Itawamba Community College, the little baseball factory in Fulton, announced today that one of its star alums, Jonathan Van Every, will be the speaker at the Indians’ annual leadoff banquet on Jan. 29. Van Every, 30, also a former University Christian standout, will head to spring training in February with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who signed him to a minor league deal in November. Van Every hit his first major league home run in 2009, but injuries were the predominant story of his season. He was hurt in spring training and again in the summer — and ultimately was released by the Boston Red Sox, the second organization for which he has played. Van Every will get a chance to revive his career with the forever-rebuilding Pirates, who might be able to use his power bat.
The two pitching prospects Atlanta acquired from the New York Yankees today in the Javier Vazquez deal won’t have a direct impact on the 2010 Mississippi Braves’ roster. Left-hander Mike Dunn reached the majors last summer for the Yankees; he figures to be a Triple-A Gwinnett player in the Braves’ system. Arodys Vizcaino, a 19-year-old Dominican, will be entering just his third year of pro ball, having spent 2009 at the short-season A level. He’s at least a couple years away from Pearl. But he does have the potential to get here. Note his 1