Braves scouts see potential in Warren County players

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Ted Thornton, right, an assistant scout for Atlanta, and Don Thomas talk as they check out prospects. (The Vicksburg Post/CHAD APPLEBAUM)

[06/26/01] For one day, at least, Warren Central’s Viking Field was a field of dreamers.

Nearly 30 players from across Mississippi swarmed to a tryout camp conducted by the Atlanta Braves on Monday, going through hitting, running and fielding drills in an effort to make a name for themselves.

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Although Braves’ scouts didn’t expect to sign anyone right away most of the players still had at least a year of high school left they did come away impressed with the talent level in the state, and Vicksburg in particular.

“Camps like this, we’re not trying to sign anybody. These camps are for future use, to get to know the kids a little better,” Braves assistant scout Ted Thornton said. “There’s two or three 2003 kids that have potential, and we look for that.”

Don Thomas, the Braves’ area scout for Mississippi and Louisiana, added that the camps help potential prospects by identifying what they need to work on.

“It’s just talking to them … and making sure they stay with it,” he said.

Thornton and Thomas may have their eyes on a couple of members of WC’s state championship team for next year. He and Thomas had eight players fill out note cards for future contact, including Brian Pettway and John Morgan Mims, who hit several balls to the right field wall with a wooden bat.

“It makes you feel good to know you have a chance,” Pettway said.

Thornton said several other Warren County players would draw their share of scouts to games next year, including Pettway and Vicksburg High center fielder J.J. Brown.

“I think Vicksburg is going to be the center of attention next year because of J.J. Brown and Pettway,” Thornton said. “You’re going to have a lot of scouts coming down here next year.”