Offseason Prospect Review: Cal Conley

Sunday, November 21, 2021

-Clint Manry

The offseason is here and it’s a perfect time to recap the 2021 season of each of the Braves top 30 prospects. In this series, I’ll discuss each player’s performance from this past year, as well as what’s needed for them to continue to rise in the organization. All rankings are derived from my most-recent 2021 Braves Top 30 Prospect List, which came out this past August. Following this series, a fresh top 30 will be constructed, primarily based on the notes I’ll provide in this column.

Previous reviews

  • Jefrey Ramos, OF (link)
  • Brandol Mezquita, OF (link)
  • Cody Milligan, 2B (link)
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B/DH (link)
  • Tanner Gordon, RHP (link)
  • Greyson Jenista, OF/1B (link)
  • William Woods, RHP (link)
  • Darius Vines, RHP (link)

#22. CAL CONLEY, SS/2B

22-years-old

2021 stats (A):  35 G, .214 AVG, 8 XBH, 8 SB, 73 wRC+

Trend:  Up

As the Braves fourth round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, Conley has the potential to become one of the system’s rising middle-infielders. Coming off a huge season with Texas Tech (featuring a .329 AVG and 15 homers), the 22-year-old got hit first taste of pro ball this past season, playing in 35 games with Single-A Augusta. The early results were strong, but through the end of August and into September, Conley eventually cooled.

First 17 games (Aug. 4-27):  .261 AVG, .725 OPS, 4 XBH, 14 K, 5 BB

Last 18 games (Aug. 29 – Sept. 19):  .169 AVG, .502 OPS, 4 XBH, 19 K, 9 BB

Conley’s top-25 ranking came thanks to that strong start in August, although even with his poor finish I still believe this is a prospect to keep an eye on, especially given how shallow the Braves organization is in terms of viable up-the-middle bats. Over at FanGraphs, Conley is ranked 20th in the system, while sporting 55-grade raw power (which is quite evident considering he slugged 18 homers in 74 career games as a college player).

2022 outlook

Conley’s 35-game sample size in 2021 is obviously very little to work with, and as far as him moving up to Rome in 2022, you would’ve liked to see him finish the year a little better in Single-A. However, the 5-10, 185-pound switch-hitter will turn 23 in July, so it’s not like he’s some teenager the Braves can ease in (perhaps like they did with Vaughn Grissom, who will enter his age-21 campaign in ‘22).

Ideally, Conley begins next season repeating Augusta, with a fluid plan to reach High-A by midseason, setting him up for a possible upper-minors assignment by 2023. Of course, that all depends on how well Conley adapts to the competition. From my very short look at him, though, I believe once he finds his groove, this is a bat that can move up the system rather quickly. Because of his position, and the solid grades regarding his power, I expect Conley to remain a top 30 prospect once my new list comes out.

Offseason Prospect Review: Darius Vines

Thursday, November 18, 2021

-Clint Manry

The offseason is here and it’s a perfect time to recap the 2021 season of each of the Braves top 30 prospects. In this series, I’ll discuss each player’s performance from this past year, as well as what’s needed for them to continue to rise in the organization. All rankings are derived from my most-recent 2021 Braves Top 30 Prospect List, which came out this past August. Following this series, a fresh top 30 will be constructed, primarily based on the notes I’ll provide in this column.

Previous reviews

  • Jefrey Ramos, OF (link)
  • Brandol Mezquita, OF (link)
  • Cody Milligan, 2B (link)
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B/DH (link)
  • Tanner Gordon, RHP (link)
  • Greyson Jenista, OF/1B (link)
  • William Woods, RHP (link)

#23. Darius Vines, RHP

23-years-old

2021 stats (A / A+):  111 IP, 2.92 ERA, 10.5 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 15 HR

Trend:  Up

It’s not as if Vines was some unheard-of player in Atlanta’s system, though his struggles in 2019 has perhaps kept him on the outside looking in. But in 2021, the kid sort of came out of nowhere, going from unranked this past summer to 23rd on my Midseason Braves Top 30. Posting a 2.25 ERA in 36 innings with Single-A Augusta before logging a 3.24 ERA in 75 frames with High-A Rome, Vines not only put himself on the map in Braves Country but also among national evaluators.

