K26dp

2016 Braves Minor Leagues and Prospects Thread

949 posts in this topic

Check out Jim Powell's Twitter. He's at the Rome game as well and is live tweeting it. Hey, k26dp, maybe you can try to find him and get an autograph. Tell him how much we love and appreciate his PBP work.

https://twitter.com/Jim_Powell

EDIT: I was wrong. He's watching MiLB.tv.

Edited by Falconsfan567

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Carolina is down 11-2 in the 5th. They have 3 hits but also 3 errors. Swanson and Curcio have throwing errors, Davidson has a fielding error. 

Swanson is 1-for-2

Godfrey 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI

Daris 1-for-2 with a R

Enderson Franco, 2 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 9 ER

Wes Parsons 2.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2BB, 3K

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I'll have a full write-up, but Rome won 10-1. As crappy as I was feeling after watching Atlanta two games, I feel completely rejuvenated. These kids are special. Soroka, Acuna, Riley, Herbert... even the lesser known guys like Ray-Patric Didder, Justin Ellison, Alejandro Salazar, Dalton Geekie... these guys really seem to know what they're doing, execute well, and have strong fundamentals. Quite frankly, this is the best baseball I've seen from a Class A team, and it's just Game 1. 

I'm so pumped.

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35 minutes ago, K26dp said:

I'll have a full write-up, but Rome won 10-1. As crappy as I was feeling after watching Atlanta two games, I feel completely rejuvenated. These kids are special. Soroka, Acuna, Riley, Herbert... even the lesser known guys like Ray-Patric Didder, Justin Ellison, Alejandro Salazar, Dalton Geekie... these guys really seem to know what they're doing, execute well, and have strong fundamentals. Quite frankly, this is the best baseball I've seen from a Class A team, and it's just Game 1. 

I'm so pumped.

That is what everyone has to remember. Those guys will be Atlanta in the future! The Braves are going to be really good in a few years. Legit WS contenders for the first time since the 90s. Sure these games now days suck but remember the future! Look forward to better things ahead.

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OK, here's my write-up for last night's Rome game against the Augusta Greenjackets. Sorry for the length, but there's a lot of interesting players.

Mike Soroka (4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO)

Soroka was very impressive, easily the most impressive Rome pitcher I've seen since Arodys Vizcaino came through six years ago. From the first pitch he seemed poised and relaxed, and if I didn't know better I would never have guessed he's only 18YO. He threw three pitches, fastball, change-up, slider. His scouting report indicates he should have a + curveball too, but I don't think he threw it -- perhaps the team is trying to get him to refine his other pitches. If so, things are going well. Against RH, he would pound low and inside with the fastball, and use the slider away for the strikeout pitch. I didn't count, but at least half of his Ks came from RH batters missing or giving up on the slider away. Only counted 4 hard hit balls off him all night, two of which went for hit. The other two hits on his score sheet were a bunt base hit and a grounder that probably should have been fielded by 3B Austin Riley. Two of those hard-hit balls were off the bat of 2B Jalen Miller, BA's #16 prospect for the San Francisco system and the most impressive of the Greenjackets last night.

His 4th inning was a groundout and two Ks and he looked like he could easily have kept going for another couple innings, but no doubt the organization is trying to limit pitches in the early going, not to mention there's other good pitchers that need work. 

Ronald Acuna (5 AB, 1 R, 2 H, 2 RBI, 1 SO)

Acuna is listed at 6', 180 lbs, but looks bigger. The ball coming off his bat jumps in a way that you just don't see much at this level. He's got speed as well, and though he didn't steal a base, he was distracting enough to cause the pitcher to lose focus and make an 0-2 mistake to Jonathan Morales that Morales was able to capitalize on for one of his hits on the night. In the field he only made one routine put-out.

Austin Riley (5 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO)

First off, this guy is big. Second off, this guy has a very strong, short but violent stroke that reminds me some of Dan Uggla (that's a complement BTW -- back when Uggla was good). His first hit was a sharp grounder past 3B that rattled in the corner, which brings me to my third point -- for a big guy, Riley can move. Once he gets going, he's got an extra gear that allowed him to take that second bag easily.

The knock on Riley has been his footwork at 3B, and I can see where that's definitely a development opportunity. His first change was a bouncer to his right that his feet got crossed on, and he attempted an awkward backhand. Not pretty, but it went for a hit since he didn't get a glove on it. His second chance was a routine grounder that he fielded cleanly, but his throw was wide; we was saved by a nice play by 1B Matt Tellor. However, on his third play, he made easily the defensive play of the night --- a sharp grounder to his right that we went horizontal to get, bounced to his feet, and threw an absolute laser shot on the money to first to get the runner. I wouldn't be surprised if that wasn't the hardest thrown ball by anyone (including pitchers) during the game the entire night. His fourth chance was a tricky hop grounder than he fielded cleanly. I really hope that he can handle 3B long-term because it would be a shame to bury a tool as good as his arm in left field or first base.

