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 Mississippi Braves

Mississippi Braves Announce 2024 Opening Day Roster

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

PEARL - The Atlanta Braves and their Double-A Affiliate, the Mississippi Braves, announced the 2024 opening-day roster. The squad includes four MLB Pipeline Top-20 Prospects and 17 players who made at least one appearance for the M-Braves last season.

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).

Waldrep, set to make his first start on Sunday in Pensacola, was Atlanta's first-round selection (24th overall) in 2023 out of the University of Florida. In his first season in the Braves system, Waldrep rose four levels, posting a 1.53 ERA (5 ER/29.1 IP) in eight starts. His 41 strikeouts were more than any other 2023 MLB Draft class hurler.

Alvarez is set to make his Double-A debut in 2024. In 2023, The youngest member of the 2024 club at 20 years old, Alvarez, spent the entire season with High-A Rome, slashing .284/.395/.391 (119-for-419) in 116 games. He hit seven home runs and logged 24 doubles while recording 66 RBI and 62 runs. The Fontana, CA native led all South Atlantic Leaguers in hits, ranked third in games played; tied for third in walks (66); fourth in batting average and on-base percentage - among qualifiers; tied for sixth in RBI; seventh in doubles; eighth in at-bats and had 31 multi-hit games.

Baldwin was named the 2023 Hank Aaron Award recipient given annually to the top offensive performer in the Braves' minor league system. The Madison, WI native slashed .270/.385/.460 (108-for-400) in 109 games - 92 with High-A Rome, 14 with Double-A Mississippi, and three with Triple-A Gwinnett. He hit 16 home runs, 26 doubles, and one triple while recording 61 RBI and 63 runs.

De Avila was a two-time Southern League Pitcher of the Week last season. The 22-year-old made a career-high 26 starts, going 6-10 with a 3.28 ERA over 123.1 innings with 125 strikeouts to 61 walks in 25 M-Braves starts. De Avila made one start for Gwinnett at the end of the season. The Southern League postseason All-Star finished among the leaders in ERA (2nd), starts (4th), innings pitched (5th), opponents average (3rd, .223), strikeouts (8th), and WHIP (8th) ... Ranked among the top 10 Atlanta farmhands in starts (1st, 26), ERA (2nd, 3.26), innings (T-2nd, 127.0), BAA (2nd, .224), strikeouts (3rd, 128), and WHIP (8th, 1.32) ... Over his final three starts with the M-Braves, he threw 14.0 scoreless innings, striking out 16 and walking just four.

2024 Mississippi Braves Opening Day Roster:

Pitchers (15): LHP Luis De Avila, RHP Parker Dunshee, RHP Domingo Gonzalez, RHP Patrick Halligan, LHP Hayden Harris, RHP Jonathan Hughes, RHP Jorge Juan, RHP Zach Logue, LHP Jake McSteen, RHP Ian Mejia, RHP JJ Niekro, LHP Drew Parrish, RHP Trey Riley, RHP Hurston Waldrep, RHP Peyton Williams

Catchers (3): Drake Baldwin, Tyler Tolve, Javier Valdes

Infielders (7): Nacho Alavarez Jr., Cade Bunnell, Cal Conley, Bryson Horne, Keshawn Ogans, Geraldo Quintero, Yolbert Sanchez

Outfielders (3): Justin Dean, Cody Milligan, Brandon Parker

The Mississippi Braves begin the 2024 season on the road tonight in Pensacola, FL. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm at Blue Wahoos Stadium with coverage on 102.1 The Box,, and Bally Live. RHP Ian Mejia will start the opening night for the M-Braves against Pensacola RHP Evan Fitterer. The M-Braves will open their 20th and final year at Trustmark Park on Tuesday, April 9, at 6:05 pm against the Biloxi Shuckers.

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