Time to take a look at the week in the minors and see who is smoking hot and sort of not in the world of Braves Farmhands.
Richmond 19-12 (4-3 WTD) 1st pl.
Well not a bad week overall for Richmond. They did lose their best pitcher to the big club but received a major boost from Diory Hernandez who just loves Richmond so far. He'll come down eventually but it sure is fun to watch. Not a hotlist performer but certainly doing what he does best - play consistent baseball - has been Brandon Jones. I think he was hurt a couple weeks ago, but he has hit safely in 8 of his last ten games. I really like him but I don't know if he will ever get a real shot in ATL. The Braves lead their division by 3.5 games.
Mississippi 9-22 (3-3 WTD) 5th pl.
You know these guys are actually 7-7 in their last 14 but when you start 2-15 it is difficult to come back from. Also that 7-7 run coincides with the day after Jason Perry got signed. Coincidence? Or just a good run for a bad team? They have shown some improvement in the stat department now ranking next to last in both OPS and ERA in the Southern League, so they are, in fact, improving. (Also I do know that they aren't 9-22 yet, but they are losing 10-3 in the 6th. If they pull it out I will edit as necessary.)
Myrtle Beach 19-12 (5-2 WTD) 1st pl.
This is a team that is just rolling along and apparently getting better and better even without their best hitter in the lineup to spark the offense. You know what trips me out about these guys too? They have the best OPS in the league by 40 pts. They lead the league in homers, triples, SLG, and are second or third in nearly every other category. That is hilarious considering how horrible their park is, especially for homers. Potomac is the only team that has a better ERA than the Pelicans and, coincidentally, they are the only team with a better record. The birds lead the league in strikeouts by a healthy margin though.
Rome 11-20 (1-6 WTD) 6th pl.
What is crazy about this team is their starting pitching is soooooooo good. I don't have starter/bullpen splits but until tonight (Monday) their starters had only given up 4 runs on the week. Ortegano got hammered after striking out 6 in his first 4 innings. They have the second worst offense in the league and their team ERA is somewhere in the middle of the pack mostly because of their horrid bullpen.
- Diory Hernandez - Currently on a 10 game hit streak and he is destroying AAA pitchers thus far. He is 15-31 in the last week which is just stupid. He has a HR and 4 doubles against only 1 strikeout. He should probably be at the top of the list and in fact ::cut paste::. Now he is :-)
- Brandon Hicks - Hicks has really been a one man wrecking crew lately going 10-30 this week with 2 HR, 4 doubles, and 7 RBI. The caveat to him is that he Ks a TON (26 in 72 AB) and doesn't really walk much. But I like his bat.
- Tommy Hanson - He probably had the best week yet again, but since it was still his worst week of the season I'm knocking him down a spot. He went 0-1 with 11 IP, 6 hits allowed, 3 ER, 3 BB, 11 K. Definitely not a bad week. I know I am down on his fly ball rate, but he has now had 4 games where he gave up 1 hit or less. Just WOW. Only 26 baserunners allowed in 40 IP.
- Travis Jones - He is currently on a 9 game hitting streak and is hitting .410 (16-39) over that stretch. More relevant to our discussion he is 11-25 in the last week with a couple homers, a couple doubles and a triple. He has really held down the leadoff spot since Gorkys went down especially teaming with Hicks at the top of the order.
- Jeff Locke - Locke has really started to turn it around as the season has gone on. He threw another 6 scoreless innings and has controlled the ball very well so far. He only has 5 walks in 30 IP and he was really only hit hard in one start. I like him a lot.
Honorable mentions: Char Rodgers, Rome; Eric Barrett, Rome; Brandon Jones, Richmond; Chris Vines, Myrtle Beach; Phil Stockman, Richmond; Ryne Reynoso, Myrtle Beach; Greg Creek, Mississippi.
I was going to do a not list but this took much longer than I was planning for. So maybe next time.