Lucas Herbert (4 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI, 2 SO)

I'm going to focus mostly on Herbert's defense, because it's exceptionally good. His fundamentals and framing are simply the best I've seen at the A level so far. He also called a great game and seems to already have a nice rapport with Soroka. He didn't have a chance against baserunners, but in warmups he showed good pop and strong throws. He tore his meniscus back in June, but did not demonstrate any mobility problems behind the plate. His receiving leaves him in good position to make plays like he made when he sprang up to catch a bunt attempt in foul ground for a stolen out. Maybe it's just the aggravation of having to watch Pierzynski catch the Atlanta Braves, but watching Herbert last night was simply a delight.

Other notes:

  • I didn't know much about OF Ray-Patric Didder going into the game, but he's really fast. He hit a triple his first AB, and it was a no-doubter. His other his was a legged-out infield hit. 
  • RHP Dalton Geekie is a tall guy with a long delivery makes his fastball come out looking faster than it is. He's from Powder Springs, and I think his whole family was sitting in front of us cheering on his Class A debut. He didn't disappoint, going 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO.
  • RHP Caleb Beech was dominant early last year for Rome, but got hurt in May and couldn't make it back. He certainly would have gone up to Carolina after the bus crash last season, and after watching him pitch last night, I don't think he'll be in Rome for long.
  • RHP Bladimir Matos is a double promote from the Gulf Coast League. He throws a fastball/slider. His fastball has good life on it, and when he was able to locate it, he made hitters look bad. He couldn't locate the slider at all, and hitters simply laid off of it. He pitched two hitless innings, walking two and striking out three. An intriguing arm with room for development.
  • SS Alejandro Salazar is another double promote up from the GCL. He only had two chances, one routine, but the other was an outstanding play into the hole with a good one-hop throw on the money to 1B. He didn't look overmatched at the plate either. 

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Elsewhere:

Carolina 4, Salem 13

Minor league Rule V selectee RHP Enderson Franco got lit up to the tune of 12 hits and 9 earned in two innings. On the plus side, SS Dansby Swanson went 2-for-4 with a double, and DH Sean Godfrey, making a return trip to Carolina after a mid-season promotion to AA last season, did what you would want him to do, going 2-for-4 with a HR and a triple.

Mississippi 1, Pensacola 3

RHP Lucas Sims had a strong opening day, going 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO, and 1 HBP. However, the Braves could only muster 6 hits on the night, only one extra base hit, a double by LF Dustin Peterson. SS Ozzie Albies with 0-for-4 with 2 SO in his AA debut.

Gwinnett 2, Norfolk 0

Atlanta 5th starter RHP Jhoulys Chacin had a very successful tune-up start, going 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO. The offense was paced by OF Mallex Smith, who went 2-for-5 with a double, a triple, and scored both Braves runs. 

Tonight's scheduled starting pitchers are Mike Foltynewicz (GWI), Chris Ellis (MIS), Ryan Lawlor (CAR), and Patrick Weigel (ROM).

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Baseball America ranks their Top 10 minor league teams as of opening day as far as prospects go.

For the Braves, Rome comes in at #7 and Mississippi at #10. The Salem Red Sox, who clobbered Carolina last night, was #1.

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Mississippi OF Connor Lien was pulled from last night's game for what is being described as a "minor" wrist injury. He's expected to be out 3-5 games.

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Coppy is answering fans questions on Twitter right now and said that they will of course take the best available player at #3 in the draft but ideally it would be a college hitter. Said power bat and long-term catcher are the two most glaring needs moving forward. Said he's made two calls asking teams about trading for additional draft picks.

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Said we could see Mallex Smith, Dansby Swanson, Sean Newcomb, Aaron Blair and Lucas Sims all at some point this year in answers to various questions.

Matt Marksberry even got in a question. LOL!

Said he does indeed get frustrated seeing the Braves lose but has to remember that its all for the greater good of the franchise moving forward.

