This past week in the Atlanta Braves minor league system featured a little bit of everything.
Even more so, the Gwinnett Stripers enjoyed perhaps their best week of baseball in team history. Do they even miss Austin Riley? The Atlanta Braves sure have enjoyed him.
We’ve made it to Week 7 of the Atlanta Braves Farm Report. This week’s version returns back to its original format, though this week features several more videos and highlights. Enjoy!
Need a refresher on the previous reports?
(26-17) Gwinnett Stripers (AAA)
WEEK 7 RECORD: 5-1
Players of the Week
(LF) Travis Demeritte
6 games, .370 BA, 4 HR, 2 2B, 8 RBI
There were several Gwinnett hitters in Week 7 that were deserving of Batter of the Week, but Demeritte stood out not only because of his power output, but his high average as well.
Batting .311 for the season, the outfielder from New York, NY has become a key cog in the Stripers lineup. He currently is in the midst of four-straight games with a home run and he already has 9 long balls this year, to go with 32 RBI.
With Austin Riley doing bigger and better things, Demeritte should continue to get plenty of RBI opportunities. He’s been batting 5th in the lineup so far this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hitting cleanup soon, especially if Adam Duvall gets called-up or traded.
(SP) Bryse Wilson
7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, BB, 5 K
Being that newly promoted starting pitcher, Patrick Weigel, was able to pitch 4 innings of no-hit ball on Saturday, and I’m still picking Bryse Wilson as Pitcher of the Week — this is a rather large statement.
But Wilson’s outing on Thursday was a big deal for several reasons. This is a prospect that many expected to make some substantial strides, given his excellent minor league campaign last season and his solid big league debut against the Pirates, also last year.
Things just haven’t gone his way until his Week 7 start. Last Thursday he turned in his first quality-start and first start giving up zero earned runs in 2019 (out of 7 starts).
The long ball has bitten him this year (6 homers allowed), but he’ll go into next week carrying a now-respectable 4.66 ERA.
Week at a Glance
(5/13) Monday: Off Day
The Stripers were off on Monday, finally getting some rest after playing 20-straight games. The stretch of games obviously didn’t hinder third baseman Austin Riley (#2 prospect).
Austin Riley’s epic performance last week was capped off with an IL Batter of the Week award, a well-deserved reward for the 22-year-old on his day off.
Riley received another accolade for his play, joining catcher Alex Jackson in earning MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week.
It’s safe to say that the Stripers represented the Atlanta Braves organization extremely well last week.
(5/14) Tuesday: Won 11-3 vs. Buffalo Bisons – FULL RECAP
- (P) K. Wright: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
- (3B) A. Riley: 1-4, HR (GS), 4 RBI, BB
- (1B) P. Florimon: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R, 2 K
Gwinnett picked up their 4th-straight win and starter Kyle Wright (#5 prospect) notched his second-straight victory, pitching a gem by working around just three hits and keeping the ball on the ground all game (8 groundouts and 2 flyouts).
The Huntsville, Ala. native was also efficient, only needing 73 pitches (54 strikes) to get through his outing.
The Stripers scored 9 runs in the seventh inning, a team record in one inning. Third baseman Austin Riley kicked off Week 7 with more crazy hot play, belting a grand slam for his 13th homer in his past 18 games.
He leads the IL in both homers (15) and RBI (39). Tuesday’s slam also tied the team record for most homers in the month of May, with 10.
Riley didn’t have his home run mate, Adam Duvall, as Duvall went hitless in his five at-bats, snapping his on-base streak at 20-straight games.
(5/15) Wednesday: Won 6-2 vs. Buffalo Bisons – FULL RECAP
- (P) B. Rowen: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- (CF) R. Ortega: 3-5, 2 HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K
- (SS) L. Marte: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, K
The day finally came. The player we’ve all been waiting for made it to the Show on Wednesday. Riley is now an Atlanta Brave.
Even with Austin Riley’s promotion on Wednesday morning, the show must go on for Gwinnett; and Wednesday night that fantastic show just kept on rolling for the Stripers as Gwinnett hit 5 home runs in their win over Buffalo.
It was the fourth time this season that the Stripers hit five homers in game, the last coming on May 10 against Pawtucket.
Rafael Ortega (2 HR), Adam Duvall, Luis Marte and Ryan LaMarre all participated in the group long-ball party, showing us they can still produce power without the likes of the Braves second-best prospect.
First baseman Travis Demeritte finished 2-for-4 with a double, rounding out all the offensive contributors for the Stripers.
