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Danville Braves Playoff Preview: First Round Vs Elizabethton Twins

Shortstop Jose Peraza will look to provide a spark at the top of Danville's lineup.
Shortstop Jose Peraza will look to provide a spark at the top of Danville's lineup.

The Danville Braves finished their season 36-26, clinching a wild card spot in the Appalachian League playoffs that will pit them against the Elizabethton Twins, who won the Western Division. Game 1 will take place tonight in Danville, followed by Game 2 Thursday in Elizabethton, and Game 3, if necessary, Friday in Elizabethton

Projected Lineup

  1. SS Jose Peraza
  2. 2B Levi Hyams
  3. C Josh Elander
  4. 3B Carlos Franco
  5. 1B Aris Alcantara
  6. DH Tyler Tewell
  7. CF Blake Brown
  8. LF Edison Sanchez
  9. RF Felix Marte

Danville will have their double play combo, Jose Peraza and Levi Hyams, batting at the top of their order, and the pair finished strong, with Peraza ending his season with a 5 game hitting streak and Hyams finishing with a 6 game hitting streak. Peraza, an 18 year old from Venezuela, is establishing himself as one of the Braves top prospects after splitting his season between the GCL and Danville, hitting .296 with a .724 OPS and 25 steals. Carlos Franco led the team in OBP at .408, walking in 18% of his plate appearances. Josh Elander led the team in OPS at .805 while splitting time between catcher and DH. Tyler Tewell played a handful of games with Danville after spending most of his season in the GCL, hitting .312 with a .818 OPS, 3 homers, and 24 RBI. Danville will have some thunder at the bottom of its lineup, as Felix Marte led the team with 8 home runs. Third baseman Trenton Moses, utility man Ronald Luna, and center fielder Logan Robbins should also be expected to see some playing time.

We'll look at Danville's pitchers after the jump.

Projected Rotation

  1. RHP Ernesto Silva
  2. RHP Mauricio Cabrera
  3. RHP Williams Perez

Game 1 starter Ernesto Silva tied for the team lead with 5 wins, posting a 3.80 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 64 innings. It was a nice rebound for the 20 year old Panamanian righty began his year by putting up a 6.53 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP in 51 innings with Rome. He allowed just 1 run over 7 innings in his last start. Mauricio Cabrera is one of the Braves top pitching prospects, and the 18 year old Dominican righty led Danville starters with a 2.97 ERA and posted a 1.18 WHIP in 57.2 innings. He finished his year by tossing 6 shutout innings on Saturday. Game 3 starter Williams Perez began his year in the bullpen, putting up a 3.00 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP in 9 innings, before moving to the rotation where he had a 4.37 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. He struggled over his last 3 starts, allowing 10 earned runs in 13 innings of work.

The D-Braves have the benefit of a strong bullpen, led by 22 year old righty Zach Jadofsky, who posted a 1.95 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 27.2 innings. Carlos Perez, a 20 year old Dominican lefty who struggled early in the year with Rome, putting up a 12.79 ERA and a 2.74 WHIP in 19 innings, turned his season around with Danville, putting up a 2.05 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and 14.7 K/9 in 30.67 innings in a team high 16 appearances. Clint Wright had a 1.74 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in 20.2 innings, and Patrick Scoggin tossed 5.2 shutout innings with Danville after not allowing a run in 7.2 innings in the GCL.

Elizabethton Twins

Elizabethton finished first in the West with a 43-22 record. Danville went 2-2 against the Twins during the regular season. The Twins have won 4 of the last 9 Appy League championships, while Danville has won 2 of the last 6 and come in as the runner up in 3 of those 6. The Twins had the highest batting average and OPS in the league and led the league in runs scored. They also had the lowest team ERA and the most wins.

Elizabethton outfielder Candido Pimentel was the Appy League Player Of The Year, as the 22 year old Dominican hit .330 with a .824 OPS, 10 doubles, 1 homer, 22 RBI, and 16 steals. Teammate Max Kepler, a native of Germany, was also an Appy League All-Star as the 19 year old hit .297 with a .925 OPS, 16 doubles, 10 homers, 49 RBI, and 7 steals. Shortstop Jorge Polanco also starred for the Twins, hitting .318 with a .903 OPS, 5 homers and 27 RBI. Outfielder Adam Walker tied for the league lead with 14 homers. The projected starters for the Twins are Brett Lee (4-0, 2.68 ERA, 1.17 WHIP), Ricardo Arevalo (1-3, 5.25 ERA, 1.44 WHIP), and Hudson Boyd (2-5, 2.95 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) who the Twins selected in the supplemental 1st round in 2011.

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