While the Atlanta Braves may not win a World Series this year, their Double-A team is in contention to win a championship this week.
It’s so good to have Minor League Baseball back and this week will be your final chance to watch some of the Atlanta Braves top prospects.
Most leagues have ended, but the Mississippi Braves advanced to the Double-A Championship Series where they’ll face the Tampa Bay Rays Double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits, in a best of five series.
Mississippi finished with the best record in Double-A South at 67-44.
They did it mostly with great pitching finishing second in Double-A South with a team ERA of 3.58, 1,083 strikeouts in 953 innings, and a WHIP of 1.26.
While guys have obviously come-and-gone (like Bryce Elder) that have made a huge impact there, they’ve gotten big contributions in the starting rotation from Hayden Deal, Spencer Strider, Odalvi Javier, Nolan Kingham, Victor Vodnik, and Freddy Tarnok.
You’ll notice I didn’t mention former first-round pick and Game 1 start in the postseason, Jared Shuster.
He’s struggled mightily at the Double-A level this year with a 7.36 ERA in 3 starts striking out 17 batters in 14.2 innings with a WHIP of 1.64.
Mississippi is hoping he’ll get on track for Game 1.
The website is showing Tarnok as the Game 2 starter, Strider for Game 3, William Woods for Game 4, and Alan Rangel for Game 5.
Tarnok has been brilliant this year with a 2.60 ERA in 9 starts with 61 strikeouts in 45 innings with a WHIP of 1.11. You’ll see him shoot up a lot of Braves prospect rankings this offseason.
If Woods gets to pitch in this series it will be his first outing in Double-A after making 4 starts for High-A Rome following an injury to being the year.
Their offense was just sixth out of eight in team OPS at .302.
They were primarily led by catcher Shea Langeliers who led the team in OPS at .836, home runs with 22, RBI with 52, and slugging at .498.
This is when I always remind people that Double-A South is one of the hardest leagues for hitters.
Greyson Jenista was the only other M-Braves hitter with an OPS over .800.
Drew Lugbauer was solid all season and finished with 18 home runs and an OPS of .785.
Braden Shewmake and Trey Harris were supposed to be two of their better hitters but both struggled for a majority of the season.
But this team does provide a lot of power with 143 home runs in 111 games and six players with double-digit home runs.
Still, if they’re going to get it done against Montgomery, it will be with their pitching.
Jonathan Mayo put together an article highlighting the best prospects in the MiLB Playoffs. Langeliers for the Braves and Xavier Edwards for the Biscuits are the ones to watch.
Enjoy the last week of the Minor League Baseball season and cheer on your Mississippi Braves as they try to win a championship.