Top 5 Breakout MLBbros For 2024 MLB Season

Top 5 Breakout MLBbros For 2024 MLB Season

There are some young MLBbros who are hoping for a breakout season.

The top five players on this list are specifically projected to have a break campaign, while establishing themselves as household names.

 

Age, draft position, and situation were considered when evaluating these athletes. Some have already played in the majors and proved themselves on huge stages, including postseason, but have only provided us with a small sample size. Others are ready to be consistent faces in the MLB dugout once called upon.

5. Taj Bradley P (Tampa Bay Rays)

 

Taj Bradley, a melanated mound marauder for the Tampa Bay Rays, is 22 years old and hoping to have a big season.

 

Bradley showed glimpses of brilliance as a rookie, jumping out to some early wins, before eventually finishing with a 5.59 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, and 23 home runs allowed in 104 2/3 innings. Bradley seemed to hit a rookie wall last year and with those trials and tribulations under his belt, he should be a force for the Rays.

 

Despite his final stats, Bradley had several strong outings, recording a 28% strikeout rate. He will be expected to hold down the fort as a consistent arm int he starting rotation.

 

Taj Bradley Has Established Himself As A Legitimate Force In Tampa Bay Rays Rotation

4. Alek Thomas OF (Arizona Diamondbacks)

 

The Diamondbacks 23-year-old outfielder Alek Thomas comes in at number four on the list. With his power, Thomas was taken in the second round and was able to intimidate opposing pitchers by driving in runs. He had a clutch home run and some key moments in the 2023 postseason.

Thomas hit four Bro bombs which helped charge Arizona’s unlikely trip to the World Series.

Tommy Pham and Alek Thomas Made Every Hit Count In Helping Arizona Diamondbacks Shock Baseball World, Advance To 2023 World Series

 

He has excellent outfield defensive skills, with an average career fielding percentage of .992.

 

During a “Take That” segment on MLBbro.com, Charles Nyonga discussed Thomas as a key member of the
Diamondbacks team. Thomas has all the qualities to be face of the franchise for years to come.

 

TAKE THAT | Alek Thomas & The Raking Rattlers Have Arizona Diamondbacks Hunting Playoffs

 

3. Lawrence Butler OF (Oakland A’s)

 

Lawrence Butler, an outfielder, is only 23 years old. The Oakland Athletics selected him in the sixth round of the 2018 draft. Following a season in which he hit four home runs with a batting average of 211.

 

 

Butler put in work over the off-season, and his current batting average of .421 this spring training is proof of that. When the season starts, keep an eye out for Butler.

 

2. Termarr Johnson INF (Pittsburgh Pirates)

 

Termarr Johnson, a 19-year-old who was the fourth pick in the 2022 draft, is No. 2 on the list. Johnson’s bat-to-ball skills and smooth lefty stroke make him a legitimate All-Star in the future.

 

On February 26, 2024, Johnson showed off his power by hitting two home runs for the Pirates against the Blue Jays. The sky is the limit for Johnson.

 

 

1. Jordan ‘Sky’ Walker OF/INF (St. Louis Cardinals)

 

The young, talented St. Louis Cardinals star Jordan Walker, who weighs 250 pounds and is 6 feet 5 inches tall, tops the list. He came out of the gate in his rookie season, breaking hitting records.

 

With his rare combination of athleticism and baseball IQ, the 21-year-old infielder turned outfielder has
been gaining notice.

 

He’s also well-known for his powerful bat and excellent fielding skills. The Cardinals’ lineup is more versatile because of his defense skills, particularly at third base.

Walker, who hit .276 with 16 homers and 51 RBI in 117 games as a rookie, has a smooth swing with power, but hits to contact.

He also has deceptive speed. With a package that reminds guys of MLBbro legend Dave Winfield, Walker has everything needed to establish himself as an All-Star.

 

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.

 

“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

“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

The 2023 Pittsburgh Pirates have made marked improvement this season. Currently sitting at (74-82), but out of the National League playoff picture, the team’s record with six games less in the season is already 12 more games better than they finished the 2022 season (62-100).
And, if you’re looking for a club not named the Baltimore Orioles or the Washington Nationals with a brighter future, look no further than the banks of where “Three Rivers Stadium” use to sit.
With pitcher Paul Skenes the 2023 No.1 overall pick, expected to get the call up to the majors next season, things are looking up.
While, Skenes looks the part standing 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, there’s another prospect that’s been tearing it up in the minors, in fact he was so good this season that he was just named the club’s Minor League Player of the Year.
That’s right second baseman. Termarr Johnson just won the award. In the 2023 season between stops at Low-A Bradenton and High-A Greensboro, Johnson hit 18 total home runs in 349 at-bats.
Showing great plate discipline Johnson drew 101 walks, but at times he was too patient either going down swinging or getting caught looking a total of 120 times.
For the season he finished with a .244/ .422/ .438 slashline and an .860 OPS. Johnson’s 2023 MiLB season proves he’s a big time hitter, who’s only gonna get better.

