Results tagged ‘ Aaron Northcraft ’

@MBraves End Scoreless Streak, but Comeback Falls Short

Emerson Landoni’s RBI single in the 7th broke the Braves’ scoreless stretch at 33 innings.

Montgomery, AL – The Mississippi Braves had a chance at a Southern League record on Sunday afternoon, but it was a record they wanted no part of.

Emerson Landoni’s RBI single in the seventh got the Braves (6-11) on the board for the first time since Wednesday afternoon, but a late-inning comeback came up short as the Braves lost 4-3 to the Montgomery Biscuits at Riverwalk Stadium.  It was their fourth straight loss.

With a fourth consecutive shutout, the Braves would have tied the league record for longest stretch without scoring a run at 36 innings, set by the 1970 Mobile White Sox.

Mississippi trailed 4-0 entering the 7th, with their scoreless stretch sitting at 33 innings dating back to the 8th inning Wednesday.  Cedric Hunter reached on an error by the first baseman to lead off.  Two batters later, Kyle Kubitza walked for two men on.

Landoni came to the plate against reliever Jake Thompson, clubbing a two-strike single to left center to get the Braves on the board, trailing 4-1.  Later in the inning, Matt Kennelly doubled to score Kubitza and make it 4-2 Biscuits.

In the eighth, Hunter clobbered a Matt Lollis fastball over the rightfield wall for his second home run of the year, a solo shot to pull to 4-3.

The Braves were shut down early by Biscuits starter Dylan Floro (1-1), who tossed six shutout innings with just two hits allowed in picking up the win.

Montgomery (11-6) built up a 4-0 lead through the first five innings off Braves starter Aaron Northcraft.

In the second, Richie Shaffer tripled to left-center and Willie Argo hit a fly ball to right that David Rohm lost in the sun.  It dropped for an RBI double and gave the Biscuits a 1-0 lead.

Then in the fourth, Shaffer came through again with a two-run home run to left off Northcraft, stretching the lead to 3-0.

The Biscuits grew their lead to 4-0 in the fifth when Riccio Torrez led off with a single, stole second and scored on a Taylor Motter double.

Northcraft (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings.  He struck out five and walked two.

The Braves and Biscuits will square off in the third of five games on Monday night at 7:05 PM CT at Riverwalk Stadium.  Right-hander Jason Hursh (1-1, 2.57) takes the mound against Biscuits righty Jared Mortensen (2-0, 2.38).

Listen live to Kyle Tait on the call beginning at 6:30 PM CT on 103.9 WYAB or online at MississippiBraves.com and TuneIn Radio.

Mississippi Braves (6-11)                             3 R          7 H         0 E
Montgomery Biscuits (11-6)                       4 R          7 H         4 E

W – Floro (1-1)
L – Northcraft (0-1)
S – Garrido (4)

Time – 2:37
Attendance – 1,906

Sunday @MBraves Preview & Lineups: at Montgomery Biscuits, 2:05 PM

The Mississippi Braves look to turn around their record-setting skid on Sunday afternoon as they square off against the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays) at Riverwalk Stadium.  First pitch for the second game of the series is slated for 2:05 PM CT.

For the full report on the Biscuits, check out The Montgomery Biscuits Dossier

Right-hander Aaron Northcraft takes the hill for the Braves opposite Biscuits’ right-hander Dylan Floro.

Starting Lineups

Mississippi Braves
Matt Lipka                    CF
Gustavo Nunez           2B
Joe Leonard                1B
Cedric Hunter            LF
Elmer Reyes               SS
Kyle Kubitza               3B
Emerson Landoni    DH
David Rohm               RF
Matt Kennelly            C

(Aaron Northcraft  RHP)

Montgomery Biscuits
Ryan Brett                   2B
Taylor Motter           SS
Curt Casali                  C
Richie Shaffer           DH
Willie Argo                RF
Alejandro Segovia 1B
Jeff Malm                   LF
Riccio Torrez           3B
Joey Rickard            CF

(Dylan Floro          RHP)

Pitching Matchups

RHP Aaron Northcraft (0-0, 6.00) vs. RHP Dylan Floro (0-1, 9.88)

Right-handed Aaron Northcraft climbs the hill for the M-Braves on Sunday in Montgomery for his second start of the season.  Slowed by a finger injury in Spring Training, Northcraft started the year on the disabled list before being activated on April 11 and joining the rotation.  His first time out came on April 15 in game one of a doubleheader against Huntsville.  He allowed two earned runs on three hits over three innings, taking a no-decision in a Braves’ 3-2 win on an Emerson Landoni walkoff single.  Northcraft was originally taken by the Braves in the tenth round of the 2009 draft out of Mater Dei High School in California.

