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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Acuna, Ynoa Shine In Rough Day Down On Farm

3 hits for Acuna, 6 scoreless innings for Ynoa have a pair of 19 year olds stealing the show down on the farm.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Braves 13 Norfolk Tide 3

Box Score

  • Ronald Acuna, CF: 3-for-6 2RBI, 2R, .343/.390/.544
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 0-for-5, R, BB, .247/.322/.446
  • Dustin Peterson, DH: 1-for-5, R, .252/.321/.325
  • Luiz Gohara, SP: 5.0IP 3H 0R 2BB 7K, 3.31 ERA
  • Akeel Morris, RP: 2.0IP 3H 1ER 1BB 2K, 3.22 ERA

Gwinnett exploded for 13 runs on 17 hits in an absolute throttling of the Norfolk Tide. The top 3 of the lineup (Acuna, Avery, Kazmar) went a collective 9-for-17 with 8 RBI. Gwinnett got things started with a 3-run homerun by Kazmar in the third to put Gwinnett up 3-0. They added 4 more in the fourth inning all started by a 2-out fielding error to get Carlos Franco on. Kade Scivicque then struck out but reached base on the wild pitch. Four consecutive singles later and Gwinnett was up 7-0 in the fourth inning. They added 1 run in the fifth inning (wild pitch that scored Micah Johnson) and five more in the 9th inning - all with two outs.

It was yet another multi-hit game for Ronald Acuna who now has a .934 OPS on the season and is fresh off of being projected as the most valuable prospect out of a group that consists of Mocada, Rosario, and Elroy by Dave Cameron. With him being mentioned to being sent to the AFL it is unlikely we see Acuna in Atlanta this year but he will be knocking at the door in Spring Training.

Rio Ruiz went 0-for-5 in his likely last game in AAA this season. The third baseman was called up to Atlanta to likely platoon with Camargo at third for the remaining part of the season. Rio finishes with a .766 OPS with a career high 16 homers. His splits remained true this season as the lefty hit .264/.337/.500 versus RHP, and .202/.282/.298 vs LHP.

Also knocking at the door to the majors is Luiz Gohara who provided another outstanding 5 innings. He has now allowed a combined 4 runs over his last 4 starts while racking up 30 strikeouts in 19.2 innings (14 K/9). With back-to-back outstanding years you can assume Gohara will be fighting for a spot in the Atlanta rotation and could hopefully be blessing us with his unreal fastball/slider combo.

Florida Fire Frogs 2, Daytona Tortugas 7

Box Score

  • Braxton Davidson, LF: 0-for-2, .213/.335/.313
  • Ray-Patrick Didder, SS: 0-for-3, .231/.333/.333
  • Alay Lago, DH: 2-for-3, RBI, .304/.344/.416
  • Junior Rincon, SP: 5IP 8H 7R 5ER 1BB 2K, 4.84 ERA

Florida Fire Frogs 3, Daytona Tortugas 8

Box Score

  • Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 0-for-4, .231/.333/.333
  • Alay Lago, 2B: 2-for-3, HR, R, 2RBI, .304/.344/.416
  • Brett Cumberland, C: 1-for-3, .267/.380/.364
  • Braxton Davidson, DH: 2-for-3, .213/.335/.313

The Fire Frogs were swept in this double header with the Tortugas, getting outscored 15-5. Making his second start of the season for Florida in game 1, Junior Rincon gave up 7 runs - 5 earned in 5 innings. The Florida offense collected four hits of which half were by Alay Lago. In game 2 Andres Santiago gave up 7 runs - 4 earned in 3.2 innings. The Florida offense collected 8 hits - 2 of which once again came from Alay Lago which included his 6th homerun of the season. The sweep dropped Florida to 31 games under .500.

I’ve talked about him a lot lately, mainly because Florida hasn’t had much contribution from anyone else, but Alay Lago continues to be the most consistent presence in the Fire Frogs offense. Lago went 4-for-6 with 3RBI and now has a .760 OPS on the season. If Lago stays stateside he could possibly return to the Atlanta organization and provide some stability at second for either Florida or Mississippi.

The two hit game for Braxton Davidson in game 2 of the series gave him 2 multi-hit games over his last 3 games. The former first rounder is still struggling making consistent contact and the power isn’t living up to its potential and has a .648 OPS on the season.

Rome Braves 1, Greenville Drive 12

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-for-4, .281/.335/.343
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 0-for-4, .271/.333/.449
  • Leudys Baez, DH: 1-for-3, .286/.316/.464
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 3.0IP 6H 5ER 2BB 3K, 4.71 ERA

Each Rome pitcher yielded at least 2 earned runs each today as they got throttled by the Drive. It was an overall horrific pitching night for Rome as the staff yielded 15 hits, 11ER, 5 walks, and 4 homers in 8 innings. The final inning of the game was actually pitched by position player Kurt Hoekstra who also went 0-for-3 in the game.

Cristian Pache had the only multi-hit game for the Rome offense and has a 5 game hitting streak in which he’s collected 8 hits. He also threw out a runner at third. He’s had a strong first full season of professional baseball and will likely be named among the Braves top prospects coming into the 2018 season. Another full off-season with professional trainer and nutritionists will hopefully add to his frame and could lead to an extremely dynamic age 19 season that sees himself in Mississippi by seasons end.

Kevin Josephina went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored and is now OPSing .579 on the season. Leudys Baez, Jordan Rodgers, and Riley Delgado were the other 3 players to collect hits - all singles.

Pulaski Yankees 3, Danville Braves 2

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, CF: 2-for-4, 2B, .255/.331/.383
  • Williams Contreras, C: 1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI, .290/.379/.432
  • Kevin Maitan, SS: 0-for-4, .220/.273/.323
  • Huascar Ynoa, SP: 5.0IP 2H 0R 0BB 6K, 5.26 ERA

Huascar Ynoa, acquired from the Twins in the Jaime Garcia trade, showed why the Brave wanted him over 5 dynamic innings while striking out 6 and walking 0. He left with Danville leading 2-0 but Taylor Hyssong and Cutter Dyals blew the lead - allowing 3 earned runs over 3 innings.

The Danville offense scored 2 runs including an RBI double by Williams Contreras who now has a .811 OPS in his first season of professional ball stateside. It will be interesting to see what the Braves do with him next year -though it’s fair to assume he plays a full season at Rome. Drew Waters collected his 11th double in his 36th game for Danville. As expected the power isn’t playing as well in Danville against much older competition but he’s holding his own with a .714 OPS. He’s an exciting player and could find himself in Rome next year to start the season.

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