The 23-year-old won Pitcher of the Week back in early August, thanks to a seven-inning no-hitter with Rome that featured nine strikeouts, and the righty just continued to mow down the opposition on into September, posting a season-best 1.80 ERA during the final month of the campaign. As a 7th-round pick from 2019, Vines has developed into a potential mid-rotation starter for the Braves, who already has multiple offerings at his disposal; even on draft day, he had a low-90s MPH fastball to go with a power curveball, a changeup AND a slider. Vines is a sneaky prospect in the Braves system, and one that could really rise up the ranks in 2022.

2022 outlook

I have no doubt that at some point in 2022 we’ll see Vines with Double-A Mississippi. It may not come at the start of the season (though it very well could), but given he performed so well in over 70 innings of work with Rome in 2020, I’m pretty confident the Braves will give him an opportunity next year to showcase his skills in the upper-minors.

My rough draft for the new Braves Top 30 is still rather rough, but I can already almost guarantee that Vines will move into the top 20 as he could even become the system’s top pitcher, in terms of lower-level arms currently on the cusp of gaining more attention (such as guys like Victor Vodnik and Indigo Diaz). There must be something said for how well Vines pitched in 2021, and even if there’s a bit of regression as he moves up through Double-A and even Triple-A, he’s improved his stock tremendously by practically cruising through his first taste of High-A.

As long as those secondary pitches continue to improve, Vines will no doubt remain a legit prospect starter in the organization.

Offseason Prospect Review: Tanner Gordon

Monday, November, 15, 2021

-Clint Manry

The offseason is here and it’s a perfect time to recap the 2021 season of each of the Braves top 30 prospects. In this series, I’ll discuss each player’s performance from this past year, as well as what’s needed for them to continue to rise in the organization. All rankings are derived from my most-recent 2021 Braves Top 30 Prospect List, which came out this past August. Following this series, a fresh top 30 will be constructed, primarily based on the notes I’ll provide in this column.

Previous reviews

  • Jefrey Ramos, OF (link)
  • Brandol Mezquita, OF (link)
  • Cody Milligan, 2B (link)
  • Drew Lugbauer, 1B/DH (link)

#26. Tanner Gordon, RHP

24-years-old

2021 stats (A / A+):  108.1 IP, 3.90 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, 1.1 HR/9

Trend:  Up

The future looks extremely bright for Gordon, who, after struggling a bit at first in High-A Rome to begin 2021, wound up putting together an excellent campaign in his first taste of A-ball. After posting a 5.32 ERA in 22 innings with the R-Braves to begin the season, the righty was sent down to Single-A Augusta, and from there he flourished, averaging over 10 strikeouts per nine and posting a 3.43 ERA in 11 starts. By mid-August, Gordon was back in Rome and featured in my midseason Top 30.

At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, this is a kid that could have a very bright future once he puts it all together on the mound. The Indiana University product was a sixth-round pick by the Braves back in 2019, and with a mid-90s MPH fastball, to go with an above average breaking ball, Gordon could very well evolve into yet another top-tier arm in the system. At this point, with him just now breaking into full-season ball, the next season or two will be huge for his stock as a prospect.

2022 outlook

In 2021, Gordon really struggled when he had traffic on the base paths, posting dramatically worse numbers with runners on, compared to bases empty.

  • Bases empty:  288 PA, .211 AVG, .603 OPS
  • Runners on:  155 PA, .307 AVG, .844 OPS

A little bit of disparity between the two isn’t bad, but a whopping 239 points in OPS is a rather stark difference when it comes to performing with runners on. Gordon will definitely need to clean that up as he progresses within the Braves minor league system.

Speaking of progressing through the system: given Gordon needed a stint in Single-A to get settled in this past year, it would probably be more beneficial for him to spend at least a half-season in High-A again. The Braves still have quite a bit of depth when it comes to prospect starters, and there’s no need to rush anyone. However, with Gordon now entering his age-24 campaign, reaching Double-A in 2022 seems pretty dire. If starting is still in the cards, a continuation of what he provided last season will go a long way.

