Brandon Rembert: HBCU Senior is Top 2021 Major League Baseball Prospect

Rembert’s .345 batting average ranked 8th in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and his .462 on base percentage was 5th
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In 2020, college baseball player Brandon Rembert was identified as one of the top Division 1 baseball players—and is expected to be a 2021 MLB Draft Prospect.

The Pensacola, Florida native, who plays for the Alcorn University Braves, was named HBCU Player to watch for MLB Draft, coming off his successful 2019 season. Rembert’s .345 batting average ranked 8th in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and his .462 on base percentage was 5th in the conference.

Rembert is beloved by coaches who rave about his work ethic and upward trajectory.

"Brandon is a young man that works extremely hard not only on the field but in the classroom as well," said head coach Bretton Richardson. "He's going to be a very important part of our season this year."

Sports Illustrated writer Isaac Schade has likened Rembert’s journey into becoming a top baseball prospect to the stories of Jim Morris, Rudy Ruettiger and Vince Papale whose improbable sports stories were made into movies.

Morris (The Rookie) was the former high school science teacher who became a pitcher, at the age of 35, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Vince Papale (Invincible) went from being a high school teacher, at 30, to one of the oldest rookies in NFL history. And, Ruettiger, (Rudy) went from being a unrecruited high school football to famously sacking Georgia Tech quarterback Rudy Allen.

These comparisons are made because Brandon Rembert’s pathway to this point, where he is on the cusp of being potentially chosen in the 2021 Baseball Draft, wasn’t always necessarily seen as likely. Rembert explains some of the adversity he faced—including breaking his hip while diving for a ball in high school.

“Going into my freshman year at Booker T. Washington High School, I was at practice or a tryout and I dove for the ball and broke my hip. That was a major setback for me because I had to have surgery. I missed a good six or seven months. I couldn’t walk for a good bit. Going into freshman year, having high hopes and trying to prove my worth, and then sustaining that injury was the toughest part of my life. I battled back and got it back stronger. It made me appreciate the game even more. It doesn’t hinder my performance, but I have a pin in my hip right now.”

According to Rembert, in high school, he had a “decent senior year” that he admits “was okay, but not a superstar” type of year. However, his .333 batting average was good enough to attract the interest of Faulkner University, an NAIA school in Montgomery, Alabama. But, as Rembert pointed out, “I was actually on the JV team at Faulkner, I wasn’t even on the Varsity.”

Rembert would eventually transfer to Coastal Alabama Community College – Brewton for his sophomore year. Here he hit .274, had 26 hits, 13 runs scored, 10 RBI, a double, and a triple. Not exactly “superstar” statistics.

Then all the practice and hard work Rembert put in started to change his reality.

When asked by Schade what led him from being a JV player to becoming a top prospect, Rembert said, “There was a lot that went into it. I just got better skill-wise; I really progressed. I really got stronger. I just got better, honestly. I was younger coming into college. I was 17, so getting older had something to do with it, too. I started to come into my body. I got stronger and wiser; my baseball IQ increased. I always had the skill and the talent but going into my junior year it all started to come together. All the hard work started paying off. I focused on what I needed to focus on and progressed.”

This is where the HBCU Alcorn University also comes in.

While still in high school, Rembert had had some initial talks with this Division 1 university. He restarted this relationship and was eventually welcomed on the Alcorn Braves team. The move proved to be a positive one as Rembert’s performance on the field started to peak.

Because of his exploits in the 2019 season, he earned the 2019 Alcorn Sportsmanship Award ranking among the top of his squad’s elite players in multiple statistical categories including: hits (48), runs scored (38), walks (29), doubles (9) and homers (3) while accumulating 14 multi-hit games.

Rembert achieved Preseason All-SWAC 1 Team honors heading into 2020--before the COVID-19 pandemic cut short the college baseball season. However, because of this, Rembert, who is a senior, will be eligible to play college baseball in the upcoming 2021 season.

After finding out about the NCAA’s decision regarding this, Rembert said, “It was really exciting. I was excited to be able to get that year back because I didn’t want to end my senior season playing 12 games. I was really excited to get another opportunity to play in college again. It was a relief.”

Rembert, who has completed undergraduate work, and is working on a master’s degree, believes the Alcorn State Braves could win the SWAC Championship.

Rembert’s personal goals for 2021 are lofty.

“For myself, I have some big aspirations. I feel like I could be Player of the Year. That’s one of my big goals is to be conference player of the year and to put myself in a position to be picked up for the draft. Those are really my three big, main goals: a conference championship, SWAC Player of the Year, and to get drafted.”

Brandon Rembert is the son of Cheryl and OJ Rembert.

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