Week 13 Farm Report, Part 1: Ian Anderson and Jeremy Walker toss a no-no

The Atlanta Braves reshaped the scouting and development leadership this month with an eye towards the Rule 4 Draft. A look back suggests that move was needed. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves reshaped the scouting and development leadership this month with an eye towards the Rule 4 Draft. A look back suggests that move was needed. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Braves cristian pache
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

(39-41) Mississippi Braves (AA)

Mississippi had a solid 4-3 week and are just a game back in the Southern League standings.

Week 13 Notes

A leftover from Week 12:  I can’t believe I overlooked this from last week, but check out reliever, Jeremy Walker, and the voodoo he puts on this poor hitter in last Sunday’s game…


Drew Waters sits out Monday’s game?!?!  One of the best hitters in Double-A rode the pine Monday night, as I guess it was decided that Waters needed a break. Perhaps that’s fine, since he is human, after all.

It was still a shame, being that Mississippi’s lineup seemed to be seeing the ball well during Monday’s game; though, it was a close game — M-Braves won, 1-0 — but the lineup generated 11 hits, with Christian Pache hitting his 10th homer of the season.

And we know that when Pache plays good, that usually means Waters does as well. Pache played center and hit leadoff, finishing the game 1-for-5 with his 1st-inning home run and a strikeout.

Third baseman Riley Unroe and shortstop Ray-Patrick Didder both had nice games as well, with Unroe going 3-for-5 and Didder picking up two hits, one being a double.

The entire Mississippi lineup contributed with at least one hit, except for outfielder Tyler Neslony (0-for-5, two strikeouts). Even the struggling, Greyson Jenista (sub-.200 BA), got himself a hit, while also walking twice.

Tucker Davidson tossed a solid six innings, only allowing three hits and striking out six and walking three. He picked up the win, his third of the season.

The Mississippi defense was splendid, turning two double-plays (both of them 4-6-3), including a beautiful basket catch by Didder.

It was a big win for Mississippi, as Biloxi was the 1st half winner of the South Division. The win on Monday gave the M-Braves the series win, with Mississippi winning three out of five.

Joey Wentz rights the ship and turns in first quality-start in over a month:  With so much attention being pointed at several of the Braves pitching prospects over the last couple of seasons, Joey Wentz sometimes can be overlooked.

Well, on Wednesday he did his best to stand out, going six strong for the M-Braves.

Yeah, that’s eight little fireballs in that tweet, as Wentz punched out eight Jackson batters. He did finish with four walks, but it didn’t seem to slow him down.

Altogether, the Generals only mustered three measly hits against the Braves No. 10 prospect, as Mississippi stood victorious, winning 7-1. Wentz also picked off a runner at first base.

Jason Hursh and Jordan Harrison held down the 7th thru 9th innings, allowing only two hits and striking out two.

The M-Braves were led on offense by shortstop Riley Unroe, but received strong performances from several players, including one that has had a rough go in Double-A recently… Braves No. 13 prospect and 22-year-old, Greyson Jenista.

Jenista finished Monday with a two-run triple and went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout, his second-straight game with a hit. His two RBI was his first run batted in since June 11.

Unroe finished with two knocks, a double and a base-hit. He plated two runs, scored two runs and walked once, also stealing a bag. Unroe has been on fire of late as the Braves No. 3 hitter, with four multi-hit games in his last 10 contests, after Wednesday night’s game.

Christian Pache was 1-for-4 and Drew Waters was 1-for-3. Pache had a double and a walk, while Waters slapped a single and also walked once.

First baseman Ryan Casteel and second baseman Alejandro Salazar produced two hits apiece, all singles. Casteel had one RBI and Salazar finished with two ribbies.

M-Braves split DH Thursday, only manage one hit in Game 2:  Due to Tuesday’s rain-out, Thursday forced a twofer between the M-Braves and the Jackson Generals — an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both teams traded blows, as Jackson shutout Mississippi 5-0 in Game 1, followed by a Braves victory in Game 2, 8-1.

Mississippi’s loss in Game 1 was especially frustrating, being that it consisted of the team only mustering one hit.

His name is Joel Payamps and he dominated the Braves’ lineup like no other this season. Payamps isn’t considered a D-Backs prospect, and at 25-years-old, he’s spent seven seasons in the minors pitching to a career 4.10 ERA; though, his K/BB rates are quite good at 9.00 and 2.25, respectively.

