Atlanta Braves Farm Report: Opening Week Minor League Recaps

WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 13: A baseball sits on the field before a spring training baseball game between the the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals at Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 13, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - MARCH 13: A baseball sits on the field before a spring training baseball game between the the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals at Fitteam Ballpark of the Palm Beaches on March 13, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Braves
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The Minor League season has made it through its first week of action. The Atlanta Braves major league team is coming off of a 5-1 homestead, and after 4 games a few of the minor league teams are looking strong as well.

This past Thursday marked the beginning of the 2019 season for all four Atlanta Braves minor league levels. With a late start to the week, only 4 games were played, as each team had their inaugural series carry into the weekend.

As a whole, the first week was a productive one, as several of the top-prospects in the organization have started off hot.

Opening Night for the minors ended up being a great one for the Atlanta Braves organization, as all but one of the four teams won their opening game.

Throughout the weekend, several of the Atlanta Braves teams suffered from some mediocre starting-pitching, but overall the bats stayed relatively strong and even carried their respective teams to a few wins.


(3-1) Gwinnett Stripers (AAA)

The Stripers opened up their 2019 campaign with a win and some efficient pitching by Mike Foltynewicz. The rest of the Gwinnett rotation followed suit as they pitched solid this past weekend as well.

The weekend ended with the Stripers taking 3 out of 4 from the Tides, and several notable prospects have quickly gotten on track this season.

CALL-UP ALERT: On Sunday, Stripers catcher Alex Jackson was recalled by the Atlanta Braves to provide backup for the Atlanta Braves at catcher after Brian McCann went down on Saturday night with a strained hamstring (placed on the IL Sunday morning). Catcher Raffy Lopez will take Jackson’s place for Gwinnett, with Sal Giardina backing up Lopez in Gwinnett.

Tyler Flowers is also banged up from being hit by a pitch on his wrist/hand, so Jackson should get quite a bit of playing time over the next several days.

THURSDAY @ Norfolk: Won, 3-1

(SP) Mike Foltynewicz:

  • 5 innings pitched
  • 0 ER
  • 2 walks
  • 2 strikeouts

FRIDAY @ Norfolk: Lost, 0-4

(SP) Bryse Wilson

  • 5 innings pitched
  • 5 hits
  • 3 ER
  • 2 walks
  • 6 strikeouts
  • 1 home run allowed

SATURDAY @ Norfolk:  Won, 7-0

(SP) Mike Soroka

  • 5 innings pitched
  • 0 hits
  • 0 ER
  • 0 walks
  • 7 strikeouts

SUNDAY @ Norfolk: Won, 4-3

(SP) Touki Toussaint

  • 3 innings pitched
  • 1 hits
  • 1 ER
  • 4 walks
  • 1 strikeout


It’s no small matter that we received a strong and healthy start by Mike Foltynewicz on Thursday night. Not to mention, the fact that he was able to dissect the Norfolk hitters for 5 innings off of just 56 pitches.

All of that’s great, but I think the pitcher of the week goes to the young Mike Soroka. He pitched a dominant game on Saturday night and his return to Atlanta might excite Atlanta Braves fans just as much as Folty’s return when thinking of the potential that he offers.

Soroka pitched a no-hitter for 5 innings, while also striking out 7 and walking none. He was even more efficient than Foltynewicz, as the Canadian made it through 5 frames on just 49 pitches (35 strikes). No, that’s not a typo!

The Tides hitters never got the ball off the ground, only managing 8 groundouts when they did make contact against Mike Soroka.

Because of the strong starting-pitching by the Stripers, Gwinnett’s bullpen wasn’t used much, but a few relievers made some strong appearances:

  • Corbin Clouse (2 games / 4 K)
  • Dan Winkler (1 game / 0 ER)
  • Thomas Burrows (2 games / 1 save)

Hopefully, Dan Winkler will find his groove as the season progresses. I think there’s a large group of Atlanta Braves fans that enjoyed his time with the big league team. ‘Wink’ just had a rough Spring (8.44 ERA) recently, so he should get that ironed out.

FORMER BRAVE ALERT: (INF/OF) Jace Peterson had to face the Stripers tough pitching over the weekend. Peterson, now playing for Norfolk, went 1-for-11 with 2 strikeouts in the Stripers vs. Tides series. For some reason, I always liked that guy.


While it’s great that he’s coming out of the gate hot, it’s a shame there’s not a place for him in Atlanta at the moment; but third baseman Austin Riley is at it again, already.

He has 4 games under his belt and is hitting .286 at the moment, which doesn’t lead the team; but he does lead the Stripers with 2 home runs — all coming from one game on Saturday night. Riley also has a double and 3 RBIs.

The Gwinnett bats have been relatively hot across the board, especially the hitters that we all expected to hit well. Travis Demeritte had a 2-for-4 performance on Sunday, hitting a home run and knocking in a run. Demeritte has a double so far this season and is running a healthy .400 batting average at the moment.

Centerfielder Rafael Ortega has also been excellent to start the season. Ortega led the Stripers to a win on Opening Night with his 3-for-4 game at the plate, slugging a home run and a double, scoring two runs and knocking in a run.

All in all, the Stripers bats didn’t waste any time to get cranking, hence their 3-1 record at the end of Opening Week. It was a beautiful combination of mostly strong offense and strong pitching, and that usually bodes well for a baseball team.

Here’s the rest of the lineup’s results this past Thursday and weekend:

(2B) Andres Blanco:   

  • 0-for-9
  • .375 OPS

(DH/OF) Adam Duvall

  • .250 batting average
  • .607 OPS
  • 1 double

(1B) Pedro Florimo

  • .385 batting average
  • 929 OPS
  • 1 double

(CF) Ryan LaMarre  

  • .250 batting average
  • .750 OPS
  • 1 triple

(2B) Scott Kazmar Jr. 

  • 0-for-7

(C) Alex Jackson     

  • .143 batting average
  • .393 OPS
  • 3 strikeouts

What’s Next for the Stripers?

(all times EST)

vs. Durham Bulls (TB)

  • Monday, April 8 @ 7:05PM
  • Tuesday, April 9 @ 12:05PM

@ Louisville Bats (CIN)

  • Thursday, April 11 @ 7PM
  • Friday, April 12 @ 7PM
  • Saturday, April 13 @ 2PM
  • Sunday, April 14 @ 2PM