High School Sports

Here’s why 2017 just keeps getting better for Picayune’s Braxton Lee

Former Picayune star Braxton Lee, pictured with the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League’s all-star game on Saturday.
Former Picayune star Braxton Lee, pictured with the Double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, was selected to play in the Arizona Fall League’s all-star game on Saturday. Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp

This year just keeps getting better and better for former Picayune, Pearl River Community College and Ole Miss outfielder Braxton Lee.

The South Mississippi native has continued to see his prospect interest climb after being traded from the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization to the Miami Marlins. Then he was added to the prestigious Arizona Fall League, which is designed to get top prospects extra work once the minor league season is complete.

Oh, and he got married Oct. 14.

Not too bad for the former Maroon Tide star.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lee was recently recognized for his play in the AFL when he landed in the league’s all-star game, which is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on MLB Network.

A member of the Salt River Rafters, which has prospects from the Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers, Lee is among the AFL’s leaders with a .349 average. In 12 games, Lee is 15-for-43 with six runs, one double, five RBIs, and a .408 on-base percentage. He has also stolen two bases.

Lee just completed a standout 2017 regular season split between Tampa Bay’s Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, and Miami’s, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

In 127 games, Lee hit .309 with three homers, 27 extra-base hits, 20 stolen bases and a .395 on-base percentage. His .309 average earned him the Southern League batting crown.

“It’s definitely a huge accomplishment for me to be — I don’t want to say it this way because I don’t want to sound cocky, but — the best hitter in the Southern League,” Lee previously told the Sun Herald. “It made me feel really good that I was able to accomplish that after coming from the year I just had.”

Another Coast standout

Former Harrison Central star Bobby Bradley is also playing well in the AFL for the Glendale Desert Dogs. The current Cleveland Indian prospect is hitting .273 with two homers, five extra-base hits, six RBIs and a .500 slugging percentage. He had a shot at qualifying for the AFL All-Star Game as a finalist for the league’s “Final 2 Vote” contest but came up just short.

Considered one of MiLB’s top power hitters, Bradley hit 23 homers with a .251 average this year for the Double-A Akron RubberDucks of the Eastern League. The former third-round selection also compiled a .331 on-base percentage and .465 slugging percentage with 89 RBIs and 51 extra-base hits in 131 games.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

How to watch

What: Arizona Fall League All-Star Game

When: 7 p.m. Saturday

TV: MLB Network

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