They did not make it look easy, but the Braves picked up their first win of the season on Wednesday behind a very strong start from Bartolo Colon and a big night at the plate from Matt Kemp. After the Braves had squandered several scoring opportunities earlier in the game, Kemp delivered a bases-loaded double that scored two and gave Atlanta a 3-1 win.
After spending three years with Mets, Bartolo Colon made his return against his former team on Wednesday and was treated like the folk hero baseball has come to love. Colon received a standing ovation as he walked to the plate for his first at-bat, and on the mound the 43-year-old looked every bit as effective as he did in New York, allowing just two hits and striking out six in six innings of work.
It’s no secret that the Mississippi Braves are set to be one of the best teams in all of minor league baseball this year, with a loaded pitching staff that includes Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and Patrick Weigel. Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline discussed his thoughts on the rotation and how he sees this crop faring in the cavernous Trustmark Park.
As you will find in the podcast linked above, MLB.com likes the Mississippi Braves. They show up on this list as proof, though with the relative lack of impact bats they come in a little lower than some of us may have liked. Travis Demeritte is mentioned but outside of him it’s all about the pitching. The Florida Fire Frogs also made the honorable mentions section, though there is no write-up.
Anthony Castrovince of sportsonearth.com chose his X-factor for each team, and the name he selected for the Braves should come as little surprise. Spoiler: it’s a tie between Emilio Bonifacio and Chase d’Arnaud.