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Braves Minor League Recaps: Jesse Franklin clubs three home runs

The power is still popping for Braves 2020 third round pick.

Rome Braves left handed hitter Jesse Franklin takes a swing. Photo Credit: Mills Fitzner

The Atlanta Braves system was full of wild performances on Saturday, but none could match the dominance of Jesse Franklin who hit three of Mississippi’s five home runs in a win. Down in the lower levels of the system Douglas Glod and Ambioris Tavarez had good offensive days in wins as well. In more unfortunate news Braden Shewmake left Saturday’s Gwinnett game with an injury.

(33-46) Gwinnett Stripers 6, (47-31) St. Paul Saints 10

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 0-3, BB, .308/.386/.451
  • Eli White, CF: 2-3, 2 BB, .263/.370/.454
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 4.60 ERA

Braden Shewmake has been on a good run for the Stripers lately, but unfortunately in yesterday’s game he had to leave early with an apparent injury. From the video we have it’s difficult to really tell exactly what happened, but on a ground out in the third inning he seemed to have trouble getting out of the box and did not come out to the field in the next inning. Daniel Roberston replaced Shewmake and had an RBI single in the ninth inning. Gwinnett trailed this game 10-0 at one point, finally breaking through offensively with a four run eighth inning. Home runs from Joe Dunand and Yolmer Sanchez contributed those four runs, and in the ninth inning it became a bit of a contest. Vaughn Grissom was hit by a pitch to lead off and after a walk to Jesus Aguilar the hit from Robertson got the game a run close. Another walk loaded the bases, so while the Stripers didn’t have the tying run up to bat they were threatening to get there. They didn’t have a baserunner after that walk, however, with Yolmer Sanchez driving in Aguilar on a fielder’s choice and Joshua Fuentes flying out to end the game.

Jared Shuster looked to be lining up a strong start early in this game, with the Saints not being able to hit the ball particularly hard against him. Through three innings he hadn’t allowed a run with only two hits allowed that were both singles. A fourth inning swinging bunt single got Shuster into the stretch early, and a double and sacrifice fly followed to score the first run of the game. Still, things seemed to be going well until Shuster stopped avoiding hard contact in the fifth. The first two batters of the fifth opened up the lead with back-to-back home runs, and after getting two outs Shuster allowed four hits and three more runs to chase him out of the game. Matt Swarmer stranded a runner on second to finally escape, but he had his own share of troubles in the sixth inning and allowed four more runs before he too was pulled with two outs.

(35-37) Mississippi Braves 11, (36-37) Biloxi Shuckers 5

Box Score

  • Luke Waddell, SS, 2-4, HR, 2 BB, SB, 4 RBI, .297/.419/.462
  • Jesse Franklin V, RF: 4-4, 3 HR, BB, 2 SB, 4 RBI, .243/.308/.500
  • Domingo Robles, SP: 3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 3.80 ERA

Jesse Franklin V was the show on Saturday evening, with his first career three home run game to lead Mississippi to a win. Mississippi started off the game with a bang, getting a three run home run from Tyler Tolve to take the early lead. Franklin went yard for the first time to make it back-to-back home runs, but the game was far from over. Biloxi battled back and after three innings tied the game back up at four runs each. In the top of the fourth the Braves got back in the saddle, loading the bases for Luke Waddell who hit his second grand slam of the season to break the game back open. Franklin had his second home run later in the inning to further extend the lead and Mississippi cruised from this point. For good measure Franklin annihilated a baseball in the eighth inning for that third home run, and his power production this year has been phenomenal. Despite missing over half of Mississippi’s games this season Franklin already has nine home runs which ranks tied for 17th among Southern League hitters. If qualified his .500 slugging percentage would rank third in the league and his .257 isolated power ranks fourth among hitters with 150 or more plate appearances. The M-Braves also stole eight bases in Saturday’s game, with four coming from the legs of Justin Dean.

It was a rough showing for Mississippi’s starter Domingo Robles, as he allowed two home runs and four runs over his three innings of work. After a phenomenal start to this season Robles has faltered through the middle months and in five starts between June and July he has a 6.46 ERA. The bullpen did phenomenal work once Mississippi took that lead, starting with three innings from Hayden Harris. Harris allowed one run but needed only 38 pitches to get through those three innings which served a dual purpose of saving at least one extra arm from needing to be used. Nick Howard pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three batters and Alec Barger closed the game out with a scoreless ninth inning.