Either way, though, so far Gordon is progressing nicely. In 21 career minor league starts, to go with 14 relief appearances (or 132.2 total innings), the right-hander sports a 3.60 ERA, while also maintaining solid K/BB rates (9.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9). It will certainly be interesting to see what his stock looks like this time next year, because another strong campaign as a starter (with perhaps some strong showings at the Double-A level), could push Gordon in the top-15 range.

Braves drop fourth in a row while farm gets swept

Sunday, September 19, 2021

-Clint Manry

Saturday was a rough day for the Braves organization as not only did Atlanta lose but so did each of the three minor league affiliates that played.

I’m out of town for a family vacation, so today’s report is short and sweet. But I’ll definitely have some material to write regarding the conclusion of the minor league campaign. I’ve also started a team award series at SportsTalkATL, with the first post covering the Braves Cy Young pitcher for this season… so be sure to check that out.

Here are your scores and stats from Saturday’s Braves action…

(76-70) Atlanta Braves

L, 2-0 vs. Giants

SP, C. Morton – (L), 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

RP, A. Minter – IP, 2 K

RF, J. Soler – 1 for 3, 2B, BB

1B, F. Freeman – 1 for 4

(67-51) Gwinnett Stripers

L, 6-4 vs. Nashville

SP, K. Muller – (L), 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, ER, 4 BB, 2 K

1B, J. Camargo – 2 for 2, HR, 2B, 2 RBI

RF, D. Waters – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R, BB, SB

CF, C. Pache – 1 for 5, RBI

(67-44) Mississippi Braves

Cancelled vs. Chattanooga (Rain

(56-60) Rome Braves

Cancelled vs. Hickory (Wet Grounds)

(53-66) Augusta GreenJackets

L, 12-2 vs. Myrtle Beach

SP, R. Rodriguez – (L), 3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, HR

C, T. Tolve – 3 for 4, HR, 2 RBI

2B, C. Conley – 1 for 2, R

(25-31) FCL Braves

L, 5-4 (F/7) vs. Rays

SP, J. Bautista – 2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

RP, S. Strickland – 2 IP, 3 K

LF, J. Palma – 1 for 4, 2 RBI, R

3B, J. Dilone – 2 for 3, 2B, BB

2B, E. Stevens – 2 for 3, 2B, R

SS, F. Floyd – 1 for 1, 2 BB, SB

Braves can’t complete comeback against Marlins while Augusta’s Justyn-Henry Malloy slugs a pair of homers

Sunday, September 12, 2021

-Clint Manry

We had a full slate of games yesterday as all five of the Braves minor league affiliates were on the docket, including a doubleheader for the FCL team. Unfortunately, the main event on Saturday night – Braves vs. Marlins – didn’t end the way we hoped, however there was still plenty of action down on the farm.

I don’t have time today to do a full report today, but let me let you in on a kid who’s crushing it right now: third baseman Justyn-Henry Malloy. Playing at the Single-A level currently (Augusta), the Braves sixth-round pick from this year’s draft bopped two more homers last night against Columbia, giving him five already this season in just 30 games. The 21-year-old is presently sporting a .271 AVG overall with a 137 wRC+ and looks primed to become another solid prospect outfielder in the Atlanta system. In his last 11 games, Malloy is batting a cool .351 with six XBH. Keep an eye of this dude.

Here’s your scores and stats from Saturday’s Braves action…

(75-66) Atlanta Braves

L, 6-4 vs. Marlins

SP, C. Morton – 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 7 K, HR

LF, A. Duvall – 1 for 3, 2B, BB

RF, J. Soler – 1 for 5, 2B, RBI, R

PH, E. Adrianza – 1 for 1, 2B, R

1B, F. Freeman – 2 for 5, 2 RBI, R

(65-48) Gwinnett Stripers

L, 3-0 vs. Columbus

SP, C. Johnstone – (L), 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 HR

RP, J. Flaa – 3 IP, BB, 3 K

LF, D. Waters – 1 for 3, BB

1B, J. Camargo – 1 for 3, BB

*Gwinnett’s offense only managed three hits

(65-41) Mississippi Braves

L, 6-3 vs. Montgomery

SP, S. Strider – (L), 3.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K

RP, C. Clouse – 1.2 IP, H, BB, 2 K

DH, H. Clementina – 1 for 3, HR, 3 RBI

3B, C. Alexander – 1 for 3, 2B, R

RF, T. Harris – 1 for 4, 2B

(53-59) Rome Braves

L, 15-3 vs. Asheville

SP, D. Dodd – (L), 3 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 6 K, 4 HR

