23 May

a little deja vu

The current configuration of the Atlanta Braves’ infield should look very familiar to Mississippi Braves fans. On June 30, 2016, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Johan Camargo – each one a natural shortstop — were in the same lineup for the first time. Albies had returned that day from a stint in Triple-A Gwinnett to play second base with Swanson at short and Camargo at third. It was a good mix. They combined to go 8-for-13 with two RBIs and two runs as the M-Braves won at Jackson (Tenn.) 6-5. On July 4 of that year, the infield trio hit 1-2-3 in the order in their first game together at Trustmark Park. Albies, who is tearing up the National League (.286, 14 homers, 34 RBIs) for the first-place Braves, was the M-Braves’ opening day shortstop in 2016 and hit .321 with four homers and 21 steals in 82 games in Pearl. The more-heralded Swanson, the No. 1 overall pick by Arizona in 2015, joined the M-Braves in late April of 2016 when Albies was promoted to Gwinnett. Swanson played 84 games, all at short, and batted .261 with four homers and 45 RBIs. He finished that year in the big leagues. Camargo was a jack-of-all-trades in 2016: 29 games at third, 32 at short and 64 at second. The switch-hitter batted .267 with four homers and 43 RBIs, spending the whole season in Pearl. That 2016 team made the Southern League playoffs. This has the makings of a special summer in Atlanta, and June 30, 2016, might have been one of the sparks that started this flame. P.S. Ole Miss product Alex Presley, in his 13th pro season, has signed a minor league deal with the Chicago White Sox and is on the Triple-A Charlotte roster. Presley was granted his release by Baltimore last week. The lefty-hitting outfielder is a career .263 hitter in the big leagues and has batted .289 in the minors.

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