Week 17 Atlanta Braves Farm Report: Mississippi’s pitchers show out
Shallow pitching depth
Like it is in most organizations, the pitching depth down at the rookie levels is a bit light at the moment. That sentiment was pretty obvious in Week 17.
(16-23) Danville Braves
Danville managed just a 2-5 week, as their starting pitching continues to be a weakness. Not one starter made it past four innings in a an outing, in Week 17.
Staying with the pitching, Danville’s starting staff has mainly consisted of 2019 eighth rounder Rickey DeVito and 2018’s thirtieth rounder, Mitch Stallings, out of Duke.
Those two were the only arms that could post worthwhile starts last week, as DeVito pitched a 4-inning two-hitter on Friday, in which he struck out five and walked just one.
Stallings made two starts (Monday, Saturday), combining for just 7.2 innings-pitched, though, he struck out 12 and only walked two. The former Duke pitcher also allowed six total runs.
Reliever Alex Camacho had another solid week, striking out six batters in 5 innings worth of work. He allowed two runs and 5 hits, while walking just one.
The first-year star, first baseman Bryce Ball, was at it again last week. Ball batted .304 and slugged 3 homers, including multi-hit games on Wednesday and Sunday. That’s 13 home runs and 34 RBI in just 33 games so far for the former Dallas Baptist slugger.
Other notable hitters included: outfielder Conner Blair, who hit .363 with 3 doubles; outfielder Michael Mateja, who hit .384 with 2 doubles; and second baseman Cody Birdsong, who hit .272 with a home run and a double, plus 3 RBI.
Mateja also threw a runner out attempting to score from third base. Center fielder Brandon Parker also had an outfield assist last week.
(10-15) GCL Braves
The Gulf Coast Braves had three different games get cancelled, plus a scheduled off day on Sunday, going 2-3 in the 5 games they did get to play.
Making a rehab start, righty Matt Withrow pitched for the GCL Braves on Monday. Withrow only worked through 1.2 innings, allowing 2 runs and walking one. He also struck out three, as he allowed six hits total in his start.
Withrow also pitched in relief on Friday, shutting down the GCL Rays with 5 strikeouts in three innings-pitched.
The 6th round pick in 2015’s draft is trying to make his way back to the Florida Fire Frogs, where he currently has a 4.44 ERA in 7 starts with the Atlanta Braves high-A club.
The GCL Braves other starting pitchers didn’t provide much last week. Zach Seipel made a start in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, striking out 4 and walking two in 3 innings-pitched.
Seipel has a 4.74 ERA in 3 starts and 5 relief appearances this season between Danville and the GCL.
Center fielder Michael Harris and first baseman Mason Berne led the Braves’ offense, as Harris hit .500 and slapped 2 doubles and Berne hit .357 with a homer and 3 RBI.
Harris is in the midst of a 6-game hitting streak, I’m which the last three games have consisted of 2-hit finishes.
(23-25) DSL Braves
The Dominican Braves had a rough Week 17, starting out with three-straight losses before winning the last 3 games of the week. Bad defense and pitching caused a lot of problems for the DSL Braves last week.
On Monday, the Braves committed 3 errors and allowed the DSL Dodgers Bautista to score 7 runs in an inning, losing 7-4; then on Tuesday, the Braves’ pitching allowed 16 hits and 13 runs in a 13-8 loss to Dodgers Bautista.
Wednesday the Braves could only manage 3 hits as a team, losing again, 3-1 to the DSL Athletics.
However, Thursday was much better. Starter Jorge Bautista tossed a quality-start, striking out five in 6 innings, and the Braves beat the Athletics in 10 innings, 6-5.
The DSL Braves won another extra-inning affair on Saturday, beating the DSL Marlins 6-5 after twelve long innings.
Pitcher Ronaldo Alesandro pitched in the game, working 5 innings and striking out three, while allowing just one hit.
The two Pena’s provided the power for the Braves on offense. Catcher/first baseman Kelvin Pena and, also a catcher, Gianfranco Pena combined to hit 3 home runs, including Gianfranco’s grand slam on Tuesday.
Gianfranco finished the week with a .280 average and 8 RBI, while Kelvin hit .259 with 5 RBI.
Third baseman Jose Dilone also hit well, batting .300 and hitting a triple and a double, in Week 17.