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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(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

It was an all-around great week for the Atlanta Braves organization.

There are lots to dive in to from Week 13. The Atlanta Braves weren’t the only team to win several ballgames this past week, as the minor league clubs picked up more wins than usual over the past seven days.

This week’s report is broke up into two parts. Let’s get started with Part 1 first…

Previois editions: Week 1 — Week 2Week 3 Week 4 — Week 5 Week 6Week 7 Week 8 — Week 9 —Week 10Week 11 Week 12

(46-35) Gwinnett Stripers (AAA)

INT South Standings

Week 13 Scores

Week 13 Notes

The Stripers absolutely rout the weak Tides of Norfolk on Monday:  Wow, save some offense for the rest of the week!

Final score: Gwinnett 13, Norfolk 4

Adam Duvall had a fantastic game on Monday, but literally every Stripers’ batter had a field day at the plate:

  • (RF) A. Duvall: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, K
  • (CF) R. Ortega: 1-4, HR (GS), 4 RBI, BB
  • (LF) T. Demeritte: 3-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R,
  • (1B) P. Florimon: 2-5, 3B, 2 RBI, R, 2 K

Gwinnett broke out for 16 hits as a team, as every batter in the lineup recorded a hit, except for catcher Jonathan Morales — 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.

After Duvall’s RBI double in the 4th to put the Braves down 2-1, Travis Demeritte slugged a two-run homer — scoring two of four runs for the Stripers in that inning.


Rafael Ortega pushed across four runs with just one swing of the bat in the 8th, which is always super duper exciting.

It was just a great offensive showing by Gwinnett, all the way around. As a team, the Stripers were 8-for-12 with RISP, seemingly scoring at every opportunity.

Atlanta Braves No. 23 prospect, Patrick Weigel, got the start, and really all he needed to do was just take it easy and throw strikes. He actually wound up pitching a decent game: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, HR

Weigel only threw 39 strikes, but his 75 pitches was a season-high for the recovering Tommy John patient. He’s just about there, in terms of being his pitch-count restrictions being removed.

Also, the Stripers had two outfield assists in the game, both at the plate! Rafael Ortega and Travis Demeritte both threw out runners at the plate. I’ve scoured the interwebz for video, but no such luck.

Another note from Monday: Jack Lopez won International League Batter of the Week for last week’s performance.

The Stripers hit four HRs on Thursday, but still lose:  If you’ve followed Gwinnett any this season than you probably already know that this team basically lives and dies with the long ball, illustrated by their 122 home runs after Thursday night’s game.

But in Thursday’s 8-5 loss to Charlotte, the Stripers got cheated, as they hit several homers but lost. Catcher Alex Jackson, former Atlanta Braves outfielder Adam Duvall, and shortstop Luis Marte all went deep, with Jackson going bridge twice.

To add to the weirdness of it all, Gwinnett went with an opener in the loss, deploying 2018 Atlanta Braves reliever Shane Carle in the first inning. Note to self — do not do that again!

Carle commenced to give up a two-run homer to the third batter he faced Alcides Escobar (former Kansas City Royals infielder) and wound up allowing three runs from just seven total pitches.

Altogether, the Knights tallied 12 hits, while also slugging four homers.

It was Adam Duvall’s turn to go yard twice Friday night:  The Stripers got an outstanding game from veteran Adam Duvall and young prospect Kyle Wright, in their 8-1 win over Indianapolis.

  • Duvall: 2-for-3, 2 HR, (GS) 6 RBI, BB, K
  • Wright: 7.2 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 8 K

Perhaps Duvall felt left out when Alex Jackson went off on Thursday night.

Speaking of Jackson, he also had a solid game, going 1-for-4 with a home run of his own (his 15th of the season) and knocking in two runs.

Back to Kyle Wright:

Wright’s 12th start this season was a dandy. The Atlanta Braves No. 4 prospect threw 96 pitches (63 strikes), and when he wasn’t striking out batters, he was keeping the ball on the ground and in the infield — generating eight groundouts.

His fantastic start lowered his ERA to 5.43 and improved his record to 5-4.

Mike Foltynewicz provides a solid start on Saturday:  With the kind of year Foltynewicz has had this season, sometimes you just have to appreciate the little things and take it one step at a time.

