Braves' Farm Report: the Lower Minors


GCL Braves – improving:  up to a 17-21 record now, though still in 4th (last) place in their division.

OF Victor Reyes (Barcelona, VZ) is on fire.  In 31 GCL games, he hit .357 with 8 doubles, a triple, 12 walks and just 20 Ks (.860 OPS).  That’s the kind of stuff that gets you promoted – and it did:  he was just assigned to the Danville Braves team.

CF Cody Livesay is one of those players that isn’t expected to do much of anything…but…He was drafted in 2011 out of high school in the 42nd round.  Definitely had an adjustment when starting in 2012, but suddenly he’s gotten going this year:  in 30 games, he’s hitting .311 with 12 stolen bases (only caught twice).  The promotion of Reyes leaves him as the best hitter on the team.

3B Mike Dodig (10th round, 2012) had a rough first pro year in 2012, but is starting to gain some traction on his second go-round in Orlando after an .043 start at Danville.  He’s hitting .300 in 12 games, with 8 RBI.  Encouraging start.

SS Reed Harper (2013, 25th Round) is leading in OPS (.801) thanks to a homer and a .405 OBP.  It doesn’t hurt when you walk more than you strikeout, either.  In the past couple of weeks, his average has been climbing – up from .260.

The GCL team’s pitchers have been building a few innings here and there…but it’s been hard to share the mound with 26 names on the stat sheet.

Of note, Sean Gilmartin has started a rehab assignment, and has logged 9 innings – giving up absolutely nothing:  no runs in 3 games, 1 hit, no walks, 11 strikeouts.  That makes for a ridiculous WHIP of 0.11.  I’ll be watching for a move to a higher level shortly.

19 year old Oriel Caicedo (Panama City, Panama) is putting up some noticeable numbers, too:  1.91 ERA in 33 innings (leading the team in both among regular rostered players) with a WHIP of 1.06.

Alec Grosser (3.18, 11 innings; 2013 11th round) and Colby Holmes (1.80/10 innings; undrafted free agent from the Univ. of South Carolina – was previously drafted out of high school by Atlanta) have also started well.

At Danville (20-22, 3rd place), somebody is actually now out-hitting the .409 that Kyle Wren posted before getting bumped to Rome.  Anthony Nunez (C) is hitting .421 (1 K, 1 BB, 2 doubles)… okay, it’s only 8 games, but it’s a nice start!

Mikey Reynolds (2013 5th round SS) has rocketed up to .328 (was .236 at last report), adding 2 doubles and 2 triples in the process.

3B Victor Caratini (2013 2nd round) has cooled somewhat from .320 to .295, but has his first pro homer.  He’s sharing ABs with another 3B, Johan Camargo, who is hitting .295.

Catcher Bryan De La Rosa is still hitting well – .284 at this report.

Almost none of the pitchers for Danville have had a good time over their last 3 weeks, but there are a couple of notables:

Luis Merejo isn’t throwing much (adding just 2.1 innings), but he still hasn’t given up any runs.

Michael Swanner saw his ERA nearly double… but then he’s only throw 13 innings, and the ‘doubling’ was from 1.59 to 2.77.  I’m good with that.  Likewise, Richie Tate increased from 1.38 to 1.74 – now with almost 21 innings pitched.  Jordan Sechler and Jared Dettman are also throwing very well thus far for Danville.

Matt Kimbrel – yep, his brother – has been having a rough time: 10.53 in almost 20 innings… plus a 2.14 WHIP.  Steve Janas (2013 6th round) seems to have been shut down – only 4.2 innings.

Class A – Rome (20-24, 6th place).  Let’s do the pitchers first…

Shae Simmons (2012 22nd round) heads this list – because he’s no longer with the team.  The Rome closer (with 24 saves in 39 appearances) had a 1.49 ERA, 66 K and 15 walks – 0.97 WHIP.  He’s been promoted… up two levels – all the way to AA Mississippi, which means he’s probably sitting in a Huntsville hotel room right now, wondering if the rain will stop at some point today.  Congratulations, Shae!

Also of note is the performance of our 2013 first round pick, Jason Hursh.  18 innings.  9 hits.  7 walks.  14 strikeouts.  No runs allowed.  Yep, that works.

Eric Pfisterer (23 years old; Duke product), is also on a roll:  1.13 in 24 innings with 29 strikeouts…finishing 9 games that Shae didn’t get to!

Top prospect Lucas Sims is continuing to toil away:  88 innings, 3.08 with 96 K and 38 walks.  Patrick Scoggin is nearly as good:  3.35 in 86 innings (71/35).  Mauricio Cabrera is another top prospects, but he’s been a notch below these two:  4.14 in 111 innings, 93 K/58 walks (the walks explaining a lot).

There are a bunch of strikeout guys at Rome, though:  Shae just left, but Carlos Perez has 37 in his 32 innings (2.25) and Wes Parsons (2.99, 74 K in 81 innings, just 18 BB) have that covered.

Now to the offense:

CF Kyle Wren has got to be the sleeper pick of the 2013 draft.  Okay, yeah – he was taken in the 8th round, but how many kids (basically) skip rookie ball and hit these numbers in Class A?  He’s now up to .325 with 7 doubles, 3 triples, a homer, 21 steals (caught only twice), an OBP of .364 (6 walks/13 K) and OPS’ing .829.  That average would be 4th best in the league, if he qualified for the list.  He is the leading hitter on that Rome club.  I appreciate the other major league clubs letting the Braves draft him.

Other than that… the offense at Rome could use a little more help:  Infielder Edison Sanchez  is hitting .282 (OPS .812) and new arrival Daniel Carroll (LF) is at .276, but there isn’t a lot of buzz going on here, really.  Catcher Tyler Tewell has 8 homers, but is hitting .230.  RF Felix Marte has 6 triples… but .238.

Here’s one buzz item, though:  SS Prospect Jose Peraza is hitting .271, which works – but notable about him is the speed:  5 triples, 49 stolen bases.  Believe it or not, that’s only 3rd in the league (2 guys have 61), but I’ll take it.

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Tags: Danville Braves GCL Braves Minor Leagues Rome Braves