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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Alex Jackson Annihilates A Couple of Baseballs

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Stripers lose after rain delay, Mississippi splits, Florida and Rome get wins, Danville rookies lose and the GCL was on holiday.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves
Alex Jackson (AJax)
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Gwinnett Stripers 5, Charlotte Knights 8

Box score

  • Travis Demeritte, LF: 2-4, HBP
  • Alex Jackson, C: 2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
  • Adam Duvall, LF: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
  • Luis Marte, SS: 1-3, HR, RBI, BB, K

Just as we were in for the AAA pitching matchup of the year with Shane Carle vs Dylan Cease (top 50 prospect), the rain came. As a result, we only got to see one inning from Cease. Shane Carle didn’t even make it out of the 1st inning. Antonio Santiago was just as bad to be honest and the Stripers were down 7-1 at the end of the 3rd. Grant Dayton wanted in on the action and gave up a run just an inning later. Chad Sobotka pitched 2 scoreless, but gave up 4 hits, and we know playing with fire is bad.

The Stripers mounted a comeback, but making up 7 runs proved too difficult. Alex Jackson hit a couple of absolute bombs, his 13th and 14th home runs of the season (video below). That wasn’t all though as Adam Duvall hit his 22nd home run and Luis Marte hit his 4th. Travis Demeritte continues to be as hot as a hitter can be with another 2 hits and was hit by a pitch.

Probable 6/27 Starter: TBD

Mississippi Braves 0, Jackson Generals 5

Box score (game 1)

Mississippi Braves 8, Jackson Generals 1

Box score (game 2)

  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-7, 3B, 3 RBI
  • Riley Unroe, 3B: 2-7, 2B, 3 RBI
  • Drew Waters, LF: 0-6, 3 K
  • Ray Patrick Didder, SS: 1-2, RBI, 2 R
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Connor Johnstone, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Game 1 was a travesty. The Braves got 1 hit by a pitcher named Joel Payamps. Daniel Lockhart got the sole hit. Jasseel De La Cruz went 6 innings, but wasn’t particularly great and struggled with his command most of the night. His breaking stuff he couldn’t land for strikes, so he was reliant on the fastball, and it didn’t have the peppiness he’s had in earlier starts as it was hitting 94 and guys in AA can sit on that pitch more than the lower levels. On the positive side, while there was a lot of contact being made, Cruz wasn’t getting crushed and only gave up a couple of triples.

Game 2 was the Pache and Unroe show as they drove in six of the eight total runs. Pache’s 3 runs game on a bases loaded triple, whereas Unroe scored some runs on a double and single. Ray Patrick Didder has had yet another forgetable season, but he’s been hot of late. He’s riding a 6 game hitting streak and over the past 10 games is batting .355 (boosting his avg from .141 to .176).

Connor Johnstone was starting out of necessity, but was very effective going 5 strong innings. Thomas Burrows came on in relief giving up the only run of the game on three hits while striking out a couple of batters. At least he didnt walk anyone.

Probable 6/27 Starter: Ian Anderson

Florida Fire Frogs 5, Palm Beach Cardinals 2

Box score

  • Jordan Rodgers, 2B-3B: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI
  • Trey Harris, RF: 0-2, 2 BB
  • Andrew Moritz, CF: 2-4, K, CS
  • Jefrey Ramos, LF: 2-4
  • Matt Hartman, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER (2 R), 2 BB, 4 K
  • Daysbel Hernandez, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

This game shouldn’t have been as close as it was, but the Fire Frogs just stranded quite a few runners tonight. They had 15 baserunners tonight, but only 5 scored. One of those runs came from Jordan Rodgers as he hit his 1st home run of the season. Rodgers was going through a particularly rough stretch, so it was great that he was hot today. Moritz still isn’t showing any type of power, not from the long ball nor gap power, but he’s hitting .393 since the promotion, so he’s bound to find the gaps sooner or later.

After a couple rough outings, this makes two straight quality starts for Hartman. He kept the hitters off balance all day. Once he left the game, the combo of Daysbel Hernandez and Kurt Hoekstra just completely closed the door on the other team. Hernandez has spent the entire season with the Fire Frogs (19 games) and Hoekstra has pitched in 10 games; both have an ERA under 2.00 with low WHIPs and high K-rates. If they continue to pitch like this, it wouldn’t be out of the question for one or both to get bumped up a level.

Probable 6/27 Starter: Alan Rangel

Rome Braves 4, Greenville Drive 3

Box score

  • Brendan Venter, 3B: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, RBI, BB, K, SB
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 1-5, 2 K
  • Jose Bermudez, RF: 1-3, K, 2 SB
  • Dilmer Mejia, SP: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
  • William Woods, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

This was the worst start for Dilmer Mejia and he only gave up three runs on the day. He’s been quite superb to start the season and he now carries a 1.88 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. The secret to his success is just throwing more strikes as he now has a 2.30 BB-rate. The bullpen came in and pitched 4 innings of shutout baseball led by William Woods, the 20 year old JUCO prospect, who racked up five strikeouts in two innings of work. The walks have been an issue to start the year, but he has only allowed a hit in just 2 of his 8 appearances. Jose Montilla also continued his strong work striking out three in his 2 innings.

The offense did just enough and scored three runs in the 2nd inning. Brendan Venter did the most damage with a 2 run double, and a couple batters later Shewmake singled to score a run. The winning run wouldn’t come until the top of the 9th when Greg Cullen reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Jose Bermudez. This wouldn’t have been possible unless Bermudez stole 2nd base earlier in the inning.

Probable 6/27 Starter: TBD

Danville Braves 6, Blueville Blue Jays 8

Box score

  • Bryce Ball, 1B: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K
  • Michael Mateja, LF: 1-4, 2B
  • Mitch Calanda, C: 2-4, 2 K
  • Walner Polanco, SP: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Bryce Ball continues to amaze as he knocked his 4th home run of the season (just 8 games). Most of the other runs to score came from a ground out, ground out, error, a walk, a hit by pitch. So nothing really all that exciting. Jose Palma is kinda interesting in that he didn’t hit well last year in the DSL, but walked more than he struck out. This season he already has his second double in just 8 games and is keeping up those walks. It’ll be fun if he can show more power this year, and just turned 20 back in June.

Walner Palanco is tall. 6’7” tall. And honestly, he didn’t pitch as bad as his stat line. He actually had 2 wild pitches that scored runs. Palanco did make a mistake to Spencer Horwitz, who hit his 1st home run of the season. However, Horwitz had four hits on the day and has been off to just as hot a start as Ball. Luis De Jesus pitched next and has now given up at least two runs in each of his 3 appearances so far (including today’s 3 ER), so obviously that can’t continue. There was some sloppiness and some bad pitching that ultimately led to the loss.

Probable 6/27 Starter: TBD

GCL Braves - Off

Probable 6/27 Starter: TBD