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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Bryce Ball impresses in Rome debut as Danville bats erupt

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It was a quiet night on the Braves farm, but Bryce Ball’s Rome debut was one of many big nights at the plate.

Rome Stadium

The Atlanta Braves farm system didn’t have much action when it came to actual games, but there was certainly plenty of excitement at the plate and on the base paths.

Let’s take a look how it went down on the Braves minor leagues.

Gwinnett Stripers — OFF

We know the story here. Drew Waters has 13 total bases in his first six games in Triple-A. Christian Pache has five hits and they are all singles. Ian Anderson rebounded after and up and down debut and handled a pretty frightening Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lineup like a pro. And Tucker Davidson didn’t allow an earned run in his first Triple-A start.

All in all, things are looking good in Gwinnett.

Probable 8/13 starter: Kyle Wright

Mississippi Braves — OFF

Probable 8/13 starter: Connor Johnstone

Florida Fire Frogs, Bradenton Marauders — Double-header PPD

The Fire Frogs had a double-header scheduled because of rain. Well, guess what. There was more rain in Florida. Brooks Wilson should get the start tomorrow.

Probable 8/13 starter: TBD

Asheville Tourists 11, Rome Braves 7

Box score

  • Greg Cullen, 2B: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 HR
  • Bryce Ball, DH: 3-for-5
  • Jake Higginbotham: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Welcome to full-season ball, Bryce Ball. The 2019 24th-rounder smacked an opposite field double in his first at bat and didn’t relent. Sure he had a double play with the bases loaded, but at least he got the run in. Greg Cullen remained hot with three more hits including his ninth home run. With his one walk on Monday, he has now walked more (30) than he’s struck out (29) in the second half, all while posting an .886 OPS.

Rome has been blazing on the base paths lately. Justin Dean, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI, stole his SAL-best 40th base one day after swiping three bags. Braden Shewmake, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, stole two bases and now has six over the past two days.

On the bump, Alan Rangel continued to struggle, loading the bases with no outs in the second after a scoreless first frame and never really recovering. Higginbotham closed out the game, pitching two shutout innings of baseball. He’s now gone four appearances and nine innings without allowing a run, striking out 11 and walking two. If it weren’t for the one bad outing every five or six times to the mound, he’d be having a lights out season.

Probable 8/13 starter: Jose Olague

Danville Braves 11, Kingsport Mets 7

Box score

  • Willie Carter, LF: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR
  • Beau Philip, SS: 2-for-5. 1 R. 1 RBI
  • Alec Barger: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

The Danville bats certainly came alive in this one. The top six hitters — Cody Milligan, Beau Philip, Connor Blair, Willie Carter, Cody Birdsong, and Ray Hernandez — all recorded at least two hits, with Carter and Blair going yard. Birdsong, the DII Quincy product, has been red-hot of late, with his fifth multi-hit game in his last seven appearances. He’s scorching hot in August hitting .385 with a .913 OPS. Every Danville player had at least one hit except Mason Berne and he walked twice and scored two runs.

On the bump, Barger, the NC State product taken in the 17th round, had a solid three innings. The righty struck out his most batters since July 20 while allowing his least amount of hits in his last three starts.

Probable 8/13 starter: TBD

GCL Braves updates:

We’ve already mentioned the big updates from the GCL center around the players no longer there. Michael Harris made his Rome debut on Sunday and Bryce Ball got the call Monday afternoon. There are still some bats we’re watching, despite yet another close loss for these young Braves.

Vaughn Grissom is really keyed in, picking up his fifth two-hit game in his last ten and second in a row. He’s now hitting .296 since the beginning of July. Mahki Backstrom connected on his third double of the season, driving in his fifth run. We don’t need to tell you that your eyes should be on Backstrom, a Talking Chop favorite.