RP, M. Stallings – 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K, HR

LF, D. Campbell – 3 for 4, 3B, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R

1B, C. Martinez – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI

(50-63) Augusta GreenJackets

W, 6-4 vs. Columbia

SP, R. Rodriguez – 4 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K

RP, R. Munoz – (W), 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, ER, 7 K

3B, J-H. Malloy – 2 for 3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, BB

2B, C. Bunnell – 1 for 4, HR, 2 RBI

LF, L. Stephens – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

SS, C. Conley – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 R

1B, B. Horne – 1 for 4, 2B

RF, C. Robinson – 2 for 4

(25-28) FCL Braves

L, 3-1 (F/7) vs. Rays

W, 2-1 (F/7) vs. Rays

GAME 1

SP, J. Bautista – (L), 3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 K, HR

RP, E. Joseph – 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 4 K

DH, K. Morton – 2 for 3, 2B, R, SB

GAME 2

SP, A. Shoemaker – 2.1 IP, ER, 5 BB, K

RP, J. Niekro – (W), 2.2 IP, BB, 5 K

CF, J. Palma – 1 for 3, R

LF, E. Workinger – 1 for 3, RBI

C, G. Pena – 1 for 2, RBI, BB

3B, J. Fernando – 1 for 3

Shea Langeliers hits homer no. 20; Landon Stephens tallies five RBI in Augusta’s big win

Saturday, September 11, 2021

-Clint Manry

It’s a historic day today, marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I still remember where I was on that horrible day – in my fifth-grade history classroom (Mrs. Jeffries’ class). Although, at just 10-years-old, I had no idea what was going on.

Anyways, because my Saturday is a bit busy, today’s report only features scores and stats. However, I did put out a piece on the Braves outfield yesterday that I think you may like, so check it out. I’m still behind on my monthly check-ins for August but will hopefully have another installment out soon.

Here’s your Braves action from Friday…

(75-65) Atlanta Braves

W, 6-2 vs. Marlins

SP, I. Anderson – (W), 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, HR

Braves bullpen – 4 IP, 2 H, 8 K

RF, J. Soler – 1 for 4, 2 RBI. R

1B, F. Freeman – 2 for 4, 2B

C, T. d’Arnaud – 1 for 2, 2B

(65-47) Gwinnett Stripers

W, 6-3 vs. Columbus

SP, J. Rodriguez – (W), 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K

RP, D. Lee – IP, H, BB, 3 K

RF, T. Demeritte – 2 for 3, HR, 3 RBI

CF, D. Waters – 2 for 5, HR, RBI

DH, C. Pache – 2 for 5, 2B, R

(65-40) Mississippi Braves

W, 7-0 vs. Montgomery

SP, F. Tarnok – (W), 6.1 IP, H, BB, 8 K

RP, O. Javier – IP, 2 K

C, S. Langeliers – 2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI

CF, J. Dean – 2 for 5, 2B, R

DH, C. Alexander – 3 for 4, 3B, 2B, RBI, R

1B, G. Jenista – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI

(53-58) Rome Braves

L, 8-2 vs. Asheville

SP, J. McSteen – (L), 6 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, BB, 5 K, 3 HR

DH, M. Harris – 2 for 3, 2 2B, RBI, BB

SS, V. Grissom – 1 for 4, R

3B, R. Delgado – 3 for 4, R

(49-63) Augusta GreenJackets

W, 11-1 vs. Columbia

SP, J. Johnson – 4 IP, H, R, 5 BB, 6 K

RP, K. Wells – (W), 3 IP, 2 H, 5 K

LF, L. Stephens – 3 for 4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, BB

C, T. Tolve – 2 for 4, 3B, 2 RBI, R, BB

CF, C. Robinson – 3 for 5, 3B, 2 RBI

RF, W. Carter – 3 for 5, 2B, RBI, 2 R

(24-27) FCL Braves

L, 13-2 vs. Rays

SP, D. Florentino – (L), 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, BB, 3 K, HR

