play an important role for the Astros as they look to lock up a playoff spot this season.

Everybody knew Jones was next up, it was just a matter of time before he was able to crack an offensively stout Astros lineup.

 

One thing about Jones is he’s versatile. Now his primary position is first base, but he can play other positions as well.

That was the case for him on August 21st against his hometown team.

Going up against the Seattle Mariners that day, Jones thought he would be starting in his primary position.

It was about an hour before the game when we got news the lineup was switched up,” Jones told the Houston Chronicle. “All my preparation was for first base. I just tried to get out there and make the plays and do what you can out there.”

 

 

Jones got the starting nod in left field that game and he had his best performance of the season.

He went 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBI, and three runs scored. The 27-year-old was a single away from the cycle.

That performance right there let the league know that Jones is all about business.

“(I) opened up the stance a little bit, (to) try to get my direction a little bit more toward the pitcher,” Jones said. “I was kind of swinging open before the adjustment, kind of spinning out of the box. Now I’m a little bit more direct and a little cleaner path with the swing.”

Making adjustments is a necessary part of the game and can be a turning point for some players’ careers.

Jones understood that he had to make changes in his batting stance in order to see success. And so far it’s working.

He is on a three-game hitting streak and Astros manager Dusty Baker is liking what he’s seeing in Jones.

“He’s swinging the bat great. He’s corrected some flaws that prohibited him in the past from getting to certain pitches,” Baker said. “He’s worked hard. He’s had a good attitude the whole time — been up and down, up and down. He’s a fine young man who is trying to stay here.”

From 2016 to 2019 and a little bit of this year, Jones was playing in the minors. After this season, he could be a mainstay in the majors if he continues to impress on the field.

Turnt Up 10 | Top Black & Brown Bros Through First Half Of  2021 MLB Season

Turnt Up 10 | Top Black & Brown Bros Through First Half Of 2021 MLB Season

The people better recognize, these Bros have game.

They have shined as some of the brightest stars in the Majors this season and we are ready to see what they do in the grueling second half chase.

Here’s our “Turnt Up 10” consisting of the top MLBbros through the first half of the 2021 season.

 

1.Cedric Mullins


CM STORM gets the MVP belt for the Bros after his first half performance.

The 2021 starter in center field for the American League is one of three players in the Majors to lead his team in batting average, home runs and stolen bases this season.

The other two being Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ronald Acuna Jr.

 


Mullins, the American League leader in hits, proved he belonged among the game’s elite when he got on base and scored a run to help the American League win the All-Star Game.

 

2. Marcus Semien

 

This season Marcus Semien has not only proven he is one of the best hitters in the game, but also that he is one of the most versatile.

 

 

Last season he played a damn good shortstop for the Oakland A’s but made the move to second when he got to the Blue Jays.

That paid off well for May’s American League Player of the Month.

Semien will be paid well when he negotiates his next contract during the offseason.

Semien was named the American League starter at second base after posting a .277 batting average with 22 home runs, 56 RBI, an .873 OPS and 10 steals.


3. Black Knights Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman


The Met’s have the fourth-lowest earned runs average in the Majors and two of the main reasons for that are their Melanated Mound Marauders (Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker). 

Stroman has always been a beast on the mound and is one of the most entertaining and agitating pitchers in baseball.

 


This year he has a 2.75 ERA and 83 strikeouts while Walker has been the best free agent acquisition.

He has the 11th lowest ERA in baseball and was selected to the National League All-Star team.

 

Taijuan Walker’s New York Mets Move Was Golden

 

4. Aaron Judge


Judge has put the city of New York on his back this season in an effort to keep them in contention.

He started his third All-Star Game this year and his 21 home runs have him just outside of the league’s Top 10.

Judge will have to do even more for the Yankees to have any legitimate chance at winning a 29th championship.

 

MLBbro All-Star 2021 Coverage | All Rise For Aaron Judge

 

5. Michael Brantley


Michael Brantley is as professional a hitter as you will see in baseball. 

 

He is second in the American League in batting average and swatted  .410 with 15 RBI and a .566 Slugging Percentage for the month of June.

He was named an All-Star but did not make the trip to Denver.

 

6. Tim Anderson

It feels good to call Tim Anderson, who is one of the faces of baseball, an All-Star.

At first, he was left off of the All-Star list, but then went crazy at the plate over his last seven games hitting .484 with 11 runs and four RBI.

Anderson currently has hits in 12 straight games.

 

MLBbro All-Star 2021 Coverage | Tim Anderson

 

7. J.P. Crawford

 

 

Last season’s American League Gold Glove shortstop made his bat come alive in 2021.  He was the biggest All-Star snub this season as he posted a first half statline including 92 hits, 31 RBI, 46 runs a .279 average and a 1.4 Defensive WAR which is the highest in all of baseball.

 

8. Mookie Betts


Despite not putting up his typical MVP type numbers, Mookie Betts was named an All-Star for the fifth time in his career.

However he decided to skip the game in order to rest up for an attempt at winning back-to-back World Series.

 


Betts is fifth in the league in runs scored and has an .839 OPS.


