We have been patiently waiting to see the Atlanta Braves rookie level affiliates in action, and on Monday they both opened their respective seasons. The biggest one to watch this season will be the Dominican Summer League affiliate which is the landing spot of Luis Guanipa. Guanipa was the Braves biggest signing from this past international class and the biggest international free agent Atlanta has landed since the ill-fated 2016 class. Other notable names on that DSL staff include pitchers Luis Arestigueta and Whilmer Guerra, along with outfielders Carlos Monteverde and John Estevez. Monteverde had the second largest signing bonus of this period, signing for $700k. The Florida Complex League Braves feature some names we’ve seen in action before with the most notable being Diego Benitez, Ambioris Tavarez, and Douglas Glod. Going forward recaps of these games will be included in our daily minor league recaps, but because we’re just checking box scores they won’t be as detailed as our typical daily reports. We’ll run down the top performers from the levels and the most notable prospects in a few sentences at the end of those daily recaps.
FCL Braves 2, FCL Pirates 9
- Diego Benitez, SS: 0-4, 2 K
- Giomar Diaz, RP: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
The FCL team got stomped on opening day, and Ambioris Tavarez who was recently sent down from Single-A Augusta did not make an appearance. Among those that did appear were Diego Benitez and Douglas Glod, who both went 0-4 and struck out twice. Noah Williams was a late round draft pick last season who also debuted with an identical stat line. The best hitter on the day was undrafted free agent Harry Owen, who had two hits and drove in both Braves runs. 20 year old pitcher Giomar Diaz is repeating the Florida Complex League this season and was the lone pitcher to have a good stat line in his debut as he went three scoreless innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
DSL Braves 7, DSL Brewers 11
- Luis Guanipa, CF: 1-4, HR, BB, SB, 2 K
- Carlos Monteverde: RF, 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 K
The DSL Braves also fell on opening day, but they had a bit more to take in as Luis Guanipa made a splash in his debut. Guanipa hit a fifth inning home run in his professional debut along with drawing a walk and stealing a base. Unfortunately he also struck out twice in the game. Carlos Monteverde also gave us a positive in his first game with two hits and a walk, including a seventh inning double that sparked a two run inning. John Gil was another international signing this January and hit a home run in his debut. Second baseman Angel Nieblas led the team with four hits. Pitching was a mess for the Braves as starter Jeremy Reyes allowed six runs in the first two innings. 6’3 18 year old Jose Marcano was a signing in this past period and had the only good pitching day for the team. He retired all seven batters he faced while striking out four.