Tuesday was a mixed bag for the Atlanta Braves minor league system. They had three games in which they scored five or more runs, but they also had two in which they just scored one. Overall, they went 3-3 on the day which included big days by Drew Lugbauer and Forrest Wall.
(28-30) Charlotte Knights 4, (25-33) Gwinnett Stripers 5
- Vaughn Grissom 2-4, 2 RBI
- Braden Shewmake 0-4, 2 K
- Nick Margevicius, SP, 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
The Stripers didn’t hit any homers and only picked up two extra base hits, but overall, it was a very impressive showing for them. They struck out just four times compared to three walks, went 3-11 (.273) with runners in scoring position and picked up nine hits. Despite Grissom going 2-4 with 2 RBI’s, it’s tempting to say Forrest Wall was the team’s player of the game. The right fielder went 3-4 and was the only Striper to score multiple runs. This game does raise further question marks about Shewmake as the 25-year-old has just four hits since May 24th compared to 11 strikeouts. It’s unlikely to see him get demoted, but it’s not something that can be completely ruled out.
Margevicius was not marvelous against the Knights. He was responsible for all of the team’s runs allowed and despite going fewer than five innings gave up four of their six hits. His command wasn’t great, and he lacked a put away pitch as he struck out just three batters. The Stripers bullpen does deserve a tip of the cap as they were the main reason the club walked away with a victory. Brian Moran, Michael Tonkin, Joe Harvey, and Grant Holmes combined to throw 4 ⅓ scoreless innings where they struck out five, walked two and only allowed two hits. Harvey was the only one of the groups to go multiple innings as he pitched two enroute to a hold with Holmes picking up the save.
(25-26) Mississippi Braves 9, (26-26) Biloxi Shuckers 8
- Cal Conley 1-5, 3 K
- Drew Lugbauer 2-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
- Domingo Robles, SP, 4 ⅔ IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 3 K
The Braves bats showed up against the Shuckers as they racked up 12 hits with every single player in the lineup getting in on the hit parade. They hit four extra base hits with Javier Valdes getting a double in addition to Justin Dean, Lugbauer and Landon Stephens all hitting homers. The quartet were responsible for the Braves offense knocking in all 9 runs with Dean, Jesse Franklin V and Lugbauer each scoring twice. The day could have been even bigger for the Braves had they been able to take advantage of the two Shuckers errors or hit better than 3-12 with RISP.
As impressive as the bats for the Braves were, Robles was equally as unimpressive. He allowed runs in all but one of the frames he pitched in, with the only scoreless inning being the first. He gave up five extra base hits, two of which were home runs. The bullpen did show up for the Braves though as they allowed just one run in the final 4 ⅓ innings whilst striking out seven batters. The ‘pen did not have great control though as both Coleman Huntley lll and Victor Vodnik each walked two batters in their combined 2 ⅓ innings. Vodnik and Jake McSteen were both able to pick up holds whilst Kyle Wilcox picked up the save.
(30-22) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 8, (26-26) Augusta GreenJackets 1 - F/7
- Bryson Worrell 2-3
- Justin Janas 0-3, 1 K
- Jorge Bautista, SP, 6 ⅓ IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 B, 4 K
There are not too many positive things that can be said about this game for the GreenJackets at the dish. They picked up just four hits, all of which came from three players, and they went 0-6 with RISP. Francisco Floyd was the team's only source of offense as he hit a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Things looked good for Bautista, until they didn’t. Through six frames he allowed just two earned runs and only walked one batter. But to open the seventh inning, he allowed a walk which was followed by two singles and an RBI groundout before he was pulled for Estarlin Rodriguez. Rodriguez allowed both inherited runs to score on back-to-back singles before giving up a three-run homer which saw the lead increased to seven runs.
(19-29) Hickory Crawdads 5, (24-28) Rome Braves 1
- Ignacio Alvarez 1-4, 1 K
- Drake Baldwin 1-4
- Cedric De Grandpre, SP, 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Braves batters didn’t really show up in this one. They went 0-8 with runners in scoring position, struck out 13 times and picked up just three hits. Their only run game in the seventh inning on a Bryson Horne sac fly. Alvarez’s mini slump extended into this game as he is now 2 for his last 19 over six games. The back end of the Braves lineup really hurt them as the five through nine hitters went for a combined 0-16 with 10 strikeouts and just one walk.
Cedric De Grandpre wasn’t as lock down against the Crawdads as we’ve become accustomed to. It was only the third time he allowed two or more earned runs in a start this year and his two walks were tied for the most he’s had in an outing. He threw 33 balls on 89 pitches, and he produced eight swinging strikes. Behind him, the bullpen wasn’t great as they allowed three runs over the final 4 2⁄3 innings. Jonathan Hughes allowed an inherited runner from De Grandpre to score in the fifth before allowing two of his own to score in the sixth.
(1-1) FCL Braves 7, (1-1) FCL Pirates 6
The best prospect on the FCL Braves, Diego Benitez went 1-4 on the day with a walk and a strikeout. Strikeouts weren’t necessarily a problem for him last year, but he has already struck out three times in two games this year, which at a higher league might be something to watch as the season unfolds further. In addition to Benitez, the Braves had one other organizational top 30 prospect on the squad in Douglas Glod who went 2-6 which included his first homer of the year. Glod did strike out three teams on the day which gives him five already through 2 games.
(2-0) DSL Rockies 5, (0-2) DSL Braves 4
Luis Guanipa, the organization’s 16th best prospect according to MLBPipeline, went 2-6 with a run and double in his second career game for the organization. Besides Guanipa though, this is a team that isn’t exactly deep with talent as it has zero other top 30 prospects. Outfielder John Estevez had the best day for the team going 3-5 with 1 strikeout, although John Gil also had a solid day going 2-4 with two RBI’s and a walk.