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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: William Contreras Goes Deep in Stripers Win

Gwinnett had an offensive showcase in an 11-3 win. No one else had fun.

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The catching duo of Alex Jackson and William Contreras were on fire again for Gwinnett, combining for seven RBIs in a blowout victory for the Stripers. Elsewhere in the system for Atlanta Braves prospects it didn’t go so well. Spencer Strider had a solid start for Mississippi, but the lower three levels all took losses of varying levels of pain and suffering.

(31-34) Gwinnett Stripers 11, (28-35) Charlotte Knights 3

Box Score

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 0-4, .236/.299/.366
  • Alex Jackson, C: 3-5, 3 2B, 4 RBI, .261/.327/.670
  • William Contreras, DH: 2-4, 2B, HR, BB, 3 RBI, .414/.485/.828
  • Tanner Roark, SP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3.16 ERA
  • Jacob Webb, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3.38 ERA

The Stripers were all about the big hit in this game, with three players driving in ten of the eleven runs in the game. The first time through the order they had some luck getting guys on base, but stranded four runners total. The middle of the order brought the pop in the third inning, however, starting with a double from Johan Camargo. Alex Jackson followed with an RBI double before William Contreras launched his third home run in eight games.

The game then trickled on through the middle innings with 11 of the next 12 Stripers batters coming up empty. In the bottom of the sixth Charlotte climbed back in the game with two runs, but Gwinnett was not going to let them draw even. Gwinnett loaded the bases with one out in the inning for the big bats in the order, and Alex Jackson hit his second double of the game to bring in two more runs. After a Contreras walk, it was time for Travis Demeritte, and he brought the dagger with a grand slam to center field that blew the game wide open. This was home run number nine for Demeritte in a Stripers uniform this season and an even 10 counting his rehab in the FCL. Gwinnett added more in the eighth with Jackson hitting his third RBI double of the game and Contreras following with a double of his own to score Jackson. In games that both Jackson and Contreras have played Gwinnett is 5-0, averaging 8.6 runs per game, and the pair have four home runs, five doubles, and 18 RBIs. Yes, the score and the stats in the tweet below are not correct. I did not pay attention to the score or Demeritte’s FCL numbers being lumped in.

Gwinnett went with a bullpen game to get through Saturday’s game and for the most part the arms they brought in gave them solid innings. Tanner Roark started the day off by hitting the first batter and walking the next, but got a strikeout of Eloy Jimenez and a double play to escape that jam. He worked around a leadoff walk in the second inning with no issues to move it along to Connor Johnstone. Johnstone was on his game and retired all six batters he faced with two of those coming via the strikeouts. Trevor Kelley had no problems in the fifth inning and the Stripers went into the back end of the game leading 3-0. The sixth inning was not so kind to Gwinnett as a two run home run from Yermin Mercedes off of reliever Chasen Bradford brought the game to within a run. As we know, this did not last and the remainder of the bullpen finished this off in relative comfort. Thomas Burrows walked a batter and struck out two in his first inning of work, but in the eighth only recorded two outs as a double and a walk ended his outing. Jesse Biddle allowed an RBI single to the first batter he faced but got a strikeout to end the inning. Jacob Webb finished the game off with a scoreless ninth inning and struck out one batter.

Next Game: 7/18 @ (25-38) Charlotte Knights @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Jose Rodriguez (0-2, 7.71 ERA)

CLT: Tanner Banks (3-2, 3.41 ERA)

(40-25) Mississippi Braves 0, (26-35) Tennessee Smokies 2

Box Score

  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-4, .254/.373/.378
  • Trey Harris, RF: 1-4, .270/.340/.365
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 0-4, .243/.335/.503
  • Spencer Strider, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.59 ERA
  • Indigo Diaz, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0.00 ERA

The Mississippi pitching staff had a good night up in Tennessee while the offense did not. A two out walk in the first inning was their only baserunning in the first half of the game with the next coming on a two out single in the sixth from Justin Dean. Trey Harris followed that up with a single and the Braves had a little bit of a rally going, but a strikeout from Greyson Jenista ended the inning. A single in the 7th from CJ Alexander and a walk to Riley Unroe put two more runners on there, but with two outs Hendrik Clementine couldn’t deliver the big hit. The ninth inning started out with a strikeout of Jenista, but the ball got away from the catcher and he was able to reach base regardless to bring up Shea Langeliers. Langeliers ripped a ball the other way but it carried just a couple of feet shy of the wall in right field for a fly out. CJ Alexander followed by putting one in the gap for a double and Mississippi had two runners in scoring position but an infield pop out and strikeout erased the final threat.

Spencer Strider had on and off trouble with his location during the game, but he kept the ball in the zone and use his raw stuff to force outs when he didn’t have his best command. His first inning was an inning we’re used to seeing from Strider as he struck out two batters with primarily fastball usage and pitched a scoreless frame. In the second it was clear he didn’t have much feel for his breaking ball and his fastball was a bit off so things got a tiny bit frightening. He allowed a walk with one out and then a single to put two runners on. The third batter of the inning hit a hard line drive into right field, but it was right at Trey Harris and Strider struck out the final batter to escape a jam. The second time through the order Strider was able to find his breaking ball a bit better, and right out of the gates in the third he got a ground out and then a strikeout. The mistake of the game came when he left a fastball a bit to far over the plate and it got taken the opposite way for a solo home run. He finished off the third inning on a strikeout.