Montgomery will send right-hander Dylan Floro, 23, to the mound.  A native of Merced, CA, Floro is in his first double-A season after spending all of 2013 in A-ball between Bowling Green and Charlotte, going 11-2 with a 1.77 ERA in 23 starts en route to being tabbed the Rays’ minor league pitcher of the year.  Last time out, Floro allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings against Pensacola, a game the Biscuits lost 7-4.  He was originally drafted in the 12th round of the 2012 draft out of Cal-State Fullerton.

A New Team Record…

With the M-Braves’ 5-0 loss on Saturday in Montgomery, the Braves have now lost three consecutive games via the shutout, a new team record.  After winning 3-0 on Wednesday over Huntsville, the Braves fell 1-0 Thursday and 13-0 Friday to the Stars to start the streak.  The only other time the Braves came close to three consecutive shutouts was in 2012, when they lost 3 of 4 on shutouts from April 17-20 to the Jackson Generals and Birmingham Barons.  They beat the Generals 3-2 though on April 18 to avoid three straight.

The team has won three consecutive shutouts only once–June 26-28, 2005 on the road against the Tennessee Smokies.

Listen Live 

Listen live to Kyle Tait on the call on 103.9 WYAB and online through TuneIn Radio.  The “Countdown to First Pitch” begins at 1:30 PM CT and will include M-Braves infielder Gustavo Nunez on “Inside the M-Braves Clubhouse”.

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at http://www.HearKyleTait.com

The Montgomery Biscuits Dossier (April 19-23, Riverwalk Stadium)

After the Mississippi Braves stumbled 13-0 against the Huntsville Stars on Friday night at Trustmark Park, they still seek their first series win of the year as they hit the road to the Montgomery Biscuits (Rays).  The Biscuits sit in sole possession of first place in the South division with a 9-6 record.

Here’s what you need to know about the Biscuits:

2013 Overall: 71-69, 4th place, South Division
First half: 37-33, 3rd place, 2.5 GB
Second half: 34-36, 5th place, 6.0 GB

Braves vs. Biscuits last year: 10-10
at Trustmark Park (Mississippi): 5-5
at Riverwalk Stadium (Montgomery): 5-5

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Last Time Out:

Mississippi fell in 3 of 5 to the Huntsville Stars at Trustmark Park, losing the finale 13-0 at Trustmark Park on Friday.  The Biscuits took 4 of 5 from the Pensacola Blue Wahoos on the road, winning the finale 3-1 on Friday night.

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Two-Minute Drill – Montgomery Biscuits:

History, tidbits, famous alums and more on Saturday’s Montgomery Biscuits Two-minute drill:


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Prospects to Watch For:
Rankings by Baseball America

2B Ryan Brett (#8)
3B Richie Shaffer (#13)
LHP Grayson Garvin (#16)
SS Jake Hager (#18)
RHP Dylan Floro (#26)
C Curt Casali (#29)

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Pitching matchups & Game Times (Central Time):

RHP David Bromberg (0-1, 3.86) vs. RHP Victor Mateo (1-2, 6.46) – Saturday April 19, 6:35 PM
RHP Aaron Northcraft (0-0, 6.00) vs. RHP Dylan Floro (0-1, 9.88) – Sunday, April 20, 2:05 PM
RHP Jason Hursh (1-1, 2.57) vs. RHP Jared Mortensen (2-0, 2.38) – Monday, April 21, 7:05 PM
RHP Williams Perez (1-1, 1.26) vs. RHP Michael Colla (1-1, 4.86) – Tuesday, April 22, 10:35 AM
RHP JR Graham (0-1, 0.00) vs. LHP Grayson Garvin (0-1, 1.00) – Wednesday, April 23, 7:05 PM

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at www.HearKyleTait.com

Tuesday @MBraves Doubleheader Preview & Lineups: vs. Huntsville Stars, 5:00 PM CT

With the deluge that drenched the Pearl, MS area on Sunday night and all day Monday, the Mississippi Braves and Huntsville Stars (Milwaukee Brewers) were washed out in their Monday night opener at Trustmark Park in Pearl, MS.  The two teams will play a doubleheader on Tuesday at 5:00 PM, with gates opening at 4:30.

