Kudos to Mitch Moreland for winning the first Gold Glove of his career. The ex-Mississippi State star, now a free agent, led American League first basemen in fielding percentage (.998) playing for Texas in 2016. He committed just two errors in 1,103 chances. (And it didn’t hurt that he hit 22 home runs.) … Former Harrison Central High standout Bobby Bradley is rated the No. 5 prospect (again) and best power hitter in Cleveland’s system in Baseball America’s new rankings. Bradley, a lefty-hitting first baseman, was the Class A Carolina League MVP this past season, when he belted 29 homers and drove in 102 runs. He hit just .235 but had a .344 on-base percentage. … Picayune High product T.J. House, Itawamba Community College alum Tim Dillard and former Southern Miss star Scott Copeland are on the list of minor league free agents published by Baseball America. A host of former Mississippi Braves are also on the market, including Matt Lipka, Daniel Castro, Brandon Cunniff, Willians Astudillo, Madison Younginer, Joey Terdoslavich, Brandon Hicks, Jordan Schafer and David Hale. … Richton’s JaCoby Jones had another big hit on Tuesday for Salt River, boosting his Arizona Fall League average to .333 and RBI total to 11 in 16 games. Ex-Madison Central star Spencer Turnbull, another Detroit prospect with Salt River, worked strong four innings in that game, allowing one unearned run and fanning five. His ERA in five AFL starts is now 4.50.
Don’t be shocked if Cleveland’s pitching staff figures out a way to tame the Chicago Cubs three more times to claim the World Series title. After all, they’ve got Mickey Callaway, the former Ole Miss star, pulling levers and flipping switches – almost always the right ones — as their pitching coach. Over his four years in that role, the Indians have the best ERA (3.72) in the American League. While Cubs-mania has been sweeping the country this postseason, don’t forget that Indians pitchers already have taken down the heavy hitters trotted out by Boston and Toronto. Callaway, who is being touted as a future manager, rates a chunk of the credit. “Callaway has been a difference-maker, a confident communicator whose understanding of how to strategize and harmonize has routinely allowed the Indians to make the most of whatever arms are on hand,” Anthony Castrovince wrote for mlb.com. … Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton and McComb’s Jarrod Dyson are up for “Best Play, Defense” in the annual Esurance MLB Awards. Hamilton, with Cincinnati, made a jaw-dropping diving snag on Aug. 23, and Dyson, of Kansas City, produced an equally amazing home run-robbing catch two days later. You can vote on this and other yearly awards on mlb.com through Nov. 11. … Hamilton and Mississippi State product Mitch Moreland (Texas) are among the finalists for Gold Gloves in their respective leagues, as are former Mississippi Braves Jason Heyward (Cubs) and Andrelton Simmons (Los Angeles Angels).
Marcus Thames has been named assistant hitting coach for the New York Yankees after serving the past three seasons as a hitting coach in their minor league system. The Louisville native and ex-East Central Community College standout, who famously homered off Randy Johnson in his first big league at-bat, retired as a player in 2011. … Mississippi State product Ed Easley has been taken off the 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A Memphis by the St. Louis Cardinals. Easley played in four games for the Cardinals as a 29-year-old rookie in 2015, going 0-for-6 with an RBI. … Mississippi Gulf Coast CC alum Tony Sipp is a free agent and could be in line for a nice payday. The lefty reliever made $2.4 million with Houston in 2015, when he posted a 1.99 ERA and pitched well in the postseason. … Also on the list of MLB free agents are former Mississippi Braves Jason Heyward, Jeff Francoeur, Blaine Boyer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. … Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton had a tough year at the plate (.226) for Cincinnati, but he is a Gold Glove finalist as a center fielder. Ex-Southern Miss star Brian Dozier of Minnesota is a finalist at second base. The award winners will be announced Nov. 10. … Desmond Jennings, the former Itawamba CC standout, could be potential trade bait for Tampa Bay, reports say. Jennings was injured most of 2015, and the Rays now have other options in the outfield. … Curious to see what’s next for Corey Wimberly, the ex-Alcorn State star who batted .340 with 34 stolen bases in the Mexican League in 2015. Wimberly, 32, has been in pro ball since 2005 without tasting the majors.