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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Spencer Strider Dominates, Drew Waters gets four hits

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Drew Waters is on one right now, hitting his third home run in two games and coming a triple short of the cycle. Spencer Strider struck out 10 of the 13 batters he faced.

Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

(9-5) Gwinnett Stripers 4, (8-5) Nashville Sounds 5 F/10

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, CF: 4-5, HR, 2B, 2 SB, 2 RBI, .326/.404/.609
  • Orlando Arcia, SS: 0-5, .361/.429/.770
  • Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1.04 ERA
  • Chasen Bradford, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1.23 ERA

Drew Waters went off at the plate for Gwinnett, but the rest of the team didn’t hit much and the bullpen blew a lead late in the game before losing in extra innings. Drew got the game off to a roaring start for Gwinnett, sneaking a fly ball over the short porch in right field for his third home run of the last two games. Two innings later, he led the inning off with a single, tagged up on a fly out to center field, and then came in to score on a single from Abraham Almonte. Waters tacked on a double in the fifth inning, but that was the only other Stripers hit after the Almonte single until extra innings. Ryan Goins led off that inning with a triple to score the baserunner at second base, and then with two outs Waters came through with his fourth hit of the game to score Goins and stretch the lead out to 4-2.

Jasseel De La Cruz put up dominant numbers in his second start of 2021, though the performance did fall a bit short of those numbers in some ways. De La Cruz allowed a two out hit to old friend Dustin Peterson in the bottom of the first inning, but otherwise was flawless himself. His slider looked fantastic and his fastball was jumping, and in the second inning he set down the Sounds 1-2-3 with a couple of strikeouts. A fielding error in the third inning allowed the opposing pitcher to reach base, but De La Cruz worked around that with a ground out and a line out to finish out the inning. Jasseel struck out two more in the fourth inning to finish out his four scoreless innings. Now, while it is impressive that De La Cruz still hasn’t allowed a walk this season, it’s worth mentioning that his command is falling well short of that and looks to be somewhat regressed from 2019. Some of this may be attributable to being bounced around between Atlanta and Gwinnett, but it should be noted that he doesn’t quite look as good as the numbers would indicate.

Now into the bullpen, Chasen Bradford pitched a couple of scoreless innings for the Stripers to get them into the late innings and their best relievers. Dylan Lee came in with no runs allowed on the season, but allowed a leadoff double and hit a batter in the seventh. He came back to strike out two and get a weak flyout to escape the inning but wasn’t so fortunate in the 8th. Lee allowed a couple of hits to score the first run off of him this season, then his replacement Trevor Kelley allowed two more hits with two outs to score the tying second run. Kelley allowed a hit in the ninth but got out of it with a double play to send it to extra innings. Victor Arano was given a two run lead to work with in the 10th inning, but he allowed three hits and hit a batter without recording a single out and the Sounds were able to walk the game off.

Next Game: 5/20 @ (8-5) Nashville Sounds @ 7:355 PM ET

Probable Starters


NAS: Alec Bettinger (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

(5-8) Mississippi Braves 4, (8-5) Chattanooga Lookouts 3

Box Score

  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, .111/.200/.222
  • Trey Harris, RF: 1-4, RBI, .275/.370/.275
  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-3, BB, RBI, .243/.417/.459
  • Nolan Kingham, SP: 7 IP, 8 H,3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 5.06 ERA
  • Brandon White, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA

Hitting was a struggle early on for Mississippi, but they made a furious comeback in the eighth inning to win 4-3. Mississippi only had one hit through seven innings in this one, but after a strikeout to open the eighth inning the Lookouts pulled their starter and the Braves went to work on the bullpen. The first batter was hit by a pitch, then after a strikeout for out number two Jacob Pearson singled to put two runners on for the top of the order. Justin Dean knocked an RBI single to open the floodgates and then Braden Shewmake tied the game up with a two run double into center field. Trey Harris brought him in with a hit of his own and Mississippi rode those four runs to a win.

Nolan Kingham put up the most efficient start of the season for the system, going seven full innings on just 79 pitches. Kingham worked around trouble throughout the game with nine baserunners reaching against him, before finally cracking in his final inning. After a double in the third inning Kingham set down seven batters in a row before a leadoff single in the sixth inning. He forced a double play to escape that jam and get into the seventh. Kingham fell apart a bit in that seventh inning, allowing four hits and three runs before Shea Langeliers threw out a baserunner to end the inning. Emmanuel Ramirez made his MBraves debut in the eighth inning and despite allowing a leadoff single was able to pitch a scoreless inning. After Mississippi got the lead in the eighth, they brought in Brandon White to close it out and he struck out two batters and forced an infield pop out to work around a one out walk and get the save.

