Atlanta Braves Mike Minor & Arodys Vizcaino Pitch Well but Offenses Falter in Losses

Some of the Braves top trade pieces were on display tonight and they didn't do anything to hurt their stock. Wins were hard to come by in full season ball tonight as the offenses were bad in the top three and the pitching was bad at Rome. There are a lot of interesting players running around our system right now and I wouldn't be surprised to see some sleepers start popping up on people's radars. I haven't been blown away by our drafts recently but maybe our front office knows something I don't. 

Gwinnett Braves 2, Louisville Bats 4

Mike Minor put together a fairly average start and the offense was stymied by Travis Wood over seven innings. Alright now who here thinks Brandon Hicks still has a future in the majors? It is a tough question I think because he is actually putting together a decent season in Gwinnett. His eleven homers are the second most he has hit in a season (20 in '08) and if the season ended today he would have posted his highest OPS since 2007 when he played only 55 games. Does he have some holes in his game? Oh yes. But he is a shortstop with good defense and solid power. He just needs to cut down the strike outs a little or up the walks some. He is still a useful piece. 

Mississippi Braves 2, Huntsville Stars 3

Vizcaino continues to show that he is more than a match for AA at this point. Sure this wasn't his most dominating start but just seeing the guy go 7 innings is nice. He threw only 94 pitches on the night as well though he did have a wild pitch and hit batsman. Ernesto Mejia saw his OPS over the last ten games drop to 1.193 tonight. That just won't cut it. 

Frederick Key 6, Lynchburg Hillcats 1

  • Andrelton Simmons SS - 2-5, K, .293 Avg
  • Phil Gosselin 2B - 2-4, 2B, RBI, .282 Avg

Another poor offensive game from the Hillcats doomed them to a loss in this one. I think (with no real statistical evidence to back me up) that the team is missing Adam Milligan in the middle of the lineup. This team has the highest OPS in the league (in a very down year for offense in the Carolina League) but have managed more than three runs just once since Milligan went down (and that was their only win). Lets hope his hammy heals quick. 

Charleston RiverDogs 10, Rome Braves 8

  • Tommy La Stella 2B - 2-4, 2B, 3B, BB, .171 Avg
  • Edward Salcedo 3B - 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, E(28), .278 Avg
  • Chris Garcia DH - 2-4, 2B, BB, K, .355 Avg
  • David Rohm RF-CF - 4-5, 2B, RBI, K, .270 Avg
  • Robert Hefflinger LF - 2-4, 2B, RBI, BB, K, .276 Avg

The Rome offense really got clicking tonight. Unfortunately their best pitcher -Caleb Brewer - allowed eight runs  in seven innings. Edward Salcedo collected another double - eight of his last fourteen hits have been doubles and two of the others were homers. One stat I haven't mentioned about Salcedo this year is that he has been destroying left handers to the tune of a .373 Avg  and a .981 OPS. Surprisingly Salcedo isn't even the hottest player on his own team. That honor goes to David Rohm who is hitting .472 over the last 10 games with a .520 OBP and just one strike out. Just remember that we said Rohm would be the breakout prospect for Rome this season. He also played a little CF tonight. 

Greeneville Astros 3, Danville Braves 6

  • Fernando De Los Santos 2B - 3-5, RBI, K, .385 Avg
  • William Beckwith DH - 1-4, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, K, .273 Avg
  • Brandon Drury 3B - 2-5, 2 RBI, K, .270 Avg
  • Dan Winnie 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 2.00 ERA

Danville got a solid start from Dan Winnie and three more hits from Fernando De Los Santos. De Los Santos has had at bats in six games now and has multiple hits in four of them. He has yet to take a walk and has also struck out nine times in just 26 at bats, but so far the early returns are good. Brandon Drury was a guy I took a shine too last season and I will follow him closely this year. He has a pedigree that fans love but with more tools than the typical grinder/baseball rat tag. And I have already expressed my interest in William Beckwith. 

GCL Yankees 1, GCL Braves 0 -Suspended in the 3rd Inning

 

DSL Braves 9, DSL Tigers 7

  • Jose Peraza SS - 2-4, 2B, BB, .245 Avg
  • Ibrahim McKenzie 1B - 2-5, 2B, RBI, 3 K, SB(1), .191 Avg

I just want to point something out here real quick. Jose Peraza is probably the best offensive prospect on this team and Ibrahim McKenzie probably isn't far behind him. So far their numbers haven't been blow your mind impressive. Remember that the average OPS in this league is something like .660 (though the Braves are on the low end) and then remember both of them were born in 1994. They are two of the youngest players on the Braves roster and they play every day usually hitting in the 3-4 holes in the lineup. Peraza has stolen fourteen bases already vs just two CS and has nine walks against twelve strikeouts. McKenzie is hitting just .191 but has a .270 ISO and is taking some walks as well. There is definitely some talent here and these aren't the only good players down there.

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