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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Soroka Shines against Suns

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Mike Soroka has dominated the lower minor leagues in the first month of the season, with some of the best control in the minor leagues. Ozzie Albies reached base 3 times, and Dansby Swanson doubled again.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

(13-10) Gwinnett Braves 1, (14-7) Columbus Clippers 4

Box Score

  • Chase D'Arnaud, CF: 1-5, .250/.283/.341

  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 0-4, .313/.387/.458

  • Reid Brignac, SS: 3-4, 2 2B, .338/.415/.363

  • Casey Kelly, SP: 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 2.33 ERA

Gwinnett's offense struggled today, nobody more than Rio Ruiz. Ruiz struck out in all 4 plate appearances, and that makes it difficult to find anyone else worth writing about on the roster. Just kidding, kinda. Reid Brignac has been one of the better hitters in the lineup this season, and is on a 4 game hitting streak with 11 hits in that span. 11 hits in 4 games is a lot in case you weren't aware. His 2 doubles on the day were the 2nd and 3rd extra base hits for him this season, meaning he would likely be the 3rd best power hitter in Atlanta if he were called up today.

Casey Kelly posted a weird line. Despite basically dominating hitters only allowing 1 hit in 7 innings, he walked 6 batters and allowed an unearned run on a throwing error in the 2nd inning. Kelly has done well this season for Gwinnett with 2.33 ERA, and has only allowed 1 earned run in his last 2 appearances (14.1 IP). He was relieved by Ryan Weber, who pitched a clean frame in the 8th to take it to the top of the 9th in a 1-1 tie. He then allowed a walk, single, double, and double consecutively to let in 3 runs.

Next Game: 4/30 vs (14-7) Columbus Clippers @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Williams Perez (0-1, 5.40 ERA)

COL: Mike Clevinger (2-0, 3.20 ERA)

(8-14) Mississippi Braves 5, (10-12) Jacksonville Suns 4

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 1-3, 2 BB, .369/.442/.512

  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 0-2, 2 RBI, BB, .268/.333/.451

  • Willians Astudillo, C: 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI, .283/.323/.350

  • Chris Ellis, SP: 6 IP, 5 H,3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1.84 ERA, 2-2

In case you haven't been paying attention since about the middle of 2014, this Ozzie Albies guy is pretty good. He is now the system leader in OBP, edging out Dansby Swanson by .001. He wasn't the only offensive star of the day, as pitcher Chris Ellis had a hit in both of his at bats after previously having 4 professional at bats. The 3-4 combo of Peterson and Astudillo knocked in all 5 runs for Mississippi today, and Peterson is now 6th in the Southern League in RBIs. Sean Godfrey had a multi hit day, and is hitting .308 in his second chance in AA.

Chris Ellis actually had his worst start of the season, impressive given that it was a statistical quality start, which is a dumb stat but I digress. He managed to limit his walks to 2 in 6 innings, while also striking out a fair amount with 5 in the game. Steve Kent allowed a run in 1.1 innings, but Bradley Roney shut the door on the Suns. Roney struck out 4 of the 6 batters he faced, and now has 16 strikeouts in 8.1 IP.

The news of the day for the team was of the emotionally devastating variety. Willians Astudillo struck out for the first time since July 23, 1846, a span of 137,926 at bats. Actually it was 163 Plate appearances, and he last struck out 7/23/2015. We have obtained horrifying footage of this rare event. CAUTION: THE FOLLOWING IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED

And now a Eulogy

RIP #WilliansKStreak 7/23/15-4/29/16

He was a streak that captured the imagination of baseball fans everywhere. Every day fans tuned in to box scores on their phones or computers, just hoping to see this streak fight on. Originally given a life expectancy of just 8 days, WilliansKStreak far exceeded all predictions and odds over a 281 day period. 159 plate appearances came and passed before the streak did, and we can only hope that his offspring, now just 2 plate appearances old, can prosper in his stead. He was a beautiful and beloved member of our system and our hearts, and I amongst many others weep at his loss. The coming days will not ease our pain, but hopefully in time we can come to appreciate his beauty. He was a fighter, an inspiration to many, and will forever be our favorite streak. We Love you WilliansKStreak, if only your time weren't so short.

