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Braves minor league recap: Bryce Elder dominates; Langeliers and Alexander stay hot

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There was some nice pitching Thursday night on the Atlanta Braves farm. Here’s how it went down on June 3.

Rome Stadium

The silver lining of a night where the Atlanta Braves affiliates went 1-3 is that there was some nice pitching Thursday night. Bryce Elder had the best start of his young career while Odalvi Javier tossed one-hit ball in the early innings in Mississippi.

Here’s how it went down on the Braves’ farm on June 3.

Jacksonville (16-11) 6, Gwinnett (15-12) 2

  • Bryse Wilson, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
  • Jacob Webb, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Drew Waters, LF: 1-for-4, 1 BB
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-for-5

BOX SCORE

It was a forgettable night for the star players of Gwinnett. Wilson looked off from the first inning, but was able to manage the Jumbo Shrimp lineup and allow only one run through five. He imploded in the sixth, allowing four runs without finishing the inning. Jessie Biddle and Trevor Kelley combined for two shutout innings and Shane Greene continued working his way back to MLB readiness, allowing one run over his inning pitched.

Pache played his second game since a mid-May injury and got his second hit in doing so. Waters had some nice at bats, but only came away with a single, albeit a noteworthy opposite field single at that. He’s now hit in four games in a row and his average has jumped nearly 30 points. Both runs came off a Ryan Casteel pinch-hit home run.

Mississippi (14-13) 5, Pensacola (16-11) 2

  • Odalvi Javier, SP: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K
  • Matt Withrow, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB
  • CJ Alexander, 3B: 2-for-5, 2 RBIs
  • Justin Dean, CF: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB

BOX SCORE

The M-Braves pitching did work on Thursday, holding Pensacola to two runs en route to their sixth win in seven games. Javier was effectively wild and was followed by Will Latchum, who tossed 1.2 innings of one-hit ball. Javier is now 2-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.31. He’s still walking an unhealthy amount — 13 in 20.2 innings to be precise — and with a WHIP of 1.26, it likely won’t last, but it’s fun to watch while it does. Withrow was dominant, striking out the side in his perfect frame. He appears to be back and ready to rise. Withrow hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last five appearances, spanning 11.1 innings. Daysbel Hernandez allowed both runs in the ninth on a JJ Bleday bomb.

Shea Langeliers is on a tear. He now has 10 hits in his last eight games after his two-hit performance on Thursday. It will be interesting to see if the backstop can win back-to-back player of the weeks in Double-A South. Langeliers also threw out another runner on Thursday, his 12th of the season while only allowing 11. But don’t ignore Alexander. He’s now hit in five straight, and he has been tagging some ropes. With two doubles last night, Alexander now has three doubles and a home run in June. That’s a pretty nice start to the month. Justin Dean picked up his Double-A South-best eighth stolen base

Bowling Green (16-11) 3, Rome (15-12) 1

  • Bryce Elder, SP: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R (unearned), 0 BB, 10 K
  • Gabriel Noguera, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Michael Harris, CF: 2-for-4, 1 SB
  • Beau Philip, 2B: 1-for-3

BOX SCORE

Elder was utterly dominant in what was by far his best start of the season. He entered the game using his new curve roughly 10 percent of the time, but it looked like a pitch he’s thrown his whole career. It has quite a bit a movement and paired with his fastball that has nice sink to it, it must not be fun to be an opposing hitter. He works really quickly and has no fear, attacking hitters. The big takeaway was all those strikeouts translated to no walks — he hardly missed all night — and he had been averaging just about three walks per start prior to this breakout performance.

Unfortunately, the bullpen wasted the great start. Kasey Kalich got tagged for two runs in his inning pitched, giving Bowling Green all they needed. The bats were relatively quiet. Of course, Michael Harris had two hits, but the red-hot Rome legend Kevin Josephina had two more hits and is now hitting .320 with an .840 OPS. The R-Braves lone run came in the first when Josephina stole home when Harris stole second.

Charleston (16-11) 7, Augusta (12-15) 0

  • Roddery Munoz, SP: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Zach Seipel, RP: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Ben Thompson, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0, R, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Willie Carter, RF: 1-for-2, 1 BB
  • Stephen Paolini, CF: 1-for-3

BOX SCORE

The score says it all in this one. Augusta was shut down by Cole Wilcox who cruised through five innings. Munoz came out strong, needing just eight pitches, seven of which were strikes, to get through the first. He was clocked at 99 but was also very slider heavy. That slider can be a godsend or can be his demise, which it was in the second when he got dinged for four runs. It’s early but watching how dominant he is in short spurts tends to lean more to the reliever profile.

At the plate, Augusta got three hits. Carter continues to hit, now up to .350 after picking up one of the aforementioned three hits. And because he always does, Braulio Vasquez got his Low-A East-best 20th stolen base of the year without getting a walk or a hit. He now has 20 stolen bases and just 19 total bases.