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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 6/29: Joey Wentz Debuts; Max Fried dominates

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The Braves organization was only able to come up with 2 wins, but it was from the 2 starters who pitched the best. Joey Wentz was literally unhittable in his pro debut, while another strong performance from Pache and Cruz led the GCL Braves to a win.

Max Fried Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

(35-45) Gwinnett Braves 0, (42-37) Indianapolis Indians 5

Box Score

Reid Brignac, SS: 2-4, .267/.366/.360

Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-3, .271/.364/.368

Mel Rojas Jr., RF: 1-4 .229/.278/.341

Aaron Blair, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2.57 ERA

Gwinnett’s bats went totally quiet, and in the end left them on the receiving end of a shutout loss. Reid Brignac provided the only multi hit game for the GBraves, with 2 singles, but couldn’t come around to score as no GBraves made it past second base in this one. Rio Ruiz had a base hit in this one, snapping a 2 game hitless spell. Ruiz is hitting .305 in June and has his lowest strikeout rate in any month this season.

Aaron Blair struggled in his first game since returning to Gwinnett, being unable to find the strike zone. Most of his problems came in the first inning, when he allowed 3 of his 7 hits, 2 of his 4 walks, and all 4 of his runs. From there his line becomes much more manageable-5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Bradley Roney pitched an inning of relief following Blair, and struggled allowing a run on 2 hits and a walk. Brandon Cunniff finished out the night with a scoreless inning pitched.

Next Game: 6/30 at (39-40) Louisville Bats @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters


LOU: Jon Moscot (4-3, 5.36 ERA)

(37-38) Mississippi Braves 2, (49-27) Jackson Generals 8

Box Score

Dansby Swanson, SS: 1-4, .254/.336/.404

Dustin Peterson, LF: 1-4, 2B, .274/.338/.423

Connor Lien, CF: 0-4, .250/.286/.300

Jed Bradley, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 4.68 ERA

Mississippi took a 2-1 lead in the second inning of this one, but wouldn’t score again eventually losing 8-2. Dansby Swanson had one base hit in this game, extending his on base streak to 9 games dating back to June 16. Tomorrow will conclude a poor June for Swanson, who hit just .222 with a 26.4% strikeout rate. Dustin Peterson has not had a bad June, and with his double today is now hitting .323/.373/.462 on the month with a 16.8% strikeout rate.

Jed Bradley made his second start with Mississippi, and had pitched well since his poor first outing. In his last 6 appearances he has a 1.02 ERA in 17.2 IP, with 20 K and 8 hits allowed. He was followed by Andrew Thurman, who is likely going to be a member of the bullpen going forward with Bradley in the rotation. Thurman took the loss and gave up 2 runs in 1.2 IP.After getting the final out of the 7th David Peterson was brought back to pitch the 8th inning. He gave up a single and 3 doubles before finally being pulled for Evan Phillips. Phillips made his AA debut in perfect fashion, with 2 strikeouts.

Next Game: 6/30 @ (49-27) Jackson Generals @ 8:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Victor Mateo (1-2, 3.89 ERA)

JXN: Andrew Moore (3-0, 3.18 ERA)

(31-46) Carolina Mudcats 3, (40-36) Frederick Keys 6

Box Score

Tanner Murphy, C: 1-4, RBI, .160/.249/.263

Braxton Davidson, RF: 0-3, .232/.336/.369

Omar Obregon, 2B: 3-4, 2B, BB, .261/.301/.336

Matt Withrow, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.46 ERA

Carolina fell behind early in this one, but scored 3 runs off of former Brave Trevor Belicek to tie the game in the 6th. That score held until the 10th, when a 3 run home run won the game for the Keys. Braxton Davidson struggled in this one, but that shouldn’t overshadow his best month of the season. Davidson has a .870 OPS in June, with his lowest K rate and highest walk rate in any month this season. Tanner Murphy had his best month of the season as well, with a .753 OPS that is more than the sum of his first 2 months OPS (.340 and .350).

