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Braves Minor League Recap: Justyn-Henry Malloy goes deep

The minor leagues are winding down.

Mills Fitzner

The Braves’ minor league affiliates looked to continue to try to finish the 2022 season strong and put up a 2-2 slate of games on Wednesday. Taylor Motter continues to produce at Gwinnett, Justyn-Henry Malloy went deep for Mississippi to help back up Dylan Dodd’s start, Geraldo Quintero just keeps hitting, and Augusta tried their best. Lets get into the games.

Gwinnett Stripers 5, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 6

Box Score

  • Taylor Motter, LF: 2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, .830 OPS
  • Hernan Perez, 2B: 2-5, 2 SB, R, .688 OPS
  • Huascar Ynoa, SP: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 5.68 ERA

The Stripers had a healthy lead late in the game, but an implosion from reliever Michael Tonkin in the bottom of the ninth including a walk-off hit from a rehabbing Bryce Harper doomed Gwinnett in a 6-5 loss. Huascar Ynoa was on the mound to start this one and like his previous three appearances, he was treated like a multi-inning reliever as he only went two innings. Definitely looks like the Braves want to at least see if he is an option out of the bullpen and don’t appear to be interested in having him in the rotation. Connor Johnstone got tagged for a couple runs as the next arm out of the pen, but Gwinnett’s bullpen was largely good after that until Tonkin lost the ability to pitch in the ninth and gave up four runs including the game-winner. In fairness to Tonkin, Bryce’s game-winning hit came courtesy of some pretty suspect center field play from Greyson Jenista who probably shouldn’t be in center field to begin with.

On offense, Taylor Motter was the star of the show as he had a pair of home runs while driving in three runs. Motter was a nice depth addition from minor league free agency at the end of July, but before anyone, he isn’t a “prospect” as he is 32 years old and much more in the quad-A/extended bench/minor league veteran group. Hernan Perez had a pair of hits out of the leadoff spot and has been torching the ball of late. He has 15 hits in his last nine games.

Mississippi Braves 10, Birmingham Barons 1

Box Score

  • Justyn-Henry Malloy, LF: 2-6, HR, 3 RBI, .839 OPS
  • Logan Brown, C: 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, 2 R, .479 OPS
  • Cody Milligan, 2B: 3-6, 2B, RBI, .697 OPS
  • Dylan Dodd, SP: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 3.56 ERA

Dylan Dodd was a bit wobbly with his command late in his start against Birmingham, but he made pitches when he had to and the Mississippi offense gave him plenty of breathing room as they routed the Barons by the score of 10-1. Dodd ended up throwing 87 pitches on Wednesday and failed to finish the fifth inning, but was overall quite good. Some walks in the fourth and fifth inning combined with a solo homer in the fifth cut his night short, but he was still missing bats and getting soft contact for the most part without his best stuff. The Mississippi bullpen did their jobs and then some as they combined for 4.1 innings of scoreless relief with six strikeouts.

As for the offense, there was a lot of it as seven different Mississippi players had multi-hit games. One of them was Justyn-Henry Malloy who connected for his fourth Double-A home run (his 14th overall this season) as he continues to impress at the plate this season. We were big fans of his move to the outfield from third base and if he continues his current level of production, he will be firmly among the best position player prospects currently in the Braves farm system. Cody Milligan, Logan Brown, and Jordan Cowan each had three hit nights for Mississippi. It was particularly nice to see Brown and Cowan have good nights at the plate as each have struggled at the plate in Double-A this season, especially Brown.

Rome Braves 4, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3

Box Score

  • Geraldo Quintero, 2B. 2-4, 2B, BB, SB, R, .857 OPS
  • Beau Philip, 3B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .688 OPS
  • Royber Salinas, SP: 3 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 4 K, 4.54 ERA

Royber Salinas couldn’t find the strike zone for Rome, but Rome limited that early damage and used a big three-run fifth inning to take down Bowling Green by the score of 4-3. Salinas has been VERY uneven in the month of August and six walks last night was particularly rough. He does look a bit fatigued as his stuff hasn’t had the sharpness it had earlier in the season that generated the swings and misses he got earlier in the season. The strikeouts overall have been great, but 49 walks in 75.1 high-A innings isn’t going to get the job done long-term. Trey Riley had another adventure in the ninth inning as he gave up a homer that cut the lead to one and then had two runners on with two out after that, but he got the fly out to end the game.

It was small ball that got the job done for Rome as they only had doubles from Beau Philip and Geraldo Quintero in terms of extra-base hits. Quintero has been genuinely impressive at the plate this season and that continued with another multi-hit game for him on Wednesday. His game is not dissimilar from a lite version of Ozzie Albies’ early in his minor league career although you can go ahead and count us as HIGHLY skeptical that Geraldo will ever develop power like Ozzie’s even though his hit tool is impressive from both sides of the plate. I repeat...that does not mean he is Ozzie Albies, but the production in the low minors has been similar.

Augusta GreenJackets 6, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 13

Box Score

  • Ethan Workinger, LF: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, SB, .897 OPS
  • EJ Exposito, SS: 0-1. 4 BB, 2 R, .782 OPS
  • Keshawn Ogans, 2B: 2-4, 2B, RBI, R, .800 OPS
  • Landon Harper, SP: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Well, Augusta tried their best as they got whooped by Myrtle Beach by the final score of 13-6. Landon Harper got the start for Augusta and the Braves’ 14th round pick in the 2022 draft struggled mightily as he failed to finish the third inning and gave up four earned runs including three in the first inning. This did not get better for Augusta as the bullpen combined to give up nine runs over the game’s final four innings which is obviously quite bad.

There was some better news on the offensive side of the ball as Keshawn Ogans and Ethan Workinger each had multi-hit games. Workinger’s line also including his first home run in full season ball which is awesome for him. EJ Exposito had a weird night at the plate as he walked four times, but he did convert those walks into runs a pair of times. Mahki Backstrom had a two-run double which was great to see, but he also struck out three times which was much less nice to see.

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