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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Dustin Peterson is good at baseball

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The affiliates went 3-1 with several prospects have strong games, including the hottest player in the system.

Dustin Peterson Garrett Spain

Gwinnett Braves 7, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 1-4, BB, 2 runs, .242/.290/.365
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-3, 2 BB, RBI, 1 run, .255/.363/.355
  • Manny Banuelos, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 5 K, 4.02 ERA

Gwinnett pulled away late and Manny Banuelos and the bullpen were excellent in Gwinnett’s 7-1. For those wanting Banuelos to eventually make his way in to Atlanta’s rotation, tonight was a good step towards that but it would be nice to see him pitch deeper in to games. However, during this 80 pitch outing, he was pretty good despite have to work around baserunners. He limited hard contact and struck out better than a batter an inning (which is in line with the improvement he has made this year so far). Bradley Roney and Kanekoa Texeira pitched 5 innings of scoreless relief with 5 Ks to secure the win.

On offense, Gwinnett used a balanced attack with 5 different players getting 5 RBIs and scoring runs. Ozzie Albies has now hit safely in 9 of his past 10 while hitting close to .300 over that span. Rio Ruiz had a hit and an RBI to go along with two walks and now hit safely in 5 of his past 6 games as he looks to regain the hot streak that he had to start the season. Anthony Recker and Blake Lalli both had 2 RBIs in the game, while Matt Lipka went 0-4 with 4 Ks in his second game at AAA.

Next Game: 6/18 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Gwinnett - Chris Ellis, Scranton - Luis Severino

Mississippi Braves 7, Birmingham Barons 1

Box Score

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 2-5, 2B, RBI, .240/.323/.386
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-5, 2B, RBI, run, .283/.347/.441
  • Jed Bradley, SP: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 5.45 ERA

Mississippi rode their hot hitters and a strong collective effort from the pitching staff as they beat Birmingham 7-1. In the wake of Chris Ellis being promoted to Gwinnett, Jed Bradley took the mound for Mississippi in his first start of the year (5 appearance overall) and struck out 6 batters in less than 4 innings of work. New acquisition Akeel Morris pitched 1.2 innings of relief and has yet to give up a run in a Braves uniform. He does appear to have some wildness in his game right now (5 BB in 4.1 IP) but fans should still be thrilled at the return for Kelly Johnson at this point.

On offense, Dustin Peterson is easily the hottest position prospect in this system. He has a 13 game hitting streak right now which has seen his average on the year jump 32 points where he has shown both power as well as a great approach at the plate. He really seems like he has figured something out at the plate and not just victimizing subpar pitching. Dansby Swanson had a good day at the plate with a couple of hits and an RBI, while Willians Astudillo extended his hit streak to 10 games with a 4 hit performance. Astudillo has been overshadowed a bit this season with the presence of Peterson and Swanson on the roster, but he has had a very interesting and quite decent season himself this year which is almost complete lack of walks or strikeouts.

Next Game: 6/18 at Birmingham @ 6:30 PM CST

Probable Starters: Mississippi - Sean Newcomb, Birmingham - David Holmberg

Carolina Mudcats 3, Wilmington Blue Rocks 0

Box Score

  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 2-4, 2B, .335/.397/.487
  • Keith Curcio, LF: 3-4, 2 runs, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, .253/.328/.361
  • Matt Withrow, SP: 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 3.45 ERA

Matt Withrow was excellent and Carolina put together just enough offense, in particular from Keith Curcio, to beat Wilmington 3-0. Withrow has had some issues with consistency and control of late, but has shown a propensity for missing bats. If he can keep the walks down and keep the long ball in check (given up 6 in 12 games this year), he could do very well for himself. Evan Phillips continues his outstanding year in relief as sports an ERA of less than 1 while holding his opponents to a .167 average against him in 20 appearances this season. While his strikeout numbers are not eye popping, he does get his fair share and he just does not walk batters almost at all (0 in his past 9 appearances combined).

On offense, Joey Meneses continues to terrorize opposing pitching with yet another multihit day after a slight dip in production over the previous couple of games. The bulk of Carolina’s runs came courtesy of Keith Curcio, who had three hits on the day including a double and a homer. Curcio drove in two of Carolina’s three runs, with Braxton Davidson driving in the other run. Davidson has hit safely in 8 of his past 10 games, hitting .300 over that span while averaging a strikeout a game.

Next Game: 6/18 Doubleheader hosting Wilmington @ 4:00 PM

Probable Starters: Carolina - Max Povse, Wilmington - Josh Staumont

Rome Braves 2, Greensboro Grasshoppers 4

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, .261/.309/.385
  • Carlos Castro, 1B: 2-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, .197/.228/.500
  • Ricardo Sanchez, SP: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Rome struggled on offense and, despite a strong outing from Ricardo Sanchez, fell to Greensboro 4-2. Ricardo was excellent today, which was somewhat predictable given his pattern of alternating good and bad starts. In his last 6 starts, the number of earned runs he has given up (in order) was 7, 0, 6, 2, 7, 1. Its hard to understand what to attribute his inconsistency to, although his offspeed pitches seem to have much less life and are very hittable in his rough starts this season. Sadly, Oriel Caicedo came in and gave up 3 runs which allowed Greensboro to steal a victory away. This has been a fairly common theme for Rome this year with the bullpen costing them quite a few wins this season.

On offense, Rome only managed 4 hits on the night, although two of them were solo homers off the bat of Carlos Castro. Castro is a strange prospect in that he only has 15 hits in 76 ABs this season, but 10 of them have gone for extra bases including 6 home runs. If he can learn to make more consistent contact, he could be an intriguing option. However, given that he is 22 years old and struggling in single-A and has been inconsistent during his minor league career, its hard to seriously consider him as a real prospect at this moment in time. Austin Riley added a hit and now has hits in 8 of his past 10 games while hitting .361 over that span. While the strikeouts continue to be a problem, it would also be nice if Riley would work more deep counts and draw more walks, but his results of late have been good so we won’t be greedy for now.

Next Game: 6/18 hosting Greensboro @ 6:00 PM

Probable Starters: Rome - Kolby Allard, Greensboro - Chris Paddack