The Braves are coming off a disappointing end to a five-game series with the Jackson Generals, where they fell 5-4 in Sunday’s finale on a game-ending sacrifice fly to lose the series.  The Stars are coming off yet another series win, taking three of five from the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati Reds) in Huntsville to continue their hot 7-3 start to the 2014 season.

Right-hander Aaron Northcraft will get the start for the Braves in game one against right-hander Brooks Hall.  Righty Jason Hursh will go in game two against right-hander Drew Gagnon for Huntsville, with first pitch of the nightcap scheduled for 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

Starting Lineups – Game 1

Huntsville Stars
D’Vontrey Richardson  CF
Josh Prince                        LF
Nick Ramirez                     1B
Jason Rogers                     3B
Mitch Haniger                   RF
Greg Hopkins                     2B
Adam Weisenburger       C
Nick Shaw                            SS
Brooks Hall                         RHP

Mississippi Braves
Matt Lipka                    CF
Emerson Landoni     2B
Kyle Kubitza               3B
Seth Loman                 1B
David Rohm                RF
Robby Hefflinger      LF
Elmer Reyes               SS
Braeden Schlehuber  C
Aaron Northcraft    RHP

Lineups for the second game of the doubleheader will be published on the “M-Braves Clubhouse Report” between games.

Pitching Matchups

Game One – RHP Aaron Northcraft (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Brooks Hall (0-1, 5.63 ERA)

Right-hander Aaron Northcraft gets the nod in Tuesday’s doubleheader opener, his first start of the 2014 season.  Northcraft is one of the returners to this year’s Mississippi Braves squad after going 8-8 with a 3.42 ERA over 26 starts in 2013.  Sidelined by a finger injury suffered early in Spring Training,  Northcraft was activated on April 11, the same day Lay Batista was placed on the DL with a triceps strain.  He checks in as the 25th best Atlanta Braves prospect according to Baseball America and is in his second season on the Atlanta 40-man roster.  He was a 10th round pick in 2009 out of high school in California.

The Stars hand the baseball to right-hander Brooks Hall, in his second season at Huntsville after spending the second half of 2013 with the club.  Last year he went 2-4 with a 4.01 ERA at double-A in 17 appearances 13 starts.  Like Northcraft, Hall is a member of the parent club’s 40-man roster, added this past winter along with Stars teammates Jason Rogers, Kevin Shackelford, and 2013 Star Hunter Morris.  Last time out for Hall came on Wednesday April 9 against Pensacola, when he allowed three earned runs on seven hits over four innings.  The Stars went on to a 5-4 win.  Hall was a fourth-round pick in 2009 out of high school in South Carolina.

Game Two – RHP Jason Hursh (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Drew Gagnon (1-0, 3.27)

The 31st overall pick by the Braves out of Oklahoma State in 2013, Jason Hursh looks to continue his dominant start to his double-A career in Tuesday’s second game of the doubleheader.  Hursh has shined both times out, allowing just an earned run in each of his first two outings.  Last time around, he picked up the win, hurling six innings of one-run baseball on six hits.  The Braves went on to a 3-2 victory over the Jackson Generals.  Baseball America tabs Hursh as the #4 prospect in the system.

The Stars will send right-hander Drew Gagnon (pronounced GAHN-yo) in the night cap, a 3rd round Brewers pick in the 2011 draft out of Long Beach State.  Gagnon checks in as the 25th best prospect in the Milwaukee organization according to Baseball America.  He spent half of the 2013 season with Huntsville as a mid-season call from advanced class-A Brevard County, and he struggled to a 4-9 record with a 5.57 ERA.  This year he’s performed better so far, allowing just two earned runs his first two starts of the year, including allowing two over six innings on an April 10 start against Pensacola in a Huntsville 6-3 win.

