Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: 6/29

Cody Martin - Karl Moore

A look the organization's Minor League affiliates including a roundup of GCL and DSL rookie league action.

Gwinnett Braves 3, Norfolk Tides 4

  • Todd Cunningham CF: 0-4 - (.286/.367/.371)
  • Phil Gosselin 2B: 1-4, HR (1), R - (.242/.289/.318)
  • Joey Terdoslavich RF: 1-3, BB, OF Assist - (.325/.364/.582)
  • Ernesto Mejia 1B: 1-3, HR (20), BB, R - (.246/.332/.526)
  • Brandon Boggs LF: 2-4, 2B (10), R - (.257/.344/.432)
  • Cody Martin: 7IP, 3H, 2ER, 3BB, 11K (21IP, 1.29 ERA, 24K/5BB)
  • Joe Beimel: 0.1IP, 2H, 2ER, 0BB, K (10.1IP, 6.10 ERA 7K/6BB)
  • Cory Rasmus: 0.2IP, 2H, 0ER, 2BB, K (27.2IP, 2.28 ERA 33K/19BB)

Gwinnett dropped a one run contest Saturday Night in Norfolk. Norfolk tied and went ahead in the 8th inning off Joe Biemel. Gwinnett could not stage a comeback against former Brave, Jario Asencio who struck out the side in the 9th. Cody Martin was the story again, going seven innings giving up two runs on three hits. The 23-year-old now has a 95/32 strikeout-to-walk in 2013 and is rapidly shooting up the Braves prospect charts. 24-year-old Phil Gosselin hit his first home run since being promoted to Triple-A, hit first extra base hit in five games. Ernesto Mejia also hit his 20th home run of the season, a great follow up to his 24 last season.

Mobile Baybears 5, Mississippi Braves 3

  • Dan Brewer LF: 0-3, 2BB, R - (.241/.329/.359)
  • Edward Salcedo 3B: 2-4, E (16) - (.275/.344/.447)
  • Christian Bethancourt C: 1-5, BB, 2 K, Pickoff - (.262/.286/.383)
  • Robby Hefflinger LF: 0-4 - (.282/.334/.570 A/AA)
  • Barrett Kleinknecht SS: 3-4, 2 2B (6,7), R - (.250/.305/.399)
  • Mitch Atkins: 5IP, 4H, 2ER, 3BB, 4K (29.1 IP, 3.68 ERA, 29K/13BB)
  • Andrew Russell: 2IP, 2H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K (27.2 IP, 2.60 ERA, 19K/9BB)
  • Juan Jamie: 1.2IP, H, 2ER, BB, 2K (25.1 IP, 2.49 ERA, 44K/15BB)

With the score tied 3-3, Juan Jamie gave up two runs in the ninth which was the deciding factor Saturday night. Mitch Atkins was rather pedestrian giving up two earned over five, walking three and striking out four. Robby Hefflinger made his debut with Mississippi, going 0-4 in LF. Barrett Kleinkncht collected three hits on the night including two doubles. Edward Salcedo also had two hits, but committed another error in the field. Behind the plate, Christian Bethancourt picked a runner off third, showing why he will still has the defensive skill set that can carry him to the MLB level. Former Brave Nick Ahmed, who was a part of the Justin Upton deal, went 0-4 with a strikeout.

Lynchburg Hillcats - Postponed (Rain)

Lynchburg and Myrtle Beach will play a double header today to finish off the series.

Rome Braves 6, Savannah Sand Gnats 2

  • Kyle Wren, CF: 1-4, 2B (3), R, SB (1) - (.424/.486/.667)
  • Jose Peraza SS: 1-2, 2BB, R, E (18) - (.256/.317/.339)
  • Casey Kalenkosky 1B: 2-4, 2R - (.248/.322/.439)
  • Carlos Franco DH: 0-3, BB, R - (.227/.309/.286)
  • Ross Heffley 2B: 0-4 - (.215/.272/.303)
  • Lucas Sims: 6IP, H, ER, 4BB, 5K (57.1 IP, 2.83 ERA, 65K/22BB K/BB)
  • Alex Wilson: 2IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K (27.1 IP, 2.96, 21K/3BB)
  • Shae Simmons: IP, H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K (31.2 IP, 1.99 ERA, 52K/12BB)

Rome came out ahead Saturday behind another great start from Lucas Sims. He went six innings only surrendering one walk and one run. The four walks weren't ideal, but he was able to work around them to go along with his five strikeouts. Shae Simmons continues to impress throwing an inning with two strikeouts to secure the win. On the season he has now has a 52:12 K:BB in 31.2 innings. At the plate, Kyle Wren collected his third double with Rome. Jose Peraza reach three of his four times at the plate, drawing two walks and a hit.

