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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap - 7/3

While there was a distinct lack of offense in the lower levels of the minors. Gwinnett split its doubleheader and Mississippi had multiple strong performances from top prospects.

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(42-38) Gwinnett Braves 11 vs. (44-37) Charlotte Knights 4

Box Score

  • Mallex Smith, CF: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 runs, Outfield Assist, .324/.392/.400
  • Jose Peraza, 2B: 2-5, 1 2B, 1 HR (3), 4 RBI, .282/307/.365
  • Cedric Hunter, LF: 1-5, HR, 3 RBI, .265/.309/.384
  • Ryan Weber, RP: 4 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 1.63 ERA

In the first game of a doubleheader, Gwinnett used an offensive surge led by the top of the order to beat Charlotte 11-4. Mallex Smith is beginning to do what he had done to Mississippi all year long, reaching base multiple times and putting pressure on defenses while scoring runs. Of note is that his defense is continually improving, he gunned down a guy at second base in this one. Jose Peraza was swinging the big stick in this one with two extra-base hits including his third home run of the year while driving in 4. Cedric Hunter has quietly hit safely in 8 of his past 10 and now has home runs in two of his past four games. Getting 11 runs was more than sufficient for the strong outing by Greg Ross and Ryan Weber. While they did give up 15 hits in the game, they mitigated the damage and gave up only 4 runs. Weber recorded the rare 4 inning save in this one despite Gwinnett winning by 7, giving up 7 hits and only one run. Baseball's rules are weird sometimes.

(42-39) Gwinnett Braves 2 vs. (45-37) Charlotte Knights 11

Box Score

  • Mallex Smith, CF: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 run, .324/.392/.400
  • Jose Peraza, 2B: 0-4, 2 RBI, .282/307/.365
  • Jorge Reyes, SP: 5 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3.41 ERA
  • Arodys Vizcaino, RP: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 5.63 ERA

Charlotte would respond in kind as they would jump all over Jorge Reyes in his first start for Gwinnett and win 11-2. Mallex Smith again did his part, getting on base twice including a triple. Jose Peraza also managed to drive in 2 runs despite being held hitless in the game, but the rest of the offense was held in check as they only managed to reach base 6 times in the game. Jorge Reyes probably wishes his debut in Gwinnett had gone differently as he got shelled. After a strong first couple of innings, Jorge struggled to keep the ball in the park as he gave up three home runs in his final three innings of work. Arodys Vizcaino is going to be eligible to come back from suspension Saturday, so this could be his final appearance with Gwinnett...although given his performance in rehab one questions whether he is an upgrade in the bullpen right now.

(37-39) Mississippi Braves 4 vs. (48-28) Biloxi Shuckers 3

Box Score

  • Kevin Ahrens, 3B: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 run, .223/.311/.305
  • Rio Ruiz, PH-3B: 1-1, Go-ahead PH HR, 2 RBI, .224/.337/.285
  • Steve Janas, SP: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 K, 0.42 ERA
  • Tyler Jones, RP: 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1.16 ERA

In one of the more entertaining games of the night, Rio Ruiz hit a pinch-hit home run in the top of the ninth to beat Biloxi 4-3. While Rio had most of the night off, he made good use of his one at-bat with an two run, opposite field shot to put Mississippi ahead. Rio has very slowly been improving his average over the past month and while he still has a long way to go, its nice to see him finally produce a bit. Kevin Ahrens was the other source of offense in this game as he had 2 extra-base hits including a home run while driving in 2 runs. As for the pitching, Steve Janas did in his first start at Mississippi what he did all year (sans bus injury) at Carolina....throw an absolute gem. "Magic Mustache" had yet another scoreless outing despite this being his first start since being promoted to Mississippi. In 7 starts this year (he did miss significant time due to injuries suffered in the Mudcats' bus crash), he has given up a TOTAL of 2 runs and 4 walks. Keep an eye on Janas as he is starting to make a case for having the best season in the minors of all Braves prospects, especially if he keeps this pace up.

(35-43) Winston-Salem Dash 2 vs (39-39) Carolina Mudcats 1

Box Score

  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 run, 1 BB, .256/.328/.419
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-3, 1 BB, .276/.349/.402
  • Seth Webster, SP: 8 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2.85 ERA
  • Kyle Kinman, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 2.43 ERA

Carolina loses a close one as they lose to the Dash 2-1. Carolina's offense managed only 1 run on 5 hits with Carlos Franco's double being the only extra-base hit. He also managed to score in the bottom of the ninth to make this a one-run game, but thats as close as the Mudcats would get. Seth Webster was the hard luck loser as he pitched 8 strong innings in giving up 2 runs on 7 hits. While his results are not always overwhelming, Webster consistently pitches deep in to games and has only walked 5 guys all year. His 2.85 ERA is likely to regress a little bit, but don't be surprised if he is promoted to Mississippi at the end of the year if he continues to perform well.

(36-41) Lexington Legends 4 vs. (34-44) Rome Braves 2

Box Score

  • Ozhaino Albies, SS: 2-3, 2 BB, 1 run, 2 SB (24), .331/.385/.425
  • Braxton Davidson, DH: 2-4, 1 run, .269/.402/.398
  • Omar Obregon, 2B: 2-5, 3 SB (18), .265/.338/.314
  • Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 5.30 ERA

Rome lost again to the Legends 4-2, but the story in Rome continues to be Ozhaino Albies. He reached base 4 times in this game while stealing 2 bases to extend his hitting streak to 15 games (his second streak of at least 15 games this season). Despite being one of the younger players in the entire league, Ozhaino is dominating the league and basically reaching base at will at this point. Given his age, expect the Braves to let him finish the year in Single A, but next year if he continues what he is doing he could rise through the ranks in a hurry. Braxton Davidson had a good game and his OBP ranks among the league leaders. Ricardo Sanchez had another weird start as he only gave up 2 hits in 4 innings, but he also continued to battle control issues with 4 walks and an HBP. He limited the damage to 2 runs though, and hopefully by year's end he is consistently pitching deeper in to games.

(3-8) GCL Braves 0 vs. (7-3) GCL Pirates 2

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-3. 1 2B, 1 run, .182
  • Juan Yepez, DH: 1-3, .258
  • Anthony Guardado, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 0 ER
The GCL Braves offense was basically non-existent in this game as the Pirates blanked the Braves 2-0. Austin Riley, the Braves 41st pick in the 2015 draft, hit a double in the game, but other than that there isn't much to report  on offense in this one as the Braves only managed 3 hits and Riley had his third error of the year. On the plus side, the Braves pitching was quite good, highlighted by the debut of 2015 draft pick Anthony Guardado. While it was a little rocky (1 H, 2 BB in just an inning of work), he didn't give up a run and showed quality pitches when he needed to get out of jams.

(7-4) Princeton Rays 2 vs. (4-7) Danville Braves 1

Box Score

  • Luke Dykstra, 2B: 2-4, 2B, 1 run, .278
  • Leudys Baez, LF: 1-4, .267
  • Patrick Weigel, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0.90 ERA
Another poor offensive showing from the lower minors as Danville was beaten by the Rays 2-1. Luke Dykstra had a decent showing in this game, reaching base twice and having Danville's only extra-base hit. The offense only managed to get on base 7 times in the game. Again, the pitching was good as Patrick Weigel and Stephen Moore combined to throw 7 scoreless innings. Chase Johnson-Mullins had his first rough appearance of the year, but the 13th rounder is still getting a feel for what he can do with this 6'9, 280 pound frame so some struggles are to be expected. .

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