Rome Braves, (35-32) Bowling Green Hot Rods PPD

(35-37) Augusta GreenJackets 7, (39-33) Columbia Fireflies 4

Box Score

  • Ambioris Tavarez, SS: 2-3, 2 HBP, .203/.316/.305
  • Justin Janas: 2-5, .290/.379/.394
  • Spencer Schwellenbach, SP: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2.63 ERA

Ambioris Tavarez had a busy day in the Augusta win, reaching base four times and not striking out. Tavarez led off the game smacking a line drive into left field for a hit, and two pitches later the GreenJackets had an early lead as Justin Janas tripled to score Tavarez. Bryson Worrell followed with Augusta’s third straight hit, scoring Janas and giving them a two-run lead. This lead would not last through the bottom of the first inning, but Augusta had a response in the second inning. Dawson Dimon had a great day at the plate with three hits, and the first of those was his first RBI as it scored Cory Acton to give Augusta the lead once again. Acton himself had a nice day, reaching base three times and stealing five bases. Both sides settled in from there and there was no more scoring until the second inning when Dimon’s second hit turned into his second RBI when he doubled home Acton. Tyler Collins had a hit to score Dimon and extend the lead to 5-2. Three consecutive errors score Tavarez in the eighth inning for his second run of the game then in the ninth Dimon capped off his day with a second double and a third RBI to score Acton.

Spencer Schwellenbach had a chaotic first inning that could have gone completely south, but he managed to find enough outs to keep the game in control and then settled in for a strong start overall. The first three batters of the game reached on two hits and a walk, scoring a run for the Fireflies. Schwellenbach then got a strikeout for the first out, but Francisco Floyd made an ugly throw to second base on a potential inning-ending play which pulled the second baseman off of the bag. A sacrifice fly tied the game and Schwellenbach got another swinging strikeout to end the first inning. The Fireflies didn’t square up Schwellenbach well all game, and over the next 4 23 innings he didn’t alllow a run while striking out two more batters. Schwellenbach got six swinging strikes on 18 swings in the first inning of this game, but the rest of the game only had three more swinging strikeouts on 23 total swings. Schwellenbach’s command has been improving and teams are having trouble squaring him up, but he still isn’t forcing high numbers of whiffs in his starts. Tyree Thompson pitched well out of the bullpen for a little bit, but in the eighth inning struggled and allowed two runs to let Columbia back in the game. That didn’t matter too much, however, as Jason Franks made easy work of the Fireflies in the ninth inning to close out the game.

(9-11) FCL Braves 4, (8-12) FCL Rays 3

Box Score

  • Douglas Glod, CF: 2-2, 2 3B, 2 BB, HBP, 2 RBI, .261/.402/.551
  • Diego Benitez, DH: 0-2, BB, .260/.316/.384

It was Douglas Glod’s day in Florida as he accounted for three of the Braves four runs in their win and reached base in all four plate appearances. Glod has been on a tear lately and added two triples to his ever-growing extra base hit total. Glod has appeared in six games since June 23rd, and in that time he has three doubles, two triple, and two home runs. He is now top 10 in the Florida Complex League in slugging percentage, but also has the second most total strikeouts. Nobody else contributed nearly as significantly to the win, with Diego Benitez starting the game at shortstop and leaving after three plate appearances. Davis Polo threw four scoreless innings and struck out three batters, and he has gone seven straight innings without a run allowed.

(6-14) DSL Braves 6, (8-12) DSL Guardians Blue 10

Box Score

  • Mario Baez: 2-3, BB, .275/.359/.377
  • Carlos Monteverde, RF: 2-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, .230/.348/.365

No Luis Guanipa today for the DSL Braves, and while my disappointment is immeasurable some of his teammates stepped up to fill his role. Mario Baez, who won’t turn 17 until late August, continues to be a pretty consistent offensive player and reached base three times while scoring three runs. The big performance came from Carlos Monteverde, who hit his first career home run and also added a double. Monteverde drove in four of the team’s six runs. Styven Paez pitched four scoreless innings, allowed only one runner on a hit, and struck out five batters.

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