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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Sims and Weigel excel, Ruiz hit streak at 11

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Rio Ruiz

Gwinnett Braves 6, Charlotte Knights 0

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 2-5, 2B, run, .251/.309/.358
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 2-4, run, .278/.371/.380
  • Lucas Harrell, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2.92 ERA

Gwinnett used a fantastic outing from Lucas Harrell and a big first inning to jump ahead and stay ahead of Charlotte, 6-0. Harrell was excellent in his six scoreless innings and while he gave up six hits, he only had the one free pass and never really let them string together hits. The only inning he gave up more than one hit, a double play eliminated the base runner so he was never really in trouble. More of the same came from the Gwinnett bullpen as why they gave up 4 hits, the trio of Texeira, Janas, and J. Ramirez didn’t allow any free passes and didn’t find themselves in any real trouble.

On offense, Gwinnett went off for 5 runs in the first inning which would account for most of their runs. Every Gwinnett batter with at least 1 at-bat recorded a hit which is certainly a good sign for a team’s likelihood of winning a game. Ozzie Albies recorded a couple of hits and now has four multi-hit games in his past ten. Rio Ruiz is becoming of the system’s hottest hitters again and has now hit safely in 11 straight games. During the streak, his average has jumped up 24 points and has been striking out well under once a game on average. The walks have gone down during the streak, but when he is swinging it well it would make some sense that he is being more aggressive.

Next Game: 6/27 at Indianapolis @7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Gwinnett - Manny Banuelos, Indianapolis - Tyler Glasnow

Mississippi Braves 3, Jacksonville Suns 2

Box Score

  • Connor Lien, CF: 4-4, 2B, SB
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-4, RBI, .277/.341/.428
  • Lucas Sims, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 2.29 ERA

Mississippi rallied in the 8th inning to beat Jacksonville 3-2. Lucas Sims made his first start since being demoted to AA and he was good, allowing just 3 hits and two earned runs while striking out 6. He still had the 3 walks, but it was nice to see him succeed after struggling in AAA pitching in his hometown. Kent, Hursh, and Younginer combined to throw four scoreless innings while striking out six batters. Jason Hursh has quietly been better for Mississippi as he has allowed just one run in his past 6 appearances (10 IP) to help bring his season ERA down to 2.88.

On offense, Dansby Swanson had the night off but Connor Lien filled in admirably production-wise with a 4-4 night. Lien is just now getting back in to the swing of things after returning from surgery on his wrist/hand and games like this are certainly encouraging. Was also nice to see his get a stolen base as his speed is a big part of his game and if he can get on-base at a regular clip, that speed and his excellent defense in the outfield could be his ticket to being considered for the big league club. Dustin Peterson had a hit and yet another RBI as he continues to be productive in the heart of Mississippi’s lineup. Joey Meneses did come in to the game as a pinch hitter and has now hit safely in all four of his games at Double-AA. If he continues to hit at Mississippi, the idea that he was just beating up on younger players after repeating a level at Carolina becomes much less convincing and at just 24 years old, could be a player to watch for 2017 for Atlanta.

Next Game: 6/27 hosting Jacksonville @ 8:00 PM

Probable Starters: Mississippi - Sean Newcomb, Jacksonville - Jake Esch

Carolina Mudcats 1, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 2

Box Score

  • Braxton Davidson, RF: 1-2, RBI, BB, .229/.332/.355
  • Keith Curcio, CF: 1-2, run, .244/.317/.344
  • Ryan Clark, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 5.83 ERA

Carolina’s promotion-decimated lineup could not muster much offense to back Ryan Clark’s strong outing on the mound as they fell to Myrtle Beach 2-1. Clark was really strong for Carolina as he limited contact as well as attacked the zone for most of the evening. Clark has struggled to limit base runners and keep the ball in park and while the latter did come up last night (he gave up his 13th homer in 14 games), he limited the damage by keeping hitters off balance and not square up as many pitches. Unfortunately, reliever Sean McLaughlin also gave up a solo shot and the offense could not score more than just a run.

Carolina managed just 6 hits and the only RBI on the evening belonged to Braxton Davidson which came in the third inning. No Carolina batter had more than one hit and only Braxton and Keith Curcio reached base more than once (the former on a walk and the latter on a catcher’s interference call). In short, five of Carolina’s batters in this lineup have batting averages less than .200 and the batting leader is Keith Curcio who is currently just hitting .244.

Next Game: 6/27 at Frederick @ 7:00 PM

Probable Starters: Carolina - Max Povse, Frederick - Lucas Long

Rome Braves 11, Charleston RiverDogs 5

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 2-5, run, 2B, 2 RBIs, .262/.307/.404
  • Justin Ellison, RF: 2-2, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, 2 BB, .241/.300/.357
  • Patrick Weigel, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2.80 ERA

Rome has been on a offensive rampage of late and that plus another strong start from Patrick Weigel led to a good win over Charleston 11-5. Weigel has been excellent for most of the season and is beginning to creep in to some Braves prospect lists due to his ability to reach the mid to upper 90’s with his fastball as well as his success in his first shot at full season ball. He is currently striking out better than a batter an inning and has been equally tough on lefties and righties this year. Dalton Geekie would come in and give up two unearned runs before Adam McCreery would pitch a scoreless 9th.

On offense, don’t look now...but Austin Riley is heating up. After homering on Thursday and Friday, Riley followed those games up with two multi-hit games. Riley has looked better at the plate to start the second half, so it will be interesting to see if he can carry that success through the second half as well as cut down on some of his swing and miss (and maybe draw a few more walks) as he likely heads to Carolina next season. Justin Ellison reached base four times and Riley, Ellison, Salazar, and Wigberto all drove in multiple runs (in Wiggy’s case it was a 3-run homer).

Next Game: 6/27 at Kannapolis @ 7:05 PM

Probable Starters: Rome - Mike Soroka, Kannapolis - TBA

Danville Braves 4, Princeton Rays 11

Box Score

  • Ramon Osuna, 1B: 0-3, BB
  • Jared James, LF: 1-4, 2 RBI
  • Alec Grosser, RP: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Princeton jumped all over Danville in this one 11-4. With several of the 2016 draftees that were expected to start in Danville having yet to make their debuts including Drew Harrington and Brett Cumberland, the layman could have some difficulty getting excited to follow this affiliate early on. However, 2016 draftee Ramon Osuna, Isranel Wilson, Anthony Concepcion, and others are all interesting prospects in their own right.

Alec Grosser, last seen giving up many earned runs for Rome early last year, struggled in his first outing of the season. Not long ago, Grosser was considered a top 25 prospect in the Braves system which speaks to not only how much the system has improved but also how much his stock has fallen in the last year or so.

Next Game: 6/27 at Princeton @ 7:00 PM

GCL was off Sunday but will be playing at noon on 6/27 hosting the GCL Pirates