Braves minor league report

Myrtle Beach's BB&T Coastal Field is where long fly balls have always become long outs rather than home runs, victims of the wind coming off the Atlantic Ocean.

At least that was the case in the Pelicans' first nine seasons in the Carolina League. This year, though, has been different.

Myrtle Beach set a new home-run standard with seven weeks remaining in the season, passing the old team record of 105 on Tuesday.

Only two players - Mike Hessman with 23 in 1999 and Isaiah Ka'aihue with 22 last season - have reached 20 homers in team history. As many as six could do it this season.

All of the present sluggers have more homers on the road than at home, but Myrtle Beach fans are seeing a lot more balls fly over the fences than usual. There is just no keeping these hitters in the ballpark.

Shortstop Brandon Hicks, second baseman Travis Jones and outfielder Jon Mark Owings all had 15 homers going into the weekend, while third baseman Eric Campbell and first baseman Ernesto Mejia each had 12. Catcher Tyler Flowers was also in double figures with 11.

The hottest Myrtle Beach hitters were Flowers, from Marietta, and Owings, the Gainesville native whose brother Micah pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Flowers, who led the Pelicans with 60 RBIs and 70 walks, was hitting .394 in July, while Owings was batting .371. They had combined for six homers and 25 RBIs during the month.


The R-Braves' swoon continued, with the team on a 5-22 slide going into the weekend. Richmond was 42-56 and next to last in the South Division of the International League. ... First baseman Scott Thorman was named to the Canadian Olympic Team and will miss most of August. He led Richmond with 16 homers and 50 RBIs while batting .246. ... Right-hander Chris Resop was sold to a team in Japan. ... Outfielder Carl Loadenthal was hitting .419 in July, raising his average to .320. ... Catcher Clint Sammons, coming out of his slump after a dismal June, followed a three-hit game with a two-hit effort to raise his average to .242. ... Right-hander Anthony Lerew, coming back from elbow surgery, joined Richmond from the Gulf Coast League.


Mississippi was 17-10 for the second half going into the weekend and led the South Division of the Southern League by two games over Birmingham. ... Right-hander James Parr was promoted to Richmond after winning five straight decisions. He was 8-4 with a 3.69 ERA. ... Left-hander Mike Hampton had to cut a rehab start to two innings because of a sore groin. He had pitched five innings in his first SL game. ... Right-hander Kris Medlen, who moved from the bullpen to the rotation in early June, was named SL pitcher of the week. He was 2-0 in his past five games. ... Outfielder Jordan Schafer went into the weekend hitting .161 in his past 10 games.


The Pelicans, 15-10 for the second half, held a half-game lead in the South Division of the Carolina League going into the weekend. Myrtle Beach romped to the first-half title. ... Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, breaking a long slump, was 5-for-15 since playing in the All-Star Futures Game last Sunday. His average was .283. ... Backup infielder Robert Marcial led the team with a .327 average. ... Right-hander Brett Butts, taking over the closer's role, had nine saves.


Rome took a four-game winning streak into the weekend and was 14-13 in the second-half of the South Atlantic League season after a 22-47 first half. ... First baseman Freddie Freeman had a 16-game hitting streak in which he was batting .484 with four homers and 18 RBIs. His average was .320 for the season, second on the team to outfielder Jason Heyward's .325. Freeman has 28 doubles, five triples, 15 homers and 72 RBIs. ... Left-hander Chad Rogers is still on the disabled list because of shoulder problems, but left-hander Jose Ortegano was cleared to resume pitching.

DANVILLE (rookie)

Danville (18-12) fell out of first place in the East Division of the Appalachian League, dropping 21/2 games behind Pulaski (20-9) going into the weekend. ... Third baseman Jon Gilmore took over the team lead with a .345 average. ... First baseman Gerardo Rodriguez was tied for the league lead with eight homers and 26 RBIs. ... Right-hander Casey Hodges was 3-1 with a 1.51 ERA.


Who: Scott Diamond

Team: Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Position: Left-handed pitcher

Hometown: Guelph, Ontario

Age: Turns 22 on July 30

Size: 6-foot-3, 190 pounds

How acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent Aug. 23

2008 stats: 11-2 with a 3.11 ERA in 19 starts for Myrtle Beach and Rome

2007 stats: Didn't pitch professionally

Worth noting: Spotted by the Braves while pitching for Martinsville, Va., in the college Coastal Plain League after being passed over in the draft

Trivia time: Went to Binghamton University in New York, the alma mater of ESPN's Tony Kornheiser

Background: Grew up and still lives in the Toronto suburb of Guelph