The historically black colleges and universities have a rich baseball tradition that often goes unrecognized. Most HBCU face financial challenges due to historical inequities and limited funding from the government and private sources. Lack of resources has not stopped HBCUs from producing talent that has what it takes to compete on the professional level. Trey Paige (Delaware State University) and Xaiver Meachem (North Carolina A&T University) are the latest players to be drafted to the MLB from an HBCU in 2023.
Paige was selected 515th pick by the St Louis Cardinals. The Pennsylvania native had a successful career at Delaware State. He finished with a .372 average, 46 doubles, seven triples, 32 home runs, 136 RBIs, and a 1.139 OPS in 153 games according to Delaware State Athletics. Paige also won the 2022 MEAC player of the year award and became the eighth player in program history to be drafted to an MLB team according to HBCU Buzz.
Meachem was selected the 293rd pick by the Miami Marlins. He also made history becoming the highest North Carolina A&T Aggie selected in the MLB Draft since Al Holland in 1975. Meachem followed his historical draft pick selection having 12 strikeouts in 10.2 innings pitched and a 5.59 ERA in 48.1 innings on the season ( North Carolina A&T Baseball, 2023).
Both Players head coaches spoke highly of them and can’t wait for them to perform on the biggest stage in baseball.
North Carolina A&T Coach Ben Hall commented in HBCU Buzz about Xaiver Meachem saying, “I’m super excited for [Meachem]. He is a first-class person, and I know his best baseball is still ahead of him. It is always a fun time to see one of your guys accomplish a dream, especially one who has stepped up and really made it happen for himself. Xavier had a great year, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Delaware State Head Coach JP Blandin also expressed in HBCU Buzz his happiness for his former player Trey Paige. He said “I am very grateful that the Cardinals drafted him as we have some former assistant coaches in that organization, and all told, it will be a perfect fit for him. He will make a great professional baseball player, and we all wish him the best.”