The Future Is Now | You Can Check These Melanated Mound Marauders Out Early

The Future Is Now | You Can Check These Melanated Mound Marauders Out Early is always on the watch for the next Aaron Judge, Mookie Betts or Marcus Stroman to wow us with their superstar abilities.

And the next chance to peek into the future is during the All-Star festivities in Seattle at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on July 8th.

The All-Star Futures Game, which started in 2019 to replace the U.S. vs. The World game, will feature the top minor league players in a National League vs. American League format.

The respective rosters went public earlier this week and were announced on various Major League Baseball media platforms such as MLB Network Radio and MLB TV.

MLBbro and Seattle Mariners Icon, Harold Reynolds who will manage the American League Futures team, discussed the upcoming game on MLB TV.



Melanated Mound Marauders On Deck 

Here at, we’ll be keeping a close eye on two pitchers who will be part of the festivities.

J.P. Massey will be representing the Pittsburgh Pirates while Tink Hence puts his talents on display wearing the St. Louis Cardinals colors.

J.P. Massey:

Seven of the players playing in the game have participated in MLB and USA Baseball development programs. MLBbro pitcher J.P. Massey played in the Breakthrough and the DREAM series.


Massey dominated the month allowing only two earned runs in 25 innings (0.72 ERA) while tallying 29 strikeouts for Single-A Bradenton. If you stretch his production out over the last two months, J.P. has become one of his team’s best starters with a 2.84 ERA over 44.1 innings with 52 strikeouts.

Working with former MLBbro pitcher, Marvin Freeman, Massey has changed the mechanics in his leg kick while working on five featured pitches… a four seamer, a two seamer, a curveball and a changeup. It’s a mentorship that J.P. is very excited about, he told

“We’re still trying to figure out the ideal repertoire and usage rate each and every outing, but [five pitches] allows me to have something that I can use against hitters,” he said. “ If I see them trying to lean towards one pitch, I can throw something that goes in the other direction. It gives me a lot of versatility while I’m on the mound.”

Couple that with wisdom from current MLBbro players Hunter Greene of the Cincinnati Reds and Triston McKenzie of the Cleveland Guardians and J.P. Massey should use the Futures game as a launching pad.

“I’ve Had My Ups And Downs Throughout My Career” | Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 Draft Pick J.P. Massey Is Establishing Himself In Minors


Tink Hence:

This MLBbro is considered one of the biggest prospects for the St. Louis Cardinals… period.

At #63 in the 2020 Draft, Tink Hence is the highest selection out of the state of Arkansas since 2005.

Despite getting the “Byron Buxton” treatment in 2021 and being limited to eight appearances in the Florida Complex League and a pitch limit with Single A Palm Beach, Tink emerged as a superstar when he finally got his chance on the mound.


This season, the MLBbro is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA and a 46-to-12 strikeout to walk ratio in 11 starts as of Friday (June 30) for the High-A Peoria Chiefs.

Like Massey, Hence has a cache of pitches to showcase in this event. He has a mid-90s fastball, a vicious curve, a changeup and a slider that gives batters three off-speed pitches to figure out in less than two seconds.

Hopefully the Futures game will allow the Cardinals to give this guy more time on the mound to perfect his craft. Right now, that’s the only thing holding him back. believes that this guy can be an ace pitcher in the majors based on their review…

“The stuff needs to hold up into the fifth and the sixth innings — and over 100-plus frames overall — before Hence could be considered a potential ace, but the individual pieces are there.”

Check out these two MLBbros in training in the Futures Game on Saturday, July 8th at 7pm EST.

“I’ve Had My Ups And Downs Throughout My Career” | Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 Draft Pick J.P. Massey Is Establishing Himself In Minors

“I’ve Had My Ups And Downs Throughout My Career” | Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 Draft Pick J.P. Massey Is Establishing Himself In Minors

For Pittsburgh Pirates 2022 seventh round pick, J.P. Massey the minor leagues have been a blessing. After four pretty turbulent college years, the hard-throwing righty has been a pleasant surprise for Single-A Bradenton this season.


The former Minnesota Golden Gophers star has started ten games with a 2-3 record, but a very solid 2.84 ERA. Over his first 44 innings pitched, Massey has accumulated 29 strikeouts and a very impressive 1.29 WHIP. In all, it’s the consistency that he’s been striving for that is quickly becoming a staple of who he is as a pitcher.



That consistency helped earn Massey the Florida State League Pitcher of the Month for May, as he allowed just two earned runs across 25 innings, with a paltry (0.72) ERA. For Massey it’s all about that word consistency, and he knows with it the sky is the limit for him as a pitcher, eventual starter for the Pirates.


“I’ve had my ups and downs throughout my career, especially leading up to the Draft,” Massey told “So just to start finding some consistency and have a place where I can consistently work and get better is amazing.”


Winning that award was big for Massey after he struggled mightily in April. In just over two months, the former Big Ten hurler has shown more promise than he did in college where he sported a 3-14 record with a 6.70 ERA. Despite his struggles, the Pirates saw something they liked, and now it looks as if they may have been onto something.





 What Led To College Struggles?


For Massey, the Chicago, Illinois native, talent and toughness has never been in question. Despite feeling untouchable when he arrived in college, that changed pretty quickly. During his four years in the “Twin Cities,” things couldn’t have gone worse, as Massey could never find what he needed to have any continued success.


 “Going into college, just being young and feeling invincible, I was in a great spot mentally,” Massey said. “As time went on, dealing with Draft projections, COVID, whatever it may be, it was a lot more difficult. Life wasn’t the same.”


Those circumstances could affect anyone, and Massey was no different. The bright side of it is Massey was able to talk to someone outside of those close to him.


Massey Meets Mental Coach


In an effort to alleviate some of the mental fatigue that had hindered Massey, he began meeting with a mental coach in Arizona upon a family referral. That was huge for him and to this day it’s paying dividends.


“He’s been more than a mental coach for me at this point,” Massey said. “He’s one of my best friends that I go and talk to about anything. … It’s a lot more than talking through your thoughts and feelings. It’s truly trying to evaluate it and trying to figure out what you need to do to put yourself in a position of success.”



That is exactly what’s beginning to happen for Massey after those four up-and-down years at Minnesota where he just couldn’t seem to string together anything that resembled sustained consistency.







Massey Has Some Good Pitches



Having spent the offseason working with pitching coach Marvin Freeman, a former MLB hurler who made 221 appearances in ten major league seasons, Massey is adding more to his repertoire.



Known for his four-seam fastball that has reached 97-98 over his career, now he’s working to add some more movement to off-speed stuff which consists of a curveball and change-up. He also has a nice two-seamer that he’s been using more and more at Bradenton.


If all goes as planned the Pirates hope to have him be a part of their pitching rotation by 2025.