Matt Withrow hasn’t gotten many of the headlines, but has put up a solid season nonetheless with a 3.46 ERA and more walks that innings pitched. Today was no exception, as his solid but unspectacular line gave Carolina a chance to win. Withrow as well has had a strong June with a 2.61 ERA and 35 K in 31 IP. Errors ended up costing the Mudcats in this one, as only 2 of the 6 runs allowed were earned. A throwing error in the 10th inning by Jordan Edgerton prevented Carolina from getting out of the inning, and Sean McLaughlin offered up a home run to Conor Bierfeldt to end the game.

Next Game: 6/30 vs (47-29) Lynchburg Hillcats 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

CAR: Caleb Beech (1-1, 1.69 ERA)


(32-44) Rome Braves 4, (28-49) Kannapolis Intimidators 0

Box Score

Luke Dykstra, 2B: 1-4, .256/.326/.279

Austin Riley, 3B: 1-4, 2B, .262/.306/.410

Carlos Castro, 1B: 2-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, .208/.238/.515

Max Fried, SP: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 3.77 ERA

Rome has come out firing in the second half, and are tied atop the second half standing with a 5-2 record. Today they won behind a dominant performance by Max Fried and a 3 run 4th inning that put the game out of reach. Carlos Castro, as everyone predicted before the season, is the team leader in home runs with 8 in 27 games. Castro has 21 hits, 14 for extra bases and 8 for home runs. That’s a .307 ISO. June seems to be the magic month for a lot of prospects, and Austin Riley put up his best month of the season with an .825 OPS and his lowest strikeout rate in any month this season.

Max Fried is heating up tremendously, and posted easily his best start of the season. He allowed 2 hits, no runs, tied his season high with 9 strikeouts, and only walked 2. He also reached his second highest pitch count of the season at 91. His June numbers are ludicrous, with a 1.29 ERA in 5 starts, 35 K to 10 BB, all in 28 IP. Outside of one poor start on the 16th, he allowed 1 earned run in 4 outings, and struck out 32 batters in 23 innings.

Next Game: 6/30 vs (26-50) Lexington Legends (26-50)

Probable Starters

ROM: Touki Toussaint (2-5, 4.37 ERA)

LEX: Nolan Watson (2-7, 8.18 ERA)

(3-4) Danville Braves 3, (5-2) Johnson City Cardinals 5

Box Score

Matt Hearn, CF: 2-4, RBI, .500/.500/.500

Jared James, LF: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, .304/.467/.348

Isranel Wilson, DH: 0-3, .182/.280/.409

Luis Gamez, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2.25 ERA

The Danville offense wasn’t able to wake up until late in the game, and at that point they had already fallen behind 5-1 and were unable to catch up. Jared James provided a bulk of the production, knocking in 2 of the 3 runs and adding a double and a stolen base. Matt Hearn made his season debut with 2 hit and an RBI. He also threw out a runner at home plate.

Luis Gamez struggled in his first stint with Danville last season, but has opened his season with some good performances. In this one he pitched 6 innings and struck out 5, but struggled with walks. He was relieved by Dalton Carroll, who gave up 2 runs on 6 hits in his 1.2 innings of work. Ryan Schlosser closed out the day, and posted a bunch of 1’s- 1.1IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K.

(2-3) GCL Braves 6, (0-4) GCL Yankees West 1

Box Score

Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, RBI, .429/.429/.571

Randy Ventura, RF: 2-4, 3B, .316/.316/.421

Derian Cruz, SS: 2-4, 2B, .417/.417/.500

Joey Wentz, SP: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA

Once again the offense for the GCL Braves was led by superb performances from the trio of Ventura, Cruz, and Pache. Ventura has 5 hits in his last 2 games, and Cruz and Pache have yet to go hitless in their 5 games. Cruz is tied for the GCL lead with 10 hits already. Anthony Concepcion, who leads the GCL in batting average, provided some pop off the bench with a triple and eventually scored a run. The rehabbing Gordon Beckham had a base hit.

Joey Wentz’s debut went as well as you can ask, as he was nearly flawless through 3 innings. He one-upped Kyle Muller just a bit, throwing 3 hitless innings, striking out 4, but walking 1 fewer batter at 1. It seems as if the Braves front office just might know what they’re doing with drafting. Now we wait, as Ian Anderson could pitch in the next few days. Parker Danciu pitched 3 innings, and got the win. Ramon Taveras closed it out with a 3 inning save, and didn’t allow a run.