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 Mississippi Braves

GAME INFO: Friday, April 5 at Pensacola Blue Wahoos: 6:05 PM CT: Blue Wahoos Stadium

April 5, 2024 - Southern League (SL)
Mississippi Braves News Release

Friday, April 5 | 6:05 PM CT | Blue Wahoos Stadium | Pensacola, FL

Mississippi Braves (ATL) (0-0), T-1st, SL South, --) at Pensacola Blue Wahoos (0-0, T-1st, SL South, --)

Pitching Matchup: RHP Ian Mejia (0-0, --) vs. Evan Fitterer (0-0, --)

Watch Live: Bally Live / MiLB.TV / MLB At Bat

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Streaming: Audio Link

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Today's Roster Move


TODAY'S GAME: The M-Braves begin the 2024 season with game one of a three-game road series at Pensacola. RHP Ian Mejia gets the opening day start for the M-Braves opposite Pensacola RHP Evan Fitterer.

HELLO AGAIN, PENSACOLA: The M-Braves open the 2024 season in Pensacola after closing out the 2023 season on the First Coast. Mississippi split the six-game series, and overall in 2023, went 13-17 against the Marlins affiliate. All-time, the M-Braves are 122-121 against Pensacola.

TRYING TO TURN AROUND THE OPENING DAY BLUES: The M-Braves are 4-14 on Opening Day, last winning 3-0 on April 5, 2018 against the Tennessee Smokies. The club is opening on the road for the first time since 2019 was a 7-5 loss at Tennessee.

ABOUT LAST SEASON: The club finished with a 62-75 overall record, 33-35 in the first half and 29-40 in the second half. The M-Braves were 32-36 at Trustmark Park and 30-39 on the road. The M-Braves went 19-32 in July and August but finished with a franchise record ninewins in September.

The M-Braves made 201 transactions in 2023 and saw 59 overall players, 24 position players,

and 35 pitchers wear a Mississippi jersey. The club made a season-high 50 roster moves in April and a season-low 21 in June. That stability over the middle of the season helped the M-Braves finish a combined 26-24 over May and June after getting off to an 8-13 record in April.

OPENING DAY ROSTER FEATURES FOUR TOP-20 ATL PROSPECTS/17 RETURNERS: Mississippi returns 17 players from last season's club and four of the Atlanta Braves' Top 20 prospects.

The Top 20 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, include RHP Hurston Waldrep (No. 2), INF

Nacho Alvarez Jr. (No. 6), C Drake Baldwin (No. 11), and LHP Luis De Avila (No. 20). RHP Ian

Mejia (No. 28) and INF Keshawn Ogans are part of Baseball America's Top 30 prospects.

The 17 returning players include pitcher De Avila, RHP Domingo Gonzalez, RHP Patrick Halligan, LHP Hayden Harris, LHP Jake McSteen, RHP Trey Riley, RHP Hurston Waldrep, RHP Peyton Williams, and position players Baldwin, C Tyler Tolve, C Javier Valdes, INF Cade Bunnell, INF Cal Conley, INF Bryson Horne, OF Justin Dean, OF Cody Milligan, and OF Brandon Parker.

COACHING STAFF WITH A NEW FLO: After spending one season as manager of the Braves High-A affiliate Rome Braves (Emperors) Angel Flores will take the reins for the first time at the Double-A level, succeeding Kanekoa Texeira. Texeira was promoted to manager of the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers after Matt Tuiasosopo was named to the Braves' Major League coaching staff for 2024. Flores returns to Mississippi, where he served as bench coach in 2022. Flores took over as interim manager from April 26 to May 15, 2022, while Bruce Crabbe took a leave of absence from the club. During the 18-game stretch, the M-Braves went 10-8. During his first season as a full-time manager last year, Flores led the R-Braves to a 34-32 record in the second half and an overall 64-68 mark. Rome closed the year with a 21-15 record in August and September.

Overall, he holds a 74-76 record as a manager. Before joining the M-Braves staff in 2022, he served as a coach for Rome in 2021. Flores was a six-year minor league veteran in the Tigers organization before opening the Action Force baseball academy in Orlando. Flores has been in the organization since 2017, working in the rookie leagues.

MISSISSIPPI MADE: M-Braves outfielder Brandon Parker, a native of Saucier, MS, on the Gulf Coast and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College product became the first player to prep in Mississippi and play for the M-Braves since Austin Riley in 2017. Riley prepped at Desoto Central in North Mississippi ... Parker was a two-time All-American at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. In 2018, he hit a single-season school record 24 home runs, leading the country with 81 RBI, batting .424. He finished his Bulldog career with a .394 average, having slugged 38 homers and driven in 129 runs. He reached base more than 50 percent of the time in his two seasons. The Saucier, MS native attended West Harrison High School.

FINAL SEASON IN MISSISSIPPI: On January 9, it was announced that after 20 years, 2024 will be the M-Braves' final season in Pearl, MS. As of the start of the 2025 season, the Double-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves will be relocating to Columbus, GA.

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