Results tagged ‘ Mississippi Braves ’

Entertainer Myron Noodleman dies of cancer

MiLB - Mississippi Braves

Myron Noodleman sits in the stands, waiting for his time to perform during the opening homestand for the Mississippi Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, in a game on April 12, 2008, against the Mobile BayBears at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Minor League entertainment Myron Noodleman has died of cancer. He was a staple around the league, performing wacky stunts in between innings. For more: http://www.baseballamerica.com/business/minor-league-entertainer-myron-noodleman-dies/

Throwback Thursday: Brian McCann

MISSISSIPPI BRAVES BASEBALL

Catcher Brian McCann of the Mississippi Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, taken April 20, 2005, at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.  (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Former Atlanta Brave Brian McCann was introduced to the New York media today as the newest Yankee. Tears are shed in Atlanta . . .

 

 

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.

A look at the prospects in the Atlanta Braves’ trade

MLB - Atlanta Braves

RHP Zeke Spruill of the Atlanta Braves at Spring Training camp on March 14, 2009, at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

The Atlanta Braves acquired outfielder Justin Upton and third baseman Chris Johnson from the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday in a trade that sent veteran utility man Martin Prado and starting pitcher Randall Delgado to Arizona.

Also in the deal Arizona received three prospects from Atlanta: pitcher Zeke Spruill, shortstop Nick Ahmed and first baseman Brandon Drury.

Nick Ahmed

Infielder Nick Ahmed (22) of the Danville Braves, Appalachian League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, prior to a game against the Johnson City Cardinals on August 19, 2011, at Howard Johnson Field in Johnson City, Tennessee. Ahmed was Atlanta’s second-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Danville defeated Johnson City, 5-4, in 16 innings. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Brandon Drury

Infielder Brandon Drury (2) of the Rome Braves, an Atlanta Braves affiliate, in a game against the Greenville Drive on May 6, 2012, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Drury is Atlanta’s No. 10 prospect, according to Baseball America. Greenville won, 11-3. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Former Braves farmhand Matt Harrison re-signs

Mississippi Braves

Matt Harrison of the Mississippi Braves, the Atlanta Braves’ Class AA affiliate of the Southern League, in a game against the Birmingham Barons on April 21, 2007, at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Former Atlanta Braves farmhand Matt Harrison has agreed to a $55 million, five-year contract with the Texas Rangers.

A third-round pick of the Braves in 2003, Harrison played at every level of the Braves’ minors through Class AA before being traded to the Rangers along with Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Ron Mahay and Mark Teixeira. Those guys went on to be regulars for the Rangers, and, well, the Braves no longer have anything to show for that trade. (Insert negative editorial comment here.)

Saltalamacchia will get a big payday in 2012

Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the Mississippi Braves, the Atlanta Braves’ Class AA affiliate of the Southern League, in a game against the Birmingham Barons on April 23, 2007, at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.

The Red Sox have signed catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a one-year deal which the Boston Globe says is worth $2.5 million.

According to the Globe, “The 26-year-old Saltalamacchia will arrive in spring training as the team’s primary catcher after splitting the duties for much of last season with Jason Varitek.”

I photographed Salty at several stops in the minors, including one day in Class A when he asked me not to include his glove in any of my photos. He sheepishly said he had forgotten his gear and had to borrow a glove that he wasn’t under contract to use.

This image was taken one year when I was shooting the Mississippi Braves’ card set, and I was disappointed they didn’t use it for Salty’s card.

He’s always been one of my favorite players. I even learned how to spell his name by memory.

Braves said to be relocating Matt Lipka to outfield

Shortstop James Kang (2) of the Greenville Drive is out at second base as shortstop Matt Lipka (5) of the Rome Braves turns the double play in the second inning of a game on July 18, 2011, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Rome beat Greenville, 7-3. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Atlanta Braves tested out 2010 No. 1 pick Matt Lipka in the outfield during this fall’s Instructional League play in Florida.

O’Brien reported on his Twitter feed: “Took to it well, impressed. Will play CF in ’12 in minors.”

The Instructional League is a chance for young prospects to get some additional training end experience in a Spring Training environment in Florida after the regular Minor League season ends. Very little official news comes out of these sessions. The Braves have not commented on their website.

Lipka is highly regarded by the Braves, as you would expect of any top draft pick, but the team has a line of good prospects waiting for a shot at the shortstop job, which is where Lipka has been playing.

Lipka played for the Rome Braves this year in Class A, and appeared in several games at Fluor Field against the Greenville Drive.

