Atlanta Braves farm report week 4: Austin Riley and the Stripers are heating up

CUDHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: A tractor works in a field on August 15, 2018 in Cudham, England. The National Farmers' Union has warned that Britain would 'run out of food' next year if it cannot continue to easily import from the European Union after Brexit negotiations have ended and in the event of a 'no-deal Brexit'. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
CUDHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: A tractor works in a field on August 15, 2018 in Cudham, England. The National Farmers' Union has warned that Britain would 'run out of food' next year if it cannot continue to easily import from the European Union after Brexit negotiations have ended and in the event of a 'no-deal Brexit'. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Braves
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Thanks to the top Atlanta Braves prospect in Gwinnett (#2 overall), Austin Riley, the Stripers have been rolling of late.

Week 4 for the Atlanta Braves minor league system featured some improved play by numerous players. Check out how all four teams did this past week.

Need a refresher on previous week’s results?

(13-10) Gwinnett Stripers (AAA)


CALL-UP ALERT: (4/21) The Atlanta Braves recalled starter, Bryse Wilson, from the Gwinnett Stripers. The Atlanta Braves optioned righty reliever, Shane Carle, back to the Stripers.

(4/22) Monday: OFF DAY 

(4/23) Tuesday: Won 5-2 vs. Indianapolis Indians – FULL RECAP 

  • (P) K. Wright: 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 BB, 4 K
  • (3B) A. Riley: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 K
  • (SS) L. Marte: 1-3, R

Kyle Wright (#5 prospect) made a strong outing on Tuesday, picking up his first win as a Gwinnett Striper in 2019. Austin Riley (#2 prospect) led the way on offense with 2 doubles, plating two runs in the win.

Rafael Ortega had two base-hits and second baseman Andres Blanco finished 1-for-4 with a run scored. Adam Duvall and Pedro Florimon rounded out the hitting for Gwinnett, as the former went 1-for-4 and the latter went 1-for-2 with an RBI.

(4/24) Wednesday: Won 7-6 vs. Indianapolis Indians – FULL RECAP

  • (P) S. Newcomb: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
  • (2B) A. Blanco: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB,
  • (C) R. Lopez: 2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K

Ryan LaMarre went deep on the very first pitch of the game and the Stripers won their third-straight Wednesday, as Sean Newcomb turned in a quality start.

LaMarre finished 3-for-3 with that ambush homer, and he also stole his fourth base of 2019. The former 2nd round pick from 2010 is now batting .362 after Wednesday’s game.

Rafael Ortega initially got the day off, but eventually came in to pinch-run and play centerfield, finishing 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a run scored. Adam Duvall picked up a base-hit in 3 at-bats, walking twice and scoring twice.

INJURY ALERT: (4/25) The Atlanta Braves have sent lefty reliever, Johnny Venters, on a rehab assignment to the Gwinnett Stripers.

(4/25) Thursday: Won 6-2 vs. Indianapolis Indians – FULL RECAP

  • (P) K. Allard: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
  • (3B) A. Riley: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB
  • (LF) A. Duvall: 1-3, HR, RBI, BB

Thursday the Gwinnett bats came alive with some power as the Stripers hit two home runs and two doubles in their win. Austin Riley (#2 prospect) had a much needed multi-hit game, hitting his third homer of 2019.

Kolby Allard (2-1) needed 93 pitches (57 strikes) to get through 5.1 innings of work, providing Gwinnett a fair performance at the least. The seasoned vet and multiple Tommy John survivor, Johnny Venters, worked an inning as well and also recorded a hold with his one walk and one hit given up.

Centerfielder Rafael Ortega continues to rake, as he hit a double and a single with an RBI. Travis Demeritte also hit a double (2-for-4) and plated two runs Thursday.

(4/26) Friday: Won 8-4 vs. Toledo Mud Hens – FULL RECAP

  • (P) T. Toussaint: 5 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 K
  • (LF) A. Duvall: 2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, K
  • (3B) A. Riley: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, K

Touki Toussaint (#8 prospect) didn’t pitch his best game Friday night, but it really didn’t matter, as the Stripers unleashed the power with 7 XBHs (2 doubles and 5 homers). Adam Duvall hit his fourth and fifth home runs of 2019, while centerfielder Rafael Ortega went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Catcher Raffy Lopez finished 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored, as he’s now up to a solid .333 batting average through Friday night. Scott Kazmar Jr. also had a great night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double. Kazmar is battling with a .245 average and .630 OPS.

TRANSACTION: (4/27) The Atlanta Braves optioned starter, Bryse Wilson, to Gwinnett to make room for Mike Foltynewicz. The Atlanta Braves also recalled reliever Shane Carle.

(4/27) Saturday: Won 16-3 vs. Toledo Mud Hens – FULL RECAP

  • (P) A. Santiago: 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
  • (1B) A. Riley: 2-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI
  • (3B) P. Florimon: 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB, K

It was another offensive splurge for Gwinnett as the team came up with 16 hits total (8 XBHs) on Saturday night in their thrashing of Toledo. Austin Riley played first base and had a huge game with his home run and double, to go along with 3 RBI.

Travis Demeritte went 1-for-4 and hit his first triple of 2019, while Rafael Ortega finished 1-for-5 with a double and two runs, a walk, and a strikeout. The veteran, Raffy Lopez, is heating up as he hit a home run Friday and finished 1-for-3 with three runs, two walks, and two strikeouts.

In the end, every single batter in the Stripers’ lineup managed to get a hit on Friday, even second baseman Luis Marte (2-for-5 with an RBI), who is batting a lowly .220.

TRANSACTION: (4/28) The Atlanta Braves optioned righty reliever, Wes Parsons, to Gwinnett after receiving reliever Jerry Blevins from Oakland in a trade for cash.

(4/28) Sunday: Lost 4-15 vs. Toledo Mud Hens – FULL RECAP

  • (P) K. Wright: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
  • (DH/LF) A. Duvall: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K
  • (2B) J. Lopez: 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, R, K

The Stripers had won 6-straight games this past week, but on Sunday that streak was snapped as they gave up a season-high 15 runs to Toledo.

Starter Kyle Wright got ambushed, ending his day with a 1-2 record and an 11.81 ERA for the 2019 season — ouch. It wasn’t all bad … Adam Duvall homered for his fourth straight game, giving him 7 on the year and a .306 average (1.035 OPS).

To round out Week 4, Rafael Ortega got a hit on Sunday (a double), ending his week batting .307 and Austin Riley also hit a double (his 6th), raising his average to .256 and OPS to .812.

Shortstop Andres Blanco finished up his season-best Week 4 with a base hit and is now up to a .306 batting average and 1.041 OPS (leads team in OPS). Travis Demeritte also had a hit on Sunday.

Players of the Week

(OF) Adam Duvall

  • 2019: 23 G, .306 BA, 1.035 OPS, 7 HR, 6 2B
  • Week 4: 6 G, .347 BA, 5 HR, 2B

The guy that we all basically wrote off after he spent half of 2018 struggling mightily with the Atlanta Braves has had himself a fantastic start to the season in Gwinnett. Will he keep it up, though, and then make it to Atlanta?

(SP) Sean Newcomb

  • 2019: 2 starts, 12.2 IP, 2.84 ERA, 12 K, 4 BB
  • Week 4: 1 start, win, 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 K, 0 BB

Overall, the pitching in Gwinnett was dreadful in Week 4, as Newk was the only pitcher to make it past 6 innings, let alone seven. Newcomb is nowhere near where he needs to be at the moment, but his start this past Wednesday was a step in the right direction.