27 Aug

drawing close

The Mississippi Braves’ single-season record for home runs is 19, set by Matt Esquivel in 2007. Mauro Gomez has a real shot at the mark. The slugging first baseman has 16 bombs with 11 games to play — and it might help that seven of those are on the road. Trustmark Park isn’t kind to mashers. Gomez, a Dominican who turns 26 in September, might be a little past the prospect stage. But he has no doubt opened some eyes in his first Double-A season. He’s hitting .280 with 76 RBIs. His strikeout total is high (113 in 457 at-bats). He doesn’t run well, and he’s not a graceful first baseman. But he does have pop. He hit 28 home runs in the Class A California League in 2009, his last of six seasons in the Texas system. Gomez’s future might lie with an American League club, which would enable him to DH on a regular basis.
P.S. In Baseball America’s annual tools survey, former M-Brave Martin Prado is rated (by scouts) the second-best defensive second baseman in the National League. So why is it that, in Chipper Jones’ absence, Prado is playing third base and Omar Infante is playing second? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to leave Prado at his best position? Infante plays third as well as Prado does.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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