Next Game: 4/30 vs (10-12) Jacksonville Suns @ 6:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Sean Newcomb (1-1, 3.15 ERA)

JAX: Austin Brice (1-1, 1.23 ERA)

(10-11) Carolina Mudcats 4, (16-6) Lynchburg Hillcats 3

Box Score

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 1-3, 2B, BB, SB .333/.441/.526

  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 2-4, .271/.346/.357

  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 1-3, RBI, BB, .205/.277/.329

  • Enderson Franco, RP: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. 7.36 ERA

Well, the Mudcats are on a 3 game winning streak right now, and the offense was able to score some runs today. Dansby Swanson had a hit today, and it was of course a double because apparently 11 isn't enough. In his minor league career Swanson has struck out 27 times. He has drawn 29 walks. This season he has 11 games with at least one double, and 10 games without a double.

Braxton Davidson went 1-3 with a walk today, and has a hit in each of his last 4 starts.

Enderson Franco actually pitched pretty well to earn his second win, which is actual criminal when you think about it. *DUMB STAT ALERT* Franco is 2-1 with a 7.36 ERA while Lucas Sims and Mike Soroka are a combined 0-5 with a 1.68 ERA. The bullpen was lights out again, with Zack Bird, Carlos Salazar, and Sean McLaughlin all pitching scoreless innings. McLaughlin has pitched 10 innings this season without giving up a run, while Salazar has given up 1 in 9.1IP. Salazar has struggled with 9 walks in 9.1IP, but has only given up 1 hit while striking out 17 batters.

Next Game: 4/30 vs (16-6) Lynchburg Hillcats 5:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

CAR: Ryan Lawlor (1-1, 5.09 ERA)

LYN: Luis Lugo (1-1, 4.87 ERA)

(8-14) Rome Braves 1, (15-6) Hagerstown 3

Box Score

  • Luke Dykstra, 2B: 2-3, .309/.356/.382

  • Ronald Acuna, CF: 1-4, .277/.341/.361

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-4, RBI, .253/.273/.434

  • Mike Soroka, SP: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB,6 K, 1.33 ERA

Look, to be quite honest I really want to skip to fawning over Mike Soroka, but for the moment I have to talk a little offense. The offense was quiet today. Almost too quiet. Hmm. Rome managed only 6 hits in the game, though 4 of those came from the bottom 3 hitters in the lineup. Ronald Acuna had a hit on the day, and though Austin Riley did not there is some positive to come away with for him. In the first 15 games of the season Riley struck out an absolutely gaudy 25 times. In the 6 games since he has 3 strikeouts. That is improvement and is what we wanted to see out of him.

Now we move on to the fun part. Mike Soroka was just on a ridiculous level of play yet again, and has been one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues in the early going. His 7 innings today give him 27 innings this season and 61 in his career. 61 innings, and in that time he has struck out 66 batters, allowed 54 hits and 16 earned runs (2.36 ERA) and has dished out 8 walks. 8 WALKS!!!!. He has a career 1.2 BB/9IP rate and has walked 3.2% of the batters he has faced.

Palm Springs commercial photography

Soroka also has yet to allow a home run, and has walked less than 3% of the batters faced this season. Thank you Mike Soroka for being the one pitcher in the system we can count on to not have "Needs to cut down on his walks" in the scouting report.

Of course, an unearned run in the 7th and Matt Custred allowing 2 runs in his inning of work whilst the offense was doing sudoku puzzles in the clubhouse prevented him from earning his first win of the season. Seriously people the kid has a 1.33 ERA the least you can do is one lousy win.

Next Game: 4/30 at (15-6) Hagerstown Suns @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Patrick Weigel (1-1, 3.27 ERA)

HAG: Pedro Avila (0-0, 3.86 ERA)