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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 7/19: Wentz leaves game early, Austin Riley is still good at baseball

Strong performances on both sides of the ball as well as a top pitching prospect having to leave his start early marked the goings on in the farm system on Thursday.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

(51-44) Indianapolis Indians 10, (44-53) Gwinnett Stripers 3

  • Rio Ruiz, RF: 3-for-4, 2 (3B), 2R, BB, .270/.313/.390
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 2-for-4, 2B, 3RBI, .313/.379/.544
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-for-5, 2B, .268/.329/.419
  • Luiz Gohara, SP: 4.1IP 7H 4ER 1B 4K

Box Score

Gohara, making his first appearance back in Gwinnett, struggled tonight - lasting only four innings while giving up for earned runs on seven hits. Gohara needed 91 pitches to get those four innings. Andres Santiago came in for Gohara and struggled himself giving up four runs (three earned) to extend the Indians lead to 8-2. Chad Bell then worked a great 2.2 scoreless innings to keep the score there but Fernando Salas also gave up a pair of runs to extend the lead to 10-2 - the final score. Overall, not a great day for the pitching staff.

Despite big nights from some of the more prominent players, and a fantastic five extra-base hits, Gwinnett struggled with scoring runs which was highlighted by them going 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranding an astounding 12 runners. Rio Ruiz continued his hot play of late going 3-for-4 with a pair of triples. Austin Riley continues his strong 2018 campaign with another multi-hit game while driving in all three of the runs scored. Dustin Peterson extended his hit streak to seven games with a 2-for-5 game himself. Dustin has collected 16 hits over his last 10 games - a nice little stretch which has seen his OPS go back up to .743 on the season.

(42-54) Mississippi Braves 2, (52-45) Montgomery Biscuits 0

  • Alejandro Salazar, 2B: 2-for-4, R, .282/.312/.336
  • Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, .216/.306/.392
  • Bryse Wilson, SP: 7.0IP 3H 0R 1 BB 9K

Box Score

In an absolutely thrilling pitching duel Bryse Wilson was able to escape with the win after an absolutely spectacular start logging an 83 game score while throwing seven shutout innings. He was actually outpitched by his counterpart, J.D. Martin, who went eight frames of scoreless baseball while striking out five and registering a game score of 85 himself. After a rough start to his AA tenure Bryse has turned a corner and has absolutely brilliant over his last four starts: 27.1IP 2ER 4BB 34Ks. Following Bryse Wilson was Corbin Clouse who ran into some trouble but worked around it by striking out the side. Chad Sobotka picked up the save with a perfect ninth while striking out one.

The Braves almost wasted this spectacular effort by Bryse by struggling with the bats. Alejandro Salazar put together the lone multi-hit effort by the team - going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. The only offense of the game happened in the ninth inning when Travis Demeritte hit his 10th homer of the season - a two run blast. As a team Mississippi went 1-for-3 with runners in scoring position, and a testament to show how good J.D. Martin was, only stranded four on base over the course of the entire game. Random stat: Mississippi went a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases.

(43-51) Florida Fire Frogs 7, (47-48) Clearwater Threshers 6

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 0-for-5, .285/.311/.432
  • Jared James, LF: 2-for-3 2R, HR, 3 RBI, 2BB, .247/.315/.408
  • Jordan Rodgers, 3B: 2-for-4, 2 (2B), .226/.327/.327
  • Joey Wentz, SP: 2.0 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K

Box Score

BREAK UP THE FIRE FROGS! The suddenly surging, well by surging I mean they have played somewhat well over the last couple of weeks, came back to win tonight - putting up a seven spot on the Threshers. It would unfortunately come at a cost as starting pitcher Joey Wentz left the game in the second inning with an injury. No details have emerged but it’s a troubling trend for the gifted lefty. His velocity was down from the mid 90s to the low 90s in the start as well. Dan Lietz was thrust into duty following Wentz and he responded by giving up four runs in his three innings of work. Justin Kelly pitched a scoreless two innings of work - while walking two and striking out three. Thomas Burrows came in for the six out save - his fourth of the season.

The offense collected ten hits, five of which were extra-base hits, and picked up SEVEN walks in this offensive outburst. Jared James stole the show going 2-for-3 with 3RBI including two on a homer in the third inning. James also tacked on a pair of walks to reach base five times tonight. Riley Delgado continues his really good 2018 campaign with a pair of hits as well - Delgado, a ninth round pick, hasn’t hit for much power since his promotion but is still getting on-base at a rather solid rate (.390) and has done quite well for himself this year. Brett Cumberland had a typical Brett Cumberland night going 1-for-3 with a double, and picking up a pair of walks himself. Despite hitting just .231 Cumberland is an intriguing player because he still has a near .800 OPS due to his ability to get on base via walk/HBP and with his slugging coming around - it’ll be interesting to see what kind of player he becomes. It’s clear that the hit tool simply isn’t there yet, but there is ton of value in a high OPS player - maybe this is what Kiley McDaniel saw and the reason he rated Brett as the 12th best prospect in the Braves system. Jordan Rodgers, who I personally expected a lot more out of last year but hasn’t done as well as I thought, picked up a pair of doubles himself.

(13-16) Pulaski Yankees 7, (15-13) Danville Braves 6

  • Justin Dean, CF: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R, .316/.407/.449
  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 3-for-4, 2(3B), R, RBI, BB, .389/.476/.556
  • Jose Montilla, SP: 5.0IP 7H 3ER 1BB 6K
  • Brooks Wilson, RP: 2.1IP 2H 0R 0BB 1K

Box Score

It is CJ Alexander’s world and we are just living in it. I had the joy of writing about CJ in our top 30 prospect list that’s coming out this week and the man just continues to hit - this time picking up a pair of triples in a three hit performance. He’s up to a 1.032 OPS on the season (23 games) and might end up finding himself in Rome in the not so distant future. CJ has a very advanced feel to hitting, and his hit tool, the tool that was in question the most, has played so much better than thought. CJ is on an Evan Gattis like tear in that while he doesn’t possess elite speed, probably a 40 runner, he now has five triples. Justin Dean also had a multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with a double, walk, and run scored. Dean, a 17th round pick out of Lenoir-Rhyne, has had a nice start to his professional career hitting .316/.407/.449 for Danville.

Jose Montilla took the ball for Danville and continued his fine season as well giving up three earned runs over five innings while striking out six. He was replaced by Zach Guth who struggled and lasted just 0.2 innings giving up two runs and walking three. Brooks Wilson, the former position turned pitcher added 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball. Brooks Wilson now has a 1.42 ERA in seven games a 9 K/9, and 2 BB/9.

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