Braxton Lee, whose serpentine career includes a minor league batting title and 17 MLB at-bats, is flourishing in the independent Atlantic League. Lee, 28, who played at Picayune High, Pearl River Community College and Ole Miss, set an Atlantic League record with a three-triple game on Tuesday for Southern Maryland, the club managed by Jackson’s Stan Cliburn. A lefty-hitting outfielder, Lee is batting .315 with three homers, 57 RBIs, 19 doubles, nine triples and 14 stolen bases. Originally drafted by Tampa Bay in 2014, he won the Southern League batting title in 2017 (playing for two different teams) and reached the big leagues with Miami in 2018. He played in the New York Mets’ system in 2019 and Cincinnati’s in 2021, getting some Triple-A time both years. He moved on to the Atlantic League after becoming a minor league free agent last fall. Cliburn’s Blue Crabs won the first-half title in their division with a 48-18 record; they’re 18-11 (second place) in the second half. P.S. Debut alert: Vaughn Grissom, making the jump from Double-A Mississippi to Atlanta today, is in the Braves’ lineup, batting ninth and playing second base at Boston. Grissom, 21, Atlanta’s No. 1 prospect, hit .363 with three homers in 22 games for the M-Braves, playing one game at second base, the others at shortstop. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Grissom has played 19 games at second in his three-year pro career. He is a .315 career hitter.
Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C., is modeled after Boston’s Fenway Park, where the players on the roster of the High-Class A Greenville Drive aspire to play someday. Blaze Jordan made his Drive debut at Fluor Field on Tuesday, and Red Sox fans should be excited that the club’s No. 6 prospect looked very much at home. The 19-year-old former DeSoto Central High standout went 3-for-4 with two home runs, one over the mini-Green Monster in left field, the other to left-center. “I think it’s safe to say he likes hitting in this ballpark,” one of Greenville’s radio broadcasters said. Jordan, a third-round pick in 2020, hit .286 with eight homers and 57 RBIs at Low-A Salem this season before his promotion. Considered one of the top power hitters in the Red Sox’s system — “Jordan’s massive power has been good as advertised,” according to MLB Pipeline — he has 16 homers in 124 pro games. There will be more. … There was a lot of player movement in the minors on Tuesday. To wit: Mississippi State product Rowdey Jordan moved up to Double-A Binghamton in the New York Mets’ system and went 1-for-4 in his debut. Ex-Ole Miss star Will Ethridge was promoted to Double-A Hartford in the Colorado chain and worked four scoreless innings in his first appearance. Brandon Parker, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College alum from Saucier, was bumped up to High-A Rome by Atlanta; he hit .282 with 10 homers at Low-A Augusta. MSU product Logan Tanner, drafted in the second round by Cincinnati last month, was assigned to Low-A Daytona after one game in rookie ball; he went 0-for-3 in his Daytona debut. Several other 2022 draftees have been assigned to rookie clubs, including former Ole Miss star Tim Elko (0-for-3 in his Arizona Complex League debut for the Chicago White Sox) and high school draftees Emaarion Boyd (Philadelphia) and Spence Coffman (San Diego). The Double-A Mississippi Braves saw two key players moved to Triple-A Gwinnett: right-hander Darius Vines and catcher Hendrik Clementina. P.S. The injury-riddled White Sox have lost East Central CC alum Tim Anderson, their All-Star shortstop and leadoff batter, for 4-6 weeks with a finger ligament tear. It’s his second stint on the IL. The White Sox lost Ocean Springs native Garrett Crochet (for the year) and ex-Ole Miss star Lance Lynn (for two months) in spring training. Lynn has been shaky (2-5, 5.88 ERA) since returning. … Shohei Ohtani joined Babe Ruth as the only players in MLB history to win at least 10 games and hit at least 10 homers in the same season. Two other players have won 10 and hit 10 in different seasons: Rick Ankiel and Jackson native Ewell Albert “Reb” Russell. Russell, a left-hander, won 23 games for the 1913 White Sox and posted three other double-digit win seasons before hurting his arm in 1918. He spent some time in the minors, came back to the big leagues in 1922 with Pittsburgh and belted 12 homers in 60 games.