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Braves Minor League Recap: Kyle Wright delivers strong start

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Kyle Wright has pitched well for Gwinnett of late, and Vaughn Grissom stayed scorching hot in Rome.

Gwinnett Stripers pitcher, Kyle Wright (30) in action during... Photo by Kevin Langley/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

It was a fun day on the farm for the Atlanta Braves system, with wins at every level. Kyle Wright dominated in his start for Gwinnett and Cristian Pache contributed nicely on offense as well. Jared Shuster had a bounce-back second start in Mississippi and down in Rome Vaughn Grissom and the High-A Braves poured on runs in Asheville.

(63-47) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (51-57) Columbus Clippers 2

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, LF: 1-5, 2B, .231/.328/.365
  • William Contreras, DH: 2-4, .285/.353/.517
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, BB, .274/.349/.444
  • Kyle Wright, SP: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 3.47 ERA
  • Trevor Kelley, RP: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1.56 ERA

Every player in the Gwinnett lineup contributed a hit and Kyle Wright dominated as the Stripers cruised to a win. They came out swinging early with three hits in their first two innings, but had double plays to end both of those with no runs scored. Wright kept it tied, and in the fourth the Stripers broke out. A throwing error allowed Cristian Pache to reach base to lead off the inning, and with two outs and two runners on, the dam broke. A double from Travis Demeritte scored Pache to put Gwinnett on top, and Ryan Goins immediately followed with a two-run double to stretch that lead out to 3-0. Yolmer Sanchez pushed one through the right side of the infield for an RBI single and with Wright on his game it was all but over. The Stripers had a big chance in the fifth with Drew Waters leading off the inning with a double, but Waters was caught attempting to steal third base. Cristian Pache followed with a walk and Jason Kipnis with a base hit, but the third double play of the game froze them out of another run. The Stripers did add another in the sixth inning, with William Contreras leading off with a single and Jonathan Morales bringing in the run with another hit. Gwinnett grounded into a fourth double play in the eighth inning, and I can’t imagine it’s often that a team hits into four double plays in a game and still wins. Cristian Pache is running a five game hitting streak and in the month of September has hit safely in seven of eight with a 1.043 OPS and as many walks as strikeouts.

Kyle Wright had a hiccup in his last start but bounced back in this one with another marvelous performance. The first batter of the game reached against Wright via an error, but he retired the next three batters to eliminate that. Wright allowed a single with one out in the second inning but struck out the next two batters and went on to set down nine consecutive batters. That streak was broken by a home run, hit first allowed since August 8, but that was the last the CIippers were able to strike against him. He did allow a walk in the sixth inning but came right off of that to strike out the next four batters and end his start with a pop out to the infield. Wright has been phenomenal of late. He has been notably good since mid-July and over his past nine starts he has averaged six innings per start with 9.5 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, a 2.63 ERA and a 2.89 FIP. Dylan Lee allowed a run in relief in the eighth inning, and Trevor Kelley closed the game with a scoreless ninth and two strikeouts.

Next Game: 9/9 @ (51-57) Columbus Clippers @ 6:15 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: TBD

COL: Tanner Ully (0-2, 4.64 ERA)

(63-40) Mississippi Braves 4, (56-53) Montgomery Biscuits 1

Box Score

  • Braden Shewmake, SS: 0-3, HBP, .227/.271/.398
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 0-4, .233/.340/.480
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 2-4, RBI, .256/.331/.482
  • Jared Shuster, SP: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 8.38 ERA
  • Matt Withrow, RP: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2.44 ERA

Mississippi is on a tear right now and they rode a dominant bit of pitching to a win. Neither side had much going in the early stages of the game until Shea Langeliers singled in the fourth to give them their first baserunner. They finally broke the game open in the sixth. Greyson Jenista walked to lead off the inning, but the Braves made two quick outs that threatened to strand him on base in a 1-0 game. Braden Shewmake was then hit by a pitch and Langeliers ripped an RBI single to left. An error on a Drew Lugbauer ball to second base brought in the second run and Hendrik Clementina capped off the rally with a two RBI single. This was all Mississippi needed in the game as they rode pitching to a 4-1 win.

