PEARL, MS-Brandon, Mississippi native Brent Leach was signed by the Atlanta Braves and assigned to Double-A Mississippi on Thursday, June 21, 2012. The left-handed pitcher graduated from Brandon High School and played at Southern Miss and Delta State before beginning his professional career.
Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth round of the 2005 draft, Leach received the call to the show on May 1, 2009. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers on May 6, 2009. In 38 big-league games, Leach went 2-0 with a 5.75 ERA while limiting opponents to a .213 batting average.
Leach began his college career at Southern Miss (2002-03). In 2002, he recorded one save and posted a 2.08 ERA in 16 outings with the Golden Eagles. He also limited opponents to a .237 batting average. In 2003, Leach appeared in four games (three starts) with Southern Miss, posting a 7.27 ERA.
After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2004, Leach transferred to Delta State University (2005) where he went 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in 24 appearances out of the Statesmen's bullpen. He recorded seven saves while leading the Statesmen to the NCAA Division II College World Series in Montgomery, Ala.
In 2005, Leach made his minor league debut with the Rookie-League Ogden Raptors (5-3, 2.43). He began the 2006 season with Low-A Columbus (4-2, 3.27) before moving up to High-A Vero Beach (3-4, 4.56). After making 14 appearances with Inland Empire in 2007 (0.45 with four saves), he was placed on the disabled list with a strained left latissimus dorsi and missed the rest of the season.
In 2008, Leach combined to post a 2-3 record with 15 saves and a 2.60 ERA in 49 games with High-A Inland Empire and Double-A Jacksonville. After going 0-1 with one save and a 0.69 ERA with Double-A Chattanooga in 2009, Leach was called up to the big leagues. He was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque on July 30 where he finished the season 2-0 with a save and a 6.75 ERA.
Leach split the 2010 season with Chattanooga (7-3, 4.57) and Albuquerque (3-2, 6.35). He combined to make 39 appearances and 16 starts. He was then released by the Dodgers on December 22, 2010.
After his release, Leach signed with the Yokohama BayStars in Japan. He returned to the United States before the season began following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that resulted in a nuclear radiation scare. After that, Leach was placed on the restricted list and was not allowed to play anywhere else. He was reinstated on July 8 and made eight starts (1-7, 5.95) with Yokohama.
The Dodgers resigned Leach on February 19, 2012. He appeared in 10 games with Triple-A Albuquerque (1-2-1, 7.02) before being released on May 7. The Braves then picked up Leach and assigned him to Double-A Mississippi on June 21.
Tonight, the M-Braves begin a five-game series against the Barons at Regions Park in Birmingham. Next week, the Braves return to Trustmark Park for a five-game series against the Chattanooga Lookouts June 26-30.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.