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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Darling Florentino Hits Walk Off Double, de la Cruz Strikes Out 9

The 17 year old 3B Darling Florentino comes up clutch with the game winning hit. As for pitching, Bryse Wilson served up 2 home runs, Anderson’s stat line looks worse than reality, and Jasseel De La Cruz struck out 9 batters.

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Atlanta Braves Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Stripers 6, Louisville Bats (Reds) 7

Box Score

  • Rafael Ortega, CF: 3-4, 3B, 2 R, SB
  • Andres Blanco, 2B: 4-4, HR, 4 RBI, BB
  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-5, 2 K
  • Raffy Lopez, C: 2-4, HR, RBI
  • Bryse Wilson, SP: 6 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (2 HRs)
  • Corbin Clouse, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1 HR)

Bryse Wilson got the start and struggled most of the game with fastball command. He wasn’t missing his spots much, but instead of missing off the plate, his fastball caught too much plate and players were hitting some rockets shots. Wilson served up two home runs today and has now allowed three in 11 innings. This is a new development for Wilson, who has had such good fastball command in the past. He only gave up five home runs last year and just six the year before. If he wants to get back to the Atlanta Braves, he’s going to improve the fastball command and trust his secondaries more. From what I could tell, he is relying on his fastball a bit too much.

As for offense, it mostly came from the top two hitters in the lineup. Ortego and Blanco combined for seven of the teams 11 hits. The Braves had a prime chance to bust the game wide open in the first as the bases were loaded, but Raffy Lopez hit a pop up to the catcher. Lopez would redeem himself later hitting a solo homer, but if he gets a base hit in the first, the Stripers might not lose by a single run. Austin Riley struck out twice today which gives him multiple strikeouts in four of the first seven games of the season.

Mississippi Braves 5, Mobile BayBears (Angels) 7

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, RF: 1-4, RBI, BB, 2 K
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-2, 3B, 2 RBI, K
  • CJ Alexander, 1B: 0-4, BB
  • Ray Patrick Didder, SS: 0-4, 4 K
  • Ian Anderson, SP: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (3 R), 2 BB, 3 K

In his first start of the season, Anderson was effectively wild. This start was a bit more of the same. For the first two innings, almost everything he threw was down in the dirt. It took him 48 pitches to get through two innings as well. The third inning was much better, but his fastball was catching the heart of the plate quite a bit, but luckily batters were still having a hard time catching up. Lockhart completely misplayed a ball that allowed the first batter to get on base. Luckily, Didder is really fast and was able to back him up to keep the runner from getting to second base. That error by Lockhart would later come around to score.

Unfortunately, Anderson ran out of gas in the the fifth and left with two runners on base. Michael Mader comes in and immediately gives up a 1B, 1B, HR and 2B before recording an out. So 2 of the 6 runs given up by Mader were charged to Anderson. So when looking at Anderson’s stat line, realize that one run scored due to an error and another 2 that were inherited runners. Not saying Anderson was perfect, but he pitched much more admirably than his final stat line.

On offense, most of the scoring came in the 3rd inning thanks to an RBI single by Waters and then a two-run triple by Pache (Pache would also score due to interference by the opposing third baseman). Pache did come out of the game after that, but no word on if he was injured or just shaken up and taken out as a precaution. Garrison Schwartz came on in his stead going 1-3.

RPD just had an awful day at the plate striking out 4 times. On the season has about a 50% K-rate. Obviously he won’t keep striking out like this, but for those of us who really like RPD, one of the things that’s held him back is his contact rates, so to have this kind of start to the season isn’t encouraging.

Florida Fire Frogs 0, Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins) 2

Box Score

  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 1-2, 2B, BB, K
  • William Contreras, C: 1-4, 2B, 2 K
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 0-4, 3 K
  • Freddy Tarnok, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Brandon White, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

After starting the season with two wins, the Fire Frogs now find themselves quickly 4-4 overall as well as getting shut out for the first time. The offense was anemic and could only manages a pair of base hits (both doubles) and just totaled six base runners all game.

Edward Cabrera came in for the Hammerheads and struck out nine over six innings. Cabrera (Marlins Top 10 prospect) has a blazing fastball that sits mid to high 90’s and a decent slider, but the fastball was enough against this roster. Meanwhile, Kiley McDaniel reported that Freddy Tarnoks fastball was sitting high 80’s, but had his offspeed pitching working wonders tonight. Once Jon Kennedy relieved Tarnok, he gave up to runs in his second inning of work. Brandon White continued his good work on the season as he has not allowed a run yet in three appearances.

Rome Braves 4, Greenville Drive (Red Sox) 3

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 2-3, R, BB, OFA
  • Greg Cullen, 2B: 1-4, 2B, RBI, K
  • Darling Florentino, 3B: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 4.1 IN, 7 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K

Jasseel De La Cruz was dealing today totaling nine strikeouts in less than five innings. He did give up seven hits, which is not good, but he was able to work around it with timely strikeouts and by not walking anyone. Tanner Lawson came on in relief and pitched three good innings where he struck out four batters, but did allow a single run to score. Lukas Young and Jake Higginbotham pitched the final three innings.

Greg Cullen hit an RBI double and the score would stay 1-1 through the 9th which forced the game into extra innings. This is where the game was equal parts sloppy and exciting. The Drivers scored two runs in the top of the 10th, one of which was due to a Greg Cullen throwing error. Things were looking pretty dire as the Braves were coming to bat. Because it was extras, Griffin Benson started at second base. Logan Brown was HBP, and Trey Harris reached on an error that also allowed Benson to score. So now the Braves were down 3-2. Brendan Venter tried to move the runners over on a bunt, but failed as the Divers got the runner at third base. Runners were still on 1st and 2nd when 17 year old Darling Florentino stepped to the plate. Previously, Florentino was 0-3 with 2 strikeouts, so maybe not the hitter you want up in that situation. However, on the first pitch he saw, Florentino swung away and smacked the game-winning two-run double.

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