Saturday, August 26, 2006

GCL Braves

Final Record: 23-27

The 2006 GCL Braves were all about pitching this year. Many of the offensive players were disappointments but the pitching was tremendous. There were seven pitchers that really stood out to me. I will list them alphabetically because I don't want to rank them.

Steven Evarts:
Evarts is a big 6'3'' lefty who was taken in this year's draft. In 11 games (9 starts), Evarts went 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He walked 12 and struck out 33 in 43 innings while not allowing a home run all year.

Steve Kent:
Kent was a lefty who was taken in this year's draft as well. He walked 16 against only 20 strikeouts in 36 innings but he did finish the year with 12 straight scoreless innings. Overall he was 1-4 with a 4.00 ERA.

Neftali Feliz:
Feliz is a young right hander from the Dominican Republic who put up some great peripheral numbers this year. In 29 innings he allowed only 20 hits and struck out 42 for a 1.17 WHIP and 4.03 ERA. He also did not allow any homers. His ERA seems a little inflated given his low WHIP and high strikeout total.

Jeffrey Locke:
Locke is another good looking lefty taken by the Braves in this year's draft. He went 4-3 with a 4.22 ERA in 10 games. His hit total was high, 38 hits in 32 innings, but he only walked 5 and struck out 38 over those 32 innings. Locke has a good arm and could make great strides next year.

Michael Mehlich:
Mehlich is an 18 year old right hander who went 1-0 with a 3.22 ERA for the GCL Braves. In 22.1 innings he struck out 25 and walked only 7. His WHIP was right around 1.00.

Jose Ortegano:
Ortegano is a very small left hander who enjoyed some success with the GCL Braves this year. In 46.1 innings, he only walked 10 batters and struck out 31. His ERA was 3.30 and his WHIP was 1.15.

Chad Rodgers:
The Braves have yet another strong young lefty in Chad Rodgers. Chad went 3-2 with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He also struck out 30 in 39 innings pitched while only allowing 31 hits.

That great crop of young pitchers makes the offensive players look pretty bad. Here are some of the notables.

Cole Miles:
Miles was taken late in last year's draft and really came around this year batting leadoff for the GCL Braves. He hit .307 with 22 walks and only 20 strikeouts in 114 at-bats. He stole 18 bags in 20 attempts while his OBP was great as well at .432.

Adam Coe:
Coe was taken in this year's draft and started off red hot before cooling off toward the end of the season. His early power surge left him with 7 homers on the season to go along with 32 RBI's. He hit .269 with an OBP of .343.

Cody Johnson:
Johnson is on this list because he was the top pick of the draft and not because he did well because he really struggled. Johnson hit .184 in 114 at-bats and hit only one homer. His .281 slugging percentage is even worse considering power was his biggest strength coming out of high school. On the bright side, he is still really young and there is probably not a lot to worry about right now.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

One more vacation

I will be leaving today for one last vacation before school starts.  I will have internet access where I am going but blogging will be either minimal or nonexistent for about a week.  When I get back I will look at our teams' chances of making the playoffs this year, which start in September.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

8/12 Recap

AAA - Richmond 1, Columbus 7
Nothing much happened in this game. Martin Prado cooled off and went 0-4. Wes Timmons went 1-3 with a double. Brian O'Connor (L, 7-10) started and gave up 5 runs in 5.2 innings for the loss.

Box Score

AA - Mississippi 4, Huntsville 2
Yunel Escobar went 1-3 with a walk and 2 RBI's for the victorius Braves. Luis Hernandez went 2-3 with 2 runs and Salty went 0-3 but did drive in a run. Matt Harrison put together another good start by allowing only 3 hits, 2 walks, and an unearned run in 6 innings. Glen Tucker (W, 2-3) got the win despite allowing 3 hits and a run in his inning. Zach Schreiber didn't allow any hits or, more importanty, any walks in 2 innings while striking out 5 for his 18th save.

Box Score

High A- Myrtle Beach 4, Salem 8
Kala Kaaihue continued his power surge with a 2-run homer in 3 at-bats to go with a walk. Matt Young went 2-3 with an RBI and walked twice. Kelvin Villa (L, 7-6) got the start and gave up 5 runs on 5 hits in 4 innings. Brad Nelson continues his good work with 2 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 0.54 in Myrtle Beach.

