The Heart Of MLBbro Culture Pumps Through MLB’s Various Diversity and Development Programs

The Heart Of MLBbro Culture Pumps Through MLB’s Various Diversity and Development Programs

This past Monday we celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, a day that changed the course of Major League Baseball forever. As the first ever MLBbro, he showed the world what a Black player in baseball could do.

Although we have come very far, there is still much work to be done. There was virtually no movement in the amount of Black players in the league this year, up only 0.2% from last year.



Major League Baseball Is All In On Diversity & Development 

This is not for a lack of effort by Major League Baseball. Several programs have been implemented to help grow not only the popularity of the league but add more diversity. With programs like the Hank Aaron Invitational giving black players not only a chance to showcase their talent, but the opportunity to meet former MLBbros who have had success in the major leagues. Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr and Dave Winfiield are two of the MLBbros that are instructors in this program.


MLBbros Comprised 10.3 % Percent Of 260 Opening Day Starters | Black List By The Numbers


HBCU Classic, DREAM Series, Breakthrough Series, Hank Aaron Invitational

There was also the 2nd Annual Cactus Jack HBCU Classic which occurred in February. This game has shined a spotlight on colleges that feature Black players and give them a chance to be on display in a huge setting. The schools get to play a round-robin style tournament at the Houston Astros stadium, Minute Maid Park. Ken Griffey’s HBCU Swingman’s Classic has become a flagship event for Black college players with MLB dreams. 

HBCU Swingman Classic Comes To Texas | Ken Griffey Jr’s Star Shines Light On Black College Baseball’s Brightest



The DREAM Series in Arizona and the Breakthrough Series, in Vero Beach, Florida, where Jackie Robinson had Spring Training with the Brooklyn Dodgers, are designed to give African Americans opportunity to get exposed to some MLB eyes and introduced to a new fan base. 


The Black baseball renaissance must be televised


Since the debut of Robinson in 1947, MLBbros have been a force in the big leagues.

However, in recent years, while the sport has become more global, African American participation has slimmed tremendously. There must be support, opportunity, and intentionality in increasing these numbers. Major League baseball is doing their part, and MLBbros of the past must continue to do their part as well as they are the example that it can be achieved.


Hank Aaron Invitational: African-American MLB Pitching Fraternity Discusses State of Black Pitcher


Seeing is believing, and putting notable MLBbros at the forefront is key in succeeding in this goal. The Chief Baseball Development Officer, Tony Reagins is a black man, who leads the aforementioned Breakthrough Series, and has been advocating for this change and doing his best to aid the cause. The more focus shed on this issue, the spooner it gets better.


Post-Trade Deadline Struggles Exposes Diversity Deficiency in Mets, Angels, Reds, Diamondbacks Rosters

Post-Trade Deadline Struggles Exposes Diversity Deficiency in Mets, Angels, Reds, Diamondbacks Rosters

The trade deadline illuminated a common issue for the struggling Mets, Angels, Reds, and Diamondbacks: lack of diversity on their rosters.


Since the August 1st deadline, each of these teams has experienced a series of setbacks, with all four having lost seven games.


However, what’s drawing attention beyond the scores is the limited representation of MLBbros, or Black players, on their active lineups. Notably, the Angels feature Jordyn Adams, the Reds showcase Will Benson, and the Diamondbacks have Alek Thomas and Tommy Pham.

The Mets don’t have a single MLBbro on their active roster. 


This discrepancy is further pronounced due to the impact of injuries, particularly for the Angels and Reds. Jo Adell (left oblique strain), Hunter Greene (right hip pain), and Justin Dunn (right shoulder strain) are sidelined on the 60-day injured list,  impacting the representation statistics for these teams.


The Mets traded away Pham, their lone MLBbro,  during a dump of players after their major-league payroll record of nearly $430 million in salaries plus luxury tax penalties didn’t pay off this season.

Pham wound up joining Thomas in Arizona, while Kyle Lewis was recently sent down to the Triple-A Reno Aces, where he’s hitting .349 on the year and is 5-for-10 since his demotion on Aug. 3. 


