Generals’ series with Mississippi heavy on prospects

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Taylor Clarke (4-2, 2.70 ERA) leads the Generals into their series against a Mississippi Braves squad full of top Atlanta prospects. (Photo Credit: Cody Cunningham)
Mississippi

Pitching Prospects

(Baseball America organizational rank)

Notes/Stats Jackson

Pitching Prospects

(Baseball America organizational rank)

Notes/Stats
RHP Mike Soroka (#4)

Wednesday

 

LHP Kolby Allard (#3)

Thursday

 

LHP Max Fried (#10)

Saturday

 

 

2.96 ERA

 

 

1.83 ERA

 

 

Carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning on 4/25 at Montgomery

RHP Brad Keller (#8)

Tuesday

 

LHP Alex Young (#11)

Wednesday

 

RHP Taylor Clarke (#7)

Friday

 

LHP Josh Taylor (#25)

Saturday

 

LHP Jared Miller (#19)

Bullpen

 

2.93 ERA in home games

 

0.82 ERA vs. left-handed hitters

 

 

2.73 ERA

 

10 Ks on 5/28

 

 

Vandy alum, 1.57:1 groundout-flyout ratio

Mississippi Position Player Prospects Notes/Stats Jackson Position Player

Prospects

Notes/Stats
OF Ronald Acuna (#6)

 

 

2B Travis Demeritte (#19)

.375 BA, 3 HR in 19 games

 

.310 BA with runners in scoring position

3B Dawel Lugo (#2)

 

 

OF Victor Reyes (#23)

5-game hitting streak

 

2 triples, 6 SB, .293 BA

As the Cavaliers and Warriors ready for their third straight NBA Finals rematch, another rivalry will be revisited this week. Last year’s Southern League Championship Series featured the Mississippi Braves and the Jackson Generals, and the two teams will meet for the first time since Jackson’s September triumph on Tuesday, May 30.

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Mississippi LHP Kolby Allard

Jackson’s five-game home-stand against Mississippi will showcase twelve of the top prospects ranked by Baseball America among the best in the Arizona Diamondbacks and Atlanta Braves organizations. The M-Braves (24-26) feature a pair of highly touted starting pitchers who allow fewer than three earned runs per game on average: left-hander Kolby Allard (1.83) and right-hander Mike Soroka (2.96). Infielder Travis Demeritte (22 years old) and outfielder Ronald Acuna (19) are both making big contributions to the Mississippi offense in the early part of the season. Mississippi’s Carlos Franco is tied with Jackson infielders Kevin Cron and Colin Walsh for the league lead with 11 home runs.

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Mississippi RHP Mike Soroka

In addition to highlighting a number of prospects in the Atlanta system, Tuesday’s series opener will feature MLB veteran Kris Medlen, who makes a rehab start for the M-Braves. Medlen has 173 Major League appearances and a 3.25 career ERA, winning a World Series ring with the Kansas City Royals in 2015.

The Generals (27-23) are off to a strong start in their first year of affiliation with the Arizona Diamondbacks, sitting 2.5 games out of first place in the North Division. Jackson completed an 11-game road trip on Sunday, winning back-to-back battles with the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp to close their Memorial Day weekend.

Jackson leads the Southern League with 59 home runs, 13 more than any other team. First-year manager J.R. House continues to find ways to adapt his squad’s capabilities, as their past two wins have come without the help of any home runs.

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Josh Taylor (4-3, 4.06 ERA) threw the longest outing of the season by any Generals pitcher on May 28, finishing 7.1 innings with 10 strikeouts at Jacksonville. (Photo Credit: Cody Cunningham)

Standout pitching performances from right-hander Taylor Clarke (12 strikeouts on Saturday) and left-hander Josh Taylor (10 strikeouts on Sunday) exemplify a Jackson pitching staff that is beginning to round into form. Relievers Gabriel Moya and Joey Krehbiel sport identical 1.61 ERA marks, combining for 70 strikeouts across 35 total appearances.

Each of the five games will begin at The Ballpark at Jackson at 6:05 pm CT, and you can hear the games on RadioWillie.com as well as 94.1 FM/94.3 FM/1390 AM. Saturday, June 3rd will be Star Wars Night, with specialty jerseys to be worn by the Generals and later auctioned off for charity proceeds. For more information on the team and ticket information, check out JacksonGeneralsBaseball.com or dial 731.988.5299.

Lugo, Leyba lead D-backs prospects poised to produce in Jackson

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Third baseman Dawel Lugo hit 13 home runs in 79 games at Visalia last year, earning mid-season California League All-Star honors. (Photo by Ken Weisenberger http://www.strike3photos.com)

Part of the Jackson Generals’ run to the 2016 Southern League title–their first in over a decade–was consistency in the infield. Second baseman Tim Lopes and shortstop Benji Gonzalez each amassed more than 500 at-bats last season, injecting some critical stability into the Jackson lineup.  Between the two of them, Lopes and Gonzalez scored 152 runs, 24% of Jackson’s season total.  They were key cogs in the trophy-hoisting Jackson machine.

You won’t see Lopes and Gonzalez this season. They’re not here, nor are any of their Seattle Mariners-affiliated teammates and coaches. But identifying lineup-stabilizing anchors is no less important in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ organization, and they’re sending Jackson the players to prove it.

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New Beginnings

2016 BA Top 10 640

Hey, everyone! It has been awhile. For that, I apologize. I have not done a good job keeping up with the system in a busy offseason for the Seattle Mariners, but here is to a fresh start beginning with a new website. I decided to move Generally Speaking to an MLBlog template to match up more with other MiLB blogs.

A new URL pales in comparison to the changes that have taken place in the Pacific Northwest. The Mariners have almost an entirely new front office. Jerry Dipoto, the team’s new General Manager, has made a number of trades in an attempt to shake up the Major League roster. He hired Scott Servais as manager of a largely new coaching staff.

The effects should trickle down to Jackson and the entire system as well. Andy McKay is the team’s new Director of Player Development, and he figures to overhaul the team’s approach in that area. There’s a lot to read up on as the McKay hire has been dissected from every which angle, and there are a number of great profiles for those interested. What has struck me most is the emphasis put on having an overarching and consistent organizational philosophy. It appears everyone will be on the same page when 2016 starts.

It is difficult to draw too many conclusions without any baseball being played, but the excitement is palpable in the organization after a disappointing 2015. With Spring Training less than two weeks away, it seems like as good a time as any to start previewing the upcoming season. I joined all the other broadcasters in the organization in the first edition of Seattle System Scoop last week, a new podcast covering all the goings on from each Mariners’ affiliate.

In the first episode, Mike Curto of the Tacoma Rainiers, Dan Besbris of the Bakersfield Blaze, Greg Mroz of the Clinton LumberKings, Pat Dillon of the Everett AquaSox and I talked about the organizational changes and the top 10 prospects in the system according to industry standard Baseball America. Listen below, and let us know what you think. We’re looking forward to doing this all season long.