July 2013

Adam Wainwright in Class AA in 2003

Wainwright in Clubhouse 3067 575w

Pitcher Adam Wainwright of the Greenville Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, waits out a rain delay in the clubhouse, his pitching arm wrapped, on April 4, 2003, at Greenville Municipal Stadium in Greenville, South Carolina. Wainwright is now an All-Star with the St. Louis Cardinals. Copyright (c) 2003 Tom Priddy. 

This one of my favorite shots of Adam Wainwright from 10 years ago, mainly because it’s something you don’t see very often. I’m not sure I’d be allowed inside to shoot anything like this today.

Former USC 1B Christian Walker on Futures roster

Christian Walker

First baseman Christian Walker (23) of the Delmarva Shorebirds before in a game against the Greenville Drive on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville won, 5-4. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Former South Carolina first baseman Christian Walker has been named to the U.S. team for the Sunday’s Futures Game at Citi Field in New York. Walker played on both USC national championship teams, and was drafted by Baltimore Orioles organization.

Walker will replace Atlanta Braves first baseman/outfielder Joey Terdoslavich, who was called up to the majors this week. The Futures Game provides a national TV spotlight for some of baseball’s top Minor League prospects.

Walker began the season with Class A Delmarva, and played against the Greenville Drive earlier this season, where he was so much in demand by the South Carolina press that his interviews had to be limited. He has since been promoted to Class A Advanced Frederick.

Former Drive 3B Garin Cecchini on Futures roster

Garin Cecchini

Third baseman Garin Cecchini (17) of the Greenville Drive in a game against the Charleston RiverDogs on June 2, 2012, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville won, 10-4. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Former Greenville Drive third baseman Garin Cecchini, now playing in Class AA, has been named to the U.S. team for Sunday’s Futures Game in New York. The Futures Game provides a national TV spotlight for some of baseball’s top Minor League prospects.

Cecchini was named to replace Joey Gallo, who will be unable to play due to injury. He joins fellow former Drive player Anthony Ranaudo on the U.S. team; Xander Bogaerts will be playing for the world team.

Freddie and Jason together back in 2009

MiLB - Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Dugout scene of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, including Freddie Freeman, second from left, and Jason Heyward, second from right, Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, on 2009 opening day, April 9, 2009, at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

In recognition of Freddie Freeman making the All-Star Team, here’s a look back at my favorite Freddie photo, from Class A in 2009. Oh, and that’s Jason Heyward sitting next to him, by the way. #VoteFreddie

Freddie Freeman in race for All-Star spot

MiLB - Rome Braves

Infielder Freddie Freeman (16) of the Rome Braves, Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, prior to a game against the Greenville Drive on May 8, 2008, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Here’s one more vote for Freddie Freeman for the All-Star roster spot. #VoteFreddie This is my first photo of Freddie, back when he was with the Rome Braves in 2008.

Mookie Betts promoted to Salem Red Sox

Mookie Betts, Carlos Febles

Infielder Mookie Betts (7) of the Greenville Drive, left, slaps hands with manager Carlos Febles (33) in the dugout just before a game against the West Virginia Power on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. West Virginia won, 8-3. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Second baseman Mookie Betts of the Greenville Drive has been promoted to Salem, reports Salem Red Sox announcer Evan Lepler.

Pitcher Justin Haley of the Greenville Drive

Savannah Sand Gnats vs Greenville Drive

Starting pitcher Justin Haley (38) of the Greenville Drive in a game against the Savannah Sand Gnats on Saturday, July 6, 2013, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Haley worked five shutout innings, giving up just one hit, but Savannah won, 3-0. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Jeff Francoeur and Dayton Moore in 2005

Jeff Francoeur

Dayton Moore, Director of Player Personnel for the Atlanta Braves, right, is shown here with Jeff Francoeur, one of his prize players, on April 19, 2005, at Class A Mississippi. Moore was named No. 1 in Baseball America’s “Top 10 General Manager Prospects” before the 2004 season and one of the “Up-And-Coming Power Brokers” in March 2005. He is credited with bringing along the rookies who have made significant contributions to the Atlanta lineup this year. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

It’s likely that just about everyone who has spent any time around Jeff Francoeur is rooting for him today as he begins looking for a new job.

Frenchy was designated for assignment over the weekend by the Kansas City Royals. The job of giving him the news had to be tough for Royals General Manager Dayton Moore, who was a long-time Francoeur booster.

Reporters and bloggers are saying that the Royals had to look for a better hitter for the right field spot.

It would be tough to find a better representative of Major League Baseball than Jeff Francoeur. I photographed him often, and saw many situations where he went out of his way to reach out to the fans at every level.

At one Class A game a boy was struck by a foul ball hit by an opposing batter late in the ninth inning. The game ended with EMS personnel attending to the boy in the stands. Although Francoeur was not involved in the play at all, he pulled a bat from his stash and gave it to the mom for the boy.

It’s well known that Francoeur has paid for snacks and beer for fans in the right field stands at opposing ballparks, often tossing the money wrapped around a ball into the stands.

This shot of Francoeur with Moore when Moore was director of the Atlanta player personnel was taken at a Double A game in Mississippi and is indicative of the close relationship they had.

When Moore left the Braves’ organization to become GM in Kansas City he picked up Francoeur in what seemed at the time to be a perfect fit for both. I can’t imagine how tough it must have been to let him go.

Here’s hoping Frenchy isn’t through with baseball, and that someone finds him another good fit.