With the Mets seven and a half games back in the wild-card race, owner Steve Cohen is calling for another rebuild around Francisco Lindor.

This is due to Pete Alonso avoiding arbitration by agreeing in January to a contract that will pay him $14.5 million this season.

The salary is a record for a first baseman in his second season of arbitration eligibility.

But the Mets may allow the star first baseman to test free agency, since he was reportedly on the market during the trade deadline, but the asking price was too high for other teams.


“It turned out that it was a moment in time when other clubs are thinking very short-term, and I was thinking more intermediate-term, so I was able to take advantage,” Cohen said of the trade deadline.


The Mets, who pursued bolstering their farm system for the future, neglected to add more than one MLBbro to their prospects. 


The Mets could make a move like the Braves in 2022, calling up MLBbro Michael Harris II from Double-A for a spark.

But the options are slim as their only MLBbro on the top-30 prospects according to is Jeremiah Jackson, who the Mets acquired from the Angels at the trade deadline.

The 23-year-old shortstop is batting .240 with 16 homers, 62 RBI, and 22 stolen bases this season for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies.

Jackson has 40 games of experience at third base, with 30 of those games coming in 2023 at Double-A. None of the Mets’ third basemen on their depth chart are currently hitting over .215. 


Although the Angels claimed to have been making their first playoff push in part by acquiring five new players at the trade deadline, they are still struggling. But notably, the team that is now seven games back in the American League wild card is lacking bros.

Anaheim’s No. 21 prospect Adams made his debut on Aug. 2, and the Angels’ No. 3 prospect, according to MLB, is Werner Blakely, who’s currently with the High-A Tri-City Dust Devils, but those are their only MLBbros in the top-30 prospects.


The Reds and D’backs are in the hunt for the final National League wild-card spot with both teams less than two games back.

It’s ironic that both of these teams have at least one MLBbro in their top-30 prospect list; Arizona’s top prospect is  Jordan Lawlar. 

MLB Lacking Black Representation 

Across the board, the absence of Black players in key roles reverberates throughout the league.

The impact of this representation gap extends beyond the game itself, affecting the visibility and aspirations of young Black athletes.

The emergence of role models is crucial for attracting diverse talent and cultivating a broader fan base.


Ultimately, the disparity in diversity among these teams underscores a pivotal aspect of baseball’s cultural and societal role.

The choices made by organizations in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and Cincinnati hold the power to influence and inspire the next generation of players. 


It helps that there are youth academies in Cincinnati and Compton for kids from those areas to get more exposure to the game, but a major city like New York has two MLBbros and neither play for the Mets. 


By addressing the underrepresentation of Black athletes, these teams have the opportunity to make a profound impact on the game’s trajectory and its accessibility to all backgrounds, especially marginalized communities.

Black Ace CC Sabathia Partners With Lebron James and UNINTERRUPTED to Produce Docu Series on Young Black Baseball Stars

Black Ace CC Sabathia Partners With Lebron James and UNINTERRUPTED to Produce Docu Series on Young Black Baseball Stars

The 2021 MLB Draft produced five promising first-round Bros. It was a huge improvement over past drafts and indicated an upswing in the Black talent pipeline that baseball has been trying to resuscitate.


5 Future MLBbros Chosen In First Round Of MLB Draft


The 2022 Draft was a different beast. And a watershed moment for the MLBbro community. The draft featured a significant amount of Black players taken in the first round. This was not only exciting for Major League Baseball, but it further advanced the new era in which an emphasis has been placed on Black players once again impacting America’s pastime.


Former Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees legend CC Sabathia is a former MLBbro, one of the last two Black Aces (Black pitchers to win 20 games), along with David Price. The Melanated Mound Marauder is totally enjoying the recent uprising in exposure of Black and brown players, especially with his son Carsten Sabathia about to embark on his college career at Georgia Tech.


CC Sabathia and NBA icon Lebron James have partnered together to produce a two-part docu series that will cover the pre-draft process of some future MLBbros that were drafted in 2022 and one whose future is yet to be determined.


The series will be titled ‘New Wave: Baseball’s Next Generation.’