9. Jazz Chisholm


Jazz is the first Bahamian player in the Majors and a perfect representation of black culture in baseball. 

 


The Bahamian Blur’s swag is unmatched and he is one of 
the electrifying newbies in the game with speed, power and multi-colored hair choices.

Chisholm would have easily been in Denver for the All-Star Game if not for injuries. He’s batting .257 while slugging 11 home runs and stealing 11 bags.

 

10. Giancarlo Stanton


Stanton still has one of the most powerful swings in baseball and has hit some of the hardest home runs this season.

He has 42 RBI, 15 home runs and a .270 batting average entering the second half of the season.


The Yankees other “Tower of Power”rounds out our list of the Top 10 Black and brown MLB players so far in 2021.

 

Tommy Pham’s Bat Is Wide Awake & Just In Time To Keep The Padres In The Race

Tommy Pham’s Bat Is Wide Awake & Just In Time To Keep The Padres In The Race

Tommy Pham is doing everything in his power to keep the San Diego Padres in contention. 

Over his last 10 games, Pham has affected the boxscore in every way possible. Not only is he hitting .375 (15-40) while scoring 10 runs and knocking in 3 runs and hitting a couple of homers. He’s also coaxed 4 walks and even swiped 2 bags. 

He’s definitely in a soul brother show-glow-groove. 

But like all quality ballplayers, Tommy knows he can do more.

 

 

“The only thing missing from my game is the consistency with the power,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I’m still working on it. Power comes in bunches. But also, there is a consistency element to it as well. I always feel I want to leave a series with one or two extra-base hits.”

While Pham has only hit 6 home runs so far, his recent offensive explosion hit the breaks on an early-season skid that had him looking like a shell of himself. 

“Everyone has a bad 150 at-bats, mine just happened in April. So now I’ve got to do everything I can to make everything level out. It’s a frustrating game. You can do everything right and still not reap the benefits of it.”

This offseason, that last sentence almost came to fruition for Pham in the worst way possible. According to San Diego Police, eyewitness reports say Pham was attacked after asking two strangers involved in an argument near his car to move. 

The stab wound was not life-threatening, but lately, fans have made it difficult to put the incident behind him. Pham has noticed an increase in fan rowdiness and has even had his offseason assault used to taunt him.

“Fans have been very disrespectful this year,” Pham said. “I need to talk to the MLB. The vulgarity this year, the gestures, I’ve never seen it at this level. I want to know if this is just because fans have been gone for a year and now they’re back and acting a certain way. That (stuff) shouldn’t be tolerated.”

Pham makes a great point mentioning the fact fans have been away from the ballpark, and recent incidents across sports have seen fans acting out in an unusually bold manner. But while the hiatus may have indeed fueled what’s happening, we cannon write this off as typical “fan behavior”.

Still, the negative doesn’t stop Pham from contributing to everything that makes the sport of baseball great for the community.

 

 

The MLB released a statement emphatically denouncing any inappropriate behavior by fans, so hopefully going forward we will see fans being ejected and banned for fan abuse.

You’ll never silence every critic, but if Pham keeps hitting like this, there won’t be much to trash him about.

Marcus Stroman’s Deep Bag Of Grit & Jedi Mind Tricks Blanks Colorado Rockies

Marcus Stroman’s Deep Bag Of Grit & Jedi Mind Tricks Blanks Colorado Rockies

“I gotta funky, funky rhyme with a funky style;

I gotta funky, funky rhyme with a funky, funky style;

I gotta funky rhyme…wit a funky, funky style;

I gotta funky rhyme…wit a funky, Bfunky style.”

  — Greg Nice, Hip Hop Junkies by Nice & Smooth

 

 

If there’s one thing you can say about New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman; he’s got style.

He’s one of the most exciting pitchers in baseball. He’s a fashion icon. 

 

He’s also an anomaly. At 5 feet 7 inches tall, he doesn’t strike an imposing form when on the mound. Since 2000, he’s one of only six pitchers under 5’10” to even make a start in Major League Baseball.

But every time he takes the ball, you can’t tell him he’s not the biggest, baddest, man in the stadium.

He has no fear; not of opposing lineups, and not of big moments. And right now, he’s entering one of the biggest moments of his career.

 

 

The Mets’ pitching staff has been hit hard by injury. Jacob deGrom just returned from the injured list, but New York is currently without fellow Black Aace Taijuan Walker, and Carlos Carrasco, and Jordan Yamamoto. The latest depressing news surrounds Noah Syndergaard, who will be shut down for another six weeks due to right elbow inflammation

Through all of it, Stroman has taken the hill every fifth day. 

Thursday afternoon he pitched six scoreless innings against the Colorado Rockies, giving up only three hits as New York scratched out a 1-0 victory in Game 1 of a doubleheader. Stro picked up his team-leading fourth victory while dropping his earned run average to 2.47.

“I feel like I’ve always taken pride in taking the ball every fifth day and putting my team in a position to win,” he said after the game. “Since we have a lot of the guys on the DL, I just feel like it puts a little more pressure on the guys who are in the rotation to carry their load while those guys are out.”

If deGrom is the unquestioned ace of the Mets’ rotation, Stroman is its glue. 