C, A. Barranca – 1 for 3, 2B

2B, G, Quintero – 2 for 4, R

Braves organization probables – Thursday, September 9

Thursday, September 9, 2021

-Clint Manry

It’s been a super busy week so there hasn’t been time for any daily reports lately. Although here’s a look at tonight’s probable pitchers for the entire Braves organization…

(73-65) Atlanta vs. (58-81) Nationals // 7:20 PM

SP, Huascar Ynoa (4-5, 3.19 ERA)

(63-47) Gwinnett vs. (51-57) Columbus // 6:15 PM

SP, Bryce Elder (1-1, 4.02 ERA)

(63-49) Mississippi vs. (56-53) Montgomery // 7:35 PM

SP, Alan Rangel (2-2, 4.91 ERA)

(52-57) Rome vs. Asheville // 6:35 PM

SP, Darius Vines (3-4, 3.46 ERA)

(46-63) Augusta vs. Columbia x2 // (GM 1: 5:05 PM)

SP, Ryan Cusick (0-1, 4.15 ERA)

SP, Andrew Hoffmann (0-2, 4.58 ERA)

(24-26) FCL Braves vs. (18-22) Pirates Black // already completed

Pirates won 6-2

Braves end Rockies series with a bang; Spencer Strider tosses two-hitter for Mississippi

Monday, September 6, 2021

-Clint Manry

It’s Labor Day today so I’m going to keep today’s report brief. The Braves fortunately ended its series versus the Rockies on a good note on Sunday, and they’ll have an off day today before starting a series with the Nationals tomorrow. Still barely hanging on to the division lead!

Here are you scores and stats from yesterday’s Braves action…

(72-64) Atlanta Braves

W, 9-2 vs. Rockies

SP, C. Morton – (W), 7 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

RF, J. Soler – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 R

3B, A. Riley – 1 for 2, HR, 3 RBI

2B, O. Albies – 1 for 5, HR, RBI

CF, A. Duvall – 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI

C, T. d’Arnaud – 1 for 3, HR, RBI

The Braves offense finally woke up during this series and broke out with four homers in Sunday’s win over the Rockies. Save for Dansby Swanson, every Atlanta batter in the starting lineup recorded a hit, with Jorge Soler finishing with two. The win was very much-needed as the Braves were able to maintain its two-game lead in the division (the Phillies also won yesterday).

Austin Riley just continues to rake. Among third baseman in the majors, Riley’s 3.7 fWAR is tied with Manny Machado for fourth. The Braves star at the hot corner may not actually win NL MVP, but this has been such an incredible season for him… and one I admit I never saw coming. Riley is currently hitting .305 with 29 homers and 76 RBI, good for a 141 wRC+.

(61-47) Gwinnett Stripers

L, 4-3 vs. Memphis

SP, C. Johnstone – 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 K, HR

1B, J. Camargo – 2 for 4, RBI

2B, J. Kipnis – 1 for 3, HR, RBI

3B, Y. Sanchez – 1 for 2, HR, RBI

RF, D. Waters – 1 for 4, R, SB

Despite a couple of homers – one each coming from Yolmer Sanchez and Jason Kipnis – Gwinnett dropped its game versus Memphis on Sunday.

Conner Johnstone got the start, and pitched well, allowing just a couple of hits in four innings of work. But Jay Flaa and Thomas Burrows combined to allow three runs, spoiling Johnstone’s effort. Drew Waters and Cristian Pache also contributed with a hit apiece, and Johan Camargo tacked on an RBI with a 2 for 4 performance. Also noteworthy, Waters tallied his 24th stolen base of the season.

(61-40) Mississippi Braves

W, 7-2 vs. Biloxi

SP, S. Strider – (W), 5 IP, 2 H, BB, 8 K

RF, T. Harris – 2 for 5, 2B, 3 RBI, R

1B, D. Lugbauer – 1 for 2, 2B, RBI, 2 BB

2B, J. Miller – 1 for 5, 2B, R

As usual in a Spencer Strider start, this game was all about Strider. The prospect pitcher threw 50 of 79 pitches for a strike on Sunday, and a single in each of the second and third inning was all Biloxi could muster against the righty. If not for a walk in the fourth, Strider would’ve have set down the final seven batters he faced in the outing.

