2023 MLB Playoffs Has Some Melanated Representation | 16 Black Players Are In The Hunt For October, Twins DH Royce Lewis Got Things Started With A Bang

The 2023 MLB Playoffs began on Tuesday, and while we’d like to see more Black representation, there are 16 participating on postseason rosters.

Things got off with a bang in Tuesday’s first wild card game as the Minnesota Twins beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 in Game 1 at Target Field in Minnesota. The win also ended an MLB-record 18-game postseason losing streak by the Twins.

Royce Lewis Hits Two Homers For Underdog Minnesota

That was due in large part to Twins designated hitter Royce Lewis, who went yard twice, accounting for all three of the Twins runs.

Lewis the 2017 No. 1 overall pick by the Twins, showed throughout the season why he was taken that high, and why the Twins waited on him despite two ACL injuries that set back his ascension to the Big Show.

Tuesday’s performance further solidified the club’s thinking. 

“This game meant a lot to us for many, many reasons, and we just wanted to put an end to something that was very important to our beloved fans,” Lewis told reporters after the game. “The fans have been so great for us. They support us. They root for us no matter the situation. It just felt right giving this to them.”

Lewis is joined by teammate Byron Buxton, who’s been out with an injury since Aug. 1 and isn’t on the wildcard roster.

Outfielder Michael A. Taylor chipped in with a hit in three at-bats.

Other Series’ Gets Started With Some Melanated Brothers

The Texas Rangers boast star second baseman Marcus Semien and pitcher Grant Anderson. Semien drew a walk and scored a run in four at-bats as the Rangers went into Tampa and knocked off the Rays 4-0 in Game 1 in the best-of-three. Rays pitcher Taj Bradley didn’t pitch in the game, but he is expected to be seen at some point in the series. 

Related: Black Baseball Player Gets $175M Bag | Texas Rangers Pay Marcus Semien Superstar Money

In the Arizona Diamondbacks versus Milwaukee Brewers series, closer Devin Williams, who finished fifth in MLB with 36 saves is hoping for an opportunity to clinch a playoff save. He got a bit roughed up in the Arizona Diamonbacks’ 6-3 Game 1 win, but he’s been lights out all season.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Taijuan Walker likely won’t get a start in the short best-of-three series versus the Miami Marlins.

But if they advance he’ll get the ball in the divisional series. The Marlins have slugger Josh Bell making his second consecutive playoff appearance after being a member of the San Diego Padres last season. Teammate and dynamic center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. is making his first appearance in October baseball. 

Orioles Boasts League-High Three Black Players On Playoff Roster 

No team in the 2023 MLB Playoffs has more Black players than the 101-win Baltimore Orioles who finished with the second-best record in all of MLB, behind the Atlanta Braves. Outfielders Cedric Mullins and Aaron Hicks will play viral roles.

Hicks, the former Yankee, filled in admirably when Mullins was injured earlier this season. Pitcher Jack Flaherty, who was a playoff regular during his time with the St. Louis Cardinals, will likely see some time on the mound. 

The aforementioned Braves, who are the heavy favorites to win their second World Series in three seasons will look for outfielder Michael Harris II to continue his solid play in center field alongside Ronald Acuna Jr. and Eddie Rosario. 

Last but not least, the L.A. Dodgers counter with arguably the game’s most dynamic player in Mookie Betts, and veteran Jason Heyward, a 2016 World Series champion with the Chicago Cubs.

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