Box Score

Low A- Rome 3, Augusta 2 (13)
Adam Stanley was outstanding through 6 as he allowed only one run on one hit in 6 innings but Kevin Gunderson blew his first save by allowing a run. Rudy Quinonez (W, 2-1) pitched 3 scoreless innings for the win. Eric Campbell had a big day going 4-5 with a double, homer, and 2 runs scored. His average is up to .297. Josh Morris also drove in a run.

Box Score

Rookie- Danville 2, Princeton 3
Carlos Sencion (L, 0-3) was a hard luck loser as he gave up only one run on 3 hits in 5 innings. Jon Mark Owings homered in the loss and Larry Williams also drove in a run. Chase Fontaine went 2-3 with a walk.

Box Score

GCL Braves 12, Phillies 0
It was a big day for 2006 draft picks as Adam Coe went 3-4 with his 7th homer and 3 runs scored. Cody Johnson went 1-5 and hit his 1st homer of his professional career while driving in 4 runs. Adam Parliament also had a big day with 3 hits and 3 RBI's. Jeffrey Locke (W, 3-3) started and looked great as he gave up only 2 hits and a walk in 5 shutout innings while striking out 8. Neftali Feliz got a 3 inning save, his 2nd.

Box Score

Prospect Profile: Matt Wright

Name: Matt Wright
Age: 24
Position: SP
Height: 6-4
Weight: 230
Bats: R
Throws: R

Matt was taken by the Braves in the 21st round (640th overall) of the 2000 draft out of high school in Waco, Texas. The Braves saw in Wright a big kid who they could develop into a good pitcher. It has taken a while but Matt Wright is finally making his way to the majors. Matt started his professional career on a good note. He pitched out of the bullpen for the Gulf Coast Braves in 2000 and struck out 30 in 21 innings while allowing just 8 hits. His ERA was 0.86. In 2001, Matt went to Danville and was very good there as well. He struck out 89 in 72.2 innings and lowered his walk rate to 3.22/9 for a 1.18 WHIP. In 2002, Wright was promoted to single-A, Macon. He went 10-8 and lowered his ERA to 3.18 but his strikeouts were down to 8.61/9 and his walks were up to 3.54/9. The Braves decided to keep him in single-A to start 2003 and it was the right decision. He dominated the Sally league to the tune of a 1.65 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 10.76/9 K/9 before being promoted to high-A in the middle of the season. However, he struggled mightily in the second half of the season with MB with an ERA of 6.38 and a WHIP of 2.04. In 2004, he stayed at Myrtle Beach and fared much better. His ERA 3.53 and WHIP of 1.38 were decent but he also raised his strikeout rate to 9.55/9. Wright was hurt to start 2005 and when he came back to Mississippi he never found his groove. He once again struggled at his new stop by going 6-8 with a 6.11 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. Matt's prospect status in 2005 was not good being that he was 23 and he had just been injured and was struggling in AA.

2006 was a different story as Matt once again shook off his early struggles at his new level by dominating the Southern League. He went 7-3 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.15 WHIP before a callup. His strikeouts were good but not as good as they have been in the past. He struck out 84 in his 89 innings at Mississippi. In Richmond, Matt has once again struggled after a promotion. He is currently 1-4 with a 7.45 ERA. If history tells us anything it says that Matt will struggle for the remainder of the season before pitching well in Richmond next year.

I think Matt projects as a quality middle of the rotation starter. His walk rate has been around 3/9 when his is pitching well. He is going to have to keep that down because he is not going to be able to sustain a h/9 rate of 5 or 7 like he did some seasons in the minors. His strikeouts have been good all the way up so that shouldn't be a problem. Matt will probably be in Atlanta by 2009 but I suspect he will struggle initially. The test is going to be how well he can overcome his initial struggles and how the Braves deal with him when he struggles. If they are in a pennant race, the will not be able to allow him to struggle and this could stunt his development. If he is allowed to develop, however, I think he will be a good middle of the rotation guy for a while.





Friday, August 11, 2006

8/11 Recap

AAA - Richmond 2, Columbus 5
Matt Wright (L, 1-4) gave up 3 runs in the first innings and then settled down to pitch 3 scoreless innings before giving up 2 more runs in the 5th.  Overall it was not a good performance as he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in 4.1 innings.  Paul Bush pitched shutout ball for 2.2 innings while striking out 5.  Martin Prado stayed red hot by going 2-3 with a walk and an RBI double.  He is now hitting .312 with Richmond.  Gregor Blanco went 1-3 with a walk and scored a run.

