Atlanta Braves Week 11 Farm Report: Drew Waters, Christian Pache form dangerous duo

27 Feb 1998: A general view of autographed balls in an Atlanta Braves baseball cap during a Spring Training game against the Kansas City Royals at the Disney Wide World of Sports Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Royals defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory
27 Feb 1998: A general view of autographed balls in an Atlanta Braves baseball cap during a Spring Training game against the Kansas City Royals at the Disney Wide World of Sports Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The Royals defeated the Braves 3-2. Mandatory /
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ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17: General view of SunTrust Park during the game between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals on September 17, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /

(33-36) Mississippi Braves (AA)

Week 11 Record: 5-5

2019 Southern Division Standings

*As of Monday, June 17th

Team Record GB
Biloxi 41-29
Pensacola 38-32 3
Misissippi  33-36 7.5
Jacksonville 29-41 12
Mobile 27-41 13

Week at a Glance

Day Opponent Result
Monday Jackson W, 6-1: W, 2-1
Tuesday Jackson L, 2-1: W, 7-1
Wednesday Mobile L, 5-3
Thursday Mobile L, 2-1
Friday Mobile L, 5-1
Saturday Mobile W, 4-3: W, 3-2
Sunday Mobile L, 6-2

Week 11 Notes

Drew Waters > Christian Pache? This may come off as too much of a hot-take; and believe me, I’m just as high on Pache as the next guy, but so far it looks as if Waters may be outshining Christian Pache down in Mississippi.

Numbers-wise it’s pretty apparent.

https://twitter.com/mbraves/status/1139919122798710787?s=19

Waters is in unprecedented territory, not only leading the Mississippi Braves this season, but leading all of Double-A baseball.

He wasn’t supposed to do this well, this soon, and without hardly any time in High-A. I’m not sure anyone expected him to hit like this even at the end of this season.

Week 11 was just another week for Waters, especially on Friday when he finished 4-for-5 with a home run and a double plus two RBI in an M-Braves win over Mobile, 5-1.

Here’s his homer from Friday night, as a straight bomb to left-center:

I know 60-plus games of a season shouldn’t carry much weight, but it’s not like this is new for Waters. However, let’s compare Waters and Pache’s 2019 season so far:

Waters Pache
Games 68 65
OPS .917 .854
Doubles 23 16
Home runs 5 9
Stolen bases 10 7
K% 29.4% 25.5%
BB% 6.1% 8.5%
Total Bases 147 125

It’s amazing how close their numbers are, not to mention how both players have less than ideal plate-discipline rates.

After Friday’s game, Waters mentioned how he and Pache “feed off” one another, something I had noticed and wrote about earlier this season.

Here’s Waters’ comments in MiLB.com’s recap of the M-Braves win:

"“I am having a really good time,” he said. “I haven’t had the opportunity to play with Pache, but he pushes me; we feed off each other. He’ll smoke one down the line and that drives me to do the same. With Pache hitting in front of me, I get a lot of pitches to hit.”"

Regardless of who’s better right now, both outfielders are playing at an unreal level. Personally, I still believe both will enter the majors at or around the same time.

What a day it was on Saturday for the M-Braves! Mississippi was tasked with a doubleheader on Saturday, one of which featured another start by Dallas Keuchel (who also pitched for Rome on Monday). The Braves walked it off in both games, sweeping the day.

Keuchel didn’t pitch as well on Saturday as he did Monday, but we are talking about a top-class difference in competition (Single-A to Double-A). Keuchel still had a solid start in Game 1 of the M-Braves twofer.

https://twitter.com/mbraves/status/1140075358856892417?s=19

Trustmark Park was absolutely packed, as over 5,200 fans were in attendance to see Keuchel take the mound.

https://twitter.com/mbraves/status/1140084421598560256?s=19

The freshly-signed lefty started a little rusty on Saturday, allowing a leadoff double that would eventually come around to score and give the BayBears a 1-0 lead after one inning.

But Keuchel ended up finishing strong and working a quick 7th inning. After a lead-off single, he retired three-straight before exiting for good. Here’s his pitch breakdown against Mobile.

  • 1st inning: 14 pitches
  • 2nd inning: 19 pitches
  • 3rd inning: 8 pitches
  • 4th inning: 18 pitches
  • 5th inning: 7 pitches
  • 6th inning: 27 pitches
  • 7th inning: 13 pitches

All in all, Keuchel was able to work on seemingly everything on Saturday, getting in 106 total pitches. He’ll be in Atlanta soon real soon!

Here are several clips of Keuchel’s post-game interview:

Keuchel wasn’t the only M-Braves starter to turn in a strong start Saturday.

In Game 2, Ian Anderson tossed a 100-pitch three-hitter, striking out seven and walking three. He gave up one run in the M-Braves win.

There’s no one in the Mississippi rotation pitching better than Anderson at the moment. In the month of June (3 starts), he now has 23 strikeouts and just seven walks in 17.2 innings pitched.

Anderson has only surrendered three runs in that span, as well.

For the season, Anderson’s numbers are near the top among all starters in Double-A. He’s running a cool 2.85 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 72.2 innings pitched, while also holding opposing batters to a measly .201 batting average.

Gwinnett’s going to be calling soon.

Players of the Week

1A. (OF) Drew Waters

9 G, 16-for-36 (.444 BA), 4 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI

1B. (OF) Christian Pache 

8 G, 8-for-29 (.275 BA), 2 2B, 3 HR, 6 RBI

Yeah, it’s them again. The frequency in which these two players are mentioned in these reports just goes to show you how legit they really are.

As you read Waters’ comments above, these two “feed off one another.” All season long it’s been this way; you can’t have one without the other.

Waters is in the midst of a 10-game hitting streak that started back on June 8. He has a hit in 20 of his last 22 games, not to mention the numerous batting stats that he leads the League in.

Oh yeah, he also broke a record over the weekend:

Waters’ partner out in the outfield, Pache, had almost as good a Week 11, batting .275 with three homers. Pache has hits in nine of his last 10, while also going through a bit of a power surge, with three home runs in that span.

As mentioned in the notes above, both Waters and Pache possess some crazy good athleticism, as well as an unreal ability to hit.

The only thing that’s partly holding them back is their dramatic K/BB-rates.

However, plate discipline is something that takes time to develop fully. One thing going for both players is that we are in an era that is much more acceptive when it comes to high K-rates and low BB-rates.

Week 11 Roster Moves

Date Player Destination
April (3B) CJ Alexander 7-day IL
(1B) Braxton Davidson 7-day IL
May (1B) Andy Wilkins 7-day IL
June 14 (C) Jonathan Aro Gwinnett

(–) injured before 2019 season