Mother Nature’s Triumphant Return

Monday’s rain out was already the second of the 2014 season for the M-Braves, joining a wash on Sunday April 6 against the Mobile BayBears.  Rain outs are nothing new in the Minor League Baseball grind, but they are new to Trustmark Park.

Prior to the opening series, the M-Braves hadn’t experienced a rain out at home since August 28, 2012 against Pensacola, and that was due to Hurricane Isaac.  Trustmark Park has a state-of-the-art drainage system which reportedly can drain anywhere from 8-10 inches an hour.

In other words, if it stops raining, the Braves are playing.

Listen Live 

If you can’t make it out to the game, listen live to Kyle Tait on the call on 103.9 WYAB and online through TuneIn Radio.  The broadcast will pick up right at the 5:00 first pitch, with the “Countdown to First Pitch” show scheduled between games.  Sunday’s starter David Bromberg will join the countdown on “Inside the M-Braves Clubhouse”.

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at http://www.HearKyleTait.com

The Huntsville Stars Dossier (April 14-18, Pearl, MS)

After dropping a tough, rubber-match fifth game on Sunday to the Jackson Generals, the Mississippi Braves return home to meet the Huntsville Stars (Milwaukee Brewers) in a five-game series.  After Monday afternoon’s rain out, the series will begin Tuesday April 15 with a doubleheader beginning at 5 PM at Trustmark Park.

The Stars are coming off a tough year record-wise in 2013, going 59-79 to finish in fourth place in the Southern League North.  In terms of prospects though, the team was solid, and there are a lot of familiar faces from last year’s club in Huntsville this season.

Huntsville is led by a few solid arms in Taylor Jungmann (#6 prospect by Baseball America) and David Goforth (Ole Miss alum and #8 prospect), as well as young outfielder Mitch Haniger (#3 prospect).  They also return solid bats in Brock Kjeldgaard–who led the league in home runs with 24–and Jason Rogers–who wasn’t far behind with 22 round trippers.

Here’s what else you need to know about the Generals:

2013 Overall: 59-79, 4th place, North Division
First half: 29-39, 5th place, 14.0 GB
Second half: 30-40, 4th place, 12.5 GB

Braves vs. Stars in 2013: 13-7

Prospects to watch for:
Rankings by Baseball America

Outfielder Mitch Haniger (#3)
Starting Pitcher Taylor Jungmann (#6)
Relief Pitcher David Goforth (#8)
Outfielder/First base Jason Rogers (#20)
Relief Pitcher Kevin Shackelford (#21)
Starting Pitcher Drew Gagnon (#25)
Starting Pitcher Tyler Cravy (#29)
Outfielder D’vontrey Richardson (#30)

Pitching matchups & Game Times (Central Time):

RHP Aaron Northcraft (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Brooks Hall (0-1, 5.63) - Tuesday April 15, 5:00 PM (Game One of Doubleheader)
RHP Jason Hursh (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Drew Gagnon (1-0, 3.27) -
 Tuesday April 15, Game 2 of DH
RHP Williams Perez (0-1, 2.08) vs. RHP Taylor Jungmann (1-0, 3.27) - Wednesday April 16, 11:00 AM
RHP JR Graham (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Brent Suter (1-0, 1.64) - Thursday April 17, 7:00 PM
RHP David Bromberg (0-1, 2.89) vs. RHP Tyler Cravy (1-1, 4.82) - Friday April 18, 7:00 PM

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at www.HearKyleTait.com

Friday @MBraves Roster Moves: Batista to DL, Northcraft Activated

RHP Aaron Northcraft, activated off the disabled list on Friday

RHP Aaron Northcraft, activated off the disabled list on Friday (Ed Gardner/Mississippi Braves)

PEARL, MS – Mississippi Braves right-handed pitcher Lay Batista has been placed on the disabled list with a right triceps strain retroactive to April 10. In corresponding moves, right-hander Aaron Northcraft has been activated from the disabled list and is scheduled to start Monday night’s game at Trustmark Park.

Batista, 24, exited Wednesday night’s game against the Generals after dropping the ball on the mound during a pitch the plate. Batista is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two outings with the Double-A Braves this season. A native of the Dominican Republic, Batista was signed by the Braves on December 20, 2013.

