Atlanta Braves Week 12 Farm Report: A fresh class of players

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 31: Pitcher Kolby Allard #36 of the Atlanta Braves gestures while sitting in the dugout before his MLB pitching debut during the game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park on July 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 31: Pitcher Kolby Allard #36 of the Atlanta Braves gestures while sitting in the dugout before his MLB pitching debut during the game against the Miami Marlins at SunTrust Park on July 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images) /
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(3-3) Danville Braves (RK+)

Week 12 Record: 3-3

Appalachian East Standings

*As of Monday, June 24

Team Record GB
Burlington 5-2
Pulaski 3-2 1.0
Danville 3-3 1.5
Princeton 3-3 1.5
Bluefield 2-4 2.5
Lexington 1-4 2.5

Week at a Glance

Day Opponent Result
Monday No Game
Tuesday Princeton Postponed
Wednesday Princeton W, 3-2 : W, 12-10
Thursday Princeton W, 3-2
Friday Johnson City W, 2-1
Saturday  Johnson City L, 14-9
Sunday Johnson City L, 3-2

Week 12 Notes

The ‘other’ Atlanta Braves 2019 draft picks start their pro careers. Danville wins two games on their Opening Day.

What an interesting thing baseball can be. Within just a few weeks of a team drafting it’s newest members of the organization, those same players start their professional careers in Rookie ball.

On Wednesday night, the Danville Braves opened up their 2019 season with a doubleheader against the Princeton Rays — the Tampa Bay Rays affiliate.

Danville swept the day, winning both games and putting forth a great showing on offense. Game 1 was even a thriller, as it went an extra inning and featured a walk-off win.

Filyer Sanchez started the first game for Danville.

A little background on Sanchez: he’s been in the organization since 2015, signing as an 18-year-old from Venezuela. After making it up to High-A last season (Florida), Sanchez is back down in the Appy League to continue honing his craft.

Anyways, in Game 1 Wednesday, Sanchez tossed five innings of five-hit ball, giving up a homer and one run with one strikeout. It wasn’t a very exciting first-start of the season, but acceptable nonetheless.

The D-Braves offense tallied eight hits, with two of those coming from newly-drafted Bryce Ball. The 24th round pick finished with two singles, an RBI and a strikeout.

The Atlanta Braves 9th round pick in this year’s draft, infielder Cody Milligan, was the hero Wednesday. Milligan went 1-for-3 with two RBI, slugging a two-run walk-off home run to win the game in the 8th (doubleheaders are 7 innings).

As you can see by the score up top, Game 2 was a high-scoring affair. Ball hit another homer, this time a solo shot. He finished 2-for-4 with a double, starting his career with a bang.

The real standout performer from Danville’s opening day, was third baseman Ray Hernandez. Hernandez is an Alabama State alum, drafted in the 29th round of the 2018 Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Hernandez finished with six RBI in Game 2, going 2-for-4 with a grand slam and a double as Danville’s No. 3 hitter in the lineup. What a first day!

Other RBI providers consisted of second baseman and leadoff hitter Cody Milligan (0-for-2, a run and two walks); left fielder Willie Carter (2-2, two runs, and a walk); and right fielder Charles Reyes (1-for-3, a run, a walk and a strikeout).

Luis De Jesus started Game 2 on the mound, but only lasted one inning, as he gave up four runs after facing 10 batters. The righty needed 29 pitches to get the first three outs of the game, giving up five hits and striking out one.

The win went to Miguel Jerez, who pitched four innings and struck out six, though he walked four and surrendered three runs in his 67-pitch appearance.

All in all, Day 1 of the Appy League season was a success for Danville. Two games and two wins.

That Bryce Ball fella’ ain’t no slouch!  The Atlanta Braves went with a tall lefty-hitting first baseman with their 24th round pick in the most recent draft. At 6-foot-6 and 235-pounds, Ball shouldn’t have any problems hitting balls out of the park as a pro. He did it plenty of times —18 times to be exact — while at Dallas Baptist this past season, where he played his college ball.

The 20-year-old has started his career about as good as one can, as he recorded a hit in all five of the games he played in, in Week 12, picking up at least two hits in all but one.

His very first homer as a professional came in Game 2, one of two hits he had that night. Then on Sunday, Ball struck again, another home run and three total hits for the night, to go along with two RBI.

Here’s what Ball did in his first five games of action this past week:

10-for-19 (.536 BA), 2 HR, 2 2B, 7 RBI

Now, it’s only been five games but this looks to be a pretty talented player, to say the least.

He gave an interview last week, discussing his hot start:

I’ll try to include more bits from the new Danville players in next week’s report, as it appears that the D-Braves have a wonderful social media presence on Twitter, with plenty of content regarding the Braves new draft picks.

Players of the Week

(1B/DH) Bryce Ball

See notes above. He won by a landslide.

(SP) Mitch Stallings

1 start, 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, BB, 5 K

Danville got more great play from a late-round draftee (from the 2018 Draft), as former Duke pitcher, Mitch Stallings, threw a solid first-game on Thursday.

The Atlanta native pitched 5.2 scoreless frames, only needing 61 pitches to get through his outing. Stallings was a ground ball machine, forcing nine ground outs from the 22 batters he faced.

I haven’t seen him live before, but he was an interesting pick by the Braves in the 2018 Draft. Stallings carried a career 4.46 ERA at Duke, including a 5.84 mark in his final season with the Blue Devils.

Here he is with Duke…

Last season, he finished with a 3.94 ERA in seven appearances (16 IP), including 18 strikeouts and only three walks. Maybe the Braves knew something Duke didn’t know. Whatever it is, it’s working.

Transactions/ IL List

Date Player Destination
June 20 (P) Troy Bacon Florida