Shuster, Dean among a group of M-Braves invited to big league camp
Pearl - The Atlanta Braves announced on Wednesday their non-roster invites to major league spring training which included many current and former Mississippi Braves players. Highlighting the group is 2020 first-round pick Jared Shuster, plus other 2023 M-Braves players that include LHP Dylan Dodd, RHP Alan Rangel, RHP Victor Vodnik,
Pearl - The Atlanta Braves announced on Wednesday their non-roster invites to major league spring training which included many current and former Mississippi Braves players.
Highlighting the group is 2020 first-round pick Jared Shuster, plus other 2023 M-Braves players that include LHP Dylan Dodd, RHP Alan Rangel, RHP Victor Vodnik, INF Luke Waddell, OF Justin Dean, and OF Cody Milligan. C Ryan Casteel and RHP Brooks Wilson were on the 26-player list, both members of the 2019 M-Braves club. Of the 66 players reporting to North Port later this month, 28 of them passed through Pearl.
Shuster was promoted to Triple-A on July 26 and left Double-A with a 2.78 ERA through 17 outings, which ranked third in the Southern League. The New Bedford, Massachusets native, was among the league leaders in ERA (2nd, 2.87, strikeouts (106, 2nd), opponent’s batting average (.198, 2nd), WHIP (0.96, 2nd), and innings (90.2, 2nd) at the time of his promotion.
Shuster pitched in the MLB Futures Game at Dodger Stadium on July 16 before the MLB All-Star break, giving up one run (HR to former teammate Shea Langeliers) on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings pitched. Atlanta drafted Shuster in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2020 MLB Draft. He was originally promoted to the M-Braves near the end of the 2021 season.
Dean is coming off a stellar winter league season in which his Cañeros de los Mochis club took home the Mexican Winter League Championship. A key contributor, Dean hit .343 over 67 games. Dean tied an M-Braves record by scoring five runs on July 2 at Biloxi. He finished the season as the club’s stolen base leader, successful in 19 of 24 stolen base attempts. In June, Dean led the M-Braves with a .298 average. He had six extra-base hits, six RBI, 13 walks, and nine steals.
Waddell, limited due to an injury in 2022 hit .272 with a .364 OBP, ten doubles, two home runs, and 29 RBI in 41 games for the M-Braves. He Had a 12-game hitting streak, 4/30 to 5/14, and went 5-for-5 on 4/30 at Montgomery, including a three-run homer to tie the game in the ninth, the first five-hit game since Alejandro Salazar on 7/15/18. The Georgia Tech product had a 15-game on-base streak from 4/30-5/19.
After being promoted from High-A Rome on June 21, Cody Milligan hit .271 with a .345 OBP and went 14-for-14 in stolen bases in 68 games as the leadoff hitter. He had a 10-game hit streak from 8/10-21, batting .415 with 18 hits, four doubles, and two RBI over the streak. Milligan’s best month was August, where he batted .318 with a .388 OBP in 21 games.
After being promoted to Mississippi on July 12, Dylan Dodd went 2-4 with a 3.11 ERA in 46.1 innings over nine starts. Dodd posted a 2.08 ERA in four starts in August, going an unlucky 0-3. The left-hander has allowed no more than two runs in seven of nine starts, with three quality starts. The left-hander combined to go 11-9 with a 3.33 ERA in 25 starts over 135.1 innings between High-A Rome and Double-A Mississippi.
The Braves begin their 2023 Spring Training schedule on February 25 at home against the Boston Red Sox. They close play on March 28 at the Red Sox. The Braves will return to CoolToday Park for Spring Training games in 2023. This venue is located in North Port, Florida, which is about 35 miles from Sarasota.
The Mississippi Braves begin their 2023 campaign with a three-game opening weekend, April 7-9 against the Biloxi Shuckers at Trustmark Park.