The Gwinnett Stripers season ended yesterday. It was a good season as far as wins and losses were concerned, a great year for pitching prospects, and another shoulder shrug for 2 of the Braves top offensive prospects. In today’s piece, we’ll take a look at the Gwinnett Stripers Top Performers and in the writeup, focus more on the prospects and what their 2021 performance means for their future.
Gwinnett Stripers Top Offensive Performers
- Johan Camargo: .958 OPS, 19 HRs
- Travis Demeritte: .923 OPS, 21 HRs
- Orlando Arcia: .867 OPS, 17 HRs
- Jason Kipnis: .908 OPS 10 HRs
- Cristian Pache: .744 OPS, 11 HRs
- Drew Waters: .710 OPS, 11 HRs, 28 SB
Breakdown: I see a trend here, and not a good one. The veterans players with MLB experience had impressive numbers while the 2 players the Braves really need to perform continue to provide mixed results. Both Pache and Waters had good runs, but overall Waters is still striking out at a reckless rate (30.9%) and Pache put up a lackluster .744 OPS despite a .344 BABIP. Waters plays the game like a maniac and it’s that mentality that keeps him in the top prospect discussion, but I think he’s going to have to hone in his energy if he wants to take that next step, especially at the plate. I know many want to see Pache in CF to start the year next year, but I still think he needs more time. The concern I have for him and his future is the added bulk, which looks as though it’s had an impact on his speed, which in turn, could affect his defensive ceiling.
Gwinnett Stripers Top Pitching Performers
- Kyle Wright: 137 IP, 3.02 ERA, 3:1 K/BB
- Kyle Muller: 79.2 IP, 3.39 ERA, 2.2K/BB
- Bryce Elder: 36.2 IP, 2.21 ERA, 2K/BB
- Tanner Roark: 46.1 IP, 2.14 ERA, 2.75K/BB
- Thomas Burrows: 47.2 IP, 2.64 ERA, 1.97K/BB
- Dylan Lee: 46.2 IP, 1.54 ERA, 9K/BB
- Victor Arano: 36 IP, 2.50 ERA, 3K/BB
Breakdown: While the offensive prospects struggled to grab our attention, there’s no doubt that the trio of Kyle Wright, Kyle Muller, and Bryce Elder earned the 2021 spotlight. I watch Wright…a lot, and for the life of me I cannot understand why he never got another chance to prove himself. There’s part of me that thinks the Braves kept him in AAA to retain his value for the upcoming offseason. With Charlie Morton back for 2022 and the trio of Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and Huascar Ynoa likely to make up 4/5 of the rotation, Kyle Wright might be the next pitching prospect to wear another team’s colors.
Bryce Elder is a dadgum workhorse and has a very similar pitching profile to Ian Anderson. Between him, Spencer Strider, Jared Shuster, and Jesse Franklin, the Braves struck gold in the shortened 2020 draft.
We can’t end this discussion without talking about Dylan Lee. Truthfully, Lee should’ve been up WAY before this past week. His 9K/BB rate is insane and he should’ve been given a larger chance to prove himself. Unfortunately the small sample will likely win out and, as a 27 year old, his chances of staying on the 40-man roster this offseason is likely low.
Thanks for reading Gwinnett Stripers Top Performers. Who excites you from this team? Let’s hear it in the comments!
I love what these young pitchers are doing. Tremendous job by the draft and development guys hired by AA. I have also wondered if Kyle Wright will be traded this winter. It didn’t make sense that he never got the call this year. I also wonder about Muller. He never got another chance. It’s like Elder and Strider have passed them on depth chart.
I’m not sure what to think about Pache and Waters. It would be awful if both are busts. It’s not looking good right now. I would assume Chipper has looked at their swings and tried to help. I hope Harris works out. The lack of international signings for 4 years has hurt the depth in the farm system.
Off topic: I have a friend who is a Mariners fan, he was so excited that they might make the playoffs. We are all so very lucky to be Braves fans. We are spoiled.
Pache and Waters are 22. It’s no alarm to me that they would not match 27 year olds.
Agreed they both need more time at AAA.
@2 Some of us, including me, might be guilty of comparing all prospects to Ronald and Ozzie, which isn’t fair.
@1 I look forward to Kyle Wright becoming a productive starter for… I dunno… the Brewers or the Rays, maybe?
@4 The Indians and Rays both seem to have great major league pitching coaches. We could probably lump the Astros and Giants in there too. They could all turn him into a productive starter probably.
