10 Jul

highs and lows

The names of Mississippians popped up many times in Baseball America’s Midseason Organization Reports, some in good places, some in less-desirable spots. Hunter Renfroe, the former Mississippi State standout set to play in tonight’s All-Star Futures Game, and Bobby Bradley, the ex-Harrison Central High star, were named the “Best Player” in their organization, San Diego and Cleveland, respectively. JaCoby Jones, the former Mr. Baseball from Richton, was touted as making the “Biggest Leap Forward” this season in the Detroit organization, and MSU product Brandon Woodruff received the same designation in the Milwaukee system. He is currently pitching for the Biloxi Shuckers. There is also a category for “Biggest Disappointment.” Former Murrah High star Zack Bird (Atlanta), State product Jacob Lindgren (New York Yankees) and Anthony Alford (Toronto), another former Mr. Baseball from Petal, fell into that category. Injuries have played a part in the decline of each of those players, most notably Alford. Rated by some the best prospect in the Blue Jays’ system entering 2016, he suffered a knee injury on opening day at Class A Dunedin and a concussion in mid-June. Alford, a right-handed hitting outfielder, is in a 5-for-37 skid that has dropped his average to .183, with two homers, 18 RBIs and 22 runs in 48 games. It’s a good bet Alford will have found his stride by season’s end. … The best player in the Braves’ system is no surprise: Dansby Swanson, who is also slated for the All-Star Futures Game in San Diego. He is one of three current Mississippi Braves rated among the top 32 prospects in BA’s midseason update. Swanson is No. 7, Ozzie Albies No. 17 and Sean Newcomb No. 32. Milwaukee’s best player is left-hander Josh Hader, who started this season in Biloxi. He is also in San Diego for the Futures game. P.S. Line of the day for a Mississippian in the majors on Saturday belongs to Kendall Graveman: 8IP, 5H, 2R, 0BB, 3Ks. The ex-State star won his fourth straight game for Oakland, 3-2 vs. Houston, and is now 5-6 with a 4.37 ERA.

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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