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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/17: Touki recovers, Mallex and Bethancourt keep hitting

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A couple of the levels had the night off while Mallex Smith and Christian Bethancourt did what they do. Touki also had a nice rebound performance for Rome

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

(66-57) Gwinnett Braves 8 vs. (50-72) Toledo Mud Hens 6 - F/10

Box Score

  • Mallex Smith, CF: 3-6, 2 3B, 1 RBI, 3 runs, .280/.318/.377
  • Freddie Freeman, 1B: 2-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 run
  • Christian Bethancourt, C: 2-5, 2 2B, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 BB, .328/.363/.489
  • Greg Smith, SP: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.45 ERA

Despite the bullpen giving up a lead in the later innings, the Braves put two up in the top half of the tenth and beat Toledo 8-6. Mallex Smith continues to turn his AAA season around with a 3 hit game that feature 2 triples that showcased his speed. His work at the top of the lineup would prove critical as he would score 3 runs in the game including in the top half of the tenth. Freddie Freeman is looking like he is starting to round back in to form as he reached base 4 times and had a couple of RBIs. No word yet on when he could be activated. Christian Bethancourt just continues to hit and hit, adding two more doubles to his recent surge. As for the pitch, Greg Smith had a start that was below his standard that he has set for this season, but didn't let the game get too out of hand and gave the Braves a chance to win even though he didn't seem to have his best stuff. Unfortunately, the bullpen gave up two runs to let Toledo tie things up and force the offense to have to bail them out in extra innings.

Mississippi Braves - No game scheduled

Carolina Mudcats - No game scheduled

(51-69) Rome Braves 0 vs. (54-66) Charleston RiverDogs 3

Box Score

  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 0-3, BB, outfield assist, .241/.389/.371
  • Omar Obregon, SS: 1-3, .268/.335/.314
  • Touki Toussaint, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 5.73 ERA

Not a great game if you are a Rome fan as the Braves were shut out again, this time by Charleston, 3-0. This team misses Ozhaino Albies on offense terribly as Rome continues to struggle in the second half without him. Braxton Davidson only has 5 hits in his past 10 games, although he has walked 10 times in the same span. He did have an outfield assist in this game, his 6th of the year. In all, Rome only managed 2 singles on the night in what was yet another abysmal performance on offense. Touki Toussaint recovered well from a couple rocky outings to go 6 innings and give up just the one earned run. Ultimately, Touki is still very raw and learning how to pitch, but he has some of the best raw stuff in the Braves minor league system. If he can harness his fastball and continue to develop his secondary pitches, he and his curve will do just fine.

(26-28) Danville Braves 0 vs. (29-24) Elizabethton Twins 6

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-4, .283/.377/.467
  • Juan Yepez, 1B: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, .181/.231/.271 (at Danville)
  • Mike Soroka, SP: 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 3.38 ERA

Another tough night on offense as Danville was shut out by Elizabethton, 6-0. Austin Riley was held hitless along with most of the Danville squad. Juan Yepez managed to get a respectable line on the night, getting on base 3 times and getting the Braves only extra-base hit. Yepez has struggled a bit at Danville after lighting things up in the GCL, so hopefully this is the sign of a turnaround. Mike Soroka had the first hiccup in his pro career as he gave up 4 runs in 4 innings of work. He still struck out 5 batters and given that those 4 runs are half of the total he has given up all year, my hunch is that he is going to be just fine.

(15-27) GCL Yankees1 1 vs. (20-27) GCL Braves 5 - Game One

Box Score

  • Jonathan Morales, C: 2-3, 1 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .245/.317/.404
  • Isranel Wilson, OF: 1-2, HR(7), 2 RBI, .202/.331/.450
  • Gabino Avalos, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 4.15 ERA

(20-27) GCL Braves 4 vs. (15-27) GCL Yankees1 2 - Game Two

Box Score

  • Collin Yelich, C: 1-3, 1 2B 1 RBI, .244/.363/.267
  • Isranel Wilson, CF: 1-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI, .202/.331/.450
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 5.91 ERA

The GCL Braves swept a doubleheader (which included a makeup of one of the seemingly endless stream of rainouts from the last month and a half or so). Isranel Wilson was the hero in the two-game set with 4 RBIs total including his 7 homer of the year. Isranel has certainly shown some pop this season in rookie ball, but 45 Ks in 109 ABs does leave something to be desired. That said, he is also just 17 years old and has improved of late in terms of his strikeouts. The pitching was excellent in this set, with the Braves giving up just 3 earned runs total. Collin Yelich and Jonathan Morales continued their good work behind the plate in Lucas Herbert's absence (no word yet on when he should return, although we have already past his own prediction of a month in terms of recovery time).