Tons of highlights on a very successful night in the minors.
It was an organizational sweep for the Braves on Saturday as not only did the big league club beat up on the Nationals, but the minor league affiliates went a combined 4-0. Braves minor league starters combined to give up just two earned runs, Vaughn Grissom just #keepshitting, and Caleb Durbin had a career night on a busy night in the minors. Also, today is draft day and because we are all covered up getting ready for said draft, so this recap will be shorter than usual. My apologies and lets get into the game.
Gwinnett Stripers 7, Durham Bulls 2
- Hernan Perez, SS: 2-4, RBI, R, .613 OPS
- Greyson Jenista, RF: 3-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, .724 OPS
- Tucker Davidson, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 4.35 ERA
Tucker Davidson got the job done on the mound and Gwinnett’s offense made the most of their scoring chances on their way to a 7-2 victory over Durham. While it wasn’t the most efficient outing for Tucker as he got close to 100 pitches in five innings thanks to some longer at-bats, but he largely limited hard contact and got swings and misses when he needed to.
The offense put up seven runs largely without the benefit of the long ball with Greyson Jenista’s solo shot in the 3rd inning being the exception. The Stripers went 5-8 with runners in scoring position and four different Stripers had multi-hit games. Braden Shewmake did have a sac fly if you are looking for true prospect news. He now has one hit in his last seven games.
Mississippi Braves 6, Rocket City Trash Pandas 2
- Vaughn Grissom, SS: 1-4, 3B, 2 RBI, BB
- Drew Lugbauer, 1B: 2-4, HR, RBI, .834 OPS
- Alan Rangel, SP: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 4.92 ERA
Alan Rangel was excellent in his start and Mississippi kept on rolling on their way to a 6-2 win over the Trash Pandas. Rangel has been decidedly uneven in recent weeks, but Saturday was a good one as this was his first start of the season where he didn’t give up an earned run. The command wasn’t exactly there, but it’s hard to argue with the results overall. AJ Puckett pitched the next two innings and was…less good.
Vaughn Grissom keeps on keeping on as he had a two-run triple in addition to drawing a walk. He did get picked off, though, which was less than good news. Drew Lugbauer is raking in the month of a July with an OPS north of 1.000. He connected for his 20th home run of the season which is already a career season high for him.
Rome Braves 5, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3
- Cal Conley, 2B: 3-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
- Willie Carter, LF: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, .693 OPS
- Jake McSteen, SP: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 4.22 ERA
Things got pretty dicey for the Rome bullpen, but a pair of homers and some key late relief innings got Rome the 5-3 win. Jake McSteen seems to be Rome’s two-times-through-the-order guy and he was super efficient in throwing just 44 pitches in 4.1 innings of work….really good work. RJ Freure’s line was much less good, but some of that was Isrrael de la Cruz allowing both of his inherited runners to score in the seventh. Dylan Spain gets a gold star for 1.2 innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.
Cal Conley got Rome on the board early with a solo homer in the first and Willie Carter added a pair more with a two-run shot in the third inning. Conley ended up with three hits in the game as he is off to a strong start in high-A so far. Landon Stephens was held hitless, but still managed to drive in a pair of runs thanks to a sac fly and a RBI groundout. Put it in play and good things can happen or something like that.
Augusta GreenJackets 9, Fredericksburg Nationals 2
- Brandon Parker, LF: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, .903 OPS
- Caleb Durbin, 2B: 4-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, .768 OPS
- Stephen Paolini, RF: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, .623 OPS
- Sam Strickland, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1.99 ERA
Sam Strickland bounced back from a rough start last week and the offense powered their way to a 9-2 win over the Nationals. We are going to have to dig into Strickland more here very soon as he has been doing work for Augusta, although being 23 in low-A ball is less than ideal. For a 19th round pick in a 20 round draft, he has still been a nice find. We had high hopes for Tyler Owens when he was drafted, but his transition towards being a reliever has had ups and downs with Saturday being a down note.
Caleb Durbin had arguably his best game as a pro on Saturday as he had four hits out of the leadoff spot including a double and a homer. He also stole his 28th base for good measure. Francisco Floyd, Brandon Parker, and Kadon Morton joined Durbin with multi-hit games while Parker and Stephen Paolini went yard as well.