Results tagged ‘ Southern League ’

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:

Adam Wainwright in Class AA in 2003

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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 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.)

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










Rays farmhand Winston Abreu finally gets noticed


Winston Abreu of the Greenville Braves works out in Greenville Memorial Stadium in Greenville, S.C., taken June 14-17, 2001. Photo by Tom Priddy. 
It was a pleasant surprise to find that former Greenville Brave pitcher Winston Abreu has been named Minor League Baseball’s Triple-A reliever of the year. 
I get out to the ballpark early most days, and I see the players who take extra infield, or extra batting practice or extra running and weights. And I don’t think anyone I’ve seen worked harder or longer than Winston Abreu.
Signed by the Braves in 1993, Abreu has been all over the minors and has attracted the attention of baseball coaches, too.
“He’s a good pitcher and a great kid,” Durham manager Charlie Montoyo told Jonathan Mayo of “He’s one of my favorites. I could talk about him all day. He’s the first guy at the clubhouse every day working out, one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. Sometimes I have to tell him to slow down, it’s a long season, but he says ‘This is just how I am.'”
I photographed him in Greenville in 2000 and 2001, and then lost track of him for several years. I wrote about him (link below) in 2006 when he made his his Major League debut. 
Writes Mayo: “The 32-year-old went 3-1 with a 1.94 ERA and 15 saves in 37 games for Durham. He gave up just 23 hits over 51 innings for a ridiculous .133 batting average against while walking only 16 and striking out 77. He played a big part in helping the Bulls reach the International League playoffs, then saved four games in six scoreless outings to get them to the Triple-A National Championship Game.”
So far he’s only had a cup of coffee with two Major League organizations. But maybe that will change in 2010. It’s about time.

Reynoso is SL Pitcher of the Week

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       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.”

J.C. Boscan picks up Southern League award

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Veteran Atlanta Braves farm hand J.C. Boscan has been named Southern League hitter of the week.
I’ve photographed J.C. so often that he always recognizes me now and asks how I’m doing. Last time I saw him we almost bumped into each other in the tunnel under the Braves’ Spring Training facility. I was heading for the field and he was grabbing bats from an equipment closet.
The award from the league said, “The Maracaibo, Venezuela, native had five multi-hit games and also drove in at least one run in each contest [last week]. His .550 average over the last week led the league by nearly 100 points and he ranked second in doubles (4) and slugging percentage (.750).”
I hope this is the start of many honors for this great guy. I’d like to bump into him again . . . in Atlanta.
10 April 2008: Catcher J.C. Boscan (2) of the Mississippi Braves, Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, before a game against the Mobile BayBears at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. Photo by:  Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images

Diory Hernandez makes Major League debut

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Infielder Diory Hernandez saw action in his first Major League game tonight after being called up from Gwinnett to replace Omar Infante.
I’ve photographed him quite often as he has made his way up the Atlanta farm system, most recently at Spring Training. But this is a shot from last year at Mississippi.
10 April 2008: Infielder Diory Hernandez (7) 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

Todd Redmond starting off great at Gwinnett

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Todd Redmond had a great night in his last start, striking out seven and taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning for the Triple A Gwinnett Braves.
He’s 2-1, with a 2.33 ERA and 16 total strikeouts in five games.
I photographed Todd at Mississippi last year when I was shooting their card set. 
11 April 2008: RHP Todd Redmond (34) 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

Braves rearranging their minors pitching coaches

Botelho, Derek 8742 500px.jpgI love watching pitching coaches do their thing, and I particularly like the guys in the Atlanta organization. Derek Botelho is a hands-on coach, and I have several photos of him instructing young pitchers when he was with the Mississippi Braves.

He’s going to bemoving up to serve as Triple-A Gwinnett’s pitching coach in 2009, and I should have a chance to photograph him again this year.
HereBotelho, left, instructs RHP Michael Nix of the Mississippi Braves, prior to a game on April 9, 2008.