03 May

down the road

A couple of former Mississippi high school stars crossed paths — and showed out — in the Low-Class A Carolina League on Thursday night. Cooper Pratt is on the faster track, but there is still time for Brennon McNair to get rolling. Magnolia Heights product Pratt, Milwaukee’s No. 9 prospect, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, two runs and two steals as the Carolina Mudcats blasted Columbia 16-2 at Five County Stadium in Zebulon, N.C. Having recently come off the injured list, Pratt, 19, is hitting .250 with 11 RBIs in 14 games. The 6-foot-4 shortstop was a sixth-round pick in 2023 — he got a big bonus to pass on his Ole Miss commitment — and batted .356 in rookie ball last summer. Pratt has impressive bloodlines. His dad played college ball and his mom played softball. Brother Ozzie is Southern Miss’ starting shortstop. Brewers manager Pat Murphy, who has raved about Cooper Pratt’s potential, coached one of his uncles at Arizona State. … McNair, a former Magee High star, went 2-for-3 Thursday with his first home run of the season for Columbia, a Kansas City affiliate. McNair was an 11th-round pick by the Royals in 2021 — the only prep player drafted from the Magnolia State that year — and passed on a South Alabama offer to sign. In addition to batting .527 with 11 homers as a shortstop at Magee his senior year, he was valedictorian and class president. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound McNair, who has played multiple positions in pro ball, has had some injury issues. He is hitting .244 in 14 games this season, .219 with 11 homers and 32 bags for his career. He is only 21, but this could be a pivotal year for him. P.S. Brandon Parker — former West Harrison High and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College star — put up his second straight two-hit game Thursday for the Mississippi Braves, helping USM alum Hurston Waldrep notch his first Double-A win. Waldrep went 5 2/3 innings, allowing no earned runs, in a 6-1 win against Pensacola at Trustmark Park. Parker, who homered Wednesday, has raised his average to .204.

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