After that home run he didn’t allow any quality contact for the remainder of the game, with the only hit coming on a two strike count where the batter just stuck his bat out at a well located breaking ball and floated it into center field. He finished his start off with his sixth strikeout of the day. Brandon White pitched the sixth inning and he pitched well but a two out error allowed a run to come in and extend the lead. White pitched a scoreless seventh as well despite the first two hitters of the inning getting hits. Indigo Diaz should have had a better line than he did, but after retiring the first two batters he threw a pitch pretty much right down the middle that would have been his second strikeout but was called a ball. That hitter went on to get a double five pitches later and the next batter walked before Indigo finished it off by getting a ground out.

Next Game: 7/18 @ (26-35) Tennessee Smokies @ 2:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Hayden Deal (1-2, 3.98 ERA)


(33-32) Rome Braves 5, (39-26) Greensboro Grasshoppers 8

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, RF: 0-3, BB, .293/.329/.433
  • Logan Brown, C: 0-4, .220/.258/.323
  • Jesse Franklin, CF: 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, .268/.336/.576
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 3.97 ERA
  • Justin Yeager, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 9.00 ERA

This was not the bullpen’s finest hour and the Rome offense stagnated after an explosive first inning. The first three hitters of the game for Rome reached base to load them up, bringing up Jesse Franklin who is probably the last hitter and High-A pitcher wants to see right now. Franklin delivered a two run double to give Rome an early lead, and an error with two outs brought in two more runs to give the Braves a sizable cushion. Rome added on in the fourth with hits from Brett Langhorne and Andrew Moritz scoring a run, and that was about it for the offense. Following the Moritz single the next twelve Braves went down in order before a walk to Franklin in the seventh broke up the streak. Their next hit came from Langhorne to lead off the ninth, but Beau Philip immediately followed with a double play to snuff out the last bit of hope.

Alan Rangel mowed through the Grasshoppers, well except for the two home runs he allowed. Rangel went clean in the first inning and struck out two of those hitters, but was immediately met in the second with a leadoff home run. He bounced back from that well and retired the next six batters he faced, with three of them coming via strikeout. He didn’t allow another hit until the fifth inning when a one out home run brought the game back within three runs. The next batter reached on an error and advanced all the way to third on the play leading to the third run (this one unearned). Rangel pitched a clean sixth inning and turned it over to the bullpen. The first batter of the seventh reached on an error, and the outing was all downhill for Davis Schwab. A single followed and then a pickoff error and wild pitch from Schwab led to both runners scoring and a tie game. The next two batters got hits off of him and he was removed after recording the first out of the inning. Zach Daniels came in to relieve Schwab and allowed a single to score both inherited runners and give Greensboro their first lead of the game. Daniels loaded the bases in the eighth inning and another run came in to score on a sacrifice fly.

Next Game: 7/18 vs (39-26) Greensboro Grasshoppers @ 2:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Jake McSteen (1-0, 3.45 ERA)

GBO: Tahnaj Thomas (0-2, 4.97 ERA)

(28-36) Augusta GreenJackets 0, (45-18) Charleston Riverdogs 22

Box Score

  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 0-2, BB, .277/.381/.378
  • Landon Stephens, LF: 0-3, BB, .241/.354/.406
  • Ricardo Rodriguez, C: 1-4, .252/.366/.437
  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3.63 ERA
  • Zach Seipel, RP: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 13.50 ERA

Why? I have clearly done something to deserve this so let’s go ahead and talk about the worst game that we have seen in my time at Talking Chop. Augusta’s offense was horrible, with a second inning single being the only hit of the entire game for them. Augusta actually got three baserunners on in the third inning thanks to a hit batter, an error, and a walk, but one of those got picked off and two strikeouts ended the threat. It was still a 1-0 game at this point so it almost seemed like it mattered. The next 17 batters did not reach base before pinch hitting Braulio Vasquez was plunked to lead off the ninth. Vaughn Grissom walked in this game and has reached base in each game since returning from the injured list, with four walks and no strikeouts. He also committed three of Augusta’s four errors because it wasn’t enough for the pitching and hitting to be bad we had to toss in some defensive miscues for the fun of it.

Augusta used six pitchers in this game and the only one that did not allow a run was Cody Birdsong, a position player brought in to get one out in the eighth inning. It started off fairly standard, with Tanner Gordon putting up a 1-2-3 first inning. He allowed a leadoff home run in the second inning, but got out of it with no more damage and a couple of strikeouts. Here is where the chaos began. He loaded the bases in the third, gave up a bases clearing triple, and left the game with two runners on. Alec Barger immediately allowed a three run home run then allowed two more runs partially because of all three of Grissom’s errors coming in the same inning. If you want an play-by-play breakdown feel free to click the box score up at the top. For me, I want a quick and painless death to this recap. Barger was removed from the game and Kenny Wells came in to pitch. He went 1 23 innings and allowed three runs with two of those being earned, and honestly with the way this game went I’m pretty sure that makes him the player of the game for Augusta. Peyton William got the last out of the fifth inning, then after loading the bases and throwing a wild pitch things got infinitely better as the stadium fire alarms all went off presumably because of how badly the Greenjackets were getting torched. This led to a 22 minute delay in play because minor league baseball could not allow us a normal throttling it had to get a bit weird. This thankfully ended Williams’s day as he allowed four of the five batters he faced to reach and turned the game over to Zach Seipel. Seipel pitched a scoreless seventh inning, but the eighth was a fun one as he allowed six runs and retired two batters to push the lead to 22 runs. The Greenjackets had to use Cody Birdsong, and he hit a batter and ended the inning on a foul pop out. Let’s all forget that ever happened.

Next Game: 7/15 @ (45-18) Charleston Riverdogs @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters


CSC: Ian Seymour (0-0, 1.69 ERA)

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