Northcraft, 23, began the 2014 season on the disabled list. He enters the season ranked by Baseball America as the 25th-best prospect in the Braves organization. Northcraft went 8-8 with a 3.42 ERA in 26 starts with the Double-A club last year.  He was originally selected by the Braves in the 10th round of the 2009 draft.

The Mississippi roster has 25 active players and 4 disabled.

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at www.HearKyleTait.com

Getting to Know the 2014 @MBraves: Pitchers

Opening day is tomorrow night, and the Mississippi Braves are thrilled to kick off the club’s tenth anniversary season.  That said, it’s time for you to get to know your 2014 double-A Braves.

Today we will unwrap the pitching staff, then later tonight we will take a look at the position players.

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Potential Starters

23 Lay Batista – Right-handed Starting Pitcher – 24 y.o. – Santiago, Dominican Republic

Veteran guy, originally signed by the Angels out of the Dominican Republic.  First year in the Braves organization, but made 22 starts for double-A Arkansas in the Angels’ system–where former Mississippi Braves manager Phillip Wellman now manages.  Aaron Holbert expects Batista to piggy-back with Mike Minor on opening night once Minor’s three innings are done.

2013 Numbers (AA Arkansas): 5-8, 3.38 ERA, 22 GS, 122.2 IP, 105 H, 46 ER, 89 K, 43 BB

30 David Bromberg – Right-handed Starting Pitcher – 26 y.o. – Santa Monica, CA

Another veteran arm, originally a 32nd rounder by the Twins as a draft&follow in 2005 out of high school in California.  Shot up prospect lists as he grew into his frame and was added to the Twins’ 40-man roster prior to 2011.  But that year, a line drive off the bat of Adeiny Hechavarria shattered his forearm, requiring five pins to be inserted in his arm. He was dropped off the 40-man following the season. Pitched for Pirates AA and AAA in ’13.  Braves signed as a free agent during winter.

2013 Numbers (AA Altoona & AAA Indianapolis): 7-13, 3.50 ERA, 28 G, 22 GS, 146.2 IP, 132 H, 135 K, 55 BB

34 JR Graham – Right-handed Starting Pitcher – 24 y.o. – Livermore, CA

Baseball America’s #3 prospect in the Braves’ organization, Graham enters his third stint with Mississippi, though the previous two have been short.  In 2012, he finished the season with the M-Braves en route to being named the Braves’ MiLB pitcher of the year with a 12-2 record and 2.80 ERA overall. Then in 2013, he made eight starts before a shoulder strain ended his season in May. Reports have his velocity back in the mid-90s and he’s expected to continue developing as a starter now that he’s healthy.

More from Graham from Tuesday’s Media Day

2013 Numbers (AA Mississippi): 1-3, 4.04 ERA, 8 GS, 35.2 IP, 39 H, 16 ER, 28 K, 10 BB

8 Jason Hursh – Right-handed Starter – 22 y.o. – Carrollton, TX

Along with Graham, Hursh is a guy to watch in 2014. The Braves’ first round pick (31st overall) a year ago, he signed for $1.7 million and overpowered South Atlantic League hitters in Rome.  2014 will be his first full season of pro ball, but it seems the Braves have him on the Mike Minor and Alex Wood track, skipping him over Lynchburg for the ’14 season.  That seemed to work out okay for those two advanced college arms.  The Braves took a slow approach with Hursh in ’13, limiting him to three innings a start. ’14 will be his first chance to let loose and truly show what he can do as a starter.

More from Hursh at Tuesday’s Media Day

2013 Numbers (A Rome): 1-1, 0.67 ERA, 9 GS, 27 IP, 20 H, 2 ER, 15 K, 10 BB

28 Aaron Northcraft – Right-handed Starter – 23 y.o. – Santa Ana, CA

Baseball America has Northcraft as the 25th best prospect in the Braves organization.  He’s a 40-man roster guy, added following the 2012 season to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.  This will be his second go-round in Mississippi, finishing ’13 with a strong final two months, posting a 2.31 ERA and 2.3 K:BB ratio in his final 11 starts.  Northcraft will start the year on the DL recovering from a finger injury suffered in Spring, but manager Aaron Holbert says he should join the team soon enough.

