Gomez and Larsson's Slugging, Spruill And Avilan's Domiannce, And Drury's Streak Highlight The Atlanta Braves Minor League Hot Sheet

A .500 average and a 1.436 OPS earned Mauro Gomez International League Player of the Week honors.

Mauro Gomez hit .520, Zeke Spruill and Luis Avilan dominated AA hitters, Chase Larsson hit an even .500, and Brandon Drury extended his hitting streak to 16 games to earn their places on the Hot Sheet. Veteran Wes Helms struggled in AAA, and Brett Butts suffered a major setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Who's Hot?

  1. Mauro Gomez 1B, Gwinnett Braves - 13-25, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB - Gomez won the International League Player of the Week award by hitting .520 with a 1.436 OPS, collecting a hit in all 6 games he played in. It's been a fine year for the 26 year old first baseman, as he's hit .288 with a .826 OPS, 31 doubles, 21 homers, and 74 RBI in his first year in AAA.
  2. Zeke Spruill RHP, Mississippi Braves - 1-1, 16 IP, 2 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 2 K - Spruil had a rough go in his first 4 starts at AA, with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP in 23 innings, but he turned it all around this week, posting a 1.13 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 16 innings over 2 starts, including a complete game loss on Saturday. After a 2010 that saw him put up a 5.54 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP in 65 innings for Myrtle Beach, 2011 has been a great year for the 21 year old, who has a 3.25 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 6 complete games in 168.2 innings between Lynchburg and Mississippi.
  3. Chase Larsson LF, Danville Braves - 11-22, 4 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB - Overall, August has been a poor month for the Braves 9th round pick in this year's draft, as he's hit just .232 with a .692 OPS in 26 games, but this week was a fantastic one for the 22 year old Canadian, as he hit an even .500 with a 1.360 OPS. His season numbers are respectable, with a .250 average, a .795 OPS, 8 homers and 26 RBI in 208 at bats, but the most impressive numbers are his 30 walks to 36 strikeouts. While he's played well on the road, hitting .324 with a .829 OPS in 111 at bats, he's struggled mightily at home, hitting just .165 with a .561 OPS in 97 at bats.
  4. Luis Avilan LHP, Mississippi Braves - 1-0, 11 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 13 K - After beginning the year in the bullpen, and posting a 5.92 ERA and a 1.68 WHIP in 38 relief innings, the Braves moved the 22 year old Venezuelan to the starting rotation, and he's been much better in that role, with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 62.1 innings as a starter. He saved his best work for this week, putting up a 0.82 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP in 11 innings over 2 starts, striking out 13.
  5. Brandon Drury 3B, Danville Braves - 8-25, 4 2B, 6 RBI - Some other players might have put up better numbers than Drury, who hit .320 this week with a .800 OPS, but he had a hit in all 6 games he played in, extending his hitting streak to 16 games overall. During that streak, he's gone 29-72 with 8 doubles, a homer, 14 RBI, and 2 walks, numbers that come out to a .403 average and a .959 OPS. Also this week, the 19 year old was named the Co-Player of the Year for the Appalacian League, an award he earned by leading the league with a .346 average and 91 hits, as well as putting up a .888 OPS, 23 doubles, 8 homers, and 54 RBI.

Honorable Mention: Gwinnett: Anthony Varvaro, Yohan Flande, JJ Hoover, Todd Redmond, Ruben Gotay; Mississippi: Billy Bullock, Matt Kennelly, Donell Linares, Ernesto Mejia, Jose Lugo, Sean Henry; Lynchburg: LV Ware, David Hale, Chris Masters, Christian Bethancourt, Joey Terdoslavich; Rome: Ronan Pacheco, Evan Gattis, Tommy La Stella, David Rohm; Danville: Ryne Harper, Wilson Rivera, Rafael Bricenio, JR Graham, Fernando de los Santos, Kyle Kubitza

Who's Not?

  1. Wes Helms 3B, Gwinnett Braves - 2-23, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K - After hitting just .191 with a .513 OPS in 110 at bats, the Marlins released the 35 year old Helms. The Braves, the team he began his Major League career with back in 1998, signed him to a contract with the plan to bring him up to Atlanta once rosters expand in September, but, if his play so far in AAA has any say in the matter, that plan may need revision. After going 2-4 in his first game with Gwinnett, he's gone just 2-27 since, striking out 7 times.
  2. Brett Butts RHP, Mississippi Braves - 0-2, 2 G, 1.2 IP, 9 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 K - Butts is barely 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery, so anything he does this year should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Still, this was a bad week, as he lost both games he appeared in and put up a 48.50 ERA and a 5.39 WHIP. In 20.1 innings between the GCL, Lynchburg, and Mississippi, the 25 year old has a 7.97 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. Hopefully the Braves can send him to the Arizona Fall League to continue getting game action while he's recovering, because he was a promising reliever before the injury.
  3. AJ Holland RHP, Danville Braves - 0-1, 2.2 IP, 8 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K - Holland, the Braves 16th round selection in this year's draft, only made one start this week, but it was a rough one, as he didn't make it out of the 3rd and posted a 26.97 ERA and a 3.37 WHIP. Prior to that game, he had a 2.80 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in 25.2 innings for Danville, though the game raised his ERA to 5.08 and his WHIP to 1.20.
  4. Jordan Kreke 2B, Mississippi Braves - 1-20, RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, SB - It's been a rough year for Kreke, who's hit just .212 with a .527 OPS in 335 at bats, and it only got rougher this week, as he hit a lowly .050 with a .186 OPS. He's particularly struggled at home, hitting .199 with a .482 OPS in 181 at bats.
  5. William Beckwith 1B, Danville Braves - 4-27, 2B, 3 RBI, BB - Beckwith's season has been impressive, as he's hit .286 with a .939 OPS, 13 doubles, 11 homers, 44 RBI, and 8 stolen bases in 203 at bats, but he's been prone to feast and famine, going on home run binges, but also having weeks like this one, where he hit .148 with a .364 OPS. Like his teammate Larsson, he's truggled at home, hitting .212 with a .667 OPS in 94 at bats, hitting just 1 of his 11 homers, compared to a .349 average and a 1.166 OPS in 109 road at bats.

Dishonorable Mention: Mississippi: Kenshin Kawakami; Lynchburg: Matt Crim, Todd Cunningham, Caleb Brewer, Dimasther Delgado, Joe Leonard; Rome: Tyler Stovall, Tony Mueller; Danville: Edison Sanchez, Kurt Fleming, Sam Munson, Greg Ross.

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