‘The Pitcher Is Sick’ | Victor Scott And Chandler Simpson Aren’t Just Stolen Base Competitors and Champions, They’re Also Friends

‘The Pitcher Is Sick’ | Victor Scott And Chandler Simpson Aren’t Just Stolen Base Competitors and Champions, They’re Also Friends

Speedsters Victor Scott ll who’s the St. Louis Cardinals No.4 ranked prospect and Chandler Simpson the Tampa Bay Rays No.20 ranked prospect have much more in common than wreaking havoc on the base paths. The two talented future major league leadoff hitters are similar in more ways than just what they do best on the baseball field.

For starters they’re both 23 years old, and both are natives of Black baseball’s breeding ground of Atlanta, Georgia. All season, the two good friends and bag blazers battled for the minor league base-stealing title.


Victor Scott II and Chandler Simpson Both Led MiLB With 94 Steals


In the end it looked as if Scott had bested Simpson by one steal with 95. But, when MiLB reversed one of Scott’s base thefts 10 games later, ironically the two finished tied with 94 steals each.


“But Sure Enough, They End Up Falling” | St. Louis Cardinals No.4 Prospect Victor Scott II On A Tear Following 16 At-Bat Hitless Streak


That was good enough for tops in all of the minors, and the most since Billy Hamilton went for 155 steals in 2012, which bested the previous record of 145 by Vince Coleman. Not to be forgotten the great Delino DeShields Jr. chimed in with 105 steals that same season.


Billy Hamilton Is Keepin’ It 100


Scott And Simpson Talked Often During Season


Even with the two in a tightly contested battle to see who would indeed finish the year at the top, it didn’t affect their communication, in fact Scott told reporters this.


“We talked every day or every other day. Just to kind of see how he’s doing. But to also see where he’s at with stolen bases.”


Nothing like friendly banter, and these two made sure to keep it going all season with Simpson telling reporters this.


“Most definitely I’m looking at his stats. I’m seeing where he is on the leaderboard, and I’m like, OK, maybe I need to get a couple of walks, take a couple of pitches, maybe get some bunts down so I can get on base a couple times more and get some bags.”


The two speedsters not only compete on the baseball field, but in and everything possible. Competition is something that’s a huge part of their friendship.

The Dynamic Duo Was Teammates In 2021


Although they play for different MLB franchises the two burners played together during the 2021 summer wood bat Northwood Bats League. There they wreaked havoc on opposing teams as members of Fon du Lac Dock Spiders. Simpson says they gave pitchers fits when they got on base.


“I was leadoff and he batted second,” Simpson said. “I would bunt, he would bunt. You know, first and second. Steal, steal. Three-hole would hit a single, 2-0 in five minutes. The pitcher is sick.”


“He’s Outside Of That Norm” | Tampa Bay Rays 2022 Draft Pick Chandler Simpson Led College Baseball With .433 Batting Average


Imagine being a pitcher and catcher and trying to get these two out? As Simpson said, it made pitchers sick to their stomach to have both of these guys on the base paths.


Rule Changes Should Only Enhance Stolen Bases


In 2023, and for the first time since 2012, MLB witnessed over 3,000 bases stolen. That can be directly attributed to the huge decrease in pickoff attempts and a base size increase from 15 to 18 inches. 

In many ways it’s how the game was once played without all the home runs and swinging for the fences. Instead, manufacturing runs via stolen bases and bunting. It makes the game more exciting for fans and helps creates those electric moments that only seem to occur when some goes yard.


Scott and Simpson will likely be in many stolen base crown battles as they make their way up the minor league ranks. Buckle your seatbelt something tells me this is just the beginning.

MiLB Finest In 2023 | Minor Leaguers Shined This Season, These Five Bros Were Among The Best

MiLB Finest In 2023 | Minor Leaguers Shined This Season, These Five Bros Were Among The Best

The talent pool of up-and-coming MLBbros is as good as it’s been in quite some time, so choosing these five elite diamond miners wasn’t as easy.


James Wood, Washington Nationals, OF


The 6-foot-6 and 240-pound power hitting prospect ranks No.7 on MLB prospect rankings list. Wood enjoyed a very productive 2023 season with time split between Single-A Wilmington and Double-A Harrisburg.


Wood showed he’s much more than a power hitter, as he batted a solid .270 with a .536 slugging percentage and .899 OPS. His 26 homers were expected, but his 28 doubles and eight triples, 91 RBI and 65 walks are indicative of his potential as a pure hitter. A guy with refined hit tools who can also power surge, like St. Louis Cardinals phenom Jordan Walker. 




For his efforts the Nationals No.2 prospect was named the club’s Minor League Hitter of the Year.

Needs Improvement: Woods will need to cut down on the strikeouts (173). That’ll need to change prior to his expected call up sometime in 2024.


Termarr Johnson, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2B


Johnson was pretty electric during the 2023 season. Starring for Single-A Bradenton and High-A Greensboro, Johnson put together a quality season at the plate batting .244 with 18 homers and 59 RBI.

He also tallied 85 total hits and scored 83 runs. One of Johnson’s best traits is his plate discipline. He was able to draw 101 walks, which boosted his on-base percentage to .421. The Pirates have a budding difference-maker at second base.


“I Want To Play Baseball As Long As They Let Me” | Pittsburgh Pirates No.2 Prospect Termarr Johnson Named Club’s Minor League Player Of The Year


Johnson’s expected arrival with the Pirates isn’t until 2025, but the anticipation and eagerness around the organization is growing daily. Big things are expected of the former No.4 overall pick. Johnson was named the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year.


