clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Braves Week 15 minor-league preview: Ian Anderson on comeback trail; Michael Harris II, William Contreras stay hot

New, 14 comments

Mississippi and Gwinnett led the way with four-win weeks for the Atlanta Braves affiliates. Here’s a look back and what is in store for this week.

Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves minor-league teams went a combined 8-16 last week. The lower minors had a particularly rough go as Rome and Augusta didn’t record a single win in 12 chances. Luckily, the upper levels prevailed with Mississippi and Gwinnett each winning their weekly series.

Last week, our Talking Chop minor-league team rolled out our Midseason top-30 prospect list. If you missed it, you can see them all right HERE. Here are some stats from some of those players who made our list.

Augusta GreenJackets:

  • Vaughn Grissom, IF: 5-for-22, 2 R
  • Joey Estes, SP: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8K
  • Cal Conley, IF: 2-for-11, 1 RBI

Rome Braves:

  • Michael Harris II, OF: 6-for-23, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 SB
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
  • Darius Vines, SP: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

Mississippi Braves:

  • Bryce Elder, SP: 13 IP, 14 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 16 K
  • Freddy Tarnok, SP: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
  • Spencer Strider, SP: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K

Gwinnett Stripers:

  • Drew Waters, OF: 3-for-13, 1 2B, 5 R, 1 SB
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 6-for-18, 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI
  • William Contreras, C/DH: 8-for-21, 2 2B, 4 R, 4 RBI

So, what does next week have in store down on the Braves farm? Here’s your weekly look ahead.

Augusta (34-50) vs. Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (26-58) — August 10-15

Last week: 0-6

Last week’s rotation: Tanner Gordon, James Acuna, Rainiery Rodriguez, Jared Johnson, Andrew Hoffman and Joey Estes

Transactions: Added Gabriel Rodriguez and Victor De Hoyos to Development list; placed Brandon Parker on the IL

Augusta had a rough week, not tallying a single win against the first place RiverDogs. They will look to rebound when the Cannon Ballers (White Sox) — the team with the worst record in Low-A East — come to town this week.

There were several debuts from the 2021 MLB draft this past week. Cal Conley played in three games and recorded his first two career hits and an RBI. Sharing the infield with Conley was fellow draft-mate Justyn-Henry Malloy who went 1-for-8, but that first career hit did deliver an RBI. On the bump, Andrew Hoffman made a two-inning debut in the rotation, allowing one run and striking out two while Austin Smith made two scoreless appearances in relief, striking out three in his two innings pitched.

Rome (37-47) at Hickory Crawdads (38-45) — August 10-15

Last week: 0-6

Last week’s rotation: AJ Puckett, Jared Shuster, Jake McSteen, Darius Vines and Coleman Huntley

Transactions: Assigned Luke Waddell and Emmanuel Ramirez to roster

Rome struggled this week but do travel to Hickory in a showdown of two sub-.500 teams to try and get back on track. The R-Braves offense is struggling a bit, now with a -29 run differential on the season.

Michael Harris II continues to thrive. He hit an absolute rocket over the batter’s eye this week and also had three doubles. He’s now slashing .293/.340/.445 on the season. His outfield — and top-30 — counterpart, Jesse Franklin V had a very quiet week, logging just two hits. And speaking of two hits, Luke Waddell — the Braves fifth-round draft pick — made his debut. He played three games and had two hits and two runs scored.

Darius Vines and Jared Shuster weren’t at their best this week, but both continued to show the ability to miss bats, each recording seven strikeouts in their lone start. Shuster is now striking out 11.8 per nine and Vines is striking out 10.5 in eight Rome starts.

Mississippi (48-36) vs Biloxi Shuckers (44-39) — August 10-15

Last week: 4-2

Last week’s rotation: Bryce Elder, Freddy Tarnok, Alan Rangel, Spencer Strider and Victor Vodnik

Transactions: Assigned Alan Rangel to roster

There were some outstanding pitching performances from the Braves big prospects this past week. It is equally impressive when you consider this was a battle between Double-A South division leaders, with Mississippi taking the series and now holding the best record in the league.

Spencer Strider was straight filth in his start, striking out 12 and walking just one. Bryce Elder continues to log innings, going seven in his first start and six on Sunday. He’s going to allow some hits and some runs, but his walks have been coming down while his strikeouts continue to climb. Freddy Tarnok continued his seamless transition to Double-A with another scoreless outing and Victor Vodnik was on his way to arguably his best start of the season before leaving with an apparent injury (more information will come when we know more).

Shea Langeliers is on fire. He hit in every game this week and now has a 10-game hitting streak. This week he went 7-for-21 with four runs scored, three doubles and two RBIs. And lastly, Trey Harris added a grand slam as part of a four-hit week.

Gwinnett (46-38) vs. Durham Bulls (55-28) — August 10-15

Last week: 4-2

Last week’s rotation: Jasseel De La Cruz, Jose Rodriguez, Ian Anderson, Huascar Ynoa and Kyle Wright

Transactions: Placed Jason Kipnis on the IL; sent Ian Anderson and Huascar Ynoa on rehab assignments; activated Ryan Goins

While William Contreras continues to swing a red-hot bat, the bigger news from the past week was rehab starts from former top-30 prospects Ian Anderson and Huascar Ynoa, as well as Travis D’Arnaud. Anderson looked like one does coming off a shoulder injury. He flashed the brilliance of his stuff, but it wasn’t his A-game as he pitched in and out of the zone.

That was how Ynoa’s first rehab start went in Rome, but he looked much more polished this time around, consistently hitting 96-99 mph while striking out four and walking none for Gwinnett. D’Arnaud played four games last week and closed it out with four hits in his last three appearances. It seems as if he will be back in Atlanta sooner than later. AJ Minter also appears to be getting back on track. He tossed 2.1 shutout innings this week, picking up his sixth save and four strikeouts to no walks.

Now, back to this Contreras fellow. After a monster July, he’s slashing .381/.435/.476 to start the month. Cristian Pache had one of his best weeks of the season, hitting .333 with three extra-base hits. The Stripers will need all the bats they can get this week as they face a Bulls team with the best record, ERA and WHIP in Triple-A East.