“The South Got Something to Say” | How Georgia Has Led The Charge In Today’s Black Baseball Renaissance
MLBbro.com goes into extensive detail on a daily basis about the journey Black ball players must take in order to make it to The Show. Over the years, while the number of players making it has dwindled significantly, one thing has remained consistent; The state of Georgia continues to produce some of the best Black baseball players on the planet.
Now there are more players from Georgia scattered around the Minor Leagues as well as College Baseball, but here is a list of the nine most notable and current Black major leaguers who hail from the Peach State.
Jason “J-Hey” Heyward – Outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers
The OG of this group, ironically enough Heyward made his Major League debut in a Braves uniform. Jason burst into The Bigs in April 2010 and wasted no time making his presence felt. Heyward homered in his first major league at-bat, adding even more fuel to the fire sparked by the greatest Brave of all time; Henry “Hank” Aaron. While he didn’t live up to the hype placed on him by the former home run king, Heyward has carved out a great MLB career that includes five Gold Gloves and a World Series title.
Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins – Outfielder, Baltimore Orioles
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Mullins was born in North Carolina but played his high school ball in Georgia. Drafted in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, Mullins has made it clear that he is an essential part of the Orioles Rebuild. Cedric has already made an All Star game and won a Silver Slugger award, along with becoming a member of the vaunted 30/30 club.
“Money” Michael Harris II – Outfielder, Atlanta Braves
The Braves shocked some when they called Harris up from double A last season due to injuries on the big league club, but Money Mike has done nothing but show up. Harris quickly became one of the most reliable bats in the Braves loaded lineup, and has played a Gold Glove caliber centerfield since day one. Harris’ spectacular season was rewarded by Major League Baseball, as he was named the National League Rookie of The Year.
Kyle Lewis – Outfielder, Arizona Diamondbacks
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With his promising career as a @Mariners cornerstone piece behind him, the talented outfielder looks to shake injury bug and reestablish himself as a future MLB star in Arizona. https://t.co/ifO6swOreX… pic.twitter.com/mHlU7p9Fip
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Now with his second team, it wasn’t too long ago that Kyle Lewis received the same type of praise we see the aforementioned Michael Harris receives.
Lewis made his debut in 2019, but it was his 2020 season (his first full season in the bigs), that saw him hit 11 home runs and maintain an OPS of .801 en route to winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Injuries have derailed Lewis’ progress, and he will look to revive his career out in the desert.
Jordan ‘Sky’ Walker – Outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals
One of the biggest prospects in all of baseball, both figuratively and literally, Jordan Walker has shown Cardinals fans early and often that he could be a future cornerstone of this ball club. Walker started his career by posting the longest hit streak by a rookie in 111 years.
His bat has cooled off lately, but fans can expect more fireworks from Jordan as the season progresses.
Taj Bradley – Starting Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
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The number one prospect in what has historically been on of the most successful farm systems in the bigs, the 22-year-old Bradley is poised to make a name for himself on the big stage. The AL starter for the All-Star Futures game in Los Angeles last season, Bradley broke camp this year with the big league club and has impressed. Bradley is 2-0 with 2.66 ERA so far with Tampa, striking out 17 batters along the way.
CJ Abrams – Shortstop, Washington Nationals
Once one of the top prospects in the Padres farm system, Abrams found himself a part of the trade that sent Juan Soto to Southern California. Now in DC, Abrams looks to cement his place as a part of the Nationals young core.
Akil Baddoo – Outfielder, Detroit Tigers
Baddoo has the most service time on this list after Mullins and Heyward, with this season being his third year of big league experience. He hit 13 home runs and had an OPS+ of 112 in 2021.
Xzavion Curry – Pitcher, Cleveland Guardians
— Guardians Pitching Highlights (@GuardsPitching) April 19, 2023
A 7th round pick in the 2019 draft, Curry looks to establish himself has another great pitching talent developed in Cleveland.