Crop Watch: the Upper Minors

Here’s how the rest of the Braves system has been doing lately…


High-A Lynchburg has been robbed of a number of its hitters in the past couple of weeks, with Robby Hefflinger, Tommy La Stella, et al, moving up to AA Pearl.  As a result, they are somewhat ‘offensively challenged’ lately.  That’s reflected in their 5-7 record since July 1st.

  • 2B Emerson Landoni has been a standout over this period, raising his average to .313 from .280 in just 9 games, adding 3 doubles and a triple.  Several weeks ago, he swapped places with Tommy La Stella, with La Stella being promoted to AA.  Landoni has resumed hitting despite the demotion… .325 at Pearl, up to .313 now at High-A.  But at that, he’s the best hitter Lynchburg has.
  • OF Josh Elander is up to .250 after a slow (1 for 6) start at High-A ball.


  • Jarret Miller has lowered his ERA from 4.08 to 3.40 over his last 20 innings (now up to 98 for the year – most on the staff), going 2-0 in those evidently lengthy starts.
  • Ryan Weber has gone from 3.77 down to 3.48 in 15 additional innings, which points to two good starts.
  • Greg Ross is maintaining his 3.50 ERA, adding 13 innings this time.
  • Wilson Rivera is down to a 1.90 ERA in 28 relief appearances.

The M-Braves have been doing well enough, 7-6 over this reporting period.

The aforementioned Tommy La Stella is still hot, hitting .316, though with almost all singles added this time.
RF Jose Martinez is up to .304, and SS Jaime Pedroza raised his avg. to .290 (6 points).

Christian Bethancourt.  His hitting average has been consistently creeping up as Spring came to a close, and has maintained a .262 avg since July 1st.  This time he added 4 doubles and a homer.  He’s never going to be Brian McCann offensively, but his OPS is approaching .700, which is continuing to leave fans hopeful that he will ‘get it’ with his hitting as we go along.

The Pitchers:

  • Gus Schlosser is up to a team-high 95+ innings, and his ERA is down to 2.36 in 17 starts with a 1.17 WHIP.  That’s pretty good at this level, no doubt.
  • Ian Thomas has filled in nicely with 3 starts, even as guys like Alex Wood and Cody Martin moved up to higher ground and others (Graham) are hurt.  Thomas is posting a 2.69 over 60 total innings this year with a nice 1.08 WHIP.
  • Lots of guys on this staff are pitching very well – honestly too many to mention.  I’ll finish here by singling out one:  Ryne Harper, who lowered his ERA from 2.10 to 1.80 during the past 2 weeks while adding 5 innings… that’s no earned runs added!


At Lawrenceville, GA, the AAA squad is kinda strapped for offense like Lynchburg is (5-8 record since July 1).  So I’m gonna talk about one guy there:

I honestly didn’t know about 3B Alden Carrithers – at least until I saw a video of an incredible flipping over-the-rail-into-the-dugout catch he made July 1st.  But let me talk about what else he’s doing:

  • 54 games, just 4 errors.  That’s much better than anybody in the system at 3rd.
  • Batting .324 and OPS’ing .855
  • Fewer strikeouts (15) than walks (17) in about 153 plate appearances
  • On-base average?  How about .406?

He’s not a speed demon (6 steals, caught twice), nor does he have power (2 homers) but… you could do a lot worse if you need a 3B guy in Atlanta next year…. just sayin’.

Meanwhile, on the mound:

  • David Hale has had a good stretch, adding 19 innings and shaving a full run off his ERA (to 3.28) with 3 good starts.
  • Kameron Loe got a pair of starts and dropped his ERA from 3.49 to 2.97.
  • Cory Rasmus didn’t fare well in Atlanta, but has resumed excellent work at AAA:  32+ innings, and lowered his ERA to 1.93 (from 2.28).

Overall, though, that group is struggling to find healthy starters right now…Summer can be lengthy on the road in the minors.


Tags: Alden Carrithers Gwinnett Braves Lynchburg Hillcats Mississippi Braves

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