Since the debut of the first Black player in the MLB, Jackie Robinson, there have been several notable Black All-Stars. Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Tony Gwynn, and Frank Thomas are just a few of the well-deserving Black players who have achieved this great feat.
The 2022 MLB season is still in its early stages, but if the early indicators are any sure signs, we may have a plethora of new Black All-Stars.
MLBbros Bound for L.A.
The first quarter of the season is hardly a large enough sample size to predict All Star rosters. With MLB rules stating that every team must be represented at the All-Star game, this helps us to broaden our perspective for potential All Star players. MLBbros Byron Buxton, JP Crawford, and Jazz Chisholm are the best candidates to represent the Black players in Los Angeles, the home of the 2022 MLB All Star game.
Byron Buxton: I mentioned earlier in the season that if Byron Buxton could remain healthy, he would be a hot topic in the MVP conversation. While a knee injury did result in him missing almost two weeks of playing time, he has since come back on a tear.
Through 16 games Buxton is batting .290 with 7 HR. Not to mention since his return to the lineup the Twins have been winning more consistently, winning eight out of their last ten games.
J.P. Crawford: The Seattle Mariners shortstop is having a career season. He is batting .364 and has improved dramatically at the plate this season. Fresh off a 5 year/ $51 million contract extension, Crawford has rewarded Seattle with his best season to date.
Although he has not been the defensive superstar that he was years prior, his body of work (Gold Glove 2020) shows he can return to being an elite defender. If he can maintain his improved batting and return to top tier defense, he will undoubtedly be Seattle’s All-Star representative.
Jazz Chisholm: After injuries slowed down what was an overall promising year in 2021, the Miami Marlins 2nd baseman Jazz Chisholm has started strong once again. Chisholm is still providing excellent defense on the field and tremendous speed on the basepaths.
He already has three triples on the year, which is one shy of his previous year’s total of four. With four HRs also and a .329 batting average, Chisholm is proving to be one of the best all-around young players in the sport.
MLBbros on All-Star Watch
There are also some MLBbros who are on the All-Star radar and can boost their chances with strong performances in May and June. Josh Bell and George Springer are both having good seasons for their respective clubs.
MLBbro Josh Bell, while not a household name, is on fire batting an impressive .349 and is top five in the National League in Batting Average and Hits. In his seventh year, Bell is putting together the best season since his 2019 All-Star season.
George Springer is no stranger to the All-Star game, as he has already made three appearances. Yet, he has not been an All-Star since 2019. He is finding success early in his first year with his new team: the Toronto Blue Jays. If he can continue being an offensive catalyst at the top of their lineup, and the Blue Jays continue their success, there is a good chance that Springer makes his fourth All-Star appearance in Los Angeles.
The All-Star game in baseball is one of the most competitive All-Star games in professional sports. Both leagues fight for supremacy and the game is fun and compelling. If these MLBbros continue to excel through the summer months of the season, they will earn themselves an opportunity to shine on one of the biggest stages the sport can offer.
Don’t let the smile fool you, this MLBbro is always locked in.
The 32-year-old MLBbro Center fielder George Springer has been playing well for the Toronto Blue Jays. After a scare getting hit in the forearm against the Boston Red Sox, Springer has been good and there’s no doubt about it. Springer has a batting average of .286 with 10 RBI, .847 OPS, and one stolen base.
The Blue Jays sit one game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East standings with a 13-8 record before today’s matchup against the Houston Astros as they look to bounce back falling to the Astros, 11-7. On Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox, Springer came up clutch hitting a two-run homer to tie the game up in the ninth inning. This was Springers’ 200th career home run and he celebrated it by pumping his fist up in the air rounding first base.
Springer has a bright personality not only in the clubhouse with teammates but on the field playing the game with fun and thrill. As Springer did with the Astros for years, he loves pressure situations. Whether it’s during the World Series or a late May game it matters no different.
Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoyo on George Springer heroics late in the ninth inning, “That was special what Springer did, You don’t teach that. He wants it. He’s one of those guys, and that’s why he does so good in the playoffs. He’s one of the best players in playoff history because he’s waiting for those moments to happen.”
The Blue Jays went on to close out that game with a walk-off win 6-5 over the Red Sox and Springer finished with 3 RBI. Since sitting out Friday’s game with a forearm bruise, Springer has hits in four straight contests and has gone 6-for-17 with a double and two homers.
This is what the Blue Jays were hoping for after inking him to a six-year, $150 million deal in 2021. Springer is in the top-five all-time with 19 postseason home runs. Having led the Astros to their World Series win, Springer took home the World Series MVP award. He hit five home runs for the Astros in the seven-game long World Series.
Springer is looking like he’s fully healthy and the Blue Jays will finally get to experience his full value. The diving plays catching balls that are hit in between gaps outfield, having a calming presence in the clutch moments, and being a fun teammate in the clubhouse. That’s all the Blue Jays need from Springer as they have a stacked batting lineup that includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette , and Raimel Tapia.
