HBCU Baseball Players to Look Out For in 2023

Black College Nines presents the players to lookout for in HBCU baseball for the 2023 season. As teams prepare for the season, these players are on a path that will be big pieces to their team’s success as we enter another exciting HBCU season.

Now that the players have worked hard to get through fall ball with an impressive offseason, which pitchers or hitters have the best shot to garner national attention and take the next step in their respective careers.

Black College Nines has put together a list of names to look out for during the season. These are players who could be big pieces to their team’s puzzle.

Here are the competitors who have the potential to become HBCU top baseball players in the making for the 2023 season.

Below is our list of candidates for the upcoming season:

Bluefield State University

Jordan Varela-Payne – OF Last season he batted .360 last season with 7 home runs, and 42 runs batted in. Fielding percentage was 945%. He will be the guy the team depends on to bring it every day.


Kentucky State University 

Dylan Compton – RHP Will be looked at for stability in the pitching rotation. Can be either a spot starter, relief, or closer when needed.




Benedict College

Jamel Mitchell-OF, He stole 60 bases last year as a freshman which was 2nd nationally. Was named to Black College Nines 2nd Team All Elite.




Jalen McDuffie-1B/OF, hit over .370 had a 4.0 GPA made the HBCU Allstar game that was played at the Atlanta Braves Stadium. Pure hitter uses whole field, gap to gap power.



North Carolina A&T State University 

Canyon Brown- C, He had a superb freshman season, earning Big South Rookie of the Week honors once. He batted .276 with seven home runs and a team-leading 36 RBI. Brown also led the Aggies in slugging percentage (.469) after posting 10 doubles and three triples to go with his seven homers.

Southern University

O’Neil Burgos- OF  has been one of the better hitters in the SWAC during his career. The team looks for him to provide leadership, mental toughness and power hitting during the 2023 season.



Coppin State University

Jordan Hamberg- LHP/OF National Two-Way Player of the Year candidate. Broke Coppin single-season record throwing 87 strikeouts and also lead team with .347 batting average. Power to all fields with plus throwing arm and gold glove actions in the outfield. On the mound he led the team with a 6-3 record.



Florida A&M University 

Hunter Viets- RHP struck out 93 batters in 90.2 innings pitched with an earned run average of 2.98, 8-4 recorded.




Miles College

Michael Archie- OF,  as a 6’- 4” freshman last year, hit 10 home runs and 54 runs batted in to go along with a .325 batting average. Archie can hit a ton to all fields. The center fielder has gap to gap speed.


Savannah State University

Joe Smith- OF Returning player of the year in the conference.  6.5 runner with plus tools across the board.  Plus, arm and is very accurate.  Mookie Betts comparison as he has the ability to drive the ball over the fence to all fields.



Andrew Mann- RHP Will be in starting rotation. 3-4 pitch mix that pounds the strike zone. Has been consistent for the Tigers throughout the fall and is hungry to begin competing in the spring.  Bulldog on the mound and wants the ball all of the time.



University Maryland Eastern Shore

Ryan Howe-C/DH Splitting time behind the dish and at designated hitter, Howe was named to the Black College Nines Large School Elites as a DH. Solid defensive catcher has a strong arm to catch would be base runners. Appeared in all 53 of the Hawks games with 52 starts.


Albany State University 

Lavoisier Fisher- OF Live bat, hits to all fields with power. Has MLB scouts interest.



Bethune Cookman University

Nolan Santos- RHP Last season broke the school single season strikeout record at 113 strikeouts.




Virginia State University

Tahraun Hammond – SS Sophomore can hit a ton with speed and a arm across the infield. Last season batted .369, 48 hits, 3 homeruns, 37 runs.

Delaware State University

Trey Paige-Middle Infielder. Was player of the year in the conference last year expecting him to contend for the same thing this year.




Oakwood University 

Jeremy Matos-freshman SS originally from the Dominican Republic has secured a spot as the starting shortstop with his range and an absolute cannon of an arm. Matos will also see time on the mound.

Benedict College

Justin Murray-sophomore Utility Transfer student, plus power, good hitter uses whole field, good hands on defense.

Trenton O’Connor-redshirt freshman pitch 89 pulldown has pitch ability and poise. Off speed is getting better. Hard worker.

William Martinez-sophomore SS Transfer student switch hitter uses whole field power down the lines. Good hands and actions in the infield.

Coppin State University

Rashad Ruff-RHP 92-95 FB, with plus change-up. Loose dynamic arm. Pitches with great confidence and composure and competing in the strike zone.

Brian Nicolas- 3B 2022 MEAC Tournament MVP and All Conference First Team. Great defensive third basement with accurate throwing arm. Good aggressive hitter with occasional power. Does a great job the ball where it’s pitched. Has taken on the leadership role with this year’s team, welcoming the new guys and leading by example.

North Carolina A&T State University 

Anthony Hennings – The Elon transfer led North Carolina A&T with a .355 batting average. He also had 14 doubles, 24 RBI and he scored 29 times. He ranked fourth in the Big South in batting average, sixth in base-hits (71) and he led the conference in total batting appearances. From his shortstop position, he made 15 errors on 142 fielding opportunities for a .904 fielding percentage.

University Maryland Eastern Shore

Derrick Mayes II – Outfield.  A toolsy, switch hitting outfielder, Mayes is a threat to steal or cause major disruption any time he is on the basepaths for the Hawks with his quick twitch. A versatile player, at the plate Mayes shows power from the left side while still offering contact against lefties from the right side and in the field he is comfortable playing all three outfield positions.

Wilberforce University 

Keith Smith Jr.-OF Freshmen showcased his defensive skills and will be a key factor in the Bulldogs offense this spring.

Delaware State University

Evan Bouldin who was the Delaware State player of the year, will see considerable playing time on the infield.

Xavier University of Louisiana 

Jamal Allen-RHP Hard throwing starting pitcher will fill the number one spot in the rotation.

Paine College

Dominique Page – OF Dominique was an All-NCCAA regional selection last season where he batted over .380. He also had 7 home runs on the season. Hits with power and has great speed.

Paine College 

Denny Daza – SS was an All-Region NCCAA selection last season also. He batted over .400 last season at shortstop. Fielding percentage was 97%. He will be the guy the team depends on to bring it every day.

Wiley College 

Jacob Perez-OF/DH ended last season on a 14-game hitting streak, finishing with a .336 batting average, 31 runs and 16 RBIs.

West Virginia State University 

Ryan Kay-OF returns after having a breakout 2022 (.397 batting average).

Grambling State University

Cameron Bufford

Trey Burrell

Bluefield State University

Ty Sizemore

Cole Cote

Varela-Payne Jordan

Jackson State University

Ty Hill

Voorhees College

Joseph Gaines

Aquilar James

Alabama State University

Hunter May

Bluefield State University

Ty Sizemore

Coal Cote

Edward Waters University 

Payton Shubert

Anthony Roman

John Nobles

Florida A&M University 

Jared Weber

Joseph Pierini 

Ty Hanchey 

Lincoln University (PA) 

Gabriel Sanchez

Southern University 

Jaylen Armstrong

Jalon Long

Morehouse University 

David Coleman

Saivion Mohammed

Talladega College 

Miguel Oropeza

Jose Santiago

Rafael Diaz

North Carolina A&T University 

Xavier Meachem

Michael Logan

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