It will be interesting to see if the Braves upgrade their pitching coach this winter or just simply add a bullpen pitching coach to assist snoozing Kranitz.
Regardless of what happens with Kranitz, I think multiple pitching coaches is a great idea. Different players have different styles and ways of learning, and bringing in multiple perspectives can only be a good thing, I would think.
@6 I think so too. The more outlooks the better. Smith has looked so different in his last two outings I almost wonder if he went to an old pitching coach for help.
Several mlb network analysts pick the Braves over the Brewers. The Brewers limped into the postseason while the Braves were on a hot streak. DeRosa picks them to lose to the Rays in the Series. That would be crazy to even get there.
I’m rooting for Tomlin (with the bonus that we never see him pitch again) to replace Kranitz
Well, shoot. That will help their pitchers a lot more than it’ll help our hitters.
Cowboy Joe is retiring.
The Braves almost always get the weird time slots. The best slots are reserved for the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, etc.
The forecast is for clouds with possible rain Friday and partly cloudy Saturday, so sun/shadows may not be an issue.
I think Lee will be a keeper. AA is not and has never been a short term thinker. Neither Strider nor Lee would have been added to the 40-man roster unless they were subject to Rule 5 and AA wanted to keep them (maybe Lee but not Strider) or he expects them to be prime contributors at the MLB level next year (hopefully, both). Besides, both still have three options and none had to be used this year.
The Braves really don’t have a whole lot of Rule 5 eligibles this year – Drew Waters, Trey Harris, and Freddie Tarnok are the best of them. AA may not be anticipating needing many 40-man slots to cover. I don’t see the Braves signing any FAs except ones already on the roster. I’m not even sure (as I’ve said before) what they would trade for.
Peanut says Smyly will miss the playoff roster and Ynoa will be an opener for a Game 4. I can’t imagine leaving Smyly off the playoff roster. I would sure support a Game 4 with Ynoa for three innings max and Smyly for three innings max.
Smyly is a decent reliever. He makes the postseason.
@16, if they’re down 2-1, I would rather see Morton on 3 days rest. Then Fried would have 4 days rest anyway for a Game 5. Up 2-1, yeah, maybe piggyback Ynoa & Smiley. I could even see planning to have Ynoa relieve Anderson for a couple of innings in Game 3 and then having Morton and Fried for the last two.
If Smyly doesn’t make the roster it would be a surprise. I’ve been trying to fill out the roster with 13 pitchers and have been having trouble guessing who the last couple would be. And that was including Smyly.
Bowman predicts that RR is a lock for the bullpen. I did not have him as a lock.
I must be in a small crowd who doesn’t like putting guys who have pitched 2 major league innings on the playoff roster. Everyone is so eager to put Strider and Lee on the roster. I must have Joey Devine PTSD.
Bowman has Pache as a 5th position player instead of Arcia, reasoning that none of our infielders ever leave and that Rosario in addition to Soler could use a defensive replacement. I think that makes sense.
I’ve got my own piece with predictions coming out tomorrow.
In a Sports Illustrated poll of baseball pundits as to which team will win the World Series, Tom Verducci picked the Braves over the Yankees in seven games, with Freddie Freeman named MVP.
I prefer Arcia to Pache. That would be too many outfielders, for my liking. But we’ll see.
I too would be surprised if they didn’t take Smyly. Especially if Lee or Strider make it. If that happens, I can see him being added to the NLCS roster when there’s a more obvious need for a 4th starter / longman for a bullpen game.
@20 Yeah, I don’t see how RR is a “lock” for the bp. He’s not good enough for that. I won’t be shocked if he does or doesn’t make the team. I’m not exactly eager to put Strider or Lee on the roster but RR has been atrocious since before the trade. Webb has a good arm but gets rattled easily.
I thought about Pache but I don’t see it happening. They haven’t called him up at all, even for these last 3 games. He’s bulked up so he’s not a speedy base runner. It seems the last position player is usually a speedy base stealer type or a 3rd catcher or just a plain extra bat/defender. With Heredia I don’t think Pache is necessary. I was just looking at the AAA stats. Camargo has had a great year (and is still only 27 years old). I might give him a shot….but Arcia is a better defender I guess.
I would love for us to revisit our predictions from the first of the year. I for one think I had a perfect score in the wrong direction.
Camargo…not difficult to see why.
