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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Michael Harris goes off, leads huge day for 2019 prep draft class

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Michael Harris had an absolute monster game against a high end pitching prospect, while fellow 2019 prep draftees Stephen Paolini, Vaughn Grissom, and Tyler Owens all shined.

Michael Harris
Photo Credit: Garrett Spain

Sunday was a very exciting day down on the Atlanta Braves farm if you like top prospects. We saw Michael Harris have his best game of the season, and he did it against a first round pick out of the SEC from last year, while fellow members of the Braves 2019 MLB Draft class from the prep ranks like Tyler Owens, Stephen Paolini, and Vaughn Grissom all had big games.

That wasn’t all the action, as CJ Alexander hit a pair of long balls, Orlando Arcia did it yet again, and Jesse Franklin had a big game of his own. We also got the well anticipated follow up performance from last Sunday’s breakout prospect, Roddery Munoz.

Gwinnett Stripers 5, Louisville Bats 4

Box score

  • Orlando Arcia, SS: 2-5, RBI, HR
  • Drew Waters, CF: 1-3, R, 2B, 2 BB, SB
  • Ryan Casteel, 1B: 1-3, BB, 2 RBI, HR
  • Travis Demeritte, PH: 1-1, 2B
  • Bryse Wilson, SP: 6 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K

Bryse Wilson got the start and pitched a fairly average game, going six innings without allowing a walk- but giving up 10 hits including three homers, while striking out three batters. Scoreless frames by Victor Arano and Edgar Santana sandwiched a scoreless inning combined by Jay Flaa and finished off by Thomas Burrows for the final out of it after Flaa got into some trouble.

At the dish, it was another notable game for Orlando Arcia, hitting his seventh homer of the young season and picking up his twelfth run batted in. Drew Waters went one for three, but drew a pair of walks to reach base three times, including a double and stole a base. Ryan Casteel hit his first homer of the year, while pinch hitter Travis Demeritte and catcher Jonathan Morales each had doubles. Also of note was Johan Camargo, who went one for three with a walk to keep his OPS well above 1.200 for the season.

Next game Tuesday May 18th at Nashville @ 7:35 PM.

Probable starters - Gwinnett - TBD, Nashville - TBD

Biloxi Shuckers 14, Mississippi Braves 10

Box score

  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-5, 4 RBI, 2 HR
  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-5, 2 RBI, HR
  • Jacob Pearson, DH: 1-4, BB, 2 R, HR
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 2-5, 3 RBI, HR
  • Trey Harris, RF: 1-3, BB, R

This was a wild one from the jump as starter Mitch Stallings lasted only one third of one inning while allowing six runners to score. Things didn’t improve much from there, as Will Latcham allowed two runs in the next inning and Matt Hartman allowed three runs(one earned) over the following two innings. After Troy Bacon slowed down the Biloxi offense with an inning and two thirds scoreless, Kurt Hoekstra gave up three runs in his inning, before Sean McLaughlin and Josh Graham each notched a scoreless inning.

The good news is the offense put up double digit runs to keep this from getting too ugly, led by CJ Alexander hitting his second and third bombs of the year. Three more homers produced the rest of the runs, as Justin Dean, Jacob Pearson, and Drew Lugbauer each hit one. Outside of the homers it was actually a quiet day for the offense as only Trey Harris (1-3, walk), along with Alexander, Pearson, and Lugbauer even reached base twice in this one. Braden Shewmake went hitless in four at bats with a walk and three strikeouts in a tough game, while Shea Langeliers was not in the lineup here.

Next game Tuesday May 18th vs Chattanooga @ 7:35 PM.

Probable starters - Mississippi - TBD, Chattanooga - TBD

Rome Braves 3, Greensboro Grasshoppers 1

Box score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 4-4, HR, SB
  • Jesse Franklin, RF: 2-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 SB
  • Brett Langhorne, DH: 1-2, 2 BB, HR, SB
  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
  • AJ Puckett, RP: 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Tanner Gordon got the start and turned in a very good outing, going an out shy of five innings allowing just one run on five hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. Minor League Rule 5 pick AJ Puckett followed with three and a third hitless innings, allowing just one walk and striking out four to pick up the win, before a one, two, three inning with a pair of strikeouts led to the save for Indigo Diaz and capped a great Rome pitching performance.

The story of the day in the entire system had to be Michael Harris just going off. Not only did he go off, but he did so against Pirates top prospect Carmen Mlodzinski, a first round pick out of the University of South Carolina last summer. Harris went a perfect 4-4 with his second homer and third stolen base of the season, bringing his average up to .333. Harris wasn’t the only recent Braves high draft pick to have a big game, as Jesse Franklin went 2-4 with a double off Mlodzinski and stole his fourth and fifth bases of the year. Brett Langhorne also had a big game, going one for two with a pair of walks, a late homer, and stole a base. Those three guys combined for all seven of Rome’s hits.

Next game Tuesday May 18th home vs Bowling Green @ 7 PM

Probable starters - Rome - TBD, Bowling Green - TBD

Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9, Augusta GreenJackets 7 - 10 innings

Box score

  • Stephen Paolini, CF: 3-5, 4 R, 3B
  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-3, BB, R, 2B, SB
  • Cade Bunnell, 2B: 1-3, BB, HR
  • Tyler Owens, SP: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
  • Roddery Munoz, RP: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

The Tyler Owens and Roddery Munoz piggyback seems to be a thing, as just like last Sunday these two split the game - but with the exact opposite results. Owens, who really struggled in relief last week, rebounded nicely with three innings of one run ball as he struck out four and didn’t allow a walk. This week in a relief role, Munoz was much more human as he struggled with his command here and allowed five runs in his five innings of work. While Munoz only had one walk and threw a high percentage of his pitches for strikes, he just didn’t seem to be hitting his spots leading to him being hit around a bit. It is worth noting that Munoz did flash the stuff we saw out of him last week, continuing to show the promise we saw. Stuck between Owens and Munoz, Kenny Wells got an inning and struck out the side in order. Alger Hodgson came on for the tenth and allowed three runs to score (two earned due to extra innings rule) without recording an out and giving up a one run lead to start the inning.

The stars at the plate were a pair of the highly regarded prep draft picks from the Braves 2019 Draft, as Stephen Paolini went 3-5 with a triple and scored four runs and Vaughn Grissom went two for three with a walk, double, and stolen base. Another 2019 draft choice also made big contributions as Cade Bunnell homered and drew a walk in his three at bats. Brandon Parker picked up three RBI during an 0-3 evening. The only other contribution of note was a double from Ricardo Rodriguez, his fourth on the year.

Next game Tuesday May 18th home vs Fayetteville @ 7:05 PM.

Probable starters - Augusta - TBD, Fayetteville - TBD