Next Game: 5/20 vs (8-5) Chattanooga Lookouts @ 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Hayden Deal (0-1, 5.40 ERA)


(8-6) Rome Braves 1, (10-4) Bowling Green Hot Rods 8

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, CF: 2-4, .358/.393/.528
  • Bryce Ball, 1B: 0-4, .205/.396/.487
  • Logan Brown, C: 0-4, .229/.269/.396
  • Ricky DeVito, SP: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. 1.35 ERA
  • Lisandro Santos, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 4.26 ERA

A horrid defensive performance had Rome in a hole early that they could never climb out of. The offense struggled to produce anything at all managing only seven hits and one walk to score one run. That run came about in the seventh inning on a Rusber Estrada solo home run, his first of the season. Michael Harris had another strong day at the plate with two more hits, Harris has hit safely in nine of his past ten games and his .358 batting average is second in the High-A East league.

Ricky DeVito looked really good on the mound though the defense behind him did him no favors. DeVito allowed four unearned runs in the first inning coming as a result of three errors by the infield. He also allowed a couple of bloop singles in the inning and an infield single on a routine ground ball to third base. None of the hits off of DeVito in the game were particularly hard hit and his splitter was a nightmare for opposing batters and helped him force six strikeouts. DeVito started to struggle some with his control late in the game but he kept it in line enough to finish with only one walk allowed

Lisandro Santos pitched a couple of scoreless innings in relief for the Braves, shaking off a rough start to the season. In his last two outings he has pitched four scoreless innings with five strikeouts and two walks allowed. Zach Daniels really struggled in the eighth inning allowing three hits and two walks as part of a four run inning. Only three of those runs were earned as Cody Milligan made his third error of the day to lead to the final run scoring. Gabriel Noguera finished that inning out with a strikeout and then pitched a scoreless ninth despite loading the bases on a hit and two walks.

Next Game: 5/20 vs (10-4) Bowling Green Hot Rods 7:00 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Alan Rangel (0-1, 6.00 ERA)

BG: Joe LaSorsa (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

(6-8) Augusta GreenJackets 7, (7-7) Fayetteville Woodpeckers 3

Box Score

  • Drew Campbell, RF: 3-4, 2B, HR, BB, SB, 3 RBI, .333/.385/.667
  • Willie Carter, DH: 0-3, 2 BB, .342/.457/.553
  • Braulio Vasquez, 3B: 1-2, 2 BB, 2 SB, .212/.381/.212
  • Spencer Strider, SP: 3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Miguel Pena, RP: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 4.50 ERA

Augusta scored early and often in taking a win over the Woodpeckers, with Drew Campbell leading the charge offensively. Campbell put the GreenJackets on top early in the game by leading off the bottom of the first with an opposite field home run in the first of his three hits on the day. Braulio Vasquez took advantage of a horrid defensive performance by the Woodpeckers in the fourth, reaching base on an error, advancing on a botched pickoff play, and then coming in to score on a wild pitch. Augusta held at two runs until the sixth inning, when they started to put some distance between themselves and Fayetteville. Braulio Vasquez walked with two outs and then stole second base before scoring on a Cade Bunnell double. After a walk to Campbell, a run came in to score on a fielding error that allowed Cam Shepherd to reach base. The big inning for Augusta came in the eighth with Bunnell delivering another RBI hit and then Campbell doubling into right field to score two runs and stretch the lead out to 7-2. Braulio Vasquez has been active on the basepaths this season with a league leading 9 stolen bases on 10 attempts. Vasquez has more stolen bases (9) than total bases (7) this season.

Spencer Strider did it again in his second start, and it’s quite clear he does not belong at the Low-A level. Strider started off the game by striking out four batters in the first inning, and that’s really all you need to know about how dominant this performance was going to be. Strider struck out two more in the second inning, though someone did finally manage to make contact, then he struck out the side in the third inning around a two out walk. A weak ground out led off the fourth inning before Strider struck out the final batter he faced for his tenth of the game. Strider forced 17 swings and misses in the game for a 51.5% whiff rate and in his two starts has gone 6 23 innings with no hits or runs allowed, one walk, and 17 strikeouts. The bullpen for Augusta held it down for the most part for the rest of the game. Miguel Pena pitched two innings and struck out three batters, though he did allow a run in the sixth inning before being pulled. Gabriel Rodriguez got on track with 1 13 innings of scoreless work, and Ben Thompson allowed one unearned run in an inning of work. The ninth was an ugly site as Benjamin Dum allowed a run, two hits, and two walks while recording only two outs, but Kenny Wells put out the fire and stranded the bases loaded by striking out the final batter of the game.

Next Game: 5/20 vs (7-7) Fayetteville Woodpeckers @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters