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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 7/4: Your Special July 4th MiLB Extravaganza

Cristian Pache, Michael Reed and Jean Carlos Encarnacion were pulled due to possible injuries. However, there were some really strong performances.

Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Gwinnett Stripers 5, Norfolk Tides 10

Box Score

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

Preston Tucker, LF: 1-4, 3B, RBI

Matt Wisler, SP: 4IP, 11H, 7ER, 1BB, 4K

Chad Bell, RP: 1IP, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K

Matt Wisler had his worst start of the year. I’m not sure what more I can add to that. The bullpen didn’t help things either allowing another 3 runs over 4 innings with Chad Bell being the only guy to not give up a run.

The offense tried. The Stripers combined for 10 hits, but only managed to get 5 runs out of that. Rio Ruiz was one of the bright spots and he’s been swinging a hot bat lately. It’s one of those things where I want to believe he’s turned a corner, but I still need to see him keep this up over a longer period for me to jump on his bandwagon. Ruiz is riding a 9 game hitting streak and has seen his batting average climb 21 points over that span to .264.

Michael Reed was hit by a pitch and left the game. He was replaced by Xavier Avery.

Mississippi Braves 2, Bioloxi Shuckers 0 (Completed - Rain)

Box Score

Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-2, RBI, K, E, A (outfield assist)

Connor Lien, CF: 1-2, 2B, R, K

Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 5IP, 5H, 0ER, 3BB, 3K

Instead of being suspended, this game was called completed. The Braves will take the win. Ricardo Sanchez had a solid start, and has thrown into the 5th innings in all 4 starts since coming back from the DL.

Florida Fire Frogs 2, Charlotte Stone Crabs 4 (Suspended- Rain)

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 1-2, 2B, R

Jared James, DH: 1-2, 2B, RBI, K

Braxton Davidson, 1B: 1-2, HR, RBI, R

Kyle Muller, SP: 5IP, 6H, 3ER (4R), 2BB, 3K

This game was suspended after the top of the 5th inning. The Stone Crabs scored 2 of their runs in the top of the 5th, so likely rain was a factor. Cristian Pache was also pulled from this game, but did hit a double before leaving.

Rome Braves 6, Asheville Tourists 8

Box Score

Drew Waters, CF: 3-4, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, 3 R

Greyson Jenista, RF: 3-4, RBI, BB

William Contreras, DH: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI

Drew Lugbauer, C: 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 K

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

Jefry Ramos, LF: 0-5, K

Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 3.1IN, 6H, 8ER, 4BB, 3K (3 HRs)

Daysbel Hernandez, RP: 3IN, 1H, 0ER, 1BB, 3K

Hayden Deal, RP: 1.2IN, 1H, 0ER, 0BB, 1K

After a pretty disappointing month of going 13-13, Rome’s offense seems to be waking up with the addition of Greyson Jenista. However, the pitching still has some issues.

This is a game Jasseel de la Cruz will want back. He got hit incredibly hard in this game as 5 of the 6 hits allowed went for extra bases. I have no clue who Daysbel Hernandez is and he has no stats, but he pitched admirably going 3 innings and not allowing a run. Hernandez’s page shows he was signed in September as an OF, but he’s now listed as a pitcher. He’s just 21 years old, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares for the remainder of the year.

It felt like the Braves were playing catch-up the entire game, but they had plenty of scoring opportunities, but just couldn’t cash in on them until the game was already out of reach. For example, in the 2nd inning, Drew Lugbauer led off the inning with a double and Jean Carlos Encarnacion walked a batter later (Encarnacion, like Pache came out of the game with an undisclosed injury at about the same exact time). After a wild pitch, both runners were in scoring position. But Austin Bush struck out and Derian Cruz grounded out. Could have been a different game if they had just scored first.

Getting back to Greyson Jenista, will this guy be one of the steals of the 2018 draft? Jenista gets another 3 hits, which gives him 6 multi hit games in 12 games played. But Jenista wasn’t even the best player on the field. That honor goes to Drew Waters, who had 3 hits of his own including a double and home run. In 63 games, Waters has 38 extra base hits! Compare that to him having just 50 strikeouts. He’s having an insanely good season. Also, Waters has 20 less strikeouts vs last season, but he’s played in 13 more games.

Finally, not to pick on Jefry Ramos, but he had runners on base in 4 of his 5 ABs, and couldn’t get a hit to score a potential run. If he just gets a hit or two, and this game would be in the Rome Braves favor. On a positive note, he was hitting the ball hard, so probably was a bit unlucky.

Danville Braves 6, Greeneville Reds 3

Box Score

CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-4, 2B, R, SB, CS, E

Brendan Venter, 1B: 1-3, RBI, R, BB, SB

Rusber Estrada, C: 2-4, 2B, RBI

Justin Smith, RF: 1-3, HR, RBI, BB, 2 R

Keith Weisenberg, SP: 6IP, 3H, 1ER, 3BB, 4K

Jake Higginbotham, RP: 1.2IN, 3H, 0ER, 2BB, 4K

The Danville Braves jumped out to the early lead against Greeneville and never looked back. Justin Smith got things started with a home run to lead off the 2nd inning. The very next inning had back to back doubles by CJ Alexander and Brendan Venter. Alexander continues to swing a scorching hot bat. AJ Graffanino had two sac flies that scored Justin Dean both times. On the flip side, Greg Cullen continues to struggle going 0-3, however on the bright side he does have more walks than strikeouts, so there’s that.

Keith Weisenberg was a late round pick last year and pitched a pretty good game by going 6 innings of 1 run ball. Jake Higginbotham followed him up with a shaky outing by allowing 5 base runners in less than 2 innings, but managed to get out of those jams unscathed.

GCL Braves 11, GCL Yankees 4

Box Score

Mason Berne, 1B: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, K

Charles Reyes, LF: 2-5, RBI, 2 K

Logan Brown, C: 1-2, 2B, BB, K, 2 R,

Michael Mateja, 3B: 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K, 3 R

Luis De Jesus, SP: 5IP, 4H, 2ER, 0BB, 3K

Cameron Kurz, RP: 2IP, 0H, 0ER, 1BB, 4K

This was a high scoring game for the offense, but was helped out by 4 Yankee errors that attributed to 6 of the 11 runs. At least 6 players drove in one run, so it was a big team effort, but the player of the game would have to go to Mason Berne as he collected 3 hits on the day including a double and 2 RBI. Berne was this years 33rd round pick, so kudos to him.

The pitching did their part as Luis De Jesus was able to go 5 innings while just giving up 2 runs. De Jesus has 3 starts on the year for the 19 year old out of the Dominican Republic totaling 14 innings with 9 strikeouts, including a 1.21 WHIP. He’s a pretty small guy at 5’11 and 170lbs, so I’m curious as to what his repertoire is. Cameron Kurz was one of the relievers I was excited about in the draft (as excited as one can be about a reliever), and he had a fantastic 2 innings allowing just 1 base-runner and striking out 4. Kurz only has 2 appearances, but I would think he’d be a quick call-up to Danville/Rome if he continues to dominate.

DSL Braves 6, DSL Rays1 17

Box Score

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