(51-56) Rome Braves

W, 3-2 (F/11) vs. Winston-Salem

SP, M. Stallings – 5 IP, 4 H, ER, 5 K

RF, S. Michel – 1 for 5, HR, RBI

3B, R. Delgado – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI, BB

This one was excruciatingly boring, but the R-Braves wound up with the extra-innings win. Drew Campbell – a 23rd round pick from the 2019 MLB Draft – provided the walk-off sac-fly in the eleventh…

Campbell is definitely someone worth paying attention to. He started the season in rookie ball and has since made it all the way to High-A, where he’s currently hitting .242 with four XBH in just eight games so far. The kid played college ball at Louisville, and though he wasn’t a huge talent there, he ended up finishing with a career .310 AVG and .810 OPS in 121 total games. Not too shabby.

(45-63) Augusta GreenJackets

W, 8-6 vs. Fayetteville

SP, J. Estes – IP, H, 2 ER, 2 BB, K, HR (23 pitches)

RP, D. Spain – (W), 2 IP, H, 4 K

3B, J-H. Malloy – 2 for 5, HR (GS), 2B, 4 RBI

DH, B. Vasquez – 3 for 5, HR, 2 RBI

SS, C. Shepherd – 2 for 4, RBI

C, T. Tolve – 2 for 5, 2B, R

The video isn’t the greatest, but here’s Justyn-Henry Malloy’s go-ahead grand slam from yesterday.

Malloy has certainly enjoyed pro ball so far. The kid is currently hitting .275 with seven XBH (three HR) in 25 games with Augusta. His plate discipline has been solid as well, shown by 16 walks and 20 strikeouts.

As far as I know, there’s nothing wrong with Joey Estes, who only threw 23 pitches on Sunday for the GreenJackets, exiting after just one inning. Maybe that was the plan all along, but it does seem odd that he came out that quick. Anyways, here’s an interesting tweet from the guys at Outfield Fly Rule…https://twitter.com/OFRSports/status/1433802044364689418?s=20

Vaughn Grissom is yet another Braves prospect on the ascent

Sunday, September 5, 2021

-Clint Manry

They say A-ball is the first step into the real world of professional baseball, usually following the mastering of one of two rookie-level leagues (or both) such as the Dominican Summer League (DSL) and Florida Coast League (FCL). As a teenager, the Braves Vaughn Grissom already paid his rookie dues, playing in 44 games with the FCL Braves in 2019 as a young 18-year-old. Evidently that was all he needed.

Coming out of that year’s MLB Draft as an 11th-round pick by Atlanta, Grissom’s performance two years ago no doubt put him on the map as an up-and-coming prospect. In 184 PA in ’19, Grissom hit .288 with 11 XBH and 23 RBI, good enough to post an above average 120 wRC+. If not for a global COVID-19 outbreak, the 6-3, 180-pound shortstop would’ve most likely made his A-ball debut last year.

But Grissom’s big promotion into the full-season ranks had to wait until 2021. To begin this season the Braves assigned him to Single-A Augusta where he was nearly 1.5 years younger than the average player. His 20- and 25-grade Hit and Power tools (given to him by FanGraphs coming out the ’19 draft) certainly didn’t seem to hold him back. Grissom’s 24 XBH (five homers) in 75 games with the GreenJackets came out of nowhere, and his .311 AVG and 13 stolen bases showed that he’s way more than just a glove-first middle-infielder. To anyone that’s been paying attention, this is a top 100 prospect in the making… and there’s no signs of him slowing down.

Finally, just as the calendar flipped to September, the Braves promoted Grissom to the highest level of A-ball… to Rome. If he can perform so well in Low-A… perhaps the same results will come in High-A. Grissom played his first game with the loaded R-Braves offense this past Thursday. In that debut, all of his tools were on display as he worked two walks, singled, scored a run and stole a base. In his second game on Friday, Grissom showcased his power by hitting his first home run with Rome. On Saturday he singled again and knocked in two more runs, pushing his AVG up to .444 while at his newest level of competition. Today, with Rome wrapping up its series versus Winston-Salem, it appears Grissom received a much-needed day off.

