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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Rome goes wild, Austin Riley ending strong

On one of the last days of the season, some of the Braves’ top talents were still doing work

Austin Riley
Austin Riley has been on fire for Mississippi

Gwinnett Braves 2, Durham Bulls 10

Box Score

  • Ronald Acuna, RF: 1-4, .341/.391/.530
  • Sean Kazmar, 3B: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, .284/.310/.418
  • Josh Collmenter, SP: 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.60 ERA

Not exactly the finest hour for Gwinnett and Josh Collmenter as Durham thumped the Braves 10-2. While it was always going to be tough to do any damage to Durham starter Brent Honeywell, Collmenter did not do Gwinnett any favors as the Bulls got to him early and often including connecting for three home runs off of him. Collmenter’s previous six outings for Gwinnett had gone reasonably well, but this outing combined with his previous inability to keep the ball in the park in the majors this year isn’t going to help Josh’s chances to stick in the majors.

On offense, there was little to get excited about. In his second rehab start, Johan Camargo went 0-4. Sean Kazmar has put together a strong season at Gwinnett and had a great game here in recording three hits including his third home run in his last five games and 11th overall in 2017. Ronald Acuna recorded a hit because, well, that is just what he does. Fun fact about Ronald Acuna’s season, he has recorded 15 more multi-hit games than zero hit games. That seems good.

Mississippi Braves 7, Birmingham Barons 2

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 3-4, 2B, BB, 2 runs, .309/.387/.503
  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB, .292/.361/.404
  • Wes Parsons, SP: 4 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2.71 ERA

Wes Parsons continued his strong season and the offense used a well-rounded effort to beat Birmingham 7-2. Parsons has been particularly good to close the season as he has thrown scoreless outings in four of his past six games. Michael Mader gave up a pair of runs in his three innings of work before Jacob Webb, who has quietly put himself into consideration for Atlanta’s bullpen potentially in 2018 with a great season that saw him post a 2.07 ERA across two levels, came in to lock down the win for Mississippi.

Joey Meneses is finishing the year well as he connected for his ninth home run of the season and has now hit safely in four straight games. How about Austin Riley? For a guy who has had questions about his hit tool and issues with swing and miss in his game, he sure isn’t showing them too much in Double-A. He has posted an .868 OPS in 46 games in Mississippi and while the .374 BABIP he has put up won’t be sustainable, it is nice to see him performing well against more advanced pitching. Alex Jackson and Travis Demeritte are also closing strong this season as they are hitting .281 and .333 respectively over their last ten games.

Florida Fire Frogs 0, Daytona Tortugas 3

Box Score

  • Brett Cumberland, DH: 1-3, BB, .269/.384/.363
  • Garrison Schwartz, LF: 1-4
  • Matt Withrow, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 3.08 ERA

Not much to see here as the offense was completely shut down by Daytona as the Frogs fell by the score of 3-0. Matt Withrow took the loss in this game, but he has looked good since his return from injury in late July as he has not given up more than three runs in any of his outings since his return. The fact that he is still in Florida has more to do with the Mississippi rotation being crowded especially with Parson’s pitching well than anything that Withrow has done wrong. He should either start next season in Mississippi or Gwinnett depending on how the Braves’ rotation battle goes this spring.

On offense, Brett Cumberland reached base twice and....well, thats about it as Florida had just six singles in the game. Just for the sake of continuity of our coverage, Brett has been hit by 41 pitches this season which is one more than all of his extra-base hits on the season combined.

Also, this box score happened in this game and that makes me happy

Rome Braves 16, Columbia Fireflies 4

Box Score

  • Isranel Wilson, CF: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 3 runs, .259/.332/.349
  • Jordan Rodgers, 3B: 3-5, HR, 4 RBI, 2 runs, .248/.299/.358
  • Tucker Davidson, SP: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2.60 ERA

The Rome offense wanted to go out with a bang as Rome put a whoopin’ on the Fireflies by the score of 16-4. Tucker Davidson made his final start of the season and it was another good one as he gave up two runs over four innings of work although four walks in as many innings is less than ideal. For a guy who started the year in the bullpen, Tucker quickly turned into a reliable member of the rotation for Rome and has earned a promotion as a starter.

On offense....well, a lot happened. The biggest damage was done by Isranel Wilson, Jordan Rodgers, and Riley Delgado who combined for 10 RBIs in the game. Wilson and Rodgers both went deep with Rodgers’ homer being a grand slam in the second inning that broke the game open early and Rome put their foot on the gas. The team had put up 16 runs by the 5th inning and the rout was in full effect. Lucas Herbert has struggled mightily of late, so it was nice to see him put up a pair of hits and score three runs in the game.

And with last minor league recap for 2017 has officially come to an end (Matt has the honors of the last recap of the season tomorrow). As always, thanks to Kris Willis and the rest of the Talking Chop staff for giving us this platform to help spread the love of the Braves’ minor league system. Thanks to all of the minor league affiliates and their staff including Kevin Karel, Nick Pierce, Jim Jones, Blake Scott, and Thaddeus Krzus who have opened their doors and arms and allowed us to cover the system in such a comprehensive way this year. I also want to thank my staff on the minor league side. For reasons I will never be able to fully comprehend, I have been fortunate to collect the best and brightest minds regarding the Braves’ minor leagues and they amaze me every day with how hard they work and with what they accomplish. To Garrett Spain, Gaurav Vedak, and Matt gentlemen are the real MVPs.

Finally, thank you to all of you who have been reading my work this season (and all of our work here at TC for that matter). The response that we have gotten to our work has exceeded even my wildest of expectations. It is an absolute privilege to be in the position we are and I do not take it for granted. My sincerest thanks to all of you...and don’t worry. There will be weekly Arizona Fall League recaps plus other great minor league content in the offseason including a new Braves top 30 prospect list, interviews, and much more.

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