05 May

minor matters

Though the Mississippi Braves’ season opener was postponed by rain on Tuesday night, there was a boatload of other games on opening day for minor league baseball and several Mississippians made a splash. Kirk McCarty, the ex-Southern Miss standout, went five innings (two earned runs) to get the win for Triple-A Columbus in the Cleveland system. The left-hander is in his fourth pro season, first in Class AAA. Ole Miss alum Ryan Rolison, a 2018 first-rounder and a top prospect in Colorado’s chain, went five innings (one run) for a win in his Double-A debut with Hartford. Jacob Robson, a fifth-year pro out of State, went 2-for-4 with a home run for Double-A Erie in Detroit’s system. The lefty-hitting outfielder has a .290 career average. Former Pascagoula High star Willie Joe Garry, Jr., homered for Fort Myers, Minnesota’s Low-A club. This is the third pro season for the former ninth-round pick. Ex-State star Justin Foscue and Ole Miss product Tyler Keenan, both 2020 draftees, made their official pro debuts in High-A ball. Both went hitless, Foscue for Hickory in the Texas system, Keenan for Everett in Seattle’s organization. P.S. Jared Johnson, the former Smithville High standout with the big arm, has popped in on Atlanta’s MLB Pipeline prospect list at No. 30. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander, a 14th-round pick in 2019, reportedly threw 97 mph in Instructional League last fall. He pitched in the rookie Gulf Coast League in 2019 and put up a 3.52 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. He was almost unhittable at Smithville. Only 20, he is probably a couple of years away from appearing in Mississippi with the Double-A club but is worth keeping an eye on.

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