PEARL, MS -- The Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs announced its South Division All-Star team Wednesday, June 4, selecting six Mississippi Braves players to the 2014 Southern League All-Star Game. The North Division takes on the South Division Tuesday, June 17 at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Two position players and four pitchers were selected to represent the Mississippi Braves as Southern League All-Stars. Shortstop Elmer Reyes and outfielder Mycal Jones were named to the team along with starting pitchersAaron Northcraft and Williams Perez. Relievers James Hoyt and Shae Simmons were also selected to represent the Double-A Braves.
Reyes, 23, ranks second among Southern League Leaders with a .335 batting average. He began the season on the disabled list and was activated on April 14. He spent the 2013 season at High-A Lynchburg, hitting .285 in 123 games for the Hillcats. Reyes ranked fourth among all Braves minor leaguers in doubles (30) and RBI (60) last season. The Nicaraguan is on the Atlanta Braves 40-man roster. He was signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent on May 19, 2009.
Jones, 26, ranks among Southern League Leaders in batting average (10th, .301) and on-base percentage (4th, .410). He was activated from the disabled list in Triple-A Gwinnett April 22 and transferred to Mississippi on April 25. Jones spent the entire 2013 season at Double-A Mississippi. He posted a .261 average with 18 doubles, four homers and 36 RBI in 111 games. The Jacksonville, FL, native was drafted by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2009 draft.
Northcraft, 23, ranks third in the Southern League with six wins. Overall, the right-hander is 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA in nine outings for the M-Braves. He's struck out 45 batters in 44 innings pitched. Northcraft entered the season ranked by Baseball America as the 25th-best prospect in the Braves organization. He 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.
Perez, 23, is 3-3 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 starts for the M-Braves. He currently ranks second among Southern League Leaders in ERA and WHIP (0.96) and ranks third with a .205 opponent's batting average. The Venezuelan was signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent on January 12, 2009.
Hoyt, 27, leads the Southern League with seven holds. Among relievers, he has the third highest strikeout per nine innings pitched ratio (12.27) and the fourth best ratio of fewest baserunners per nine innings (8.77). Overall, Hoyt is 2-2 with a 1.40 ERA in 23 games for the M-Braves. The right-hander was signed by the Braves as a free agent on November 15, 2012, after two years of playing in Independent Leagues. Hoyt split the 2013 season between Lynchburg (3-2, 4.89) and Mississippi (0-1, 2.48).
Simmons, 23, was promoted to the Atlanta Braves Saturday, May 30. The right-hander was leading the Southern League with 14 saves. He had a 0.78 ERA in 20 outings for the M-Braves. In those 20 appearances, he gave up runs in just one outing. After giving up those two runs on April 28, Simmons went on to record nine consecutive saves. He struck out 30 batters in 23 total innings pitched. Simmons was selected by the Braves in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft out of Southeast Missouri State.
The North Division All-Stars were announced Tuesday, June 3. Players were selected after a vote by Southern League field managers, radio broadcasters, general managers and print media. All players on Southern League rosters as of May 15 were eligible in the voting. Starting lineups for the North and South Divisions will be announced on Thursday, June 5 and Friday, June 6, respectively.
Don't miss your chance to see these all-stars and the rest of the 2014 Mississippi Braves. The M-Braves enter tonight's game at Montgomery one game out of first place in the Southern League South Division-trailing Mobile. The Braves take on the Chattanooga Lookouts at Trustmark Park Thursday through Monday, June 5-9, before heading to Tennessee for a five-game series against the Smokies to wrap up the first half.
|The Mississippi Braves is the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Since making the move from Greenville, SC, in 2005, over 85 M-Braves have gone on to play in the big leagues. The M-Braves have made postseason play three times and went on to win the Southern League Championship in 2008. Tickets are on sale now. Stop by Trustmark Park or call 888-BRAVES4 Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For the latest news and updates, visit mississippibraves.com, facebook.com/mbraves and twitter.com/mbraves.|