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Braves Minor Recap: Big Day for Big Prospects

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Dansby, Ozzie, Ellis, Povse continue to shine

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

(16-17) Gwinnett Braves 3, (17-16) Rochester Red Wings 9

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 1-3 HR, RBI, R, .231/.231/.381
  • Emilio Bonifacio, CF: 1-4 R, SB(11), .268/.308/.299
  • Casey Kelly, SP: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 2.93 ERA
This game started out promising with Gwinnett going up 1-0 on the strength of Ozzie Albies first homer in AAA, and second overall on the season. The 19 year old, yikes 19 and in AAA unreal, struggled when he first came up hitting .091/.091/.091 through his first 5 games. He has since made the adjustments and in the next 5 games has hit .412/.412/.765. One of those adjustments is quite evident and that is he has been opening his hips extremely fast on inside pitches. AAA pitching has been pounding Albies on the inside of the plate challenging his ability to open up and get his bat on them and while he struggled early (seriously only 5 games) he's responded incredibly - just look at this GIF.
Albies HR

Albies HR

Albies has continued to impress me his entire career and I'm completely ready to hand the keys to SS over to him at any point this season. He is well advanced for his age and the sky is the limit for him. He's ready for big league pitching, he makes adjustments on the fly, and is someone you want representing your team. He's ready, we are ready, and we just have remain patient.

The pitching was a mess as Casey Kelly continued to struggle with command over his impressive arsenal. He has 19 walks in 30 innings and it just doesn't seem like he will be utilize his full arsenal. It's really tough because from all accounts he's a hard working, great guy but just can't take a step in his development. The stuff is there, but we will see if he's able to take that next step.

Matt Marksberry struggled for the first time this year in the minors giving up 2 walks (he's had 3 all year) and was gave up twice as many runs as he's given up the entire year. He's had a bit of an odd year as his normal splits are reversed and he's now limiting RHB to a .476 OPS and LHB to a .638 OPS. That said with the Braves now having 2 LOOGYs, seriously never have Krol face a RHB,  this works out well for Matt and I believe he winds up back in Atlanta sooner than later.

Jose Ramirez flashed why he's so tantalizing lighting up that radar gun but last night actually located his pitches - striking out 3 in 2 and throwing 20 strikes (30 pitches). But with a 1.66 WHIP he's buried in the prospective bullpen chart.

Next Game: 5/11 at (17-16) Rochester Red Wings @ 7:05 PM ET
Probable Starters
GWN: Perez, W (3.26 ERA)
ROS: Albers, A (5.56 ERA)

(14-18) Mississippi Braves 5, (12-18) Mobile Bay Bears 0

Box Score

  • Matt Lipka, CF: 2-4, R, SO, .248/.317/.372
  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 3-4 R, 2(1B), 3B, RBI, .324/.432/.541
  • Chris Ellis, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 0ER, 1 BB, 5K, 1.71 ERA, 0.98 WHIP
Ellis is good. I don't know why Ellis isn't in Gwinnett. Ellis has a 32K:15BB ratio, and induces a ton of really weak contact - which is why he is out pitching his FIP (3.66). He's ready for that next step to Gwinnett against the more patients hitters much more so than his trade counter part Newcomb who should stay in Mississippi through the year at this point.

I'm also ready for the Braves to decide on the fate of the Dansby/Ozzie debate. Through 33 games this season he has a .968 OPS and is hitting for extra base hits at a great clip (18 on the season). He won't be in Mississippi for much longer and our questions will soon be answered. I was particularly impressed on his final at bat when he picked up the triple. The pitcher was obviously trying to work around Dansby and pitched him on the outside corner the entire at bat - two just happened to clip the zone. The pitcher missed his location on the final pitch and Dansby drove it the other way in to the corner and easily had a stand up triple. His plate discipline is unreal (20BB:17K), and when I watch him I'm surprised he ever strikes out because he knows what he wants and what he can do. He squares up on the ball and drives it to center a lot and overall is just special. I have absolutely no idea why Arizona traded him even if Ahmed is the superior defender.

