Former Biloxi Shuckers star Keston Hiura, Milwaukee’s No. 1 prospect, has been called up to the big leagues. Hiura, a second baseman, was batting .333 with 11 home runs at Triple-A San Antonio. A first-round pick in 2017, he played for the Shuckers in 2018, batting .272 with six homers in 73 games, and was MVP of the ’18 Arizona Fall League. Hiura, likely to start tonight at Philadelphia, is the 27th Shuckers alum to advance to The Show since the team’s debut at MGM Park in 2015. … Ex-Mississippi State standout Brandon Woodruff, another Shuckers alum, is slated to start for the Brewers. He is 5-1 with a 4.25 ERA. Among the other former Shuckers currently with Milwaukee are closer Josh Hader and shortstop Orlando Arcia.
If you saw Tommy La Stella play for the 2013 Mississippi Braves, you knew he could hit. The lefty-swinging infielder batted .343 in 81 games. The power he’s displaying in 2019 isn’t something anyone has seen before. Now with the Los Angeles Angels, La Stella belted his 10th home run of the season in a victory at Minnesota on Monday night. That’s as many as he had hit in his previous five MLB seasons combined. La Stella – which means “The Star” in Italian – has more homers this year than Angels stars Mike Trout or Albert Pujols. With 24 RBIs, he trails only Trout on the club. La Stella also has more homers than any other M-Braves alum in the majors; Ronald Acuna is second in that pack with eight. After his big year in Pearl in 2013 (when he hit four homers), La Stella made it to Atlanta the next season. He was dealt to the Chicago Cubs in November of 2014 for Arodys Vizcaino and spent four years with the Cubbies, winning a ring in 2016. The Angels acquired him last November. His emergence as a regular has taken at-bats away from Ole Miss alum Zack Cozart, who is mired in a deep slump (.136, no homers). P.S. Former M-Braves star Dansby Swanson is the second-most improved hitter in the big leagues this year, behind only Cody Bellinger. That’s according to a detailed analysis by mlb.com’s Mike Petriello. After a couple of disappointing years in Atlanta, Swanson is currently batting .268 with six homers and 25 RBIs – plus, according to the mlb.com piece, striking out less, walking more and hitting the ball harder and higher.