Springer has played in less than 100 games for the Blue Jays but he’s already in their record books. He’s one of only six players with an OPS above .900 in their first 95 games and trails only Jose Canseco with 26 home runs. The Blue Jays who have championship aspirations need Springer to stay on the field, the team is better when he’s playing. Blue Jays have a record of 59-37 when Springer is playing for the past two seasons and 44-41 when he doesn’t suit up for the organization.
Look for the Blue Jays to continue to climb up MLB power rankings and stay there as the season progresses forward. While they’re sitting there at the top, just know that more than likely George Springer will have something to do with the success of this 2022 Blue Jays’ team.
For some players, the burden of being awarded the largest contract in a franchise’s history can feel like too much to bear. MLBbro George Springer is not one of those players.
“Choosing Toronto was one of the easiest decisions I’ve had to make in my career, “Springer wrote in his post for The Players Tribune. “My family and I felt good about it from the start – so after I got off the phone with Mark and Ross during my free agency, I didn’t need more convincing. I called my agent and told him, “This is the place.”
While we all acknowledge family plays a major role in free agent decisions, a quick look at this roster would make any ballplayer comfortable. Toronto’s features players like budding superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., just to name a few. And despite already possessing a roster packed with homegrown talent, Toronto has shown that they don’t mind spending to compete in AL East — arguably the best division in baseball.
Springer was the first domino to fall, signing his six-year, $151 million deal in the summer of 2021. Unfortunately, last season injuries limited Springer to just 78 games and under 300 plate appearances in a full season for the first time since his rookie year.
Although he was still effective when he did play, smashing 22 homers and posting an OPS of .907, the Blue Jays would eventually miss the playoffs by one game.
This offseason, after losing Marcus Semien, who set the single-season home run record for second baseman, Toronto decided to acquire more reinforcements, spending $240 million dollars on starting pitchers Jose Berrios and Kevin Gausman, while also adding platinum glove winner Matt Chapman in a trade with the forever rebuilding Oakland Athletics.
Adding players of this caliber means more pressure on the 2017 World Series MVP to lead this team all the way.
Fortunately for Blue Jays fans, he has already embraced the role. “It’s been so cool watching these guys and knowing what they have in front of them – because I’ve been in their shoes before. And as the “old guy” (ha) I just get to sit back now and help them whenever I can.”
Springer’s task this season isn’t the first time we’ve seen an MLBbro in this scenario.
Let’s take a quick trip back to 2003, when Black Ace Dontrelle “D-Train” Willis exploded onto the scene with the young Florida Marlins. Willis, Josh Beckett and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera may receive the most recognition, but there was a veteran MLBbro who was also critical to the Marlins eventual World Series victory.
Derek Lee smacked 31 home runs that season while driving in 92 runs and winning a Golden Glove at first base. Lee’s numbers may have dipped in the postseason, but the heavy lifting he did during the regular season was crucial to the Marlins postseason berth. If Toronto is to reach the lofty expectations placed upon them, Springer will need to take a similar role with the Blue Jays in order to guide these young guys to glory.
The Bronx Bombers meet the Toronto Blue Jays tonight to begin a critical three-game series that could eliminate the Jays from the Wild Card hunt. Marcus Semien and crew trail the Yankees by two games for the top Wild Card spot and Boston by 1, with six games to go.
Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer knows a thing or two about playing past September.
The three-time all-star is looking for his second World Series title in his first season with the Blue Jays. His first title came in 2017 with the Houston Astros and he also was named World Series MVP. When Springer joined the Blue Jays this season he made an immediate impact and brought that championship mindset with him to the team.
Now that the season is coming to an end, the Blue Jays are fighting to secure a wild card spot in the American League and Springer is playing a big role for the team.
Having a player on your team that has won a title already is very key because they know what it takes to be in that position.
“He’s been there and done that,” Jays shortstop Bo Bichette told the Toronto Sun. “Obviously, he’s had so many big home runs when he was with Houston. He knows how to turn it on in the blink of an eye, which is obviously super important when we’re trying to win big ball games at this time of the year.”
At 31, Springer has gained a lot of experience in the league and can provide a wealth of knowledge to the young players. He’s the perfect fit for the Blue Jays and has shown that his presence on the team is contagious, and definitely in a good way. Despite missing some time during the season due to injuries, Springer is hitting .258 with 17 home runs and 38 RBI through 62 games
It was bad news for Toronto fans when he went down with a sprained knee during a game against the Seattle Mariners on August 14th. His return was earlier than expected and in perfect time for the Blue Jays to make a playoff push.
“I just think everybody feeds off of one another,” Springer said. “We just understand that it’s going to take every single person to get to where we want to go…I know everybody has each other’s backs. We’re all aiming for the same goal and to have everybody playing for that is awesome.”
Blue Jays coach John Schneider has been pleased with the 2017 World Series MVP’s return and knows the caliber of player he’s dealing with.
“The experience he’s had this time of year and in the post-season obviously are big,” Schneider said. “But just having him at the top (of the batting order), seeing pitches, getting on base and the damage potential and all that stuff … it’s great for us and it’s great for the guys behind him.”
Springer made the playoffs his last four seasons in Houston and he’s looking to continuing that streak. His numbers have been impressive during the postseason. He’s got a career batting average of .269 and a .546 slugging percentage in the playoffs.