25 Jun

choosing a side

A current Mississippi Braves player, say maybe Ian Mejia or Justin Dean, might put up some head-turning numbers before this season — the team’s last at Trustmark Park — is over. Still, it’s unlikely any of the 2024 M-Braves will crack this lineup of the club’s all-time best. (Note: This team is based on the player’s performance with the M-Braves, not his major league success.)
At pitcher: Todd Redmond (13-5, 3.52 ERA, as the Southern League pitcher of the year for the 2008 pennant winner).
At catcher: Shea Langeliers (.258, 22 homers as an SL All-Star for the ’21 pennant winner).
At first base: Ernesto Mejia (.297, 26 homers, 99 RBIs in 2011).
At second base: Tommy LaStella (.343, 41 RBIs and 32 runs in 2013).
At third base: Kyle Kubitza (.295, eight homers, 55 RBIs, 21 steals in 2014).
At shortstop: Tyler Pastornicky (.299, six homers, 50 runs and 20 steals in 2011).
In the outfield: Drew Waters (.319, 35 doubles, 63 runs, 13 steals as the SL MVP in 2019); Matt Young (.289, 10 triples, 81 runs, 42 steals in 2009); Brandon Jones (.293, 15 homers, 74 RBIs, 12 steals in 2007).
DH: Dustin Peterson (.282, 12 homers, 38 doubles, 88 RBIs in 2016).
Closer: Luis Valdez (28 saves in 2008).
Honorable mention: Outfielder Mycal Jones, who played parts of six years in Mississippi, batting .247 with 121 RBIs, 195 runs and 78 steals.
P.S. A team based on MLB success — considering that more than 170 players have passed through Pearl en route to the big leagues — is almost too easy. Here’s a quick shot: Morton, Kimbrel, McCann, Freeman, Albies, Riley, Swanson, Acuna, Heyward, Francoeur.

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