During an in-season interview a reporter made reference to Johnson bulking up and getting stronger, the 19-year-old phenom responded with this.


 “I’m glad you can see it. I don’t know how much it is, but it’s definitely a good bit.”


Needs Improvement: Much like Wood, Johnson must clean up the 120 strikeouts he posted.



Justin Crawford, Philadelphia Phillies, OF


Being the son of former MLB player Carl Crawford means the bloodline is there. And in 2023 Justin didn’t disappoint one bit. The budding Phillies outfield prospect showed why he was taken with the 17th pick of the 2022 MLB Draft.


The club’s No.3 ranked prospect and MLB’s 77th-ranked prospect batted a remarkable .344 in stops between Single-A Clearwater and High-A Jersey Shore. Crawford also drove in 64 runs and accumulated 47 stolen bases and 32 walks.


“What I Most Bring To The Table Is My Speed” | MLB Draft Prospect Justin Crawford Comes From Strong MLB Pedigree


Not expected to be called until 2026, Crawford has all the tools to be get an earlier call up to the big leagues. When he was drafted Crawford told reporters this in his introductory interview: “I think I have a high IQ for the game. I take a lot of pride in that and I thank my dad a lot for that.”


Needs Improvement: His low homer numbers (3) are not a cause for concern because he swings a good bat and as he matures and gets stronger that number should increase.


Victor Scott II, St. Louis Cardinals, CF


Scott, the Cardinals No.4 ranked prospect behind the likes of Masyn Winn, Tink Hence and Chase Davis, could be the game’s next great defensive centerfielder.

Victor Scott II spent the 2023 season between High-A Peoria and Double-A Springfield, where he swung a great bat and played elite defense.

A .290 batting average to go along with 166 hits, including 20 doubles and ten triples, 94 stolen bases and 95 runs scored, are numbers that have the Cardinals organization excited.


“But Sure Enough, They End Up Falling” | St. Louis Cardinals No.4 Prospect Victor Scott II On A Tear Following 16 At-Bat Hitless Streak


Scott is expected up in 2025.

Needs Improvement: His power numbers and plate consistency will increase as he moves up the pipeline.  


Cam Collier, Reds, 3B


The son of former MLB player Lou Collier looks the part, and the belief is he’ll only get better with time. “Bam Bam” recently turned 19-years-old and had a solid season at Single-A Daytona where he batted a respectable .246 with 68 RBI.

Related: The Real Cam Collier Stood Up In August And Obliterated Single-A Pitching | Reds No. 18 Pick Is The Real Deal | mlbbro.com

While the home run numbers (6) were low, Collier’s swing and power projects well to the next level as he matures and continues to grow into his imposing frame. 


Cincinnati Reds 2022 First-Round Pick ‘Bam Bam’ Cam Collier Shines In Minor League Debut | He Mashes On Every Level


Needs Improvement: Another young hitter who must bring down strikeouts (106), but again that will come with experience and plate discipline.


Milb Steps Up Inclusion Efforts With “The Nine” Initiative

Milb Steps Up Inclusion Efforts With “The Nine” Initiative

Minor League Baseball has announced the launch of “The Nine,” a new, Black-community focused outreach platform specifically designed to honor and celebrate the historic impact numerous Black baseball pioneers made on the sport, provide new opportunities for youth baseball and softball participation, further diversify the business of baseball, and embrace millions of passionate fans throughout MiLB’s 120 communities nationwide.

Named for the number Jackie Robinson wore during his only season playing in MiLB with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946, The Nine will connect MiLB teams’ existing, Black-community focused development efforts with new national programming and future special events in a coordinated and centralized campaign.

The new inclusion initiative follows MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión — the Latino fan engagement platform introduced in 2017 that included 76 MiLB teams in 2021.

The Nine will recognize and honor numerous Black pioneers and trailblazing civil rights leaders in all 120 MiLB communities, ensuring the heroes of the past and their contributions continue to be celebrated through ceremonies and events at MiLB ballparks and in the community.

Recent tributes and celebrations have included Negro Leagues commemorative games honoring the Austin Black Senators in Round Rock (TX), the Bradenton (FL) Nine Devils, and Page Fence Giants near Lansing (MI). Additional tribute games are being planned for the 2022 season and beyond.

“The Nine will shine bright spotlights on these successful initiatives and transform them into national campaigns reaching more fans and communities, further showcasing our teams’ commitment to representing, honoring, and welcoming all fans to MiLB’s unique brand of fun,” said Kurt Hunzeker, MLB’s Vice President of Minor League Business Operations. “The Nine is just the latest example of MiLB teams being true community champions.”

In addition to player- and team-related content, The Nine will focus heavily on creating new opportunities for youth participation among young Black boys and girls, particularly in communities where youth baseball and softball programming is either nonexistent or difficult to access.

Central to this youth-focused push is a planned expansion of Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program throughout MiLB’s national footprint. New competitions in MLB’s Pitch, Hit & Run and Junior Home Run Derby event series will also debut in MiLB markets beginning in 2022.

MiLB teams will continue to build relationships with local Black-owned and operated businesses, local artists and entertainers in an effort to embrace Black culture and make MiLB ballparks a hub for culturally relevant concerts, shows, and community events.

With several MiLB teams having a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in their community, opportunities will be provided for those schools to start internship and mentorship programs with their local team, creating opportunities for on-the-job experience for students prior to entering the job market. Additionally, MiLB recently partnered with TeamWork Online to create a more inclusive virtual job fair and ongoing talent pipeline that aims to recruit and position qualified and ready-for-hire candidates from across the country for potential management- and executive-level roles within MiLB team front offices.