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Quick recap of last night's minor league action (spoiler alert: the system pulled the rare Golden Sombrero):

Rome 6, August 1

Eighth-round 2015 pick RHP Patrick Weigel outdueled top San Francisco pitching prospect RHP Phil Bickford to lead Rome to their second win in as many games. It didn't look good for Rome early on as Bickford no-hit the Braves through the first four innings and Weigel gave up a first inning home run to 1B Dillon Dobson. However Weigel bounced back and ended up with an outstanding 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 SO line. The 5th inning proved costly to Bickford. After getting 1B Matt Tellor and LF Justin Ellison out on strikes, Bickford hit DH Lucas Herbert, and followed that with a walk to RF Ray-Patric Didder. 2B Luke Dykstra then hit the only hit of the night off Bickford, a 2 RBI double. Bickford was pulled in favor of reliever Matt Pope, who walked SS Alejandro Salazar, walked CF Ronald Acuna, and surrendered a 3-run single to C Jonathan Morales. Rome would score their 6th run in the 7th, Didder coming home on a Pope wild pitch. In all, Rome scored 6 runs with the benefit of only 3 hits, with Dykstra's double accounting for the only extra base hit. RHPs Matt Custred and Taylor Lewis accounted for 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO in relief.

Carolina 5, Salem 2

LHP Ryan Lawlor and a trio of relievers held the potent Salem line-up in check with LF Joseph Daris and CF Keith Curcio keyed a 4-run 4th. Curcio went 3-for-5 with a triple. RHP Zack Bird and LHPs Sean McLaughlin and Chase Johnson-Mullins combined for 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 6 SO in relief.

MIssissippi 2, Pensacola 0

RHP Chris Ellis dominated for six innings and SS Ozzie Albies notched his first 3 hits of the young season. Ellis only allowed 4 singles, no walks, and struck out 8. LHPs Kyle Kinman, Matt Marksberry, and RHP Mauricio Cabrera shut the door behind Ellis.

Gwinnett 4, Norfolk 2

The Braves overcame a shaky start by RHP Mark Foltynewicz to outlast the Tides. Folty gave up 2 hits and walked 5 in his four innings pitched, but somehow limited the damage to 2 runs (1 earned). Relievers Ryan Weber, Ian Krol, Danny Burawa, and Madison Younginer shut down the Tide through ten, giving enough time for 1B Tyler Moore to hit a 2-run homer to win the game.

 

 

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Some minor league transactions:

  • LHP Brady Feigl was recalled to Gwinnett from extended spring training to replace RHP Kaneko Texeira, who was placed on the DL.
  • Mississippi OF Connor Lien was put in the DL, prompting a string of transactions: OF Sean Godfrey was promoted to Mississippi from Carolina, OF Stephen Gaylor was promoted from Rome to Carolina, and OF Bradley Keller was recalled from extended spring training to Rome. Keller was a 15th-round pick out of  Crest HS in Shelby, NC. 

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Rome 3, Augusta 4

LHP Max Fried, the star prospect acquired in last year's Justin Upton trade with the Padres, made his Braves organizational debut 18 months after Tommy John surgery. He looked alright.

Fried had a 5 IP. 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 SO line. Rome jumped out to a 2 run lead in the first when 1B Wigberto "Wiggy" Nevarez doubled home DH Jonathan Morales and 3B Austin Riley. Augusta tied it back up in the 3rd when top prospect SS Lucius Fox took Fried deep. A bad pick-off attempt by Fried followed by a throwing error by Nevarez allowed the unearned run to score in the 4th. RF Ray-Patric Didder had 3 hits, including 2 doubles. RHP Chad Sobotka, who was plagued by a variety of injuries last season, had to leave the game after facing three batters in the 6th inning with an undisclosed injury.

Carolina vs. Salem, PPD

Mississippi 4, Pensacola 5 (13 innings)

The Braves failed to capitalize on numerous baserunners in this game, pounding out 18 hits but leaving 15 men on base. LHP Sean Newcomb had a strong start, going 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 SO. SS Ozzie Albies, CF Matt Lipka, LF Dustin Peterson, and C Steve Rodriguez each got 3 hits on the long night. 

Gwinnett 11, Norfolk 5

The Braves scored 7 runs in the top of the first, allowing RHP Aaron Blair to sail through his first Braves start. Gwinnett jumped on former Brave Todd Redmond, started by a Mallex Smith single and stolen base that lead to a Reid Brignac sac fly. A few batters latter, LF Matt Tuiasosopo launched a 3-run homer and the rout was on. 3B Sean Kazar added his own 3-run shot later in the inning, and all Braves hitters had at least one hit during the game. Blair went 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 SO.

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19 minutes ago, ransack said:

Anyone else see a little Barry Zito in that clip of Fried that K26dp posted?

Yep. Definitely a similar delivery to Barry Zito and add in the high socks look and yeah it's pretty good. If he's anywhere near as good as Barry Zito was with the A's then I'll take it and be very happy.

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2 minutes ago, Unkn0wn said:

Herbert is our savior

The sad part is that he's still a long way away considering he was playing HS ball this time last year.

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I dont want to see him rushed but he couldnt be much worse than what we have at the C position right now. We have to find some kind of suitable stopgap this winter.

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