Next Game: 5/11 vs (12-18) Mobile Bay Bears @ 11:35 ET
Probable Starters
MIS: Newcomb, S (3.16 ERA)
MOB: Banda (2.97 ERA)

(16-13) Potomac Nationals 3, (13-17) Carolina Mudcats 4

Box Score

  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 2-4, R, .194/.267/.282
  • Max Povse, SP: 7 IP, 7 H , 2 ER, 0BB, 7 K, (2.89 ERA)
At least someone beat a team named the Nationals? Carolina won this in walk off fashion after Ryan Gebhardt singled in Joseph Daris who tripled to start the 10th. There was not much going on offensively as 7 of the 9 hits were singles, however Braxton Davidson did collect his 5th multi-hit game of the season and is hitting .313/.389/.313 over his last 5 games. He's hit for very little power, has walked very little, and has struck out a lot a recipe for disaster. But we have to remember he is just 19 years old and would otherwise just have finished his first year in college.

Max Povse is some how still in Carolina and outside of having to play the incredible stacked Salem team is making A+ ball a breeze. He's made significant strides since last year and the previous problems of being able to repeat his delivery and arm slot appear to be a thing of the past. I don't know why he's still in Carolina but we are maybe waiting for a huge day in the organization where Ellis moves up to Gwinnett and Povse can slip in to Mississippi. He is putting up career highs in K/9 (8.0), BB/9 (1.9), H/9 (6.5), and is barely out pitching his FIP (3.05). I've watched two of his starts and where the catchers glove sits is where the ball goes. He was considered a project when he was drafted because he got sloppy on the mound, but kudos to the Braves staff who seem to have fixed that in just one year. He's ready for tougher competition.

Next Game: 5/11 vs (16-13) Potomac Nationals @ 11:00 AM ET
Pitching Probables
CAR: Clark, R (6.12 ERA)
POT: Whiting (4.03 ERA)

(15-17) Augusta Green Jackets 7, (11-21) Rome Braves 4

Box Score

  • Ray-Patrick Didder, CF: 1-4 2B, BB, .291/.386/.418
  • Touki Toussaint, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4K, 6.75 ERA
Rome should have won this game as they were up 4-2 in the ninth but the defense really let down Geekie, who also struggled, as Augusta scored 5 in the 9th to win. The 9th should have ended at 4-4 when Grayson Jones induced a grounder to Austin Riley who was playing close to the line. All Austin had to do was field the grounder take one step to his right to pick up the out at third, and throw to first to end the inning. Instead the raw, and it's important to remember he's very raw at third, fielded the grounder and registered the out at first. It is something that can be learned and I do not expect something like that again.

It's really amazing that Rome was able to amass 4 runs as they had just 1 extra base hit, and were a collective 1-for-10 with RISP. Ray-Patrick Didder doubled and walked, Justin Ellison is starting to log consecutive games with hits, and Austin Riley collected his first multi-walk game of the season.

The star of this game was Touki Toussaint. Outside of one pitch that was absolutely hammered for a 2R HR, the young pitcher flashed why that trade may be one of the dumbest trades in the history of baseball. His fastball had late movement, and he was locating it extremely well. His developing change-up kept hitters honest and enabled him to blaze fastballs right by them and his ++ curveball was a thing to watch. He's pitched extremely well over the last 3 games (2.81 ERA, .583 OPS) and I'm seeing a pitcher develop confidence. Herbert called a great game and really helped keep batters off balance. There were no trends in the pitches as Touki had no problem starting hitters off with a curve, a fastball, and even a couple of times that change-up. This was the best I've seen him, and I can't wait to catch his next start.

Touki FB

Touki FB

Touki Flinch

Touki Flinch

Touki CB

Touki CB

Touki Curve Again

Touki Curve Again

Next Game: at (22-10) Hickory Crawdads @ 6:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Soroka, M (2.32 ERA)

HIC: TBD