The 2022 MLB draft had a total of nine Black players that were selected in the first round. 5 MLBbros were taken in the first 18 picks.


However, the docu series will follow four of those Black players; Termarr Johnson and Justin Crawford, who are currently in the minor leagues. Also, Jayson Jones and RJ Austin, both of whom elected to go to college. It should be noted that Justin Crawford has MLB pedigree being the son of former All-Star Carl Crawford, and the cousin of MLBbro J.P. Crawford. Not only will it highlight these four stellar young players but it will shed light on a monumental draft.




MLB Diversity Programs Advancing The Game


Major League baseball, to its credit, has been making strides to address the decline of the Black MLB player in the past two decades. Sabathia, along with his wife Amber, wanted to share the stories of these four Black athletes, along with their successes and failures and challenges encountered as they strive towards this ultimate goal in their career paths.


These four players, and their documented stories will help provide an in-depth look at the journey of a Baby Bros trying to break through in a league where less than 7 percent of the rosters have MLBbros.


Seeing these talented ballers go through the steps towards MLB excellence could undoubtedly inspire more representation for young Black kids around the nation. This series will shed light on two players that are on the fast track to stardom, while also showing the different paths that players take on the road to MLB.


Justin Crawford | Chopping It Up With Second Generation MLBbro & Philles First Round Draft Pick



“I’m Ready To Try And Make The Team” | St. Louis Cardinals Top Prospect Jordan Walker Is Playing For Keeps This Spring

“I’m Ready To Try And Make The Team” | St. Louis Cardinals Top Prospect Jordan Walker Is Playing For Keeps This Spring

It’s Jordan Walker’s time and the 20-year-old MLBbro from Stone Mountain, Georgia is not taking his first MLB Spring Training invite lightly.

In fact, the St. Louis Cardinals third base prospect isn’t thinking about returning to the minors. The major brands taking the field for St. Louis have recently been guys such as Adam Wainwright and Jack Flaherty, along with perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt, Yadier Molina and third-base wizard Nolan Arenado.

But if 2020 first round pick Jordan Walker has anything to say about it, as the old guard exits, he expects his name to be mentioned as one of the Cardinals best players in 2023. Heading into spring training Walker looks ready to make the jump and infuse the Cardinals lineup with some real pop, youthful energy and an above-average glove.

Walker, MLB Pipeline’s No.4 rated prospect is coming off an impressive 2022 season with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. That’s where the sweet-swinging power hitter batted .306 with 68 RBI. Walker also went yard 19 times and accrued 20 stolen bases, nearly pulling off the very rare 20/20 campaign in the minors. For a player of Walker’s talent and skillset that was just the beginning.



Walker Will Probably Switch To Outfield For Now 


Just 20-years-old, Walker also showed out in Arizona Fall League, with a .286/ .367/ .558 slash line. That also included five homers and 16 more RBI in just 21 games. There Walker spent the bulk of his time in the outfield, as he will now transition away from third-base where he’s pretty much played his entire baseball life. But with perennial Gold Glove winner the aforementioned Arenado there, the likelihood of Walker playing would only happen in emergency situations or days off for Arenado. 



Walker seems to be getting comfortable in the Cards outfield, and that’s vital considering Busch Stadium has one of the bigger outfields in the majors. During a recent visit to St. Louis for Winter Warm-Up, Walker told reporters this during his media session.

 “I got a chance to get a real long look at the field of Busch Stadium, and it really is giving me the push. I’m ready,” said Walker. “I’m ready to get going. I’m ready to try to make the team. So just being here gives me a little extra drive to try to make the team and be ready to go to St. Louis.”


Walker’s Strength Is Power: He Has All The Tools 


Standing a towering but well-proportioned 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, with long arms, Walker is an intimidating presence in the batter’s box. The only knock on Walker at the plate could be his elongated swing, something he may look to make more compact. But even if he doesn’t, his hand speed and eye coordination are good enough that he still gets the barrel of the bat to the baseball. Walker says “it’s all in the wrist.”



