09 Aug

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A virtual horde of minor leaguers started new assignments on Tuesday, and among Mississippi products, none made a bigger splash than former Southern Miss star Matthew Etzel. Etzel homered in his debut for Low-Class A Delmarva in the Baltimore organization. The 2023 draftee was promoted from rookie ball, where he was off to a sizzling start (see previous post). Atlanta promoted three Mississippians. Itawamba Community College alum Will Verdung moved from the Florida Complex League to Low-A Augusta and went 1-for-5. Hurston Waldrep, a USM alum and the Braves’ first-round pick (from Florida) last month, moved from Augusta to High-A Rome, as did ex-Smithville High standout Jared Johnson, who pitched a scoreless inning on Tuesday. Colton Ledbetter, a ’23 draftee out of Mississippi State, went 0-for-3 for Low-A Charleston (Tampa Bay); he hit .400 in the FCL. Former USM star Dustin Dickerson, also a ’23 draftee, went 0-for-3 in his debut for High-A Quad Cities in the Kansas City system; he hit .357 in the Arizona Complex League. Ex-Ole Miss standout Tim Elko made his Double-A debut in the Chicago White Sox chain, going 1-for-5 for Birmingham; he hit 22 homers in the two levels of A-ball. Meridian Community College product Davis Bradshaw went 0-for-3 at Double-A Pensacola (Miami) after a move up from High-A Beloit, where he hit .317; Bradshaw got a look in Double-A last year. Ole Miss alum Anthony Servideo was bumped from Double-A Bowie to High-A Aberdeen in the Orioles’ system and went 1-for-4; he was hitting .218 at Bowie. Landon Tomkins, an ex-Hinds CC standout and a ’23 draftee, was reactivated by Pittsburgh at Low-A Bradenton and pitched an inning (two unearned runs) in his second pro game. P.S. Four former Mississippi Braves hit a total of five homers for four different teams in the big leagues on Tuesday: Ronald Acuna for Atlanta, William Contreras for Milwaukee, Drew Waters for Kansas City and Joey Meneses (two) for Washington. Braden Shewmake hit one for Triple-A Gwinnett.

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