27 Apr

power hungry

Some power hitters — former Mississippi Braves stars Ernesto Mejia, Evan Gattis and Matt Esquivel come to mind — have fared just fine at Trustmark Park. Many more have not. (See Josh Burrus, Cody Johnson, Eric Campbell … .) The spacious TeePee gives up bombs very grudgingly. That in mind, it’ll be interesting to see how Travis Demeritte and Adam Brett Walker, sluggers of some renown, handle it over the course of this season. Walker, 25, recently sent down from Triple-A Gwinnett, has played five games for the M-Braves and hit two homers, both at Montgomery. The M-Braves start a five-game homestand tonight against Tennessee. Walker, 6 feet 5, 225 pounds, entered this season with 124 homers in five pro years, including 31 for Chattanooga in the Southern League in 2015. Atlanta acquired Walker, originally a Minnesota draftee, on a waiver claim from Baltimore in January. Demeritte, only 22, is a top 10 prospect making his Double-A debut this season. Listed at 6 feet, 180, Demeritte’s got impressive thump. Acquired from Texas in a trade last summer, he belted a total of 28 home runs, along with 29 doubles and nine triples, in A-ball in 2016. He had a 25-homer campaign in 2014. Demeritte has hit only one home run through 18 games for the M-Braves, though he did get that one at the TeePee, back on April 10. At the moment, the long ball isn’t the biggest concern for Demeritte or Walker. Both are just looking for hits of any kind. Demeritte is batting .212. Walker’s only two hits in his 20 at-bats are the two bombs; he was batting .128 at Gwinnett. P.S. Former Southern Miss star Bradley Roney is back with the M-Braves, moving up from a brief assignment at Class A Florida. Roney began 2016 in Pearl, posting a 2.82 ERA and two saves in 17 games before earning a promotion to Gwinnett. He was on the disabled list there to start 2017.

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