02 Jul

all in a day

On any given day, 90-some-odd games are played in affiliated pro ball at the different levels, from the big leagues to the rookies. There are Mississippians scattered throughout this landscape, at different stages of their careers, with different objectives in mind. Here’s a snapshot from Friday, starting in Mesa, Ariz., in the Arizona Complex League, where one of Kansas City’s rookie teams met Oakland’s. The Royals’ shortstop and No. 2 hitter is Brennon McNair, 19, a product of Magee High School and the lone prep player drafted out of Mississippi in 2021. McNair had a day Friday, going 4-for-4, with a double, three runs and a stolen base. For the year, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound McNair is batting .314 with a homer, eight RBIs, four doubles, four triples, two steals and 15 runs in 15 games. Just getting started on the road that leads to The Show, McNair is one to track. In addition to batting .527 with 11 homers as a senior at Magee, he was valedictorian and class president. … In Myrtle Beach, S.C., former Clinton High standout Christian Johnson made his Low-Class A debut for Charleston in the Tampa Bay system. Playing left field, he went 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base. Drafted in 2019, Johnson’s career got off to a sluggish start. He hit .168 in parts of three seasons at the rookie level. But the former 19th-round pick, 21 years old, is getting an opportunity at a higher level, and he made good Friday. … In Vancouver, B.C., Ole Miss alum Will Ethridge registered an encouraging start for Spokane, Colorado’s High-A team, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings with eight strikeouts and notching his first win since April 29. The 24-year-old right-hander, a fifth-round pick in 2019, is 3-4 with a 5.51 ERA in 12 starts this season, 10-12, 4.82 for his pro career. … At Reading, Pa., in the Double-A Eastern League, former Jackson Prep star Will Warren worked five innings (four hits, one run) for Somerset, the New York Yankees’ affiliate, but got a no-decision in a game the Patriots lost. Warren, 23, drafted just last year out of Southeastern Louisiana, is 3-2 with a 2.90 ERA in six Double-A starts. He already is rated the Yankees’ No. 27 prospect by MLB Pipeline. … In Nashville, Mississippi State product Ethan Small, who got a brief look with the Milwaukee Brewers this season, keeps putting up good numbers for the Triple-A Sounds. The lefty, a former first-round pick, improved to 5-3, 3.30, with a six-inning outing (six hits, three runs) on Friday against Indianapolis. Small, 25, lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his MLB debut back on May 30. He is bound to get another call-up soon. … In San Francisco, at Oracle Park, ex-Ole Miss star and big league veteran Lance Lynn delivered his best start of the season for the Chicago White Sox: six shutout innings, allowing only five baserunners. (The White Sox won the game 1-0 with a run in the ninth; MSU alum Kendall Graveman got the save, his fourth.) Lynn, 35, who missed two months of the season after knee surgery, is 1-1 with a 4.50 in four starts since his return. The scuffling ChiSox, third in the American League Central, need more vintage Lynn. P.S. Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton was called up from Triple-A by Miami on Friday but didn’t get in the Marlins’ game. The well-traveled, 10-year big league vet had played one game for Jacksonville after signing on June 21; he hit .186 this season for Triple-A Tacoma in Seattle’s system before declaring free agency. … Petal’s Demarcus Evans, taken off Texas’ 40-man roster, was outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock’s roster. Evans last pitched in the majors in 2021; he has a 7.50 ERA in 12 games at Round Rock this year.

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