Brandon Rembert is widely considered by many as one of the premier baseball players in the Southwestern Athletic Conference or SWAC for short. Rembert is an outfielder for HBCU Alcorn State University. The Florida native was named a Pre-Season All-Conference selection by Perfect Game and by the SWAC, garnering 1st-team honors by the SWAC. Brandon has also been considered an MLB Draft prospect for the upcoming draft. Despite all of the accolades and awards, Brandon Rembert plays for a bigger purpose. He hopes to help be a catalyst for African-Americans in the sport of baseball. Rembert states that, “Baseball is not a sport that is predominantly played by African-Americans. Blacks are the minority in this sport. I want to bring awareness to African-Americans about the sport of baseball. I feel like if people can see someone like them doing well in the sport, they might want to flock to the sport also.”
The Southwestern Athletic Conference is home to many HBCU programs such as Southern, Grambling, and Jackson State to name a few. The SWAC is divided up into the East and West division, with Alcorn moving to the West in the 2021-2022 year. Alcorn is home to football great Steve McNair, who was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 1994. Brandon Rembert hopes to be the next great out of Alcorn State. He has big dreams of making it the MLB one day. Brandon states that, “I just want to leave Alcorn knowing that I made an impact at the school. I have a dream of making it to the big leagues one day and to play in front of thousands. There have not been very many people to make it to the big leagues that are from my school. Who knows? I may not ever make it there, but I will work my hardest to give myself the best shot.”
Brandon Rembert is going into the 2021 season as a 5th year season, having only played 12 games last year. His season was cut short do to the CoronaVirus pandemic. Brandon was fortunate enough to gain another year of eligibility back from the NCAA, since the 2020 was shortened. Rembert states that, “I was very happy to get the news that I was going to be able to get my year back. We only played 12 games before our season ended, so it was kind of a relief to be able to get to play college baseball again because I honestly did not want to go out like that. I feel like we had a special ball club last year and people weren’t able to get to see what we could do. I feel like the NCAA made a great decision with giving us another year of eligibility.”
Brandon Rembert hopes that a breakout 2021 season will help his chances of getting picked up in the Major League Baseball Draft in 2021. He has started to garner some interest from some professional scouts after his strong 2019 campaign. In 2020, Rembert was listed by Black College Nines as an HBCU player to watch for the MLB Draft in their Pre-Draft report. Brandon states, “I was very excited to know that I was on this list. It lets me know that people are taking notice of me and it is honestly a good feeling. Being on that list has made me want to work harder than ever before. Knowing that I am on this list and being this close to achieving my dream of playing professional baseball makes me want to kick it into another gear in order to achieve my goal. I feel like I have come a long way as a player, but I still have a ways to go.”
HBCU baseball conferences do not tend to have as many players drafted as other power five conferences such as the SEC or ACC do. There were no players that were drafted out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2020 and in 2019 there was only a mere one player drafted out of that conference. Do HBCU players lack the pro talent that the MLB is looking for or are these players just being overlooked?
Brandon states, “I think my conference is filled with many talented players. I’ve played against a handful of players that I believe should have had a chance of maybe playing pro ball, but were simply passed over for whatever reason. I think that some underestimate the talent that we have in our conference. We may not have the same talent as top level power five programs, but I think that we do have some guys that are very talented, but can get overlooked or passed up on Draft day. I think that if some of the guys in my conference got as much exposure as some of the players at these top level schools do, they would have a better shot at playing pro ball.”
Rembert hopes to change the way that HBCU baseball players are looked at and hopes that more HBCU players will be drafted in the future. Brandon hopes to be one of the next players to get drafted out of an HBCU baseball program. Rembert states, “I hope that I will be able to get drafted next year. Nothing is guaranteed, but I think that it would be a great honor if I were to be picked up come draft day. I think that it will help garner more exposure to not only my school, but HBCU programs around the country as well.”
Brandon Rembert may not ever get the shot to play in the Major Leagues. Even if he does not make it, Rembert wants to make sure he makes a lasting impact while he can. He states that, “I just want to make an impact and inspire others. I just want to be someone that a kid can look up to and aspire to be one day. If I can just inspire one person to the best version of themselves, I think I will be satisfied. I just want to use my platform to inspire others who look like me or who want to be in my position one day.”
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