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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap 8/6: Dilmer Mejia and Alan Rangel Lead Their Teams To Victory

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Tristan Beck and Victor Vodnik make their debuts. Meanwhile Mejia and Rangel had strong pitching performances that led to wins; Braxton Davidson crushed 2 home runs in a losing effort.

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Stripers 1, Buffalo Bisons 6

Box Score

  • Austin Riley, 3B: 0-4, 3 K
  • Dustin Peterson, LF: 2-4, 2 K
  • Phil Gosselin, 2B: 1-4, 2B, R
  • Kyle Wright, SP: 6IP, 7H, 5R(4ER), 1BB, 6K (2 HR)

Kyle Wright was cruising for the most part through the first 4 innings and Vlad Guerrero Jr was his personal nightmare hitting a double and a 2 run HR off of him. Then in the 6th he gave up another 2 run home run to Reese McGuire, not someone known for power. That Buffalo team is loaded with talent and goes to show that as good as Wright is, he’s also not ready for The Show just yet.

Despite Buffalo gifting the Stripers 5 extra chances to score due to errors, they only came away with 1 run. In fact the only run of the day came on a play that included 2 errors. Also, it’s hard to score when you can’t make contact and the Stripers pilled up 11 strikeouts on the day. Austin Riley led the way in that category with 3 strikeouts, 3 more players struck out twice.

Mississippi Braves 1, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3

Box Score

  • Tyler Neslony, RF: 1-4, 2B, K
  • Tyler Marlette, 1B: 1-3, 2B, BB
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-3, BB, K, CS
  • Elian Leyva, SP: 6IP, 6H, 3ER, 1BB, 7K (1 HR)

Elian Leyva pitched a pretty good game, so he did his job. However, a leadoff walk to start the game came back to bite him as he ended up coming around to score in addition to another run. Going down 2 early proved enough to bury the Braves. Leyva would then allow the Jumbo Shrimp to score again in the 3rd on a home run, however that would be it. Jason Hursh, now off the 40 man roster, and Rex Brothers pitched the final 2 innings only allowing a single runner on base.

Much like the Stripers, the M-Braves just couldn’t get anything going all night. On the bright side, Tyler Neslony is up to a 6 game hitting streak in which he’s lifted his batting average over .250. Also, Cristian Pache collected his first walk in AA.

Florida Fire Frogs 10, Palm Beach Cardinals 16

Box Score

  • Braxton Davidson, 1B: 2-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 3 R
  • William Contreras, C: 2-3, 2B, RBI
  • Kurt Hoekstra, DH/3B: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB, K
  • Lucas Herbert, PH/C: 1-1, HR, 2 RBI, BB
  • Huascar Ynao, SP: 1IP, 6H, 9ER, 3BB, 1K

This looks more like a football score than baseball. On the pitching side, there isn’t much good to say. Huascar Ynoa had a clean first inning with a strikeout. You’d have thought starting off on the right foot would go a long way. Unfortunately for Ynoa, all 6 hits and 3 walks came in the 2nd inning, all without recording a single out. It wasn’t like he was BABIP’d to death cause he was getting hit hard, even the singles were line drive shots shots. Even worse for Ynoa is that he left with the bases loaded and Dan Leitz allowed every running to score in addition to 3 of his own. The Cardinals would score 12 runs in the 2nd inning alone!

The offense did a great job to get themselves back in the game too. Before you knew it, it was 12-9 heading into the 8th inning. The Fire Frogs offense hasn’t been all that good, especially Braxton Davidson who is an easy target. Kudos to Davidson though as he hit 2 home runs, driving in 4 runs.

Just when you thought the Fire Frogs would mount the comeback, they decided the bullpen had enough and let positional players pitch the final 2 innings. Yeah, you read that right. For all the good Kurt Hoekstra did batting, he gave up 3 runs in the 8th pitching. Then Marcus Mooney came in for the 9th and allowed a run. The Fire Frogs would only score 1 run after the 7th and that came on a bases loaded walk. A shame they couldn’t score more in that situation.

Rome Braves 1, Delmarva Shorebirds 0

Box Score

  • Greyson Jenista, RF: 1-4, 3B
  • Marcos Almonte, 2B: 3-3, 2B, R
  • Drew Lugbauer, C: 1-3, K
  • Alan Rangel, SP: 7IP, 2H, 0ER, 1BB, 9K

This game was all about Alan Rangel as he pitched 7 innings of shut out baseball. He only allowed 3 base runners all night and tied a career high in strikeouts with 9. This marks 2 straight starts that he hasn’t given up an earned run. He might not be a true prospect, but he is just 20, and has shown he can pitch.

Braves were gifted a single run thanks to former Brave Jean Carlos Encarnacion’s error. So it looks like nothing has changed for him. After a heart breaking double play ball, Almonte hits a double to try and make up for it. Shean Michel hit it to third, but a throwing error by JCE allowed Almonte to score. Ballgame.

Danville Braves 2, Burlington Royals 1

Box Score

  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 1-4, R, E
  • Hentry Quintero, RF: 1-2, 2B, RBI
  • Ricardo Rodriguez, DH: 1-2, RBI
  • Dilmer Mejia, SP: 6IP, 4H, 0ER, 2BB, 6K
  • Zach Guth, RP: 2IP, 0H, 0ER, 1BB, 3K

Just like the Rome game, this was another superb start by a Braves starter. Dilmer Mejia struggled in High-A as well as Low-A (SSS), but has found some comfort back in Rookie ball. This was his best start since July 5th, and good for a 70 game score. Zach Guth pitched a fantastic 2 innings of relief and the only blemish was from Tanner Allison giving up a home run to former Braves Juan Carlos Negret.

Yet another game where the offense was pretty quiet, but managed to do enough to get the win. Danville did their damage in the 1st inning with Greg Cullen and CJ Alexander both coming around to score off hits from Henry Quintero and Ricardo Rodriguez. CJ Alexander has an on base streak at 8 games now.

GCL Braves 4, GCL Blue Jays 3

Box Score

  • Braulio Vasquez, 2B: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
  • Trey Harris, CF: 2-3, R, SB, CS
  • Darling Florentino, 3B: 2-4, RBI
  • Tristan Beck, SP: 1IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
  • Victor Vodnik, RP: 1IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 2K
  • Miguel Jerez, RP: 6IP, 6H, 2ER, 0BB, 5K

Tristan Beck and Victor Vodnik both made their season debuts, and both were brilliant. They combined for 2 innings of shut out baseball while striking out 4. That’s about as good a debut as anyone can have. Miguel Jerez has been really good this season; so good that giving up 2 runs in 6 innings actually increased his ERA to 1.75. Jerez simply doesn’t walk batters which allows him to be quite effective.

Braulio Vasquez continues to make up for a slow start as he’s run his hit streak up to 7 games, in which 5 games have been multi hit performances. Vasquez has pushed his batting average from .235 to .286 in the past 10 games. And he’s not the only one. Trey Harris continues his good work as he goes 2-3 in the game and now has an 11 game on base streak. Not too shabby.

Most of the damage came in the 8th that started off with a leadoff walk for Luidemid Rojas. Those leadoff walks are like foreshadowing for baseball. After a single, Braulio Vasquez’s double scored both runners, and Darling Florentino would score Vasquez. The pitching would allow a run in the 8th and 9th innings, but fortunately they held on for the win.