2013 Numbers (AA Mississippi): 8-8, 3.42 ERA, 26 GS, 137 IP, 124 H, 52 ER, 121 K, 51 BB

57 Williams Perez – Right-handed Starter – 22 y.o. – Acarigua, Portuguesa, Venezuela

Non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela, he’s put up strong numbers as a starter.  Landed a spot on the Future Stars team this year in Rome, pitching two perfect frames against the big league club.  Should be a really nice arm in the Braves’ rotation.

2013 Numbers (A Rome & A+ Lynchburg): 11-6, 3.53 ERA, 22 GS, 125.0 IP, 123 H, 49 ER, 106 K, 36 BB

48 Ryan Weber – 23 – Right-handed Swing-man – 23 y.o. – St. Petersburg, FL

A 22nd rounder by the Braves in 2009 out of St. Petersburg College.  It was his second time being drafted after bypassing a 12th round offer in ’08 from the Phillies.  He spent part of 2011 and 2012 in Lynchburg before finally ascending to high-A for good in 2013.  Doesn’t have overpowering stuff but boy does he have outstanding command–only 66 BB in 375.1 innings as a pro.

2013 Numbers (Lynchburg): 6-5, 3.84 ERA, 22 App., 15 GS, 93.2 IP, 90 H, 40 ER, 81 K, 15 BB

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Relievers

27 John Cornely – Right-handed Relief Pitcher – 24 y.o. – Mount Pleasant, SC

Drafted in the 15th round in 2011 out of Wofford College, Cornely was a member of the Future Stars roster the last two years in the annual Future Stars exhibition game.  This year he pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Major League squad.  Quality reliever with a big mid-90s fastball.  Talking Chop rated him as their second best relief prospect in the system behind Juan Jaime entering 2012.

2013 Numbers (A+ Lynchburg): 4-1, 3.38 ERA, 42 app., 11 saves; 70 K in 50.2 IP, 24 BB

18 Ryne Harper – Right-handed Reliever – 25 y.o. – Clarksville, TN

A 37th round pick in 2011 out of Austin Peay, Harper has shoved throughout his pro career in the pen.  A key member to the ’13 M-Braves pen, Harper has kept his ERA below 2.00 for each of the last two seasons.  Funky, deceptive delivery with fastball that touches 94 and a slider that gets a lot of weak contact.

2013 Numbers (AA Mississippi): 6-3, 1.79 ERA, 11 saves, 41 app., 55.1 IP, 47 H, 11 ER, 54 K, 18 BB

51 James Hoyt – Right-handed Reliever – 27 y.o. – Boise, ID

Potential to become this year’s Ian Thomas.  A non-drafted guy out of Centenary College in Louisiana, Hoyt got a job working on sail boats in San Diego after college before picking up with an Independent team.  He then went to Mexico and pitched for Olmecas de Tabasco, where he was discovered by a Braves scout.  Mid-90s fastball with movement and an above average slider, both of which get a lot of swings and misses. Hoyt joined the M-Braves’ pen in the second half of the ’13 season and posted a 2.48 ERA over 22 appearances.

2013 Numbers (A+ Lynchburg & AA Mississippi): 3-3, 3.94 ERA, 39 app., 82.1 IP, 36 ER, 56 H, 105 K, 38 BB

43 Ronan Pacheco – Left-handed Reliever - 25 y.o. – Licey al Medio, Santiago, Dominican Republic

Non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican, Pacheco used to be a funky high three-quarters delivery guy with a fastball that touched 96.  Now he’s even more funky, dropping down to a side-arm slot.  He’s still learning to command the new delivery but there’s all kinds of movement on his stuff.  He’s one of the returners to Mississippi.

2013 Numbers (A+ Lynchburg & AA Mississippi): 3-2, 2.62 ERA, 41 app., 48.0 IP, 34 H, 14 ER, 46 K, 39 BB

40 Carlos Perez – Left-handed Reliever – 22 y.o. – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Perhaps one of the most intriguing arms on the M-Braves’ roster this year.  A huge prospect in 2008 out of the Dominican Republic, he was expected to establish himself as the best of Atlanta’s next wave of arms.  Starting didn’t work out for him, but he’s been outstanding out of the bullpen since converting full time in 2012.  The Braves added him to the 40-man roster this past offseason.