Jared Shuster’s first Double-A start was a mess but the second was a major bounce back as he was able to skirt around trouble and nearly got through six innings. Shuster retired the first five batters he faced in the game, but worked himself into some two out trouble in the second inning with back-to-back walks. He fortunately escaped with no damage when he got a ground out to end the inning. With one out in the third he got in major trouble when the first three hits of the game all came consecutively and loaded the bases. He dialed up his best stuff for this moment and needed seven pitches to strike out the next two batters and strand the bases loaded. The fourth and fifth innings were more of the same as he allowed a hit in each but left them stranded. The sixth was his only problem inning, as he allowed a one-out hit and then kind of forgot about the runner and allowed him to steal second and third base on consecutive pitches. A ground out to third base brought in the run to score and Shuster was pulled at this point. Matt Withrow finished out the sixth and pitched well in the seventh with a strikeout in a perfect frame. The entire bullpen dominated the remainder of the game, with the only runner against Brandon White and Emmanuel Ramirez coming via an error.

Next Game: 9/9 vs (56-53) Montgomery Biscuits @ 7:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

MIS: Alan Rangel (2-2), 4.91 ERA)

MTG: TBD

(52-57) Rome Braves 10, (48-58) Asheville Tourists 7

Box Score

  • Michael Harris, LF: 1-5, .297/.361/.435
  • Drew Campbell, RF: 2-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, .256/.250/.605
  • Vaughn Grissom, SS: 2-3, 2B, BB, RBI, .529/.591/1.000
  • Tanner Gordon, SP: 5 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 5.04 ERA
  • Jake Higginbotham, RP: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA

Rome is enjoying the altitude in Asheville, and no one more so than Vaughn Grissom who remained scorching hot at the plate. Cody Milligan got the offense rolling immediately as he led off the game with a single and then went first to third on a ground out to the shortstop. Unfortunately we don’t have MiLB tv in Asheville so I have no idea how he did this, but it allowed him to score on a passed ball. Michael Harris then ripped a single to make that potential baserunner clinic that I can’t watch a bit unnecessary. A double from Jesse Franklin put Rome in a dangerous spot with two runners in scoring position and Vaughn Grissom up to bat. Unfortunately this was one of the like 5% of times lately that Grissom didn’t get on base but he did hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Grissom ripped a double in the fourth for his fourth extra base hit in five High-A games. Drew Campbell followed with a two-run home run which tied the game at four runs.

Asheville took a 7-4 lead going into the sixth inning, but it was all Rome Braves the rest of the way. Vaughn Grissom led off the sixth with a hit, and Drew Campbell hit another two-run home run to cut the deficit to 7-6. Carlos Martinez then doubled with two outs and Rusber Estrada brought him in with a game-tying single. Estrada was thrown out, but Cody Milligan reached on an error with two outs and came around to score on a single from Riley Delgado to give Rome the lead. Milligan was on the driving in side of things in the ninth inning, ripping a two run double to extend the Rome lead to three runs.

Back to Vaughn Grissom, he has reached heights of late that few Braves prospects ever have. Dating back 35 games to July 27th he has been a machine with a 183 wRC+ and more walks in that span than strikeouts. He’s ranked among the best of the best in the entire minor leagues, and here are some examples of where he ranks among qualified full season players age 21 or younger in all of minor league baseball (he’s 20, but I wanted a bigger sample size). He ranks in the top 5% in strikeout rate, the top 8% in wRC+, the top 6% in BB/K, the top 3% in on base percentage, and despite our comments on him not producing power he is still above the median isolated power. This is despite spending most of his season in the Low-A East League, which is a relatively slightly pitcher-friendly league.

Next Game: 9/9 @ (49-58) Asheville Tourists @ 6:35 PM ET

Probable Starters

ROM: Darius VInes (3-4, 3.46 ERA)

ASH: Julio Robaina (2-2, 3.86 ERA)

(46-63) Augusta GreenJackets, (46-63) Columbia Fireflies PPD

Next Game: 9/9 vs (46-63) Columbia Fireflies @ 5:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

AUG: TBD

COL: TBD