If Walker’s trajectory is what most experts believe, by the age 23 he could be the best power hitter in the Cardinals organization and one of the best in all of MLB. Walker also says tough love sessions from Cardinals minor-league instructor Jose Oquendo has prepared him for this moment. He recently talked with reporters from the Cardinals spring training home in Jupiter, Florida

“A lot of work with Cheo’ (Oquendo) — route running, seeing low drives, working on my first-step quickness and stuff like that — has been really good for me,” Walker said. “In the offseason I took fly balls, but being here now with ‘Cheo’ and getting the tough-love treatment and teaching from him has really helped me. I’m ready to put what I’ve learned into a game.”

Expect to hear his name called often during the 2023 season and for years to come, Cardinals got a gem.

Making History

MLB hasn’t seen many Black third baseman. The last two of note were probably Charlie Hayes and 1987 NL MVP Terry Pendelton, considered the last great Black third baseman.



Pittsburgh Pirates star Ke’Bryan Hayes, Charlie’s son, is currently one of the rising third baseman in the game and already considered a Gold Glove caliber performer. It would be great to see two brothers holding down the hot corner like modern day Clete Boyers, for now, Walker will play anywhere he needs to play — even the outfield — to get on the field, gain MLB experience and flex his bro bombing stick.

Money Michael Harris II Wins NL Rookie of the Year Award | The Five-Tool MLBbro Assassin Is Just Warming Up

Money Michael Harris II Wins NL Rookie of the Year Award | The Five-Tool MLBbro Assassin Is Just Warming Up

As predicted a few months ago, Atlanta Braves MLBbro Money Mike Harris II won the NL Rookie of the Year award. If his victory needed any further statistical support, the Atlanta Braves were 22-24 and 7.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East prior to Harris making his MLB debut on May 28. In the 116 games after his arrival, the team went a blazing 79-37 and jetted past the Mets to the division title.

This marks the ninth time a Braves player has been honored. Previous winners were Alvin Dark in 1948, Sam Jethroe in 1950, Earl Williams in 1971, Bob Horner in 1978, David Justice in 1990, Rafael Furcal in 2000, Craig Kimbrel in 2011 and Ronald Acuna Jr. in 2018.


Mike Harris II Is Looking Like Good Money For The NL Rookie of the Year Award


Harris and teammate Spencer Strider were named as finalists for the BBWAA’s Rookie of the Year Award for the National League Monday night. Harris told Bally Sports last week at an Atlanta Hawks game that he knew it would come down to he and his teammate Spencer. It is the fourth time that teammates finished 1-2 in National League Rookie voting and the first time since 2011 when the teammates were also from Atlanta: pitcher Craig Kimbrel, the winner, and first baseman Freddie Freeman, the runner-up. The other years were 1957 with Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jack Sanford and first baseman Ed Bouchee and 1989 with Chicago Cubs outfielders Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith. It has occurred four times in American League Rookie voting.

Money Mike, a product of MLB’s diversity programs (Breakthrough Series), was promoted from Double A in late May and solidified the team’s outfield defense with his play in center field. He surprised a lot of people with his contributions at the plate as well and was one of Atlanta’s most consistent contributors hitting .297/.339/.514 with 19 home runs and a 136 wRC+. He was second on the team in stolen bases with 20 and is 4.8 fWAR total was third behind only Dansby Swanson (6.4) and Austin Riley (5.5).

Harris, the only player named on all the ballots this year, is the ninth NL center fielder honored and the first since Bryce Harper, who played the majority of his games in 2012 at that position. Other winning center fielders were Walton in 1989, Andre Dawson in 1977, Bake McBride in 1974, Bill Virdon in 1955, Wally Moon in 1954, Willie Mays in 1951 and Jethroe in 1950. There have been eight center fielders who won in the AL.



Center fielders won the award in both leagues in the same year for only the second time. The previous year was 2012 with Harper in the NL and Mike Trout in the AL. Harris is now expected to be a huge star from Opening Day in 2023. He’s got an 8-year/$72M contract in tow and is now the face MLB needs to market the game to kids of color in urban areas. And bring Black fans back to Truist Park.