23 May

early returns

Two games in, it appears that Jacob Gonzalez was ready for the challenge of Double-A baseball. The former Ole Miss standout is off to a 6-for-10 start for Birmingham. On Wednesday at Biloxi, the lefty-hitting shortstop doubled, homered, drove in two runs and scored twice in the Barons’ 8-4 win at MGM Park. Gonzalez’s homer came as part of a five-run 10th inning in which his former Rebels teammate Tim Elko also went yard, his fourth of the season. Gonzalez was the 15th overall pick by the Chicago White Sox in 2023 following a decorated career in Oxford, where he won a national title. He hit just .211 with four extra-base hits in rookie ball and Low-Class A last season, but that surely was an anomaly for the ChiSox’s No. 7 prospect. The California native, who goes 6 feet 2, 200 pounds, was batting .273 with three homers and 15 RBIs at High-A Winston-Salem this year before his promotion. P.S. Spencer Schwellenbach delivered another sparkling performance for the Mississippi Braves on Wednesday, throwing seven shutout innings to beat host Chattanooga. In two Double-A outings, the 23-year-old right-hander has yet to allow a run over 13 innings, yielding five hits, two walks and striking out 17. He is Atlanta’s No. 3 prospect. … Ole Miss alum Ryan Rolison — the 22nd overall pick by Colorado in 2018 — made a rehab appearance in rookie ball on Tuesday, throwing a scoreless inning. The oft-injured left-hander, once a highly rated prospect on the cusp of making the majors, made just four appearances in 2023 and none in 2022. He is currently on the Triple-Albuquerque roster. … Demarcus Evans, the onetime big leaguer from Petal, was released by Charleston of the independent Atlantic League after four appearances (12.46 ERA). He had signed with a Mexican League club in February but never pitched there. The big right-hander, 27, didn’t pitch at all in 2023 while in the New York Yankees’ organization. He has a 2.76 career ERA in the minors, a 4.75 in the majors.

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