Richmond 39-46 (11-19 MTD)
You've seen me say it a lot lately, but this Richmond team has fallen hard. You can't really blame them as they have lost JoJo Reyes, Charlie Morton, Brent Lillibridge, Brandon Jones, and others for partial periods. Those guys have been replaced with the likes of Brian Lawrence, Jerome Gamble and Chris Resop and nothing special could be sent up from Mississippi with the exception of AAAA slugger Jason Perry. Perry has been the lone bright spot on the offense with a .938 OPS since his callup. The only other player with an OPS over .800 is Barbaro Canizares who I think might be best served as a bench player as he appears to get a little overexposed. Chuck James has been good with a 1.69 ERA but I don't expect him to ever be a good major league pitcher. We'll see how much that shoulder healing helps I guess.
Mississippi 9-3 2nd Half (17-9 MTD)
This team has really turned itself around in the past month and a half. They still aren't over .500 for the season but they are only like 6 games under. They have picked up help from everywhere from promotions (Tommy Hanson, Deunte Heath, Carlos Sencion) to injury/suspension (Jordan Schafer, Van Pope), to free agent signings (Jason Perry, Reid Gorecki). Jordan Schafer is hitting well since his return, Kala Kaaihue has become a dominant hitter in the last month and Kris Medlen has become an effective starter for the team. I wouldn't be surprised to see them carry this on to the end of the season. There is a chance these guys could see some more help come from Myrtle Beach in the form of Gorkys Hernandez.
Myrtle Beach 6-5 2nd Half (16-10 MTD)
Losing two pitchers with ERAs below 2.00 will always hurt a team, but The Beach is weathering the storm pretty well. The return of Gorkys Hernandez helped spark the offense, though this offense is pretty damn good no matter how you slice it. They are tied for the league lead in OPS, lead in HRs, 2nd in AVG, 1st in Runs, and 1st in OBP. Not bad. On the pitching side they still lead the league with a 3.31 ERA and 629 Ks. This team still has a lot of talent and will probably get a reinforcement or two from Rome (Heyward? Freeman? Locke?).
Rome 6-6 2nd Half (10-18 MTD)
This team was supposedly the most talented team we had in the minors coming into the season. The pitching staff alone was loaded with guys like Locke, Rodgers, Rohrbough and Barrett but for the most part that staff just hasn't been very good. Locke and Rodgers have been up and down which is probably just youth and learning to adjust to a full schedule. Most everyone else has been pretty bad. The offense has been even worse with only Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman being consistent sources of production, and even Heyward is slipping some this month hitting his only homer tonight.. Cody Johnson was good for most of the month and his numbers indicate he is making some strides. I don't think any other team is as happy to see the second half of the season as Rome.
After 14 games the Braves are 4 games up in the Appy League. Not bad I guess. It seems like the Braves short-season teams are always very good. Gerrardo Rodriguez has been the offensive star with 6 homers in 11 games. Some guys to keep an eye on in the upcoming weeks: Craig Kimbrel (bullpen arm from the draft will move fast), Jon Gilmore (supposedly the second best hitter we took last year seems to have found his stroke finally), L. V. Ware (Toolsy guy drafted out of a community college a couple years ago), Julio Teheran and Steve Kent (young pitchers with solid upside).
GCL Braves 6-4
So far this team has some of our younger draftees and a wave of rehabbing players. Mike Hampton, Anthony Lerew (remember him?), Cory Rasmus (possibly one of the most live arms in the system if he can stay healthy) Erik Cordier and Lee Hyde have all been here to rehab. The biggest prospect on the team is probably catcher Daniel Matra. He was supposedly a first round talent coming into his Sr season of high school but I believe he was hurt that season and really underperformed. The Braves got him in the 26th round and he only hit .143 in the GCL last year. He is hitting .452 in his first 10 games so far this season. A couple of pitchers to keep an eye on are Zeke Spruill (our second rd draft choice this year) and Dimaster Delgado (a 19 year old Panamanian lefty pitcher).
- Kris Medlen - I'm doing a monthly thing here but Medlen converted a starter after his first appearance of the month (June 1) so I'm just going to count his starters stats. His line: 2.63ERA 24IP 19H 6BB 22K. Not bad and deserving of the top spot simply for the difficulty in switching roles midseason.
- Kala Kaaihue - A .338 AVG, a .646 SLG and an OBP approaching .500 he has been fairly dominant over the last month. I wonder if he is becoming a good prospect again? He took his time adjusting to AA but he always has had an adjustment period to new levels.
- Tyler Flowers - Tyler turned his best month fo the season with a .970 OPS and an impressive 21/15 BB/K ratio. His stats have improved gradually every month as the season has worn on.
- Tommy Hanson - Several Mississippi players here. He makes is solely because he threw a no-hitter. His ERA for the Month was 3.30, but that is moot.
- Gerrardo Rodriguez - I know Danville has only played about half the month but when a guy blasts 6 homers in his first 11 games he gets put on here. He is slugging .830 so far and has an OPS nearing 1.200. Move him up and see if he can boost the Rome team at all.
- Cody Johnson - Johnson gets a mention here because he had his best month so far this season and appears to have found some sort of middle ground. He only struck out 28 times in 93 ABs this month whereas he K'd 44 times in 93 ABs last month and 40+ the month before. So hitting .280 with an .817 OPS this month is a bit of an improvement.