2013 Numbers (A Rome & A+ Lynchburg): 3-0, 2.76 ERA, 29 App, 45.2 IP, 26 H, 14 ER, 52 K, 19 BB

33 Chasen Shreve – Left-handed reliever – 23 y.o. – Las Vegas, NV

An 11th round pick in 2010 out of the College of Southern Nevada–the same JuCo powerhouse that produced Bryce Harper (in fact, Harper was his catcher before converting to the outfield in Nationals’ system) and former Atlanta Braves reliever Mike Dunn, as well as M-Braves catcher Braeden Schlehuber.  Another effective low-arm slot lefty out of the M-Braves’ pen, and a returner to the Mississippi squad after stints in ’12 and ’13.

2013 Numbers (A+ Lynchburg & AA Mississippi): 3-2, 3.90 ERA, 50 app., 62.1 IP, 58 H, 27 ER, 43 K, 30 BB

46 Shae Simmons – Right-handed Reliever – 23 y.o. – Scott City, MO

Seems to be another high-value late-round pick for the Braves, dropping all the way to the 22nd round in the 2012 draft out of Southeast Missouri State.  Little guy (5’9”) with a big fastball (95) and gargantuan strikeout numbers (82 K in 53.1 IP in ’13).  A returner to the M-Braves’ pen after joining the club late in the second half of ’13.  He got a look as a non-roster invite to Major League camp as well as an invite to the Arizona Fall League last year, so the Braves obviously like his arm.

2013 Numbers (A Rome & AA Mississippi): 1-1, 1.69 ERA, 50 app., 53.1 IP, 31 H, 10 ER, 82 K, 22 BB

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The Mississippi Braves open up on Thursday night at 7:00 PM CT against the Mobile BayBears, double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Minor is scheduled to make the start in his first rehab appearance.  Catch all the action on 103.9 WYAB and online at MississippiBraves.com.

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at www.HearKyleTait.com

@MBraves Media Day: Manager Aaron Holbert

The 2014 Mississippi Braves officially arrived in Pearl on Tuesday, and meeting with the media before the team’s first formal practice Tuesday afternoon was one of the first orders of business.

Hear third year manager Aaron Holbert’s thoughts below in his first press conference of the 2014 season:

On Mike Minor starting opening night at Trustmark Park:


On making the 2013 playoffs for the first time since the ’08 championship season:


On the progress of top pitching prospects JR Graham and Jason Hursh:


On starter Aaron Northcraft and the rotation as a whole:


On Graham as a leader this year as the veteran guy on the squad:


On Opening Day Lineup:


The M-Braves open up on Thursday night at Trustmark Park against the Mobile BayBears, double-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Atlanta Braves starter Mike Minor is expected to throw three innings in a rehab start for Mississippi, with Lay Batista–typically a starter–scheduled to follow him up in relief.

Kyle Tait is in his fourth season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves. Follow him on Twitter @MBravesRadio and hear more at www.HearKyleTait.com

@MBraves SLDS Game 4 Preview & Lineups: vs. Mobile BayBears, Hank Aaron Stadium, 6:05 PM CT

Pitching Matchup

RHP Aaron Northcraft (8-8, 3.42) vs. RHP Bo Schultz (5-4, 2.86)

Aaron Northcraft toes the rubber for the Mississippi Braves tonight in a must-win situation. With the BayBears victory last night the Braves now trail 2-1 in the best-of-five series with game four, and if necessary game five, in Mobile. Northcraft has faced Mobile four times already this season and is 0-1 against them with a 2.34 ERA. He last faced the BayBears on July 3 giving up two runs, one earned, on seven hits over five innings and taking the 2-0 loss. The right-hander is no stranger to big games. Last year in the Carolina League Championship Series he started the clinching game in the fourth game of the series against the Winston-Salem Dash throwing six innings and giving up two earned runs on four hits. Northcraft, 23, was drafted by Atlanta in the 10th round of the 2009 draft out of Mater Dei High School and is the 10th best prospect in the Braves organization according to MLB.com.

Bo Schultz takes the hill for the BayBears as they look to advance to the Southern League Championship Series tonight. Schultz has been nearly as good as the first three starters the BayBears have trotted out to the mound this series. This is his second start against Mississippi this year. His first came on June 30 when he earned a 6-3 win after throwing five innings of two-hit shutout baseball while striking out five would be hitters. Schultz, 27, signed with Oakland after going undrafted in 2008 out of Northwestern University and signed with Arizona in 2012.

