Braves Minor League Report: Opening Day

Man…did it feel good to go to my Twitter account and see it chock full of Braves Minor League talk. The Gwinnett Stripers and (the now High-A) Rome Braves kicked off their seasons yesterday, while the Mississippi Braves and new Low-A affiliate, Augusta Green Jackets, were postponed due to inclement weather. In these pieces, we’ll focus less on the scores and more on the producers (or lack thereof), hyper focusing on the Braves Top Prospects. However, it was pretty cool that we had an org sweep yesterday as all Braves affiliates won.

Rome Braves Highlights

The Rome Braves took the first game of the season against Winston-Salem 11-5. Bryce Elder gave up a lot of hits and walks but also had 6 Ks in 4.2 innings of work. Indigo Diaz, a mountain of a pitcher at 6’5, 250, struck out 5 in 2.1 innings. This is a name definitely worth keeping tabs on.

The offense was the highlight of the show and Michael Harris was in the spotlight, going 3-4 with a double, a walk, 2 runs scored, 2 RBIs, had an OF assist, and even stole a base (however, High-A has implemented the rule for pitchers in which they have to step completely off the rubber before throwing to first so there’ll likely be a whole lot of SBs this year). I know he’s only in High-A right now, but seriously look out for this kid. Ronald Acuna Jr. went through 3 MiLB levels at the age of 19 and made his MLB debut at 20. If Harris keeps it up, we could very well see him in September, or in May of 2022 (more likely).

Other prospects of note were Beau Philip, who looked a whole lot more comfy than I’d seen him in the past and went 2-4 with a walk. Bryce Ball went hitless but did walk twice in 5 chances. Jesse Franklin also went 2-4 with a walk and if he’s not on your radar, bookmark him.

Here’s full box score

Gwinnett Stripers Highlights

It was an Opening Day Slugfest that ended in a 10-9 victory after 12 innings. The offensive star for the night was Travis Demeritte as he went 3-6, 1 HR, 1 SB, 2 runs, and 5 RBIs. I still believe that he’s a major leaguer and just needs ABs. Orlando Arcia was 1-4 with 2 walks.

On the pitching front, Kyle Muller was ineffective through 3 innings and showed the same problems he’s shown since being drafted. His final line came with 5 hits, 5 walks, and 6 earned runs. Carl Edwards Jr.was electric, striking out 3 in 1 inning with 1 walk and 0 hits. I’m betting he’s in the bigs by June.

Here’s full box score

Braves Roster News

I’ll be honest…I don’t understand this move. Sure, I understand activating Max Fried, but sending Sean Newcomb to AAA? Surely there’s more to this story and something to keep an eye on in the future.

Braves Lineup

It’s a new day, Max Fried. Go make it your’s and shut up the h8ers.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

28 thoughts on “Braves Minor League Report: Opening Day”

  1. Sending Newcomb down feels like two steps forward, one step back. Very frustrating.

  2. JC’d: Freddie for his career is hitting .413 on the first pitch (.725 Slg) and just last year during said MVP year, he hit .462 on the first pitch (.769 Slg), so not sure that is the problem.

    This year Freddie is hitting .188 (.250 Slg) albeit only 16 ABs on first pitch, but shockingly, he is only hitting .120 in counts with zero strikes. He’s a combined 0-9 in 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 counts making him 3-25 with no strikes in the count.

  3. If I’m Newcomb, I’m telling the Braves to release me next time and that I’m sick of this &(^(&()* shuttle.

    He’s not really any good, especially mentally, but damn.

  4. @Ryan @1 The Newcomb move has got to be rosterbation. Optioning Newk out so they don’t have to release some deadbeat with no options.

    I am not sure why Santana is getting a chance over Edwards, too.

    What are the odds that M. Harris passes up both Waters and Pache for a spot in the OF? Next year, if the DH comes back, our OF could be really exciting with some combination of Acuna and Pache/Waters/Harris.

    Freddie has got to be hiding an elbow issue. He was coming on strong until the HBP.

  5. Someday, Demeritte will become a high value Super Util. He’s the guy that Camargo is supposed to be.

  6. The optioning game is getting out of hand and I’m sure it wears on the players. DOB said Newk was optioned because he has options. If that’s true, that really sucks.

    On Harris, IMO he’s already passed Waters in the org’s eyes. I think Pache is safe and will continue to project to be the CF of the future with a Kiermaier type offensive ceiling.

  7. Gotta pinch all your pennies together. How else are you going to have a nickel later when you need it??

  8. @7 I guess the question would be whether or not this has any meaningful impact on Newcomb. Do they plan on ILing someone over the next few days where all that happens is he stays in Atlanta and has a few days off?

  9. Newcomb has gotten lit up in both appearances since possible COVID exposure — maybe he actually got it and they’re not releasing the medical info. Let him get back to full strength (if that’s the issue) where he’s not hurting the team.

  10. @10
    I can’t imagine he actually got it otherwise we’d have heard about contact tracing, etc.

  11. Because the possibility of losing Grant Dayton or Jesse Biddle to a waiver claim is just such a devastating prospect, we had no choice but to screw Newcomb over to keep that from happening….

    Give me a freaking break, AA! The bullpen isn’t nearly good enough and now you’re actively making it worse with roster shell games? Super!

  12. @11 That’s just what a participant in the conspiracy of silence would say! You can’t quarantine everybody, the division is at stake!!

  13. Literally no one in the dugout could let Tony know it’s stupid to have the reliever run?

  14. I guess the implication is that Fried had been pitching with his hamstring problem since spring training? Or perhaps he just used the two weeks off to get his mind right? Either way, this is obviously much better (that solo home run that happened while I typed this notwithstanding).

  15. Understanding it wasn’t going to happen just coming back from the hamstring, but a lot of our problems would be solved just by getting our starters to go 7 innings.

  16. A hanging breaking ball…Tomlin needs to cheese his way through this inning with the heart of the order. This is hold your breath time I am afraid. “Mr. Control” doesn’t have it tonight

  17. The problem is that we overuse the trustworthy options and have to resort to Tomlin in the 8th for the heart of the order. The fact that he is among our best options is very telling. Fried looked good tonight and I am hopeful when we get Martin and Soroka back we can make a run

  18. @24

    He wasn’t gonna go nine innings/ 120 pitches, certainly, but I thought we could’ve tried to coax another inning out of Max knowing that his spot in the order was up in the seventh. If it had been a normal situation, I’d have been pretty much beside myself over taking him out there…as it was, it still seemed maybe an inning early.

    Last year, our bullpen was good enough to use basically whenever, but we’re back in a situation now where trying to get our starters to go as long as possible is preferable to trying to get four innings out of our bullpen…and not surprisingly, we’re not doing it so far.

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