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Braves MiLB preview: Vaughn Grissom among a slew of moves in new-look minors

It was a strong week for the Atlanta Braves minor-league teams, but some promotions and trades stole the headline.

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

Well, that was an interesting few days in the Atlanta Braves minor leagues. The Drew Waters Show is on to the next chapter. In what seems like a huge win for the Braves, Waters was dealt with CJ Alexander and Andrew Hoffmann (who was promoted to Double-A days before) for the 35th pick in the upcoming MLB draft, a $2.2-million slot bonus. This could be exactly what Waters needs to get over the hump in a new system, and while Hoffmann was certainly exciting, you need to give to get.

Elsewhere within the system, the scorching hot Vaughn Grissom will be playing with Mississippi this week as he earned a promotion to Double-A. He brings an 11-game hitting streak and 37-game on-base streak to the next level, where will make a strong case for the No. 1 prospect in the system. He will be joined by Dylan Dodd, Lisandro Santos, and Justyn-Henry Malloy in Mississippi.

Also, Freddy Tarnok, he of the insane June/July numbers is headed to the Gwinnett rotation. The promotion is well deserved, as he is back in form of late, opening July with six one-hit, shutout innings after closing June with three-straight strong starts.

Here’s what else happened last week and what we are watching in the week to come.

Gwinnett Stripers (41-43)

Last week: 4-2

This week: vs. Durham, July 12-17

The Stripers got back on track against the Charlotte Knights this past week just in time to face the first-place Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays).

Kyle Muller had yet another strong start and remains the guy to watch in the rotation. He went seven strong in a complete game, his fourth time going seven innings since June 1. He’s been limiting runs and more importantly keeping the walks down. Tucker Davidson also got back on track with five solid innings after two consecutive forgettable starts.

Braden Shewmake is the lone true highly rated prospect in the lineup and continues to really struggle in July. Stripers are hoping he can turn it around this week.

Mississippi Braves (37-44; 8-4 second half)

Last week: 4-2

This week: vs. Rocket City, July 12-17

After a winning week against Pensacola, the M-Braves are sitting in first place in the second-half standings in the South Division. Now, the M-Braves welcome the Trash Pandas (Los Angeles Angels) to town, who have the best record in the Southern League.

Vaughn Grissom instantly becomes the prospect to watch, as he takes his talents to Mississippi. Cade Bunnell has been on a tear since his promotion at the end of June. After struggling for most of June in Rome, he’s slashing .417/.576/.833 across 10 July games with the M-Braves.

Jared Shuster is expected to start the week, as he did last week. Last week, he tossed six scoreless innings open things up and will be expected to lead the way with Tarnok on the way up.

Rome Braves (47-34; 11-4 second half)

Last week: 6-0

This week: vs. Bowling Green, July 12-17

Rome loves playing Asheville and after going perfect against the Tourists last week, claimed the top spot in the South Division for the second half. Bowling Green (Tampa Bay) comes to town, which has the best overall record in the division.

With Grissom at the next level, Justyn-Henry Malloy is the exciting bat to watch here. Although he hasn’t homered in July, he continues to see the ball well, hitting .333 with an .867 OPS for the month. He also played some outfield last week, which seems like a good experiment with his struggles at the hot corner (Editor’s Note: This was written BEFORE the Malloy’s promotion to Mississippi on Tuesday. In short, watch him in Mississippi instead of Rome going forward). Bryson Horne continues his second-half resurrgence. After a six-homer June, he’s hitting .333 in July.

Dealin’ Dylan Dodd had yet another fine outing, this time 6.2 innings of two-hit ball while striking out nine. Roddery Munoz also went six scoreless in a combined shutout for the R-Braves. With the loss of Hoffmann and Grissom, it will be interesting to see if Rome can hang on, but this is a big series for a playoff spot down the road.

Augusta GreenJackets (39-41; 3-11 second half)

Last week: 1-4

This week: vs. Fredricksburg, July 12-17

The GreenJackets have struggled in the second half, dropping a rain-shortened series to Charleston last week. It doesn’t get much easier this week at Fredricksburg (Washington Nationals) comes to town with the best record in the Carolina League North.

Luis Vargas pitched the GreenJackets to their lone victory, striking out 10 across 5.2 innings. Augusta’s bats have gone coled of late. Brandol Mezquita conitnues to hit the ball, batting .321 with an .865 OPS in July thus far. Geraldo Quintero has struggled with just four hits and no stolen bases after recording 18 through June.

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