Yohan Flande is off to a killer start to the 2012 season and leads the International League in both ERA and BAA. Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Kyle Kubitza and Evan Gattis are the offensive story of the week for the Braves' affiliates, as they kept raking on their way to monster numbers. Yohan Flande and David Hale each threw masterful two-hit starts as they lead what was overall an impressive week for pitching in the Atlanta Braves' minor league system.
Yohan Flande, SP, Gwinnett Braves - 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K. After the surprise acquisitions of Livan Hernandez and Chad Durbin, Flande was sent down to Gwinnett after being told he'd made the team. Since then, Flande has done nothing but prove that he belongs in the bigs. Flande only had one start this week, but it was a beauty: 6.2 innings of two-hit, shutout ball with eight strikeouts and only one walk. On the year, Flande has thrown 15.2 innings and given up only five hits. He's struck out sixteen and walked seven, and his WHIP for the year sits at a phenomenal 0.79. Flande leads the International League in both ERA and opponent's batting average (.096).
David Hale, SP, Mississippi Braves - 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 6 K. After an absolute disaster in his first start, Hale threw 6 innings of no-hit ball and followed it up with this week's gem. Hale went seven innings, allowing only two hits and an unearned run. He also struck out six while walking only two. The Braves' 3rd round pick in 2009, Hale has always had good stuff and if his last two starts are any indication he may be on his way to harnessing it. In those two starts, Hale has gone 13 innings allowing two hits, no earned runs, four walks, and eleven strikeouts, good for a 0.46 WHIP.
Evan Gattis, C, Lynchburg Hillcats - 7/19, 5 R, 7 RBI, 2B, 3 HR, 1 BB, 4 K. After being named the Carolina League Player of the Week last week, Evan Gattis kept on mashing. In fact, the only thing that slowed Gattis was the rain, as Lynchburg was rained out on both Saturday and Sunday. It makes Gattis' numbers all the more impressive when you realize that, as he only had 5 games to accumulate them. He's currently riding a three game homer streak, having hit his 4th, 5th, and 6th homers on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. On the short week, Gattis hit .368/.421/.895, and looks primed for a monster year. My guess is that he's promoted within 2 months.
Kyle Kubitza, 3B, Rome Braves - 11/25, 7 R, 8 RBI, 4 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 6 K, 2 SB, 1 CS. Kyle Kubitza raked all week, leading up to today's announcement that he had been named the South Atlantic League's Player of the Week. Kubitza's line of .440/.500/.920 this week is pushing video game numbers. Kubitza did it all, recording four doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He even swiped two bags. On the year, Kubitza has put up an impressive .317/.388/.700 line with five doubles, three triples, and four homers. The Braves' 3rd round draft pick last year is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting offensive prospects in the low minors, and if his power surge is real, (He only hit one homer in 44 games last year) he could be moving up prospect lists by the middle of the year.
Honorable Mention: Gwinnett Braves - Cory Gearrin, Buddy Carlyle, Jose Constanza, Drew Sutton, Jaye Chapman, Julio Teheran, Tim Hudson. Mississippi Braves - Mark Lamm, Ryan Buchter. Lynchburg Hillcats - J.R. Graham, Chasen Shreve, Nick Ahmed, Edward Salcedo. Rome Braves - David Filak, A.J. Holland, Cole Rohrbough, Nick DeSantiago.
Joey Terdoslavich, 3B, Gwinnett Braves - 5/23, 3 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 SB. It's been a down year so far for Joey T., as he struggles to adjust to AAA after making the two-level jump from Lynchburg. After posting a three hit game on Monday, it looked as if he might have turned a corner, but he only managed two hits the rest of the week. For the week, Terdoslavich put up a slash line of .217/.280/.217. That's right, the Carolina League record holder for doubles in a year didn't notch a single extra base hit this week. On the year, he only has 4 (two doubles and two homers) in 17 games. Most, if not all of these struggles however can be chalked up to a period of adjustment. If Terdoslavich can keep making adjustments of his own, there's no reason to think he can't regain his form from last year.
Andrelton Simmons, SS, Mississippi Braves - 4/26, 2 R, 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. Last night's heroics aside, it was a down week at the plate for Andrelton Simmons. Simmons put up a meager .154/.185/.192 line for the week, and yesterday's two big hits were half his hit total for the entire week. He did make them count however, notching four RBI with his 4 hits. Simmons was also caught on the basepaths for the first time this year, and his stolen base success rate now sits at 75% (3 SB, 1 CS). On the young season, Simmons has a slash line of .250/.304/.308, so there's no reason to think he will not bounce back.
Mycal Jones, CF, Mississippi Braves - 2/20, 2 R, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 SB, 1 CS. It was a rough offensive week for everyone at Mississippi, but no one took it as badly as Myke Jones did. Jones hit .100/.182/100 for the week, a line that was so bad he was dropped from the leadoff spot to 9th in the middle of the week. He also whiffed in 40% of his at bats, never a good sign for a potential leadoff man. Jones was caught stealing this week, already his third time caught on the year, compared to only two steals.
Carlos Perez, SP, Rome Braves - 3.1 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 5 BB, 2 K. To say it was a rough week for Perez would be an understatement. He drew one start but absolutely imploded, giving up seven hits and five walks on his way to allowing nine runs in a mere 3.1 innings pitched. Perez was thought of highly last year, but he has really underperformed so far this year, putting up a 12.27 ERA and a horrific 2.55 WHIP. With his yearly K/BB ratio sitting at 7/10, Perez is really going to have to find his control if he wants to pitch better and deeper in to games.
Dishonorable Mention: Gwinnett Braves - Greg Paiml, Erik Cordier, Stefan Gartrell. Mississippi Braves - Richard Sullivan, Christian Bethancourt. Lynchburg Hillcats - Aaron Northcraft, Ronan Pacheco, Matt Lipka. Rome Braves - Rafael Briceno, Kurt Fleming, Tony Mueller.