Bluefield Blue Jays 11, Danville Braves 3

  • Mikey Reynolds: 1-4, HR (2), R
  • Victor Caratini: 1-3, BB
  • Connor Lien, CF: 1-3, BB
  • Blake Brown RF: 1-4, R
  • Justin Black LF: 2-4
  • Steve Janas: 2.2IP, 6H, 4ER, 2BB, 0K

Danville got rocked again, this time 11-3 on Saturday night. 2013 6th round pick Steve Janas went 2.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and did not record a strikeout. The rest of the relievers were also touched up in the later innings breaking the game wide open. 5th round pick Mikey Reynolds hit his 2nd home run of the season and added a single. Connor Lien reach base two of his four time as the plate, as did Victor Caratini and Justin Black. Lien added a stolen base and an outfield assist at the plate, while Brown and Caratini both committed errors in the field. It will be interesting to see how Caratini can handle the hot corner defensively.

Braves Rookie League Roundup

GCL Braves:

First off, remember that we're a week into the season, no player has come close to playing any significant amount of time for their stats to mean much of anything. 18-year-old Venezuelan outfielder Victor Reyes has started out hot for the GCL team. In 26 PA, he's put up a .381/.462/.571 triple slash with three walks and five strikeouts. 19-year-old Cody Livesay, a 42 round pick in 2011, has seven hits in 22 PA to go along with three walks and four strikeouts. Ian Hagenmiller, this years 10th round pick, has started slow only reaching base five time in 26 PA. Hagenmiller was committed to Miami U, but decided to sign with the Braves for slot value. One of my personal favorites, 19-year-old Fernelys Sanchez, has also struggled early on, reaching base four times in 20 PA, with 10 strikeouts. Sanchez, from Geroge Washington HS in Manhattan, dropped to the 16th round in 2012 because of injury. He is an athletic toolsy outfielder, but will need a lot of work with the bat to reach his high ceiling potential.

On the mound, keep an eye out for Luis Merejo, an 18-year-old LHP from the Dominican Republic. Merejo made his professional debut for the GCL Braves in 2012, recording a 53:9 K:BB in 41 innings. The lefty sat low 90's, topping out in the mid 90's. Reports suggest he has an advanced feel for pitching and could climb the minor league ladder rather quickly. 18-year-old Ian Stiffler, a 2013 7th round pick, is the youngest arm on the GCL roster and made his one inning professional debut Friday night.

DSL Braves:

18-year-old Ray-Patrick Didder has been the teams top performer through 73 PA, posting a .327/.457/.364 line with 13 walks and 14 strikeouts (Note: you may notice many players having higher than expected walk rates. This is more likely due to teenage pitchers with below average command of 90 MHP fastballs more than great plate discipline. Obviously it's great to see, but just keep that in mind). 17-year-old Kelven Esteves has also started hot with a .297/.451/.313 triple slash with 18 walks and 18 strikeouts in 83 PA. Reports describe Esteves as "an aggressive hitter who has shown good bat speed and raw power potential from the right side." As you can see here, his quick hands allow for great bat speed and great power potential at the plate.

On the pitching side of things, 17-year-old Felix Falcon (80 name), has thrown 17.2 with a 18:2 K:BB early on. Yeralf Torres, a 17-year-old power arm, was the Braves top international signing in 2012, has struggled early on, walking 17 batters in 13.2 innings. Reports on Torres call for a lively low-90's fastball that lacks control out of a drop and drive delivery. You can see the little drop and drive hitch in his motion in this video. When watching from the side angle, it appears more as a "drift" towards the plate rather than a classic drop and drive. Another one of 2012 international signings, Jhon Martinez, has struck out 10 and walked one, facing 34 batters.

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