@MLBDevelops

Baseball Is Johnson’s Life

With the minor league season now complete, and most players taking a little time off, the Atlanta native was spotted at the East Cobb Baseball facility getting some work in last week.
In an interview with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Johnson talked about his love for the game and how he felt his 2023 season went.
“I like to play baseball every day of the week. This is my getaway. This is what I do. This is my life,” Johnson told the Post Gazette. “I want to play baseball as long as they let me.”
“As far as my play goes, it was alright,” Johnson said. “But definitely need to get way better. Ten times more a player than I was this year.”
Big on family values, Johnson says his patience at the plate is a credit to his family values, and what was bestowed upon him at a very young age.
Never Rush, Patience Is A Virtue
While it may sound a bit cliché, Johnson truly does live by the saying that “patience is a virtue,” and even as his average went up and down a lot during the season, he stayed the course and never changed his approach.
“I never like to rush anything,” Johnson said. “I don’t like to rush at-bats. I don’t like to rush development. I don’t like to rush anything that gets me better every day.”
“The pitcher has to come to me. I think that’s where my patience comes from, and I’ve just got to continue to do that.”
While currently slated to join the Pirates in 2025, Johnson who’s likely to begin the 2024 season with the Club’s Double-A affiliate, is hoping to be in the majors in 2024.
“I want to be prepared for Pittsburgh next year, help those guys win,” Johnson said. “We need some winning baseball up there, and I’m ready to do it.”
I wouldn’t bet against Johnson arriving in the majors sometime during the 2024 MLB season.
Andrew McCutchen Returns to Pittsburgh, Will Wins Follow? | He’s The Perfect Mentor For MLBbros Ke’Bryan Hayes & Termarr Johnson

Andrew McCutchen Returns to Pittsburgh, Will Wins Follow? | He’s The Perfect Mentor For MLBbros Ke’Bryan Hayes & Termarr Johnson

Often when a veteran player returns to the team that gave them their start, many see it as the beginning of the end. The sun is setting on their career, and one last hurrah with the home team will encapsulate their legacy once and for all. 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates centerfield Andrew McCutchen is not one of those people, and the last thing he wants is your sympathy. 

 

“I want to win. Specifically, I want to win here,” said a motivated McCutchen during his introductory press conference that saw the centerfielder welcomed back to Pittsburgh with open arms. No longer the blazing quick, dreadlocked perennial MVP candidate, Andrew comes back as a veteran whose on field production may have slipped but his clubhouse presence has remained bigger than ever. 

Cutch Returns, So Does the Winning

So far, the Pirates are 9-7 in the NL Central and winning at a higher rate than they have in quite some time. So, Cutch’s presence on the field is being felt.

McCutchen has played for five different teams since being traded in 2017 and was without question considered a leader on each of them. Now back in black, there is a new task at hand; show the young bros how it’s done.

 

McCutchen has done just that out the gate, hitting .298 with three doubles, two home runs and a .916 OPS in 61 plate appearances. 

 

 

McCutchen and Ke’Bryan Hayes Have Chemistry 

 

 

 

Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes didn’t hide his excitement about bringing Cutch back into the fold. “To be able to bring somebody like that, who won an MVP and Silver Slugger Awards, He was the leader of the Pirates from the time when I signed here, just to bring a guy like that back into the clubhouse is awesome… I didn’t get to see him when I was coming up and picking his brain about how to win because he was able to win while he was here.”  

 

It seems as if the two MLBbros are already in sync, as McCutchen echoed that sentiment when asked about mentoring both Hayes and 2022 first-rounder Termarr Johnson, another young MLBbro who will be a prominent figure in any winning that takes place in Pittsburgh.

 

 

 

 

“I’m looking forward to being able to not only talk to them but to be a voice for the way things work, the way we did things when I was here,” said McCutchen when asked about his role in mentoring the two young Pirates. “Not necessarily saying, ‘This is the right way.’ Things change, and you evolve. But I want them to understanding (that) winning here wasn’t that long ago, and I was a part of it. So I know what it feels like.” 

 

McCutchen Took Pirates From MLB’s Saigon To Playoff Sexy

 

In 2013, a young Cutch was a catalyst for a young Pirates team that ended the franchises 20-year streak of consecutive losing seasons. The then 26-year-old hit .314 with 21 home runs, 84 RBI, 27 stolen bases while scoring 97 runs and posting an OPS of .952. This was good enough for Andrew to become the first Pittsburgh Pirate to win National League MVP since The God Barry Bonds won back-to-back awards in 91-92.

 

From 2011 to 2015, McCutchen was on another level, hitting .302 with 123 home runs, 175 doubles and a .905 OPS enroute to five consecutive All Star appearances along with four Silver Slugger Awards. During that period, he carried the franchise on his back and was at the peak of his illustrious career. Now, he returns as a hero of a golden era in Pirates’ history, with a goal to mentor the next generation while showing them how to grind and work as a professional over 162 games.

 

 

 

If Andrew is able to aide this young group of talent Black players back to a competitive playoff level, his legacy in Pittsburgh will grow even more.

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