BY HBCU SPORTS
A year after not a single HBCU baseball player was selected to participate in the first-ever MLB Combine, two standout performers will work out among the top amateur talents in the country.
North Carolina A&T pitcher Xavier Meachem and Bethune-Cookman infielder Hylan Hall will be in a group of 343 college and high school players at the Major League Baseball Combine this week at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
The MLB Network will televise two pro-style workouts over two days, starting Tuesday and ending Wednesday
Meachem’s appearance at the MLB Combine and his potential to be drafted by an MLB team in July are not the only exciting things happening in the 20-year-olds life this summer. In addition, Meachem has been selected to pitch at the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp against Chinese Taipei International.
“When all of this started happening, I just thought back to my younger self,” said Meachem, who has reached 97 mph on the radar gun during his career. “I never thought I would be in this position. I’m just really trying to enjoy the moment. It’s a dream come true to play for USA Baseball. Putting on the colors and playing for your country is very exciting. I’m proud to be representing African-American baseball players and HBCU players. It’s an all-around great opportunity.”
Soon after his appearance at the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp, Meachem will jet back to Seattle for Ken Griffey Jr.’s HBCU Swingman Classic All-Star Game on July 7.
“I’m just blessed,” said Meachem. “I can’t thank God enough. I can’t thank my coaches, teammates, parents, family and everybody who has helped me get to this point enough. I wouldn’t be in this position without them.”
“I’m impressed with Xavier’s growth from his freshman year,” said A&T head coach Ben Hall. “He has put the work in and made an impressive jump over the last nine months. You could see his self-confidence go to another level this season. It really came from believing in his routine and getting out there proving to himself he could be an elite arm.
During the 2023 season, Meachem went 2-1 with five saves and a 5.59 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched. He ranked fourth in the conference in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.82) and seventh in saves. He finished the season with a career-high 47 strikeouts.
Hall, who helped lead Bethune-Cookman to the SWAC tournament championship game, hit .376 with 5 home runs and 53 RBI in 2023. In the field, Hall displayed a .979 fielding percentage.