Stat to Watch

The Mississippi Braves and Mobile BayBears have had close affairs nearly every meeting this season, with 9 of the 20 regular season meetings ending with a one-run deficit.  In the playoffs, all three games have been decided by just a run, with games one and three going Mobile’s way (3-2, 7-6 respectively) and game two tipping in the Braves’ favor (4-3).

Starting Lineups

Mississippi Braves

1 Mycal Jones CF

14 Dan Brewer LF

8 Tommy La Stella 2B

16 Edward Salcedo 3B

7 Jaime Pedroza SS

2 Greg Golson RF

5 Barrett Kleinknecht 1B

11 Braeden Schlehuber C

28 Aaron Northcraft P

Mobile BayBears

6 Ender Inciarte CF

5 Michael Freeman 2B

20 Dustin Martin RF

18 Nick Evans 3B

33 Sawyer Carroll 1B

15 Raywilly Gomez C

11 Justin Greene LF

7 Nick Ahmed SS

30 Bo Schultz P

Listen Live

Listen live to Kyle Tait and James Nassar on the call beginning at 5:30 PM CT on WYAB 103.9 FM and online at MississippiBraves.com.

Kyle Tait is in his third season as the radio voice of the Mississippi Braves.  Follow him on Twitter: @MBravesRadio

Sunday Preview & Lineups: @MBraves vs. Huntsville Stars, Trustmark Park, 5 PM CT

Pitching Matchup

RHP Aaron Northcraft (7-8, 3.54) vs. RHP Taylor Jungmann (9-9, 4.14)

Aaron Northcraft takes the hill today against Huntsville for the third time this season. He is 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in two starts this season against the Stars. He gave up one run on four hits over five innings while striking out six Stars and grabbing the 13-2 win. He had a really good outing his last start but did not factor into the decision in the Braves 3-2 loss to the Biscuits after giving up one run on four hits over six innings while striking out six. Northcraft, 23, was drafted by the Braves out of Mater Dei High School in the 10th round of the 2009 draft and is ranked by MLB.com as the 10th best prospect in the Braves organization.

Taylor Jungmann takes the hill today for the fourth time this season against the Braves. He is 1-1 with a 5.52 ERA against Mississippi this year in three starts. He did not factor into the decision his last start against the Braves after giving up two runs on five hits over six innings on August 4 in the 3-2 Huntsville win. He lost his last start 8-1 on August 20 against Pensacola giving up five runs on seven hits over five innings. Jungmann, 23, was a first round pick by the Brewers out of the University of Texas in 2011 and came into the season ranked as the third best prospect in the Brewers organization by Baseball America.

Stat to Watch

The Braves pitching staff has been striking out batters left and right this season. Chattanooga leads the league in strikeouts with 1055 and Mississippi is in second with 1010. The next closest is Jacksonville with 947. Aaron Northcraft, tonight’s starter, has 107 strikeouts this year. He had 160 last year down in Lynchburg.

Playoff Race

With the season winding down the Braves (33-28) are still two games out of first place with last night’s loss. Jacksonville lost last night, dropping them to 35-26 and 1/2-game ahead of Mobile. Mobile (35-27) gained a game last night with their victory. Pensacola won last night as well and are now just three games behind the Suns at 32-29. Montgomery no-hit the Suns last night and are 29-33 6.5 games out of first.

Starting Lineups

Huntsville Stars

16 Chadwin Stang CF

3 Nick Shaw 2B

7 Jason Rogers 1B

21 Mike Walker 3B

30 Brock Kjeldgaard RF

6 Eric Patterson LF

31 Joey Paciorek C

4 Hector Gomez SS

26 Taylor Jungmann P

Mississippi Braves

2 Greg Golson CF

20 Omar Luna 1B

8 Tommy La Stella 2B

16 Edward Salcedo 3B

40 Jose Martinez RF

32 Robby Hefflinger LF

7 Jaime Pedroza SS

11 Braeden Schlehuber C

28 Aaron Northcraft P

Listen Live

Listen to Kyle Tait and James Nassar on the call of today’s game beginning at 4:30 PM CT on 103.9 WYAB in Jackson, MS, or online through TuneIn Radio.

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