17 Jun

all about runs

Austin Riley had a quiet night at the plate on Friday for Atlanta. Or did he? The former DeSoto Central High standout got one hit, a bloop single to right, in four plate appearances. But he also drew two walks and scored two runs, both on Travis d’Arnaud home runs in the Braves’ 8-1 win against Colorado. Riley is second among Mississippians in the majors in runs with 41. Runs isn’t one of the Triple Crown categories, though it is arguably as important — if not more so — than average, homers and RBIs. So much of the buzz around Ronald Acuna is over his long-distance homers and stolen bases. Hardly mentioned is the fact that the former Mississippi Braves star leads all of baseball in runs with 61. Isn’t scoring runs what it’s all about? Nathaniel Lowe, the Mississippi State product having a big year for Texas, is the leading scorer among Mississippians (natives and school alums) in MLB with 46 runs. The first-place Rangers lead MLB in scoring with 419. MSU alums Adam Frazier (Baltimore) and Hunter Renfroe (Los Angeles Angels) have scored 33 apiece, and ex-Bulldogs slugger Brent Rooker (Oakland) has crossed the plate 29 times. In the minors, State alum Jordan Westburg has scored 54 times for Baltimore’s Triple-A Norfolk club; the hot prospect is batting .292 with 17 homers and 52 RBIs. Behind Westburg is MSU product Justin Foscue with 44 runs at Triple-A Round Rock (Texas system), followed by Biloxi High alum Colt Keith (41, Double-A Erie, Detroit system) and ex-Mississippi College standout Blaine Crim (40, Round Rock). Former Ole Miss star Tim Elko has scored 37 times at Low-Class A Kannapolis (Chicago White Sox), same number UM product Grae Kessinger put up at Triple-A Sugar Land before Houston summoned him to the big leagues. He has one hit so far but is still looking for his first big league run. P.S. Ex-George County High standout Justin Steele is slated to come off the injured list and start for the Chicago Cubs today against Baltimore at Wrigley Field. Steele, who hasn’t pitched this month, is 6-2 with a 2.65 ERA. … Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton accepted an assignment to Triple-A Charlotte by the White Sox. The veteran big leaguer, just off the IL and off the ChiSox’s 40-man roster, did not play Friday night.

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