For the first time in history, Black players comprise four of the top five picks in the MLB draft: Druw Jones, Kumar Rocker, Termarr Johnson, and Elijah Green. The milestone was first reported by USA Today.
Major League Baseball has been criticized heavily for a significant drop in participation for Black athletes since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
- Robinson’s debut as a Brooklyn Dodger was in 1947 — leading to a major increase in Black players in MLB over the following decades.
- Since then, numbers have declined significantly.
- In 2021, only 7% of the league comprised Black players — the lowest in history.
The league has made some efforts to ameliorate the disparity.
The four rising stars have participated in MLB’s Dream Series, which was created in 2017 to bridge a stark racial gap in baseball participation.
Last year, commissioner Rob Manfred also pledged $150 million to The Players Alliance, a group whose purpose is to help increase diversity in baseball.