Welcome to another edition of the weekly Atlanta Braves farm report from the team at Last Word on Baseball! Atlanta currently holds a 57-69 record for 2017. This season has not turned out well for the Braves, but many performances by young prospects this season has given hope that the rebuild will soon turn a corner. Left-handed reliever A.J. Minter is pitcher of the week after making his MLB debut this week. Second Baseman Ozzie Albies is player of the week after finishing the week riding a six-game hitting streak. (Prospect rankings listed in parenthesis. All rankings taken from MLB.com’s 2017 Atlanta Braves Prospect Watch.)
Weekly Atlanta Braves Farm Report: A.J. Minter Debuts in Atlanta
Minter (24th) made his debut this week with a scoreless inning of work against the Mariners. He recorded two strikeouts and did not allow a hit in his lone inning of work. Albies (second) finished the week on his first hot-streak streak of his young career. He finished the week with three multi-hit games and five runs scored. The hot-stretch, combined with Albies glove work in the field, has given many fans reason to be excited moving forward.
Gwinnett Braves (Triple-A)
The Gwinnett Braves rode a strong week to a 5-2 record. LHP Luiz Gohara (eighth) looked great while striking out 10 over five innings pitched. He picked up his first Triple-A win while allowing two earned runs, six hits, and a walk. The big lefty has now allowed two earned runs or less in four of his six Triple-A starts.
Outfield prospect Ronald Acuna (first) continues to dominate in what has been an eventful season for the 19-year old. Acuna posted a hit in every game this week, including four multi-hit games. He is now slugging .587 with a .995 OPS, eight home runs, and 33 runs scored in 43 games at Triple-A. It remains to be seen if Acuna will debut in Atlanta this season, but he should begin 2018 on the Opening Day roster.
Mississippi Braves (Double-A)
The Mississippi Braves posted a .500 week with a 3-3 record. RHP Touki Toussaint (15th) picked up his second Double-A win of the season with five innings of two run ball. Toussaint struggled with four walks, but limited the Chattanooga Lookouts to two hits while striking out four. He received a recent promotion to Double-A despite a 5.04 ERA in Advanced-A Florida this season. Nevertheless, Toussaint has posted a 2.33 ERA over his first five games in Mississippi. His control continues to be an issue with 16 walks in 27 innings, but he remains a strong prospect with a talented.
Third baseman Austin Riley (11th) is on a tear for Mississippi. He has four multi-hit games over his last 10 games played. He is hitting .394 with two home runs, six RBI, and seven runs scored over that span. Riley is now slashing .299/.366/.458 in Double-A. It is a much smaller sample size, but he is outperforming his numbers from Florida this season and looks more like the player who hit 20 home runs in Rome last season.
Florida Fire Frogs (Advanced-A)
The Florida Fire Frogs finished the week with a record of 3-2. Enderson Franco (unranked) picked up his fifth win of the season with eight innings of shutout ball. He limited the Daytona Tortugas to five hits, two walks, and struck out nine in the best start of the week for the Fire Frogs. Atlanta’s 2017 first-round pick Kyle Wright (fourth) pitched two hitless innings with two strikeouts and a walk in his lone start this week. Wright now holds a 1.13 ERA over eight innings with Florida.
Speedy outfielder Anfernee Seymour (25th) continues to put together a solid 2017 campaign. Seymour is hitting .350 over his last 10 games with 14 hits, five RBI, and five runs scored. His numbers are very similar across Single-A and Advanced-A with a .342 OBP in 109 games across the two levels this season. The converted shortstop stands his best chance to breakthrough in Atlanta as a fourth outfielder and bench bat with game changing speed in the late innings.
The Rome Braves finished the week with a record of 2-4. Tucker Davidson (unranked) provided the best start of the week for Rome with five and two-thirds of an inning of one run ball. Davidson held the Lexington Legends to one run on two hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, he would receive a no-decision for his efforts in the Rome defeat.
The performance of the week comes courtesy of Rome infielder Kurt Hoekstra (unranked). On Sunday, Hoekstra hit a two-run home run and scored twice in Rome’s extra-innings victory. Hoekstra picked up the win as the pitcher of record. He was pressed into duty late in the game and allowed one run over two innings.
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