Folty worked a strong 7.2 innings, throwing 105 pitches (71 strikes) in Gwinnett’s 5-2 win against Indianapolis Saturday. It was finally a Folty Outing that ended on a positive note.

Of course one quality-start doesn’t mean that all is well with him, but given how bad he’s been this season — things could be much worse.

Travis Demeritte and Ben Rowen headed to El Paso on July 10th:  Both Demeritte and Rowen will represent Gwinnett and join the International League All-Star team when they face the Pacific Coast League team in El Paso, TX on July 10, home of the El Paso Chihuahuas.

The 32nd Triple-A All-Star game will air on MLB Network on Wednesday, July 10 at 9:00 p.m. (EST).

Kolby Allard puts up solid outing on Sunday:  With Adam Duvall and Travis Demeritte getting the day off (well sort of), Gwinnett’s offense didn’t hit their usual four homers on Sunday, but they did receive a nice start from Allard, in their 5-3 win and three-game sweep over Indianapolis.

The Atlanta Braves prospect pitcher didn’t have his best stuff — 91 pitches (55 strikes) in five innings — but limited the Indians to six hits and just one run, while striking out six. He also walked three.

His only mistake was an RBI double in the 4th. Although, Allard did get tagged with an interesting unearned run in the 5th, as he successfully picked off a runner trying to steal home, but catcher Alex Jackson missed the throw to the plate, allowing the run to score. Jackson was charged with the error.

The Stripers played small-ball on Sunday, moving runners with timely hits by Luis Marte to open up the scoring for Gwinnett in the 3rd, and an RBI single by Jack Lopez in the same inning.

Lopez plated another run in the 7th, hitting into a double-play that scored Marte.

Duvall ended up pinch-hitting in the 7th, singling to left field and scoring Connor Lien in his one at-bat. The Stripers finished with 10 hits, one shy of Indianapolis’ total of 11.

Four more pitchers came into the game after Allard:

Carle picked up the win, Rowen and De Paula a hold, and Creasy the easy one-out save.

Allard’s down to a 3.64 ERA in 16 starts (89 innings-pitched) this season, along with 74 strikeouts and 32 walks.

Players of the Week

(OF) Adam Duvall

6 games, 9-for-23, .391 BA, 4 HR, double, 13 RBI

It was a heck of a week for Duvall, as he had three multi-hit games:

  • Monday: 3-for-5
  • Tuesday: 2-for-4
  • Friday: 2-for-3

He also had that monster game on Friday where he hit two homers and knocked in six runs, basically providing half his RBI total for the week in just one game.

With another week in the books, the veteran outfielder has completed 71 games for Gwinnett (zero for the Atlanta Braves). Here’s how his stats rank amongst all International League hitters:

  • .952 OPS (9th)
  • .602 SLG (3rd)
  • 159 total bases (2nd)
  • 24 homer runs (t-1st)
  • 64 RBI (1st)

*stats above are entering Sunday

(SP) Mike Foltynewicz 

1 start, 1-0, 7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 8 K

You know it’s been a rough season when your ERA in Triple-A is even bad. Folty hasn’t been great for the Atlanta Braves or Gwinnett — 6.37 ERA in MLB, 4.97 ERA in Triple-A — but he was great on Saturday.

Roster Moves & IL List

Roster Notes:  Monday (6/24) the Braves optioned pitcher Grant Dayton back to Gwinnett — he had been recalled to the big league ‘pen on June 17.

Tuesday (6/25) reliever Chad Sobotka was optioned back to Gwinnett.

Interestingly, the Braves decided to go with Bryse Wilson on Thursday versus the Cubs, even after recalling Kyle Wright on Monday, from the Stripers. On Thursday, Wright was optioned back to Gwinnett.

A lot of Braves fans, including myself, have wondered when Luiz Gohara will be back. I can just about guarantee that it will most definitely not be in 2019. All I have is an old interview (April 2019) from Snitker.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(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

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

(29-50) Florida Fire Frogs (A+)

The Fire Frogs did not have the same success of other teams in the Atlanta Braves organization last week going 2-4 and falling to last place in the FSL North standings.

Week 13 Notes

Third baseman Jordan Rodgers hits first HR of ’19 in Florida’s win Thursday:  A rather highly touted prospect back when he was drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 Draft by the Atlanta Braves, Rodgers hadn’t had much success as a pro — career .237 hitter in the minors.

