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Landon Stephens and Royber Salinas win Player of the Week

We just recently completed the first month of the 2022 minor league regular season, and even this early into the campaign there has been no shortage of impressive performances down on the Braves farm. On Monday, 22 of last week’s best players were rewarded, as MiLB.com announced its Player of the Week recipients, with two Braves making the list: first baseman Landon Stephens (High-A Rome) and right-handed pitcher Royber Salinas (Single-A Augusta).

For Salinas, this is already his second time winning Pitcher of the Week for the Carolina League, as he took home the award last month for his Week 2 performance. For this past week, though, the 21-year-old righty once again posted insane numbers, making two starts for Augusta and combining for the following line: 9 IP, H, ER, 5 BB, 21 K. The ridiculous punch out total now gives Salinas 52 strikeouts overall this season – good for an average of 19.7 K/9. Among qualified pitchers in the Braves minor league system, the Venezuelan easily paces the organization in K rate and ranks third in ERA (1.52). A promotion to High-A Rome should be coming any time now.

Like Salinas above, Stephens has been performing well all season, already up to eight home runs in just 18 games so far (the most HR by a Braves minor leaguer as of Monday). I did a write-up on the slugger awhile back, but Stephens is a former UDFA that just can’t seem to quit hitting. This past week, the 24-year-old hit .269 with four homers, a double and 11 RBI in just six games with Rome, and he continues to help lead what’s been a dangerous R-Braves offense. Prior to this season, Stephens only had 105 pro games under his belt (all at the Single-A level), but I suspect he’ll soon earn a promotion to Double-A Mississippi if keeps this up for any length of time.

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