Some big news came across the wire this morning as it’s been reported that the Atlanta Braves have called up prospect outfielder Michael Harris II. Harris will make the unusual jump from Double-A to the majors, and the kid will wear no. 23 with Atlanta. Many of us suspected that Harris would earn some kind of promotion soon, though the argument was whether it would be to Triple-A or MLB. As a result, to make room for the young talent, the Braves optioned outfielder Travis Demeritte back to Gwinnett. Demeritte had some impressive moments with the big league team, but a 1 for 34 stretch during his last nine games sort of killed any of the momentum he created when he was promoted back on April 22.
Anyways, I’ve been enjoying the holiday weekend, plus my daughter’s birthday, so I’ve missed the last two farm recaps. But here’s a brief look at all the Braves minor league action from Friday…
AAA – Gwinnett (23-23)
L, 5-2 vs. Norfolk
(P) Kyle Muller – (L), 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, HR
(CF) Drew Waters – 1 for 4, RBI, SB
(DH) Preston Tucker – 2 for 4
(2B) Ryan Goins – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, R
(RF) Alex Dickerson – 1 for 3, 2B, R
Kyle Muller took the mound for Gwinnett on Friday night, and despite putting together a solid outing, the Stripers offense just couldn’t figure out Orioles second-ranked prospect Grayson Rodriguez, who ended his day after seven shutout innings of two-hit ball, totaling 10 strikeouts. The only time Gwinnett was able to muster any runs was in the eighth, against the Tides bullpen, when Alex Dickerson led off with a double, and then later in the inning both Ryan Goins (double) and Drew Waters (single) slapped RBI hits.
For Muller, who tallied 98 pitches last night, that’s his fifth start this season (out of 8) in which he has struck out at least seven batters. The prospect lefty will carry a solid 3.83 ERA / 1.32 WHIP into his next outing.
AA – Mississippi (21-22)
W, 19-6 vs. Pensacola
(P) Tanner Gordon – (W), 6 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K
(1B) Drew Lugbauer – 2 for 6, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 R
(3B) CJ Alexander – 3 for 5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
(2B) Luke Waddell – 2 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB
(CF) Michael Harris II – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
(C) Hendrick Clementina – 5 for 5, HR, 2 RBI, 4 R, BB
(SS) Yariel Gonzalez – 1 for 5, HR, RBI, BB
Wow, so on Friday night the M-Braves put forth a historic effort in its rout over Pensacola. Mississippi’s offense tied a club record with 19 runs thanks to a season-high 17 hits, including six home runs (two each from Drew Lugbauer and CJ Alexander). One of the long balls from Alexander went a whopping 462 feet – the longest homer by a M-Braves hitter so far this season.
Though as you can see, it was Lugbauer who turned in the ribbies, seven total, thanks to a solo dinger in the sixth, followed by a grand slam in the ninth.
But I’m not sure either Alexander or Lugbauer’s performance was the best last night. What about catcher Hendrick Clementina, who managed to finish 5 for 5 on the night? Clementina slugged just one homer in the game, but it was an absolute no-doubter that traveled 460 feet.
Honestly, there’s too much to cover in one recap, so if you want the full scoop on Mississippi’s offensive explosion, just simply check out the team’s twitter page.
Among all that scoring, starting pitcher Tanner Gordon turned in a solid outing, even if it lacked many strikeouts. Gordon needed 88 pitches to complete six innings, and when he hit the showers he had only allowed one run from five hits on the night, to go with two punch outs and two walks. The performance by the 24-year-old was another strong showing, giving him back-to-back good ones after a rough start to the month of May.
A+ – Rome (25-18)
W, 12-10 vs. Hudson Valley
(P) Andrew Hoffmann – (W), 6 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K, HR
(RF) Landon Stephens – 2 for 4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB
(1B) Cade Bunnell – 2 for 4, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB
(SS) Vaughn Grissom – 1 for 4, HR, RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, SB
(2B) Beau Philip – 1 for 5, HR, 2 RBI
(3B) Justyn-Henry Malloy – 1 for 5, 2B, R, BB
Rome’s offense broke out with a 12 spot in both the hits and runs department on Friday night, narrowly beating Hudson Valley. For the first six innings, while starter Andrew Hoffmann was on the mound, the R-Braves enjoyed a comfortable lead, heading into the seventh up 10-1. However, Rome’s bullpen nearly gave the game away, as the Renegades scored four in the seventh, two in the eighth and three in the ninth, resulting in just a two-run win.
As usual, for the R-Braves it was Landon Stephens who led the charge. The 24-year-old finished with four RBI on the day – the second game in a row he knocked in four, giving him 13 RBI total in just his last four contests. Stephens is about as hot as it gets right now, as the former UDFA is hitting .340 with six homers over his last 14 games. In fact, everyone in the Rome lineup contributed with a hit on Friday, including multi-hit performances for all of Stephens, Drew Campbell and Cade Bunnell.
The outing by Hoffmann was yet another strong one this season. The 22-year-old righty lasted six innings for the second-straight start. Hoffmann has had an impressive month of May so far, putting together a 3.00 ERA to go with 27 strikeouts total in 24 innings. He’ll enter his next one with a 2.93 ERA for the year.
A – Augusta (21-22)
L, 11-5 vs. Myrtle Beach
L, 3-2 vs. Myrtle Beach
(P) Kris Anglin – (L), 0.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR
(1B) Mahki Backstrom – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB
(2B) Brian Klein – 1 for 4, 2 RBI
(P) Landon Leach – 5 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, K, HR
(SS) Cal Conley – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, R, SB
(RF) Brandol Mezquita – 1 for 3
The GreenJackets took two tough losses on Friday, as the offense couldn’t do much in either game, only totaling eight hits combined during the doubleheader. Mahki Backstrom’s home run in Game 1 and Cal Conley’s double in Game 2 were the only XBH for Augusta, so there really isn’t anything notable to report from the offense.
Kris Anglin, who usually pitches solely out of the GreenJackets bullpen was roughed up pretty badly in Game 1, allowing four runs before leaving in the first innings with just two outs. However, Landon Leach put together a pretty decent outing in Game 2, giving up just three runs from one hit, despite striking out only one.