Week 15 Atlanta Braves Farm Report: Folty and Gausman each make pivotal starts
An unlikely player steps up
Rome’s lineup has been mainly a one-man wrecking crew, with the addition of shortstop Braden Shewmake. However, first baseman Griffin Benson had a little something to say about that this past week.
(8-18) FLORIDA FIRE FROGS
Florida started the week terrible, losing their first four games of Week 15, but ultimately finishing 3-4, credited to some great starting pitching. Unfortunately, the Frogs are still in last place in the FSL North, lagging by 9.5 games from first.
As a whole, Florida’s starting rotation carried a 3.37 ERA in Week 15, striking out 8.77 batters per nine and only walking 1.80 per nine.
(40 IP, 39 H, 15 ER, 8 BB, 39 K)
Hunter Deal made two starts (Tuesday, Sunday), combining for 9.1 innings pitched. Deal struck out 9 and walked just 2, only 3 total runs.
Starter Tristan Beck is rounding into form after his injury, as he punched out 8 batters in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader. The former Stanford pitcher allowed 6 hits and walked none in his excellent outing.
Philip Pfeifer pitched Game 1 that day and tossed a 6-hitter over 7 innings. Pfeifer allowed a 2-run homer, but readjusted, striking out 7 and walking just one.
Outfielder Trey Harris and first baseman Drew Lugbauer led the Fire Frogs offense, with Harris batting .300 and slugging a homer (3 RBI); and Lugbauer — a low-average hitter — hitting a cool .333, with 3 home runs and 2 doubles (4 RBI). The power-hitting first baseman also ripped off a 7-game hitting streak.
Outfielder CJ Alexander — he’s missed almost three months before returning during Week 14 — went 3-for-18 (.166 BA); and Andrew Moritz picked up a couple of RBI and stolen bases, also hitting .333 for the week.
(13-11) ROME BRAVES
Tied for 1st place in the SAL Southern division, Rome managed a 3-3 week, scoring 5 runs per game and allowing 4.66.
The starting rotation was decently consistent, providing good but-not-great outings all week.
Twenty-one-year-old Alan Rangel had the best outing in Week 15, tossing a quality-start on Sunday. Rangel threw 6.2 innings and struck out four while only allowing a run from 6 hits in their 9-3 win over Kannapolis.
Rome’s bullpen was strong on Friday and Saturday despite resulting in two losses, as William Woods and Jose Montilla each had shut-down relief appearances.
Woods appeared in Friday’s game and punched out five in just 2.2 innings pitched. He allowed a run from 3 hits, walking three. Montilla attempted to preserve Saturday’s game, striking out four over 2.2 innings pitched and allowing a run.
Saturday’s loss came at the hands of Kannapolis’ most recent draftee, Andrew Vaughn, who slapped a walk-off single in the 9th, beating Rome 6-5.
The offense was the tale of two players who’ve had two different 2019 seasons thus far.
First baseman Griffin Benson has carried a low average all season, struggling to maintain contact. But in Week 15, Benson ripped off a strong .400 average while slugging 3 homers and 9 RBI, including a 2-homer night on Sunday.
Braden Shewmake has been on fire ever since he was drafted last month, but this past week didn’t go so hot for the former Texas A&M shortstop. Shewmake went 5-for-27 (.185 BA) with 6 strikeouts and zero walks, also committing 4 errors in the field.
He did manage two strong games at the end of the week, going 4-for-10 combined with a double and a stolen base.