11 Apr

minor matters

Minor league camps are officially open in Florida and Arizona, and when the season finally cranks up in May, there are quite a few Mississippi-connected players who’ll be making delayed pro debuts, none more anticipated than right-hander J.T. Ginn’s. Ginn, the Mississippi State product from Brandon, is rated the No. 6 prospect in the New York Mets’ system though he has pitched in only one actual game since 2019. At State that year, the former two-way prep star posted a 3.13 ERA with 105 strikeouts and 19 walks in 86 1/3 innings and earned SEC freshman of the year honors. He made just one appearance for the Bulldogs in 2020 before sustaining an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery. Nevertheless, the Mets, impressed with Ginn’s three-pitch repertoire, took him in the second round as a draft-eligible sophomore and signed him for $2.9 million. He was invited to big league camp this spring (and worked out with Noah Syndergaard) but did not appear in any Grapefruit League games. Reports indicate it could be midsummer before Ginn officially debuts. … Other highly rated 2020 draftees who didn’t play last season (because there was no minor league ball) include State alum Justin Foscue (Texas’ No. 7 prospect), State product Jordan Westburg (Baltimore’s No. 7), ex-Ole Miss star Anthony Servideo (Orioles’ No. 27), former DeSoto Central standout Blaze Jordan (Boston’s No. 11), Biloxi High alum Colt Keith (Detroit’s No. 20) and UM product Tyler Keenan (Seattle’s fourth-round pick). Foscue and Westburg were in big league camp this spring and played in some exhibition games. P.S. Wyatt Toregas has been announced as the eighth manager of the Mississippi Braves. Toregas, who had a brief major league career as a catcher, had managed in Pittsburgh’s system for five years. He follows Chris Maloney, the Jackson native and ex-State standout who managed the M-Braves in 2018-19. The other skippers: Brian Snitker, Jeff Blauser, Phillip Wellman, Rocket Wheeler, Aaron Holbert and Luis Salazar. … Wellman will manage again in San Antonio, San Diego’s affiliate in the Double-A Central South Division. Former Jackson Mets star Al Pedrique will run the Jacksonville club, Miami’s affiliate in the Triple-A East Southeast Division.