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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 6/13: Max Fried Does Something New & The Kids In Rome Are Alright

Max Fried sets a career high in strikeouts. Meanwhile, Jean Carlos Encarnacion feasted on opposing pitching, and Drew Waters extends his hitting streak to 17 games.

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves - Game One Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Gwinnett Stripers 10, Norfolk Tides 2

Box Score

Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-5, 2B, RBI, K

Michael Reed, DH: 3-5, HR, 2-RBI

Max Fried, SP: 7IP, 3H, 1ER, 0BB, 11K

Ties career high in innings pitched? Check. Sets career high in strikeouts? Check. Doesn’t walk a single batter? Check. Yeah, Max Fried was really good. 84 game score good. His curveball was on point and it showed. Yes, we need Fried to show more consistency, but these types of games remind us why he was a top 10 pick just a few years ago. Jacob Webb was just recently promoted and pitched a clean inning.

On offense, Gwinnett just torched Norfolk, and no one has been hotter than Michael Reed who pushed his batting average up to .421 with another multi hit game. There were 6 Stripers in total that had mutli hits today.

Mississippi Braves 5, Bioloxi Shuckers 6

Box Score

Alex Jackson, C: 2-3, 2B, HR, 2-RBI

Travis Demeritte, LF: 0-2, 2-BB, 2-R, K

Tyler Neslony, RF: 2-3, 2-2B, RBI, BB, R

Kyle Wright, SP: 6.2IN, 7H, 2R(1ER), 3BB, 6K

This was a tough loss. The Braves took the lead in the top of the 8th, but gave up 4 runs in the 8th and 9th to lose this one. Kyle Wright wasn’t great, but certainly did enough to warrant a win. Philip Pfeifer was just demoted, and left the game after loading the bases without getting a single out. Not exactly how you get back to AAA. On the other hand, Chad Sobotka has been pretty good this season, but gave up a triple to clear the bases that were charged to Pfeifer and then served up a solo home run to Keston Hiura in the bottom of the 9th. Sobotka has allowed quite a few inherited runners to come around to score, so while his ERA looks pretty, he is proving to be a guy you do NOT want to bring in with runners on.

Don’t look now, but Alex Jackson is showing off a bit more power. Still not hitting the ball much, but does have 4 home runs in his last 11 games. Tyler Neslony is another guy struggling with the bat, but had a nice day at the plate with 2 doubles.

Florida Fire Frogs 1, Bradenton Marauders 4

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 2-3, BB, CS

Jared James, DH: 1-3, BB, K

Braxton Davidson, 1B: 1-4, 2K

Lucas Herbert, C: 1-3, 2B

Raysheandall Michel, LF: 2-3, RBI, K, CS

Joey Wentz, SP: 2.1IP, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, 2K (HR)

Josh Graham, RP: 1IP, 0H, 0ER, 1BB, 2K

We have a Joey Wentz sighting! This was his first game since May 11, and he might have been on a pitch count as he only threw 42 pitches. After giving up a solo home run on his 4th pitch, he settled down. The interesting thing is that even the official MiLB recap, it doesn’t mention why Wentz missed so much time. We can only speculate as to whether his mechanics got out of wack or he had another bout of dead arm. Hopefully this won’t remain a mystery.

Bullpen had to pitch multiple innings and wasn’t all that good outside of Josh Graham. Things could have been worse, but Lucas Herbert’s defense was solid as he threw out 3 of the 4 runners trying to steal. Also, Shean Michel gained an outfield assist by throwing out a runner at home trying to score.

The offense was very quiet as the Fire Frogs could only muster a single run. After a leadoff double by Herbert in the 3rd inning, Shean Michel laced a single to score him. There was another good scoring chance in the bottom of the 8th inning, but Braxton Davidson struck out with 2 runners on base.

Rome Braves 9, Greenville Drive 8

Game 1

Box Score

Jean Carlos Encarnacion, 3B: 5-5, 2-2B, HR, 4-RBI, 2-R

Drew Waters, CF: 1-5, 2B

William Contreras, DH: 3-5

Drew Lugbauer, C: 2-4, RBI, BB

Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-4, HR, RBI, 2-K

Alan Rangel, SP: 6IP, 5H, 5ER, 2BB, 2K (3-HRs)

For those of you that aren’t old enough, part of my title was a take on the classic song The Kids Are Alright by The Who. Even though I‘m having a little fun with the title, these incredibly talented kids are having even more fun. Not only have they been winning games, things are clicking for multiple players at once it seems. It’s been incredible to witness. All this has led to a 4.5 game lead in the South Atlantic League Southern, and the most wins overall in the SAL.

Alan Rangel had a peculiar start as every single hit against him went for extra bases, including 3 home runs. I don’t know if that’s incredibly unlucky or his stuff was not on point tonight. The defense didn’t help things in the bottom of the 7th when Jean Carlos Encarnacion (JCE) committed a fielding error that led to 2 runners coming around to score.

However, JCE more than made up for that error with his bat the entire game. He was a perfect 5-5 at the plate including 2 doubles and a home run, and even hitting what would eventually be the game winning double that scored Drew Waters in the top of the 8th. It wasn’t just the JCE show either as Ramos and Bush both hit home runs.

Rome Braves 4, Greenville Drive 6

Game 2 (makeup game from 4/15)

Box Score

Jean Carlos Encarnacion, 3B: 0-3, BB, 3-K

Drew Waters, CF: 3-4, 2B, RBI

Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-3, BB, 2-K

William Contreras, DH: 1-4, RBI

Luis Mejia, SS: 2-3, 2B, 2-R

Hayden Deal, SP: 4IP, 4H, 2R (1ER), 1BB, 6K

The story of this game was that the Rome Braves sloppy defense. 4 errors on the day led to 3 unearned runs, which was more than enough to sink the team.

Hayden Deal started the year out in extended spring training, but he’s been absolutely superb in his 14 appearances this season. He isn’t a starter, but pitched admirably today, so it‘s a trajedy the defense really let him down. Hopefully Deal doesn’t get the Burrows or White treatment and gets promoted soon.

On offense, it was mainly the Drew Waters and Luis Mejia show. Waters has 4 straight games with a double as well as 7 out of his last 9 games (17 game hitting streak too). He’s pushed his average up to .317.

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