13 Jul

three stars — plus one

Adam Frazier: The former Mississippi State standout, in one of several marquee games on the MLB docket Friday, went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI as Kansas City beat fellow American League wild card contender Boston 6-1 at Fenway Park. Frazier led off the game with a single and scored the first run, then rapped an RBI single in the second inning and later scored to give the Royals a 4-0 lead. Frazier is batting .213 for Kansas City (52-43).
Kemp Alderman: The Ole Miss product from Decatur went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and five RBIs to pace Low-Class A Jupiter to a win in the Florida State League. The 2023 Ferriss Trophy winner has a six-game hit streak (10-for-24) with three homers and 10 RBIs in that span for the Miami affiliate. He is at .247 on the season.
Tim Elko: The ex-Ole Miss slugger banged out three hits and scored a run in Double-A Birmingham’s 7-4 win against Mississippi at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Elko, who is 5-for-15 in the Southern League series, is batting .298 on the season with eight homers and 36 RBIs for the Chicago White Sox’s farm club.
Kellum Clark: The MSU alum from Brandon went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run for High-A Brooklyn in the South Atlantic League. After a frigid start for the Cyclones — a New York Mets affiliate — Clark has nine hits in his last four games and is batting .417 in July. He’s at .210 for the season with six RBIs and nine runs in 22 games.
P.S. Former Ocean Springs High star Garrett Crochet, in a possible tune-up for an MLB All-Star Game start, threw two perfect innings for the White Sox against Pittsburgh. The big left-hander, throwing 22 of 28 pitches for strikes, struck out four. He has a 150 K’s and a 3.02 ERA. … Atlanta moved Southern Miss alum Landon Harper from Double-A Mississippi back to High-A Rome. Harper has a 1.17 ERA in 10 games with the M-Braves. … In the HBCU Swingman Classic at Globe Life Field, Jackson State alum Robert Tate Jr. tripled and scored a run, JSU’s Lenny Montesano went 1-for-2 and Tigers ace Christian Womble allowed a run in two innings with four K’s for the victorious AL stars. Mississippi Valley State’s Dreylin Holmes was 2-for-2 with a run and JSU alum Rodney Hibler Jr. hit a sac fly for the NL squad.

12 Jul

star trekkin’

Buckle up. Lots of All-Star stuff coming in the next few days. The HBCU Swingman Classic is set for tonight (7 p.m., MLB Network) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Jackson State had a bunch of offensive standouts this past season, and several are in the game: Joseph Eichelberger (.375 hitter), Robert Tate Jr. (.352, .458 OBP), Lenny Montesano (11 homers, 16 doubles) and Rodney Hibler Jr. (34 steals). Tigers pitchers Christian Womble and Isaiah Williams are also on the rosters, along with Mississippi Valley State’s Dreylin Holmes and Alcorn State’s Garrett Palladino. … On Saturday, there is a high school home run derby competition at Globe Life in which Jacob Parker of Purvis will compete. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound lefty hitter has slugged 24 homers the past three years at Purvis. Later Saturday (3:10 p.m., MLB Network), former Magnolia Heights star Cooper Pratt is slated to play in the All-Star Futures Game. Shortstop Pratt, a second-year pro and the state’s Gatorade player of the year in 2023, is Milwaukee’s No. 4-ranked prospect and is batting .295 with 19 bags at Low-Class A Carolina. … Sunday brings the first day of the MLB draft (4 p.m., ESPN) from Fort Worth, Texas. If Baseball America’s mock draft is accurate, four Mississippi-connected players could be chosen among the first 26 picks. Among them are three of the last four Gatorade state players of the year — Konnor Griffin, Dakota Jordan and Jordan Montgomery — plus Mississippi State switch-pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje. Montgomery and Cijntje reportedly will attend Sunday’s event; Griffin is having a watch party at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Expect several more players from the state to be called on Monday and Tuesday as the 20-round draft continues. … MLB’s Home Run Derby is set for Monday, though, regrettably, there is no Austin Riley, Brent Rooker or Hunter Renfroe in the field. … On Tuesday, it’s the main event, the 94th All-Star Game, with Ocean Springs High product Garrett Crochet (Chicago White Sox) and ex-MSU standout Jordan Westburg (Baltimore) suiting up for the American League squad.

07 Jul

star gazing

Garrett Crochet, the Ocean Springs High product who leads the American League in strikeouts, was justly rewarded with a spot on the American League All-Star team. Crochet is 6-6 with a 3.08 ERA and 146K’s for the Chicago White Sox. The rosters were announced Sunday on ESPN; there will be changes before the game is played on July 16 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Also making the AL team was former Biloxi Shuckers pitcher Corbin Burnes, now with Baltimore. He is 9-3, 2.32. Former Mississippi Braves star Freddie Freeman, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, made the National League roster as a reserve. Ex-M-Braves catcher William Contreras, now with Milwaukee, previously was voted in as a starter by fans. … The full list of Home Run Derby (July 15) participants has yet to be revealed. It would be a treat to see Nathaniel Lowe of the hometown Texas Rangers, Brent Rooker, Hunter Renfroe or Austin Riley in the derby. Each of those Mississippi products has light-tower power. … Magnolia Heights High product Cooper Pratt is slated to participate in the July 13 All-Star Futures Game for minor league prospects at Globe Life. He is No. 4 on Milwaukee’s chart. … The All-Star festivities get started on July 12 with the HBCU Swingman Classic. The Magnolia State will be well-represented with six Jackson State players and one each from Mississippi Valley State and Alcorn State on the rosters. This is the second annual all-star game for players from NCAA Division I historically black schools. JSU’s Joseph Eichelberger, Robert Tate Jr., Lenny Montesano, Rodney Hibler Jr., Christian Womble and Isaiah Williams are joined on the rosters by Valley’s Dreylin Holmes and Alcorn’s Garrett Palladino. Former big leaguers Ken Griffey Sr. and Lloyd McClendon will manage the two teams. … Of note: The only other time the Texas Rangers hosted the All-Star Game was 1995, when former Mississippi State standout Buck Showalter managed the AL team in a 3-2 loss at The Ballpark in Arlington. He was manager of the New York Yankees, who had the best record in the AL when the 1994 season was halted by a players strike.