Box Score

AA - Mississippi 3, Huntsville 4
Kyle Davies (L, 0-1) started for the Braves and went 2 innings and gave up 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs (one earned).  Jose Ascanio pitched 3 shutout innings in relief.  The offense ran into one of the minors best pitching prospects in Yovani GallardoLuis Hernandez went 2-3 but he made 3 errors in the field.  Josh Burrus went 2-4 with an RBI.  He seems to have settled down after missing a lot of time.

Box Score

High A- Myrtle Beach 3, Salem 1
Stephen Russell (W, 4-1) made another good start by allowing just one run on 5 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings.  Dave Watkins didn't give up a hit in the final 2 innings for his 7th save.  Kala Kaaihue had one hit in 4 at-bats but made it count by hitting his 10 homer in Myrtle Beach.  Mark Jurich went 1-4 with 2 RBI's.  J.C. Holt and Matt Young set the table with 2 hits apiece.

Box Score

Low A- Rome 6, Augusta 3
Jeff Lyman (W, 6-3) allowed 3 runs (one earned) in 5 innings and Lee Hyde teamed with fellow draft pick Kevin Gunderson to be perfect over the final 4 innings.  Eric Campbell went 3-4 with 2 runs and an RBI.  Jordan Schafer went 2-3 and drove in 2 runs.  Josh Morris stayed hot with 2 hits in 4 at-bats.

Box Score

Rookie- Danville 0, Bluefield
Jamie Richmond (L, 7-1) gets a tough luck loss as he allowed only 2 hits and an unearned run in 6 innings while walking none and striking out 5.  He lowered his ERA to 0.66.  The normally potent offense was silenced on just 3 hits.  Willie Cabrera batted cleanup and got one of those hits.

Box Score

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

8/9 Recap

AAA - Richmond 5, Norfolk 1
Martin Prado and Brayan Pena were at it again as the Braves beat Norfolk.  Prado was 2-5 with another home run and Pena went 3-5 wth a run scored.  Billy McCarthy joined in on the action with 3 hits and a run scored.  Daniel Curtus (W, 3-4) allowed only 3 hits and 2 walks in 7 shutout innings for the win.  Peter Moylan gave up the only run but struck out the side in the 9th.

Box Score

AA - Mississippi

High A- Myrtle Beach 4, Kinston 5 (6)
Kala Kaaihue went 3-3 with a double and a solo homer and Van Pope also hit a 3 run shot.  James Parr (L, 6-7) went the distance (six innings) and gave up 5 runs on 6 hits and no walks.

Game #2 was postponed.

Box Score

Low A- Rome 17, West Virgina 11
The Braves outslugged West Virginia thanks to 2 home runs and 3 RBI's by Josh MorrisJamie Trejo also hit a homer and drove in 4 runs.  Quentin Davis and Elvis Andrus each scored 3 runs and stole 2 bases each.  Cody Clark drove in 4 runs as well with 2 hits in 4 at-bats.  Beau Jones started and struggled with his control again as he walked 6 people while allowing only 3 hits in 4 innings.  Nelson Payano (W, 3-3) got the win thanks to the offense as he gave up 4 runs in his 3 innings of work.

Box Score

Rookie- Danville 7, Bluefield 9
Tommy Hanson started and allowed only one hit and one walk in 5 shutout innings while striking out 5.  His ERA was lowered to 2.08.  The lead was blown as Kyle Coefield gave up 5 runs in 0.1 innings and Jorge Acosta (L, 2-1) gave up 4 more runs in 1.1 innings.  Jon Mark Owings hit a solo home run for the Braves.  Willie Cabrera went 2-5 with a double and an RBI to raise his average to .325.

Box Score

GCL Braves 3, Yankees 8
Adam Coe went 3-5 with a double and an RBI and Cody Johnson went 1-2 with a double and 2 walks but it wasn't enough as the Braves fell.  Steve Kent started and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 3 innings and Yeliar Castro (L, 1-1) took the loss by allowing 3 runs in 3 innings.

