Evan Gattis and Ian Gac showed off their power, Tommy La Stella picked up where he left off last season, and Cory Gearrin and Yohan Flande showed off what they could do if they had stayed on the Major League roster.
Evan Gattis C, Lynchburg Hillcats - 15-32, 3 2B, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 4 BB, 2 HBP, 2 SF - Evan Gattis hates baseballs. That's the only reasonable explanation for why he punishes them so thoroughly and consistently. The 25 year old backstop got his season off to a phenomenal start, with a .469/.525/.844/1.369 slash line through his first 9 games, capping things off with a 5 hit performance on Sunday. He also threw out 4 out of 9 would be base stealers, but did allow 4 passed balls in 5 games at catcher.
Cory Gearrin RHP and Yohan Flande LHP, Gwinnett Braves -7 G, 2 GS, 2-0, 1 SV, 17 IP, 0 R, 9 H, 7 BB, 17 K - Gearrin and Flande had both made Atlanta's opening day roster before the signings of Chad Durbin and Livan Hernandez. While the veterans have combined to allow 8 earned runs over 6.2 innings in the Majors, the rookies have been dominating AAA, with Gearrin allowing just 1 walks while striking out 9 in 8 scoreless innings over 4 appearances and Flande striking out 8 over 9 scoreless in 3 appearances, the last 2 as a starter.
Ian Gac 1B, Mississippi Braves -16-43, 5 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 2 HBP, 17 K - Gac, playing in his 10th professional season, though his first at AA, was signed as a Minor League free agent in the offseason to serve as Mississippi's cleanup hitter, and so far he's been a great investment. In his first week in the organization he put up a .372/.471/.674/1.145 slash line and was named the Southern League Player of the Week. He ended strong, with a pair of RBI doubles and the game winning homer in Sunday's 16 inning affair. He did strike out in 33% of his plate appearances, but for his career he's struck out in 29% of his plate appearances, so that's just the kind of boom or bust hitter he is.
Tommy La Stella 2B, Lynchburg Hillcats - 12-31, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 5 BB, 3 HBP, 2 SF, 0 K - La Stella was a regular on this list last season after the Braves drafted him in the 8th round, and not much has changed. He put up a .387/.488/.645/1.133 slash line and, perhaps most impressively, didn't strike out in 41 plate appearances this week. He struck out in only 10% of his plate appearances last season, and walked in 10% of them, good signs for his future as a hitter.
Honorable Mention: Jose Constanza, Christian Marrero, Adam Russell, Dusty Hughes, Buddy Carlyle, Todd Redmond, Gwinnett Braves; Andrelton Simmons, Gary Moran, Billy Bullock, Andrew Russell, Sean Gilmartin, Zeke Spruill, Mississippi Braves; Robby Hefflinger, Kyle Rose, Braeden Schlehuber, Edward Salcedo, Cody Martin, Juan Jaime, Andrew Wilson, Lynchburg Hillcats; AJ Holland, Rafael Briceno, Rome Braves
Who's Not? (after the jump)
Brandon Drury 3B/1B, Rome Braves -3-34, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 SF, 7 K - Drury was a highlight for the Braves organization in 2011, winning the Appalachian League batting title while playing as a 18 year old for most of the season, but his 2012 got off to a rough start, as he went hitless in his first five games, struggling to a meager .088/.158/.118/.267 slash line. He's also dealing with inconsistency on defense, splitting his time evenly between playing third base, first base, and acting as the DH.
Mycal Jones CF, Mississippi Braves - 4-32, 1 SB, 3 BB, 10 K, -It wasn't only a rough start for Jones at the plate, as he struggled to a .125/.200/.125/.325 slash line for the week, but a rough time physically, as he suffered a nasty gash on his face after an outfield collision with teammate Keenan Wiley. The leadoff hitter didn't crack an extra base hit, and struck out in 29% of his at bats.
Matt Chaffee LHP, Lynchburg Hillcats -3 G, 2 SV, 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 6 K - Chaffee's season actually got off to a nice start, as he picked up a save with a scoreless inning in his first appearance, but he followed that up by allowing 4 runs while only recording 2 outs in his second. In his third appearance, he picked up a save, but allowed a run, giving him a 16.88 ERA and a 3.00 ERA in 2.2 total innings. On the bright side, he didn't walk anyone and 6 of his 8 outs were strikeouts.
Elmer Reyes SS, Rome Braves - 7-37, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K -Reyes began last season with Rome, but was demoted to Danville after hitting just .177 with a .473 OPS in 258 plate appearances. So far this season, he hasn't shown much improvement, putting up a .189/.211/.216/.427 slash line in 39 plate appearances.He also made 4 errors in 8 games at shortstop.
Dishonorable Mention: Stefan Gartrell, Eric Junge, Erik Cordier, Gwinnett Braves; Adam Milligan, Christian Bethancourt, Mississippi Braves; Caleb Brewer, Ronan Pacheco, Lynchburg Hillcats; Edison Sanchez, Joe Lucas, Greg Ross, Carlos Perez, Rome Braves