Here’s Austin Riley’s first interview as a major league baseball player:
In case you missed the Atlanta Braves game (big league Braves) Wednesday evening, Austin Riley took Michael Wacha (Cardinals starter) deep to left-center with a 109 MPH drive that traveled 438 feet for his first home run as a big leaguer.
The combination of him hitting a homer in only his second career at-bat and the excitement shown by his parents during the game’s broadcast, are just a few things that make baseball the greatest sport of them all. Absolutely awesome.
(5/16) Thursday: Won 11-2 vs. Buffalo Bisons – FULL RECAP
- (P) B. Wilson: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, 5 K
- (1B) S. Kazmar Jr.: 2-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI
- (C) A. Jackson: 3-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, K
For the second night in-a-row, the Stripers went off on offense, slugging four home runs and eight extra-base hits as team. Adam Duvall finished 1-for-4 with a homer and an RBI, also scoring two runs and walking once.
Here’s Duvall’s solo shot:
The other home run hitter on Thursday was left fielder Travis Demeritte, who went 2-for-5 with an RBI, two runs and a strikeout.
The Stripers also hit four doubles, with Ryan LaMarre hitting a two-bagger and going 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Andres Blanco and Luis Marte also hit doubles. Marte finished 2-for-3 and Blanco 1-for-5.
Here’s Thursday’s first baseman, Scott Kazmar Jr., and his homer in the 5th — the Stripers’ fourth and final homer of the evening:
Starter Bryse Wilson (#10 prospect) turned in a solid start on Thursday, putting in a season-high 7.1 innings of 4-hit ball. He threw 94 pitches (65 strikes) and kept the ball on the ground with eight groundouts.
Thursday’s rout was 6 in-a-row for Gwinnett and their second series-sweep in-a-row as well.
(5/17) Friday: Won 7-5 vs. Pawtucket Red Sox – FULL RECAP
- (P) K. Allard: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
- (LF) A. Duvall: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
- (RF) T. Demeritte: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, K
It was another day off bombs, as the Stripers hit three more homers on Friday, to go along with two doubles. Duvall and Demeritte’s homers are listed above, but the other home run came from shortstop Jack Lopez (Austin Riley’s replacement). Lopez finished 2-for-4 with his homer, a double and three RBI.
All three homers came in the 2nd and 3rd innings, and Duvall’s long ball was a rather notable one; number 72 for the team this season.
Scott Kazmar Jr. and catcher Sal Giardina also picked up hits Friday, with Kazmar Jr. going 1-for-4 with a double and a run; and Giardina finishing 1-for-3 with two runs, a walk and a strikeout.
Kolby Allard (#12 prospect) had a rough outing as he continued to give up too much contact. His 105 pitches (68 strikes) was a little much for just 5.2 innings of work and only 3 strikeouts. Regardless, his outing was good enough for the win (that’s that happens when your offense leads the League in homers).
(5/18) Saturday: Won 5-2 vs. Pawtucket Red Sox – FULL RECAP
- (P) P. Weigel: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, BB, 2 K
- (RF) T. Demeritte: 2-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K
- (LF) A. Duvall: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI
Starting pitcher Patrick Weigel got the call-up to Gwinnett Saturday night and also started on the mound, pitching four no-hit innings and helping Gwinnett win their 8th-straight (team record).
The homers started early for Gwinnett. Here’s the opening inning, with a drive by Travis Demeritte:
Later in the game, reliever Ynoa Huascar — also got a promotion from Mississippi — got into the game and earned the win with 2 innings of work.
After Saturday night’s win, the Stripers had hit 41 home runs over their last 17 games in the month of May (or 2.41/game).
Adam Duvall sent one out deep in the final inning, his 15th homer of the 2019 season:
Duvall’s 9th inning blast on Saturday gave him four-straight games with a home run and at least one in six of his last eight games.
(5/19) Sunday: Lost 5-4 vs. Pawtucket Red Sox – FULL RECAP
- (P) K. Wright: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 4 K
- (2B) A. Blanco: 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB
- (DH) T. Demeritte: 1-4, HR, RBI, K
Gwinnett finally got beat on Sunday after winning a team-record eight-straight, but one streak did continue on the final day of Week 7 as Travis Demeritte hit a home run in his fourth consecutive game.
Here’s Demeritte’s big fly in the 4th inning, and Andres Blanco’s in the 5th:
Starter Kyle Wright took the mound for the Stripers, pitching rather well until surrendering four runs in the 4th inning, resulting in his poor final pitching line.
Other than Demeritte and Andres Blanco’s home runs, outfielder Rafael Ortega added two XBHs with a couple of doubles. Adam Duvall, Ryan LaMarre and Alex Jackson all three went hitless, combining to go 0-for-12 with 5 strikeouts.