Box Score

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

8/8 Recap

AAA - Richmond 4, Norfolk 3
Brayan Pena went 4-4 with a double and 2 runs scored and now has his average up to .297. He will be a good hitting major league backstop someday. Martin Prado was good also as he went 2-4 with a homer and 2 runs scored. I think Prado will make a positive contribution in Atlanta soon. Cormier started and was decent as he gave up 2 runs in 5.2 innings. Will Startup (W, 3-1) took the win with 1.1 perfect innings of relief. Manny Acosta got his 12th save despite allowing an unearned run in the 9th.

Box Score

AA - Mississippi 6, Montgomery 3
Brandon Jones continued his power surge this year with a double, home run, and 4 RBI's. As if that wasn't enough, Jones also stole his 4th base since joining Mississippi. Josh Burrus also played well, going 3-4 with a double. Unlike Jones, Burrus was caught in his one attempt to steal. Dan Smith (W, 3-6) started and was fantastic giving up only an unearned run on 3 hits in 6 innings. He didn't walk anybody and struck out 12 guys in only 6 innings. It was a dominant performance against a squad with prospects such as Reid Brignac and Evan Longoria. Sean White picked up a 3 inning save as he gave up 2 runs.

Box Score

High A- Myrtle Beach

Low A- Rome 4, West Virginia 11
Jairo Cuevas (L, 6-9) didn't pitch well as he gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in 4.1 innings. Jake Stevens pitched 2.2 shutout innings in relief but Rudy Quinonez gave up 5 more runs in his one inning. Elvis Andrus went 2-5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs. Jamie Romak and Cody Clark each hit a double and drove in a run as well.

Box Score

Rookie- Danville 4, Pulaski 6
Larry Williams (3-5, .339), Willie Cabrera (2-5, .323), and Chase Fontaine (2-4, .316) lead the offense but Danville lost as Sergio Valenzuela (L, 1-3) gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in his 4 innings of work. Dave Williams worked the final 2 innings to lower his ERA to 1.56.

Box Score

GCL Braves 8, Indians 3
Cole Miles was on base 5 times with 3 hits and 2 walks while Adam Parliament drove in 2 runs with a double. Cody Johnson went 1-2 with 3 walks. Steven Evarts gave up 6 hits and 3 runs in 3 innings but his ERA still stands at 2.12. Michael Mehlich (W, 1-0) took the win with 3 innings of shutout ball with 3 strikeouts.

Box Score

Injury Update

As if the woes of the major league club is not enough, there has been a rash of season ending injuries in the minor leagues recently. Here is a quick rundown.
  • Chris Vines is going to have Tommy John surgery on his elbow and will miss the rest of this year and most of next year.
  • Luis Atilano could possibly have Tommy John surgery as well on his elbow. This would be the biggest blow to the Braves because minor league pitching depth is already a concern. Atilano was a supplemental first round pick and was throwing the ball very well recently. His ERA was 4.50 at Myrtle Beach but many of those runs came during rough stretch about a month or so ago. He will also miss most of next year if he undergoes the surgery.
  • Myrtle Beach first baseman Greg Creek broke his hand and will miss the remainder of the season.
  • Mississippi 1B/DH Barbaro Canizares has been placed on the DL. A Cuban defector, Canizares is very old (26) for AA but was hitting excellent. He was hitting .301/.365/.416.

Monday, August 07, 2006

8/7 Recap

AAA - Richmond
No Game

AA - Mississippi 2, Montgomery 1
Matt Harrison (W, 3-2) made an impressive start and Salty stayed hot as Mississippi won a close one.  Harrison didn't allow a run over 6 innings while giving up only 4 hits and 2 walks.  Zach Schreiber saved his 17th game of the season by striking out 2 in a perfect 9th.  Salty went 2-4 with a double and a run scored and Josh Burrus walked, stole a base, and scored a run as well.

Box Score

High A - Myrtle Beach 2, Kinston 10

After a great start in MB, Jo-Jo Reyes (L, 1-2) made his 3rd consecutive bad start.  On August 1st, Reyes only lasted .2 innings and gave up 6 runs to go along with 6 walks.  Today was not as bad but he still gave up 7 runs in 4 innings to raise his ERA to 5.55.  The offense only mustered 4 hits and J.C. Holt's double was the only extra-base hit.

Box Score

Low A - Rome 0, West Virginia 4

This was a very uneventful game for Rome.  Adam Stanley (L, 1-6) pitched pretty decent as he allowed only 2 earned runs in 6 innings.  The offense only managed 2 hits while the defense commited 4 errors.  Elvis Andrus's 28th error was one of the 4 errors.