My turn to finish the Davey Johnson story. He was buried in his office pre-game but sent a message- Ted had effectively kyboshed the Commish letting anyone ‘extra’ into the dugout. He had arranged two one-on-ones for me which was kind of him. First was Ron Darling. Talk about a pitchers body – his shoulders and thus his chest were massive, I was 6ft 3 then but in comparo was from another planet. He was at his peak then presumably – thus are baseballs propelled.
He was great to talk to- soon I was able to ask him questions about the famous Yale/Harvard game when he had been matched with Frankie ‘Sweet Music’ Viola. Wonderful stuff. He was great company throughout, entirely without condescension. I remain a big fan of his journalism today.
On to my second date, a fellow Scot from Glasgow like me who became world famous in 1951 hitting ‘the shot heard around the world’- Polo Grounds, Ralph Branca etc. I was besotted, a groupie, my hero. Terrific to talk to, I probably didn’t hear but every other word. He was gentle, kind, no bluster. A gentleman. Bobby died on Skidaway Island, Georgia, in 1970. Modest to a fault, lovely man.
Now Alex. A challenge for you, who was the lady sitting a row behind me while we watched the game from the Players Section? CLUES…She was at that time the best known Sportswoman in America, any sport. She was robustly built, was well known for a propensity to snack which she did throughout the game. She was hollering uninhibitedly for her husband who was out on the field. She was something else.
So who was she? Who was her husband? What position did he play for the Mets? (No asking ububba!)
By virtue of playing the Brewers in the NLDS, the Braves have now faced every NL team at least once in a postseason series since 1992.
Great write-up, Ryan.
I’m not sure where Kyle Wright fits in the picture. He’s 26, he doesn’t have elite stuff, and he’s had poor control in the big leagues. I’m not sure what Atlanta owes him, and I’m not sure if he’s earned anything. He needs to be traded in the offseason to a team with a decent outfielder or reliever.
Waters and Pache just need to stay in AAA until they hit. Bottom line. If they don’t, then forget about them. If we go into another offseason thinking these guys are ready to go, then we deserve to win 86 games or however we won again. We got lucky that that won the division, but it probably doesn’t again.
Overall, love how much talent is in AAA. There’s enough talent that something shakes loose.
Great stories, blazon. You must have been sitting in front of the great Nancy Lopez, who was married at the time to Georgia’s own Ray Knight.
Knight, the Mets third baseman in 1986, was the WS MVP. Among other feats, he scored the winning run when the ball went through Buckner’s legs.
@25 – Coincidentally, I stumbled across Ryan’s prediction contest last night. We should come back to this after the season ending awards are given, but there are some pretty good (and some pretty bad) predictions in here.
With the discussion about Camargo, we need to trade him asap when the season is over. After the great season at Gwinnett, he is at his highest possible value, even if at 27 it’s not very high. For whatever reason, Snitker hates him and will never give him a chance. If Snitker is Atlanta’s manager next year, Camargo has to go. Snitker’s not going to change. No way should he be on the playoff roster so he can rot on the bench.
I don’t know, td, I don’t think that’s fair. In 2019 and 2020, Camargo got a total of 375 PA and hit .222/.267/.378. I can understand why Snit stopped playing him and don’t think that means he “hates” him.
FWIW, the Mets will have a new manager next year.
Of all the people they needed to fire, Luis Rojas is a lot lower on the list than Sandy Alderson.
I kinda rooting for an ’80s-Yankees run for the Metropolitans: The owner keeps getting headlines, but the club keeps coming up short.
@33 – I can respect that, but I at least think Snitker has at least given up on Camargo. Since 2018 his PAs have gone from 524 to 248 to 127 to 18 (obviously he was replaced by Donaldson in 2019 and a very mediocre Riley in 2020, but he’s never been given a super sub role). Adrianza had a .557 OPS last year and now has a .678 career OPS compared to Camargo’s .738, but he was given the supersub job this year over Camargo. Maybe Adrianza’s defense is better, but Camargo has a cannon for an arm and I think his defense is pretty close. Camargo has earned several call ups this year but has gotten very few opportunities. To be fair to Snitker, Camargo was good as a starter, but has been terrible coming off the bench. I just think there have been opportunities to use him this year and he’s been passed over. Arcia is playing more of Camargo’s role now and has been atrocious on offense and defense – even in AAA. Again, I think a trade would be best for him and Atlanta.