Grissom’s ascent this season probably isn’t the biggest storyline among the Braves minor league organization. Players like Shea Langeliers, Jesse Franklin V and the quartet of pitchers from last year’s draft are all highlights from 2021 that most likely deserve more attention once the campaign is over. But just because the Braves farm has featured a ton of success this season doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss what Grissom has accomplished in such a short time. In the span of a season, this kid has evolved from a fringy prospect into one that could potentially crack the top 10 in the near future. In my Midseason Top 30, I already have Grissom ranked 13th, just behind fellow infielder Braden Shewmake (who has been with Double-A Mississippi all season). Like Shewmake, Grissom will soon get his chance to show what he can do in the upper-minors.

So as part of a long list of success stories from the 2021 season, you can now add Grissom to the mix. Many of us maybe didn’t even really know this kid at the start of the year, but now he’s likely on everyone’s list of talented Braves prospects. The 2022 campaign will certainly be a big one for Grissom. In just his age-21 season, he’ll likely face Double-A pitching in 2022, suggesting he’s only within a couple of years of possibly debuting in the majors. That’s crazy to think about for a young player who’s just now reaching 80 total games above the rookie level. But that’s how it goes when a prospect catches fire like this. A-ball has been the first real test for this kid, and Grissom is currently passing it with flying colors. Let the hype begin!

Saturday’s (9/4/21) Braves MiLB scores and stats; Bryce Elder, Jake McSteen and Dylan Dodd shine in strong day of pitching

Sunday, September 5, 2021

-Clint Manry

Today’s report is short and right to the point. Here are your scores and stats from Saturday’s Braves minor league action…

(61-46) Gwinnett Stripers

W, 5-3 vs. Memphis

W, 5-2 vs. Memphis

SP, B. Elder – 4 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K

SP, J. Rodriguez – (W), 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 6 K

PH, P. Ervin – 1 for 1, HR, RBI

CF, C. Pache – 3 for 7, 2 RBI, R

1B/3B, C. Camargo – 2 for 6, HR, 4 RBI, R

C, J. Morales – 1 for 2, 2B, R, BB

(60-40) Mississippi Braves

W, 6-4 vs. Biloxi

SP, F. Tarnok – 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K

RP, T. Ferguson – (W), 2.1 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 2 K

CF, J. Dean – 3 for 4, 2 R, 2 SB

1B, D. Lugbauer – 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI

RF, G. Jenista – 1 for 3, HR, RBI

*Down 4-2 in the ninth, Mississippi scored four runs in the final inning to win.

(50-56) Rome Braves

W, 7-3 vs. Winston-Salem

SP, J. McSteen – (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K

RF, D. Campbell – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI, R

LF, J. Franklin – 2 for 4, HR, 2B, RBI, SB

2B, V. Grissom – 1 for 4, 2 RBI

3B, R. Delgado – 3 for 4, RBI, R

(44-63) Augusta GreenJackets

W, 6-2 vs. Fayetteville

SP, D. Dodd – 4.1 IP, H, ER, BB, 6 K

RP, A. Barger – (W), 2.2 IP, 3 H, ER, 5 K, HR

LF, W. Carter – 2 for 4, RBI, R, BB

1B, B. Horne – 2 for 5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI

3B, L. Malloy – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI

SS, C. Conley – 1 for 3, R, 2 BB, SB

2B, B. Vasquez – 3 for 4, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 R, 2 SB

(22-25) FCL Braves

L, 3-2 (F/8) vs. Rays

L, 4-1 (F/7) vs. Rays

SP, J. Johnson – 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, BB, 10 K, HR

SP, A. Shoemaker – (L), IP, H, 2 R, ER, BB, K

1B, M. Backstrom – 1 for 4, 2B

LF, B. Mezquita – 1 for 7, RBI

2B, C. Durbin – 1 for 4, SB

1B, L. McGill – 1 for 3, 2B

LF, J. Palma – 2 for 3

CF, T. Collins – 1 for 3, R