But on Thursday, Rodgers put that behind him and had a great game, going 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI in Florida’s 5-2 win over Palm Beach.

As the No. 8 hitter in this season’s Fire Frogs lineup, Rodgers has actually had one of his better year’s at the plate.

The University of Tennessee product is slashing .247/.273/.342 (.615 OPS) in 24 games thus far for Florida (entering Saturday night), still not great numbers but better than his 2018 campaign.

Several Florida players had a good game on Friday, with four other Fire Frogs batters finishing with a two-hit night:

Florida starter Matt Hartman also played well, finishing his outing with a solid line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Fire Frogs lose in extras Friday night, Nolan Kingham punches out eight:  The loss was a heartbreaker — a walk-off RBI single by Tampa in the 10th inning — but it didn’t change the fact that Nolan Kingham labored through an eight-strikeout start.

The former Texas Longhorn pitched eight innings, striking out eight and walking four in Florida’s extra-inning loss, 6-5, to the Tampa Tarpons.

As been the case all season, Kingham walked four and allowed four runs. It’s already apparent that the Braves 12th round pick in the 2018 Draft will be a high-strikeout pitcher, but also susceptible to giving up runs. The righty has 42 earned runs this season (4.73 ERA), although he has 57 strikeouts in 50 innings pitched.

Kingham ran into trouble in the very first frame, surrendering a two-run homer to Tampa’s cleanup hitter, DH Dermis Garcia. After that he settled down, pitching cleanly until the 4th inning.

With this being Kingham’s second season in the Braves organization,  there’s still plenty to learn for the 22-year-old, but so far his performance hasn’t been too bad.

Through 19 starts and eight relief appearances in the minors, Kingham has a 4.14 ERA, while running K/BB rates of 6.2 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9. This season he’s been more of a strikeout-type pitcher, but he still needs to improve on his run prevention.

Here were the top offensive performers for the Fire Frogs Friday:

  • (SS) Riley Delgado: 1-for-5, 2B, R
  • (RF) Trey Harris: 1-for-2, 2B, 2 R, 3 BB
  • (1B) Drew Lugbauer: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
  • (C) Logan Brown: 2-for-5, 2 K
  • (LF) Jefrey Ramos: 1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K

Ramos’ RBI single in the 6th, that plated Harris, ended up being the run to tie the game at five, eventually sending the two teams to extra innings.

Philip Pfeifer K’s 11 on Sunday:  Sometimes the Baseball Gods just aren’t on your side. Florida’s starting pitcher, Philip Pfeifer, was feeling that more than anyone on Sunday night.

The Fire Frogs lost 2-1, despite Pfiefer punching out 11 and only walking one. The lefty from Knoxville, TN pitched a masterful 7.2-inning outing Sunday night, only to have it squandered by Florida’s light hitting (only 5 hits as a team).

When Pfiefer left in the middle of the 8th, his line looked as if Florida was set to win the game:

7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, BB, 11 K

Florida only received hits from three different batters:

  • (SS) Riley Delgado: 2-for-4, R, K
  • (DH) Jefrey Ramos: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
  • (C) Zack Soria: 1-for-3, 2 K

Players of the Week

(SS) Riley Delgado 

6 G, 9-for-25, .360 BA, double

Florida’s offense was rather light in Week 13. Really, any of Delgado, Trey Harris, Andrew Moritz or Kevin Josephina could’ve won Batter of the Week.

Delgado stood out with his three-straight two-hit games (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and the fact that four of his six games this past week were multi-hit performances.

(SP) Philip Pfeifer 

1 start, 0-1, 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, BB, 11 K

That’s just bad luck… striking out 11 and still getting tagged with the loss.

Pfiefer has been up and down this season, mostly down of late. Here are his 2019 numbers, in Florida:

10 starts, 1-6, 60 IP, 4.35 ERA, 66 K, 19 BB

Roster Moves & IL List

* Finally some news on Beck. The right-hander has begun a rehab assignment and is with the rookie level Braves. Hopefully we’ll see the 2018 4th rounder in Florida soon.

dark. Next. July 1st MLB Power Rankings

A lot of teams in the Atlanta Braves organization are trending up in the second half, and we could see several teams make the postseason.