Before I dive into the recap I want to thank everyone again for an incredible season of Braves minor league baseball. I can not believe this is the final recap of the year for me - it feels like a huge part of my life outside of work has been taken from me! I have always enjoyed talking baseball with a majority of you and hope to continue to do so during the off-season in some way. Now that, that is out of the way - let’s dive into some baseball!
(68-67) Norfolk Tide 3, (68-67) Gwinnett Stripers 8
- Michael Reed, DH: 2-for-4, 2B, 2R, RBI, BB, .368/.460/.547
- Austin Riley, 3B: 3-for-5 2B, HR, 5 RBI, 2R, .284/.351/.465
- Shane Carle, RP: 1.0IP, 0H, 0R, 0 BB, 0K
- Connor Johnstone, SP: 6.0IP, 5H, 3ER, 1BB, 3K, 4.50 ERA
While it appears that the Austin Riley show will not be happening in Atlanta this season, as the 40 man roster is full, he wants to end the season how he always does - on an absolute tear. Riley went 3-for-5 with five RBI and hit his 11th homer for Gwinnett, in their impressive 8-3 win. Gwinnett has been quite hot of late and are officially over .500 for the first time since April 6th. Michael Reed, who should be joining Atlanta this weekend, also contributed with a 2-for-4 perform which included his 13th double for Gwinnett. Michael has been a revelation for Gwinnett this season and it will be interesting to see if he will remain in the organization after this season or if he will pursue an opportunity where he wouldn’t be blocked by a certain start left fielder.
Shane Carle made a perfect appearance with Gwinnett and should hopefully be rejoining the Atlanta bullpen soon. Connor Johnstone, who has done everything the organization has asked from him, made the start for Gwinnett and provided six solid innings of baseball where he gave up three runs on five hits. Connor, drafted last year out of Wake Forest, has made starts in Florida, Mississippi, and Gwinnett while also working out of the pen when asked - and has done so rather solidly. His line on the season is: 3-3, 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .238 BAA, 7.3 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and two saves. Miguel Socovich provided one perfect inning of relief where he struck out one, and Jacob Webb closed out the game with an inning of one hit, one strikeout baseball.
(64-69) Mississippi Braves 4, (53-79) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3
- Cristian Pache, CF: 1-for-4, RBI, BB, R, .278/.314/.361
- Travis Demeritte, LF: 2-for-3, R, .227/.323/.426
- Michael Mader, SP: 5.0IP, 3H, 2ER, 1BB, 2K, 3.70 ERA
(65-69) Mississippi Braves 1, (53-80) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 0
- Cristian Pache, CF: 0-for-3
- Travis Demeritte, LF: 1-for-3, 3B, R
- Elian Leyva, SP: 4.1IP, 4H, 0R, 3BB, 5K, 2.69 ERA
Mississippi swept their double header with an absolutely dominating day on the mound - allowing just eight hits in two games. The most impressive was game two, when the Braves collected just a single hit but it was enough for the win. Travis Demeritte went 1-for-3 with a one out triple in the seventh inning. After Tyler Marlette flied out for the second out of the inning, Luiz Valenzuela reached on a fielding error by the pitcher which allowed Travis to score the lone run of the game. The duo of Elian Leyva and Justin Kelly limited the Shrimp to four hits (one double) to secure the sweep for Mississippi - despite committing three errors.
(50-77) Florida Fire 1, (68-66) Tampa Tarpons 3
- Drew Waters, CF: 0-for-2, BB, RBI, .257/.311/.339
- CJ Alexander, 3B: 1-for-3, BB, .352/.403/.493
- William Contreras, C: 0-for-4, .250/.304/.319
- Isranel Wilson, LF: 2-for-2, 2B, BB, RBI, .221/.295/.321
- Huascar Ynoa, SP: 5.0IP, 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 5K, 8.03 ERA
As per tradition - another tough luck loss for Huascar Ynoa who put up a solid effort - striking out five over five innings. He wasn’t particularly efficient as he needed 91 pitches to go those five innings but he kept Florida in the game but the offense failed to muster much against a very tough Domingo German who was rehabbing for the Yankees down in Tampa. Chase Johnson-Mullins worked one inning where he gave up a hit and a walk.
As expected, the bats couldn’t get it going against a rehabbing major league pitcher but there were some solid days - most notably Isranel Wilson who went 2-for-2 with a double today - the same day he was listed as a participant for the Arizona Fall League. CJ Alexander continued to do CJ Alexander things as he went 1-for-3, and drew another walk. Braxton Davidson, also named to the AFL, went 0-for-2 with a strikeout - his 205th of the season. He’s not having a great season (.646 OPS), but it’s clear the Braves see something in him which is why they are sending him to Arizona.
(61-74) Greenville Drive 1, (69-63) Rome Braves 5
- Justin Dean, CF: 1-for-4, 3B, R, .232/.318/.347
- AJ Graffanino, SS: 0-for-3, RBI, .321/.345/.405
- Jefrey Ramos, LF: 1-for-4, HR, RBI, R, .239/.284/.406
- Derian Cruz, 2B: 2-for-3, 2(2B), .217/.249/.306
- Freddy Tarnok, SP: 5.2IP, 2H, 1ER, 2BB, 2K, 3.96 ERA
Yet another pitching dominated matchup as Freddy Tarnok blitzed his way through the Drive lineup up until the sixth inning when he gave up a double that went on to score the lone run for Greenville. John Curtis and Zach Daniels came in to the game following Tarnok and were even more impressive - pitching a combined 3.1 innings of no-hit baseball to secure the win for Rome. Daniels, a round 19 draft pick for the Braves, has had a good start to his pro career having gone 3-2 with a 1.85 ERA, but has struggled with walks (10 in 24 innings). Since his promotion from Danville to Rome - Daniels has yet to give up a run in five appearances and looks to be a very important member of the staff in the playoffs.
Offensively, Derian Cruz had a big going going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Hagen Owenby was the only other player to register a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Jefrey Ramos hit yet another homer, the 14th of the season, in a 1-for-4 game. Justin Dean went 1-for-4 with a triple, his fifth triple in 24 games this season for Rome, and his ninth on the season.