Atlanta called up their top shortstop prospect, Tyler Pastornicky, when rosters were expanded at the end of this season. However, O’Brien has also reported that the team will be looking for a one-year veteran at short in 2012 until Pastornicky is ready for the starting job.

Atlanta also has another highly regarded shortstop prospect in the minors, Andrelton Simmons, who played this year in High A Lynchburg of the Carolina League. At the end of the season he was named one of the league’s Top 20 prospects.

And if you want to go deeper into the Braves farm system, they also have rookie Danville shortstop Brandon Drury, who was named to the Appalachian League Post-Season All-Star Team this year and was named the league’s Player of the Year.

So that kinda gives a hint of what Atlanta is trying to do with Lipka.

Infielder/shortstop Andrelton Simmons (33) of the Lynchburg Hillcats, Carolina League affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, prior to a game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks on June 15, 2011, at City Stadium in Lynchburg, Va. Simmons was a second-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Matt Young gets the call for opening day

9 April 2008: Infielder Matt Young (6) of the Mississippi Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, in the season’s home opener against the Mobile BayBears at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Infielder Matt Young, a long-time Minor Leaguer, got the word today that he’ll be on the Atlanta Braves’ 25-man roster on opening day.

Reports from the Braves’ beat writers indicate that Young was so emotional when he was given the news Sunday morning that he temporarily forgot to listen to anything else that was said.

Nobody in the Braves organization has worked harder to get a roster spot. Young, generously listed at 5 feet 8 inches, has had to work harder than anyone else to get noticed. He has been a perennial award winner and all-star.

He hit .300 last year at Triple-A, .358 just a few months ago in Mexico, and in his career was player of the week in the International League, Southern League, Carolina League, Best Hustler in the Southern League . . . and you get the picture.

Has his height kept him back? Probably, but he keeps hustling and winning awards. And now he finally got the call after being in the Braves organization since 2005.

I’ve photographed him for several years, including quite a bit when he was in Mississippi, and I haven’t seen very many players work as hard as he has. He deserves this shot.

Also selected to the opening day roster today were Brandon Hicks, also a long-time Braves farmhand, another feel-good announcement.

15 March 2009: Brandon Hicks in a game between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros at the Braves’ Spring Training camp at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Photo by: Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kala Ka’aihue is picked up by Oakland

Ka'aihue, Kala 3293b 500px.jpg

       12 April 2008: Infielder Kala Ka’aihue (20) of the Mississippi Braves, Class 
       AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, in a game against the Mobile BayBears 
       at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam 
       Images/MiLB.com
It’s good news to hear that after being released by Atlanta, first baseman Kala Ka’aihue has been picked up by the Oakland organization and is playing in Stockton.
Kala has been one of my favorites for quite some time, and I recall the time in the Mississippi dugout last year when he patiently explained how to pronounce his name. 
Most of the PA announcers get it wrong, he said. The first name is pronounced Ka-LA, emphasis on the end. (I won’t even try to do the last name phonetically here.)
I hope you’ll get a chance to hear it pronounced on the MLB Network one of these days . . .
Ka'aihue, Kala 4104 500px.jpg
       13 April 2008: Infielder Kala Ka’aihue (20) of the Mississippi Braves, Class 
       AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, in a game against the Mobile BayBears 
       at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam 
       Images/MiLB.com

Reynoso is SL Pitcher of the Week

Reynoso, Ryne 8824 500px.jpg

       17 March 2009: RHP Ryne Reynoso of the Atlanta Braves at Spring Training 
       camp at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Photo 
       by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images
Mississippi Braves starter Ryne Reynoso was named the Southern League’s Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 and posting an ERA of 0.57 last week. 
 
The following is from the Southern League’s release:
 
“Reynoso was a workhorse for Mississippi last week, pitching a league-high 15.2 innings in two dominant victories. On June 23, Reynoso bested league wins leader Lucas Harrell by yielding just three hits in eight scoreless innings as the Braves downed Birmingham 6-1. 
“He was nearly as dominant in his next start, striking out six and allowing one earned run in seven and two-thirds innings in a 6-3 win over West Tenn on June 28. The consecutive victories have pushed Reynoso’s season record to 5-4, and the Bellevue, Id., native currently sports a 3.31 ERA, which ranks tenth in the league. 
“After a rocky start to the 2009 campaign, Reynoso has allowed more than three earned runs in just one of 10 starts since May 5.”