While the NBA Draft was going on and seemingly half of MLB was making trades on Thursday evening, the Braves’ minor league affiliates put together a respectable 2-2 evening with big nights from Drew Waters, William Contreras, and Freddy Tarnok among others. Lets get into the games.
Gwinnett Stripers 6, Memphis Redbirds 7
- William Contreras, C: 2-5, HR, 3 RBI, 1.246 OPS
- Drew Waters, CF: 4-5, 2B, 2 R, .790 OPS
- Johan Camargo, 3B: 3-5, 2 RBI, .908 OPS
- Jose Rodriguez, SP: 4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 7.99 ERA
Gwinnett found themselves in a big hole early in this game and despite a strong rally late, the Stripers fell by the score of 7-6. This wasn’t a game that Jose Rodriguez is going to be pointing to when showing off his skills to friends and family. In fact, his time in Triple-A (albeit after being pressed into service there due to a slew of promotions to the major league roster) has been pretty rough as he has struggled to keep the ball in the park and limit hard contact. Hat tip to the Gwinnett bullpen, though, as Connor Johnstone, Jay Flaa, Jesse Biddle, and Victor Arano combined to throw four scoreless innings on three hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts.
Another day, another homer from William Contreras. He has only been back in Gwinnett since July 8th and he has eight homers and has posted a 1.246 OPS in his 17 games at Triple-A. Drew Waters had a four-hit night in the leadoff spot and now has 13 hits in his last 10 games. For the month of July, Waters is slashing .319/.366/.617 which seems pretty good. Johan Camargo added a three-hit night with a couple of RBI as well. Of note, Cristian Pache was NOT in the lineup for Gwinnett this evening which was probably just a day off, but me saying that isn’t going to stop some of you from speculating that the Braves have a big trade in the works.
Mississippi Braves 5, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 1
- Justin Dean, CF: 1-4, HR, RBI, SB, .743 OPS
- Greyson Jenista, RF: 2-4, HR, RBI, .747 OPS
- Braden Shewmake, SS: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .697 OPS
- Freddy Tarnok, SP: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K, 2.61 ERA
Freddy Tarnok was impressive yet again for Mississippi as the Braves took down Pensacola by the score of 5-1. If you were to poll the TC MiLB staff before the season as to which pitching prospect had the widest variation of outcomes this season, Tarnok would have likely topped the list as he had been fairly enigmatic in pro ball. However, after rehabbing an injury to start the season, he has seemingly found his way quite nicely and earned a promotion to Double-A where he is feasting so far. In two starts for Mississippi so far, Freddy has posted 10.1 innings with 21 strikeouts against just three walks. The Mississippi bullpen group of Will Latcham, Sean McLaughlin, Troy Bacon, and Daysbel Hernandez certainly did their jobs with four scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. Hernandez, in particular, has been markedly better later as he has given up just one earned run in seven appearances in the month of July.
Shea Langeliers had the night off (yes yes, go ahead and put your trade deadline tin foil hats on now), so Mississippi was going to have to look elsewhere for offense. Fortunately, they got just that as Greyson Jenista, Jalen Miller, and Justin Dean all hit long balls in this one. Dean has now homered in back to back games. It was a well-balanced offensive effort from Mississippi as Jenista, Miller, Braden Shewmake, Drew Lugbauer, and Hendrik Clementina all had multi-hit games. Trey Harris also had the night off which is good because he had been slumping of late with just two hits in his last eight games. Hopefully the rest does him some good.
Rome Braves 2, Asheville Tourists 1
- Michael Harris, CF: 1-3, SB, .766 OPS
- Shean Michel, RF: 2-3, RBI, BB, SB, .642 OPS
- Alan Rangel, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, 3.57 ERA
Rome found themselves in a tight pitching duel, but a double steal that resulted in a run and a stellar start from Alan Rangel helped Rome secure a 2-1 win over Asheville. While we do like to meme a bit about Rangel given how long he has been a member of the Rome Braves’ roster, he has been lowkey pretty awesome over the last month with a 2.48 ERA and 38 strikeouts against seven walks in 29 innings in July. Zach Daniels and Tyler Ferguson combined for two scoreless innings with five strikeouts to close the game out.
There wasn’t a ton of offense from Rome this evening as they only had six singles in the game. Shean Michel was the hero as not only did he steal home in the bottom of the first inning, but he also had an RBI single in the fifth thereby accounting for both of Rome’s runs in the game. Michael Harris had a hit and a stolen base and has now hit safely in eight of his past nine games.
Augusta GreenJackets 4, Myrtle Beach Pelicans 9
- Vaughn Grissom, SS: 3-5, R, .817 OPS
- Bryson Horne, 1B: 2-5, HR, RBI, .703 OPS
- Rainiery Rodriguez, SP: 3.2 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 7.45 ERA
Vaughn Grissom continued his recent strong run of play, but Augusta’s struggles with a 9-4 loss. Despite a rough start from Rodriguez, the GreenJackets hung around this game until late with very decent relief appearances from Lisandro Santos and Ben Thompson helping the cause. Unfortunately, the top of the ninth was not kind to Kenny Wells as he gave up three runs to put the game out of reach.
Augusta hasn’t had a ton to watch on the offensive side of the ball this season, but Vaughn Grissom’s development has been a notable exception. The hit tool has been consistently good, but the power is starting to come now. In the month of July (in admittedly a small sample as he missed the first half of the month), Grissom has slashed .417/.512/.611 which is quite good and may position him for a promotion to Rome before the end of the season. Bryson Horne connected for his seventh homer of the season while Willie Carter reached base three times and had an RBI of his own.