 

 

Stroman’s allowed more than two earned runs in only two starts so far, and his 58.1 innings pitched are 13 more than anyone else on the roster.

“We’ve had some absences in our starting rotation, and this guy’s given us length,” said Mets manager Luis Rojas. “For me, what he’s done repeatedly, is that he’s helped our bullpen stay fresh…I think you have to give a lot of credit to him because he’s worked really hard, since last year when he didn’t pitch. He’s worked really hard to get into this position.”

The work is paying off for Stroman and the Mets, who continue to cling to first place in the National League East even with one of the worst offenses in baseball. Until the Mets’ offense can find some consistency and its pitching staff is once again whole, Marcus Stroman can be counted on to hold it down.

If you doubt him, just ask him. He’ll tell you.

 

“I don’t beg cause cause I’m not a begonia;

I dress warm so that I won’t catch pneumonia;

My rhymes are stronger than ammonia;

I’m a diamond, you’re a cubic zirconia.”

  • — MC Smooth B, Hip Hip Junkies

 

Marcus Stroman has always known he was a star. The rest of baseball is finally coming to that realization as well.

Who’s Hot & Who’s Not | Everyone’s Rising For Aaron Judge & Praying For Willie Calhoun

Who’s Hot & Who’s Not | Everyone’s Rising For Aaron Judge & Praying For Willie Calhoun

Baseball is a game of streaks. Over the course of the season, each player is hoping to put together more good ones than bad ones.

And the bad ones do come, even for the best of the best. Who’s hot and who’s not across MLB? Let’s take a closer look.

WHO’S HOT

Aaron Judge, OF, New York Yankees

Ever since our own Rob Parker called out Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ behemoth has been ripping the cover off of the baseball.

Judge entered Monday night’s game with the Texas Rangers hitting a ridiculous .571, with 12 hits in his previous 21 at-bats. Over his last six games, he hit five home runs and pushed the Yankees to a 4-2 record. Judge sent four fans home with souvenirs during New York’s most recent three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles and secured AL Player of the Week honors. 

 

 

The rest of his numbers are just as impressive. The Judge laid down the law, scoring eight runs and driving in six while striking out only once. His 1.973 OPS topped all hitters in that time.

With these breakout performances, Judge raised his season batting average from .245 to .298, his slugging percentage from .352 to .399, and his OPS from .824 to 1.009. HE also garnered 

The Rangers silenced him in a 5-2 win, but if this is the Aaron Judge that the Yankees get for the rest of the regular season, he could be in real contention for the AL Most Valuable Player award for the first time since 2017.

 

Tim Anderson, SS, Chicago White Sox

No one in Major League Baseball is hitting the ball better than Tim Anderson. Anderson extended his hitting streak to 12 games as the ChiSox battered the Minnesota Twins 16-4 on Monday. After going 2-for-5 with two runs scored, Anderson is hitting .448 during his streak. He’s had multiple hits in seven of those games.  

It’s no coincidence that the White Sox began winning games once Anderson got back to playing like the Silver Slugger award winner he was in 2020.

Chicago is 17-7 over its last 24 games and sits on top of the AL Central standings. Anderson has 34 hits in those games, with four home runs, 14 RBIs, and 20 runs scored. Only Yordan Alveraz and Josh Rojas have higher batting averages over the last month. Tim also ranks third in MLB in hits and stolen bases in that span.

His cleats are even on fire these days.

 

WHO’S NOT?

 

Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Milwaukee Brewers

What happened to Jackie Bradley Jr.? It seemed like he was beginning to turn his career around last season in Boston. He set career highs in batting average (.283) and OBP (.364). His slugging percentage was its highest since 2016 when Jackie made his only All-Star Game appearance.

However, this season his stick has fallen off a cliff.

His batting average has done a complete 180. Actually, Jackie’s looking up at 180. His .153 mark at the plate is the worst of his career, as is his .229 on base percentage. He did hit one offensive milestone in May. 

 

The rest of the month has been a disaster with Bradley posting just two hits. He’s gone hitless in each of his last six games. The two hits this month also equals the total number of multi-hit games he has this season. And over the last 30 days, his batting average has fallen nearly 100 points.

Whatever your faith is, light a candle for Jackie Bradley Jr.

 

Willie Calhoun, OF, Texas Rangers

With parts of five seasons under his belt, Willie Calhoun is trying to stick with the Rangers this year. He hasn’t played in more than 83 games in any season since making his debut in 2017. Nothing has been a bigger factor in that than his inconsistent hitting.

Calhoun has been better in 2021, hitting .278 entering Monday’s games. He seems to have broken out of a slump with a homer and two hits on Monday, but this past week, as Texas ran off six straight losses, Calhoun once again hit a rut. 

In five games since May 10, he was 1-for-18 with three strikeouts. His only hit was a solo home run in a one-run loss to the Houston Astros.

Considering his play earlier this season, however, he seems to be trending in the right direction overall. It certainly looked that way when he took Gerritt Cole deep over the centerfield wall to help the Rangers snap that losing streak.

 

 

Expect Calhoun to find his way once again, sooner rather than later.