The minor league vet tossed a complete-game shutout (DHs are 7 innings), striking out nine and walking one. Payamp needed just 89 pitches (62 strikes) to tear through the Braves offense.

Mississippi’s Daniel Lockhart was the lucky guy to manage a hit off Payamp, a single to left in the 6th inning.

Bash brothers, Drew Waters and Christian Pache, both finished 0-for-3, with Waters going down on strikes twice.

The unfortunate starting pitcher for the Braves in Game 1 on Thursday was Jasseel De La Cruz. He managed to go toe to toe with Payamp, but tuckered out in the 6th when Jackson pushed across three runs from a two-run triple and an RBI single.

Cruz’s line looks much worse than he pitched: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

As shown by the final score, Game 2 was much better for the M-Braves. Conner Johnstone took the mound for Mississippi and ended up going five innings, allowing only one hit. Johnstone pitched to contact and worked efficiently (55 pitches) by forcing 13 batted-ball outs, compared to just two strikeouts. It’s far less work when the batter gets himself out!

The win was Johnstone’s third, giving him a 3-0 record and a 2.48 ERA. The righty from Wake Forest is having himself a sneaky good season since being demoted from Gwinnett earlier this year. A closer look may be warranted soon.

Christian Pache continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI, as well as three runs scored. Pache also showed off his major league-ready glove in the outfield.

Drew Waters went hitless for the second-straight game. He walked and struck out once.

Riley Unroe and Ryan Casteel both went 2-for-4, both hitting doubles, though Unroe’s was an RBI double and he ended up finishing with three total RBI.

Ian Anderson/Jeremy Walker no-hit Jackson on Friday:  Earlier on Friday, it was announced that star outfielder Christian Pache and Mississippi’s rotation ace, Ian Anderson, were named to the All-Star Future Game roster, which will be played Sunday, July 7 at 6:00 p.m. (CNT).

That bit of news was fitting, as Anderson unleashed a start like no other, on Friday night: Seven innings of no-hit ball.

The 2016 first round pick completed seven dominant innings, providing a pitching line with two starts worth of strikeouts: 7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 K

As you’d probably guess, that K total is a career-high for the righty.

In the 1st inning, Anderson got all three outs via the strikeout, as well as the 5th, throwing 103 pitches (66 strikes) and facing five batters over the minimum (26).

Out of the eight batted-ball outs that Anderson generated, seven were groundouts and one a flyout.

Four different Jackson batters had two strikeouts, followed by two with three strikeouts, as the Jackson hitters just couldn’t manage a thing off Anderson.

Reliever Jeremy Walker appeared in the 8th and pitched the final two innings. He kept the no-no going, not allowing any Jackson hitters to reach base and striking out two.

The duo of Anderson/Walker combined for a line of: 9 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K

Anderson’s gem gives him a 6-5 record and a solid 2.94 ERA (7th in League). Here’s the rest of his 2019 stats, along with his ranks amongst the rest of the Southern League (entering Saturday):

  • 6 wins (t-3rd)
  • 85.2 innings-pitched (2nd)
  • 113 strikeouts (1st)

Walker improves his ERA to 2.94 and his save on Friday gives him six for the season. Walker has 55 strikeouts and only four walks (!) in 57.2 innings pitched this season.

Also on Friday, Christian Pache continued his torrid hitting, slugging another home run, his third dinger in his last 10 games (entering Saturday).

Pache’s last two weeks or so have been huge. It’s almost like he’s heard the noise about Drew Waters lately.

Waters had a rough go Friday, going hitless with three strikeouts. Even the best hitter in Double-A has his streaks.

Players of the Week

(OF) Christian Pache

7 G, 8-for-27, .296 BA, 2 HR, 3 2B, 3B, 7 RBI

Back and forth we go. One week it’s Drew Waters tearing it up, the next it’s Pache, as the two young players continue to try and outdo one another.

The plate discipline is improving little by little:

8.7 BB%, 24.4 K%

(SP) Ian Anderson 

1 start, 1-0, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 14 K

Anderson’s remarkable start from Friday was detailed above. The entire M-Braves rotation ranks top-10 in basically every pitching stat category… Anderson leads them all.

Roster Moves & IL List

Date Player Destination
(1B) Braxton Davidson 7-day IL
April (3B) CJ Alexander 7-day IL
May (1B) Andy Wilkins 7-day IL