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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Gohara, Wentz take the spotlight

3 stolen bases last night by Didder wasn’t enough for the Firefrogs

Ray-Patrick Didder

(12-7) Gwinnett Braves 4, (10-8) Rochester Redwings


  • Ozzie Albies, DH: 1-for-4, .289/.315/.434
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 0-for-4, .205/.247/.301
  • Lucas Sims, SP: 7.0IP 4H 2ER 1BB 3K, 2.66 ERA, 0.72 WHIP

It was the third straight start for Lucas Sims where he had 2 or fewer walks, and gave up less than 4 or fewer hits in a pretty magical season thus far for the righty. I was able to catch this start and sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Lucas showcased that great curveball he has and was able to locate it inside and outside to both LHB and RHB but struggled a bit with his fastball command. He missed over the plate, and high a bit with it but was not penalized for it for the most part. Lucas has halved his walk rate from last year, and has a bit of an absurdly low 4.2 H/9 rate. I’m not quite sure how he’s doing it as nothing flashed particularly nasty yesterday, though his curveball is always good, but I won’t complain if he continues to put up lines like he has so far this year.

He left the game the pitcher of record for Gwinnett, after David Freitas scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 8th to put Gwinnett up 3-2. Johan Camargo then walked, and Mel Rojas singled to score Xavier Avery to put Gwinnett up 4-2. Sam Freeman and Caleb Dirks worked a scoreless 8 to put Rochester on their heels of a loss, but David Peterson gave up 6 straight singles and allowed 3 runs to score without registering an out to let Rochester walk off.

(12-9) Tennessee Smokies 2, (10-11) Mississippi Braves 4

Box Score

  • Travis Demeritte, 2B: 2-for-5, 2R, .225/.315/.352
  • Patrick Weigel, SP: 6.0IP 4H 2ER 2BB 5K
  • Carlos Franco, 3B: 2-for-5 HR, 2RBI, 1R, .257/.321/.486

The Mississippi offense was held in check for most of the night, not registering more than a single until the 5th inning yet still came out victorious thanks to some dynamite work from the pitching staff. Patrick Weigel gave up a pair of small ball runs in consecutive innings for the only blemish on his line. Weigel continues to pitch well in Mississippi - through 5 starts he now has a 2.73 ERA and 1.177 WHIP while striking out 9.6 per nine innings and walking just 3 per nine. You may remember from our draft coverage that the big thing that kept Weigel from being drafted earlier was his absurd walk rate in college - fast forward 3 years and it’s now 1/3rd of what it used to be. From all reports he is extremely eager to learn and improve and it shows as he has gone from raw project to knocking on the door of the MLB very quickly. I still haven’t seen a start from his this year and if anyone has please comment down below on how his changeup looks because I’m very curious.

Danny Reynolds worked a scoreless 3 frames, after Weigel, his first time not allowing runs since April 9th and Michael Mader kept the Smokies scoreless in the 10th allowing for Mississippi to plan its great escape. Travis Demeritte lead off the 10th inning with an infield single to the third baseman Jason Vosler. Up to bat came power hitting third baseman Carlos Franco. After 3 hours and 4 minutes of, well lets be honest frustrating baseball as Mississippi went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded 9 on base, he deposited a ball to left-center field - nearly a 400’ blast to walk it off for Mississippi - his second hit of the game.

(11-9) Palm Beach Cardinals 4, (9-12) Florida Firefrogs 2

Box Score

  • Ronald Acuna, CF: 1-for-3, BB, R, .274/.329/.466
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-for-4, 2K, .227/.277/.352
  • Alex Jackson, C: 0-for-4 .313/.337/.627
  • Braxton Davidson, LF: 0-for-4, .152/.291/.182
  • Luiz Gohara, SP: 5.0IP 5H 2ER 1BB 7K, 1.73 ERA

Gohara turned in another fantastic start for the Firefrogs in which he induced 5 groundouts, struck out 7, and needed 79 pitches to get through 5 innings. Much like Weigel, it’s hard to get eyes on Gohara since the Florida State League doesn’t have setup but from all accounts Gohara’s changeup is now actually usable, and his fastball/slider combination is contending with Minter as best in the organization. His knock with the Mariners was his inability to get out of his own way with the walks but he showed out in 2016 with improved control, and it appears to be continuing onto the season as Gohara now has a walk rate of 1.71 BB/9 - a fraction of what it once was (~5BB/9). Unfortunately the offense stalled a bit yesterday and he left with the no decision.

All the offense that was mounted for the Firefrogs occurred in the first inning and the culprit was speed. Didder started the inning off with a single, stole 2nd base with Acuna batting, and went to 3rd on the Acuna single. The Firefrogs then executed the perfect double steal which had Acuna steal 2nd, and Didder stealing home for the first run of the game. The sheer speed of Acuna and Didder forced a hurried throw by Luke Dykstra which resulted in an error, and allowed Acuna to score from 2nd base. Didder stole 3 bags in one inning, is now 7-for-10 in the stolen base department while Acuna is now 11-for-12 in stolen bases. That’s all you really need to take away from this game, that and Alex Jackson committed his 4th error of the season as a catcher - a throwing error that allowed a runner to advance from 1st to 2nd.

(10-12) West Virginia Power 6, (14-7) Rome Braves 1

Box Score

  • Anfernee Seymour, LF: 2-for-4, R, SB(6), .338/.410/.412
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-for-4, RBI, .265/.305/.324
  • Juan Yepez, 3B: 1-for-4, 2B, .319/.354/.500
  • Lucas Herbert, C: 1-for-3 3B, .152/.170/.261
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 6.0IP 3H 0R 2BB 7K, 2.70 ERA

Joey Wentz turned in his 3rd consecutive 1 run or fewer outing in a row, and looks to making sure everyone remembers why he went so early in last years draft. Wentz needed just 74 pitches to get through 6 innings that in included 7 strikeouts and 4 groundouts. He’s done especially well with his walk rate as it is down to 1.93 BB/9 through 3 starts after having it sit around 4.5-5 walks per nine last year. He’s putting up great numbers despite having an opponent BABIP of .422. Wentz’s development would be a huge plus to an already stacked Rome rotation that features Ian Anderson, Bryse Wilson, and Jeremy Walker.

Wentz left the game in line for the win as Rome lead 1-0 after 6 following an RBI single by Pache that scored Anfernee Seymour who singled and stole 2nd. That was the lone hit with runners in scoring position for Rome in the game as they went a cumulative 1-for-8 with RISP, and stranded 5. It was particularly not good baseball that lead to Rome losing their lead as Thomas Burrows had a pair of wild pitches, while Derian Cruz and Lucas Herbert committed throwing errors. Cruz went on to commit another error in the 9th and is having a really tough 2017 campaign as he now leads the team with a frightening 11 errors in 19 games while OPSing .438. I don’t want to end the recap on a sour note so uh how about Juan Yepez folks? Finally healthy and putting up strong numbers up in Rome!

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