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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 6/3: Drew Waters is good at hitting baseballs

There were not a lot of wins in the minors on Sunday, but there were some notable performances nonetheless

Rome Stadium

This is going to be an abbreviated recap because its draft day and there are roughly 9 million things to get done before this evening’s festivities. If we die before the end of tomorrow, remember us.

Gwinnett Stripers 2, Louisville Bats 7

Box Score

  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 runs, .265/.312/.462
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-3, BB, 2 K, .284/.345/.431
  • Matt Wisler, SP: 4 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 5.03 ERA

Matt Wisler had a rough outing and the offense was unable to keep pace as the Stripers fell to Louisville by the score of 7-2. Wisler didn’t have issues with the long ball in this one, so that is one positive to take away from this start...but beyond that it was a rough outing as he was giving up hard contact. Chad Bell had a scoreless relief appearance and Josh Ravin pitched a scoreless inning of his own. Ravin has not given up an earned run this year for Gwinnett in 16 appearances (16.2 innings) while striking out 28 batters against just 8 walks.

Dustin Peterson had himself a day with a pair of hits including his fifth home run of the season. Austin Riley did reach base with a walk, but also struck out twice. Riley has been held hitless in three of his last four games and has seen his strikeout rate climb a bit of late. Michael Reed, who has been raking down in the minors after being signed as a MiLB FA this year, reached base twice with a hit and a walk.

Mississippi Braves 0, Montgomery Biscuits 5

Box Score

  • Alex Jackson, C: 0-3, 2 K, .181/.265/.304
  • Travis Demeritte, LF: 0-3, BB, .240/.347/.407
  • Kyle Wright, SP: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4.37 ERA

Not much went right for Mississippi as the Braves were shut out by the Biscuits with a final score of 5-0. Kyle Wright has struggled this year to keep runners off the basepaths. Some of that is due to the usual caveats that minor league fielders don’t always do good things, but some of it is due to his own ineffectiveness, especially later in starts. The stuff still looks and his overall line is far from a disaster, but seeing how he adjusts to pitching every 5th day over the course of the season is going to be something worth monitoring. That said, he isn’t giving up a ton of hard contact so it is important to not overreact to his season numbers not being as good as expected.

As for the offense....umm....they recorded two hits in the entire game with one each for Daniel Lockhart and Luis Valenzuela. Alex Jackson has had a brutal start to the season that has him with a .569 OPS and striking out in about a third of his plate appearances this year. Travis Demeritte drew a walk, but beyond that there is not much to report from this one.

Florida Fire Frogs 0, Clearwater Threshers 6 - Game One

Box Score

  • Brett Cumberland, C: 0-2, BB, .228/.373/.356
  • Garrison Schwartz, RF: 1-2, BB, .301/.387/.376
  • Dilmer Mejia, SP: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 7.27 ERA

Florida Fire Frogs 6, Clearwater Threshers 7 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, RBI, .291/.315/.419
  • Jordan Rodgers, 3B: 1-4, 3B, 3 RBI, .206/.254/.308
  • Kyle Muller, SP: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 3.91 ERA

Florida lost both halves of their doubleheader to Clearwater by the scores of 6-0 and 7-6 with the second game being particularly brutal. Dilmer Mejia had himself an outing that he would rather forget as he gave up a pair of homers and was pulled before the end of the 5th inning. Kyle Muller was significantly better in pitching into the 6th with six strikeouts and he helped keep the game close for Florida. He has acclimated himself well to high-A after having some issues with walks right after his promotion.

The first game didn’t have much to talk about as the Fire Frogs’ offense was stifled by the notoriously tough pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez, but the second game was exciting as the Fire Frogs took the lead in extra innings thanks to some heroics from Jordan Rodgers who hit a bases clearing triple. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be as Josh Graham saw five runs score under his watch as Clearwater walked off. Graham has really struggled this year and was recently demoted back to high-A after 20 appearances in Mississippi with an ERA north of 10.

Rome Braves 5, Columbia Fireflies 3

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, CF: 3-3, BB, 2 runs, .305/.360/.563
  • Isranel Wilson, RF: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, .205/.299/.356
  • Odalvi Javier, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 8 K, 4.25 ERA

A Braves affiliate got in the win column here as Rome was victorious over Columbia by the score of 5-3. Drew Waters continued his assault on the South Atlantic League with three more hits at and a walk. He has hit safely in eight games now. Izzy Wilson hit a two run homer and Riley Delgado had two more hits and an RBI as well. Justin Smith has cooled off significantly since his hot start, but had a hit and an RBI while Jean Carlos Encarnacion went 0-4 at the plate and made his 13th error of the season.

On the pitching side, Odalvi Javier failed to escape the 5th inning, but struck out eight batters in his start. Three of his last six starts have seen him strike out 8+ batters. We are all anxiously looking forward to when Freddy Tarnok gets a chance to start some games, because he has been awesome out of the bullpen for Rome. He threw three innings in this game with no walks and four strikeouts. Walks have definitely been a thing for him so far this year, but the stuff is real and he has struck out 39 batters in 27.2 innings while posting a 0.98 ERA.

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