Box Score

Rookie - Danville 6, Pulaski 10
Willie Cabrera homered and drove in 3 runs while Chase Fontaine had 2 hits and 2 RBI's but it wasn't enough as Danville fell 10-6.  Jaye Chapman started and dave up 6 hits and 4 runs in only 2 innings.  Carlos Sencion (L, 0-2) took the loss by allowing 3 runs in the 5th.

Box Score

GCL Braves 1, Phillies 4
Carlos Rivas (L, 0-1) made a rehab start and gave up 3 unearned runs in 2.2 innings as the Braves lost.  Phillies top pick, Kyle Drabek, shut the Braves down after struggling to start his pro career.  Jeffrey Locke pitched the final 2 innings and struck out 3 while allowing an unearned run off of one hit.

Box Score

Sunday, August 06, 2006

8/6 Recap

Let's see if I can remember how to do this!

AAA - Richmond 7, Durham 4

Brian O'Connor (W, 7-9) made a great start by allowing only one run on 4 hits with 9 strikeouts in 6 innings pitched. Newly acquired Rich Scalamandre gave up 3 runs in 1.1 innings but the Braves held on 7-4. Gregor Blanco continues to hit very well by going 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI's. Jonathan Schuerholz has actually been a little hot lately and went 2-4 with an RBI to raise his average to .189. Carlos Mendez added a solo shot. Manny Acosta shut the door in the 9th for his 11th save.

Box Score

AA - Mississippi 8, Montgomery 9
Kyle Davies made his second rehab start and allowed 5 hits and 4 runs in 3 IP. Two of the runs against Davies were off of a home run to Evan Longoria who has been mashing the ball ever since being drafted this year. Anthony Lerew relieved Kyle and gave up 4 runs of his own in 5 innings. Luckily the offense was on their game. Mike Rosamond, Josh Arteaga, and Josh Burrus each hit homers and Josh Burrus drove in 4 runs. Ryan Basner (L, 4-5) got the loss by allowing the winning run in the 10th inning.

Box Score

High A - Myrtle Beach

No Game

Low A - Rome 6, West Virginia 4
Jeff Lyman did as much damage control as possible by allowing only 4 runs on 11 hits in 5 innings. A couple of 2006 draft picks did the rest as the Braves won 6-4 in 10 innings. Jamie Romak was the offensive star with 3 hits in 5 at-bats to go along with his 13th homer and 4 RBI's. Derrick Arnold had 2 doubles and 2 RBI's. Josh Morris went 2-4 to raise his average to .254 after a slow start. Ovandy Suero also stole his 46th base of the season. Lee Hyde was the first reliever out of the pen and pitched 3 shutout innings to lower his ERA to 2.38. Kevin Gunderson (W, 2-0) pitched 2 perfect innings for the win.

Box Score

Rookie - Danville 14, Pulaski 1
Phillip Britton had 2 home runs and 6 RBI's and Jamie Richmond continued his great starting pitching to lead the Braves to victory. Richmond lowered his ERA to 0.74 with 4.1 shutout innings. Jorge Acosta (W, 2-0) got the win in relief with 1.2 shutout innings with 2 strikeouts. Concepcion Rodriquez batted leadoff and went 2-5 with a double, a homer, and 3 RBI.

Box Score

GCL Braves
No Game

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Rich Scalamandre

I'm back and finally recovered from my trip. Sorry it took so long. Onto the news of the week. There were no more prospects traded by Atlanta while I was gone but we did receive a minor leaguer. By acquiring Rich Scalamandre, Schuerholz made one of his best moves of the year. However, the reason it was the best move is because Jorge Sosa no longer pitches for Atlanta which should already be worth a couple of games in the standings. What they got was a minor league relief pitcher who has put up decent numbers while striking out about one man per inning. Rich was 4-0 with a 4.55 ERA in double-A and is 3-0 with a 4.26 ERA in triple-A. He is already 25 so he is not much of a prospect. He could possible have a year or two of decent work out of a major league bullpen at some point in his career but it is always hard to tell when a reliever hits his peak. Some relievers peak early while some don't peak until their 30's. At any rate, getting a pitcher with somewhat of a chance to pitch in the major leagues for Jorge Sosa is a win for us in my opinion.
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