Atlanta wraps up road trip with ninth-straight win; Dylan Dodd makes pro debut with Augusta

Monday, August 23, 2021

-Clint Manry

On Sunday the Braves achieved something many probably never could’ve imagined just a few weeks ago: Atlanta swept its road trip by beating Baltimore 3-1, making it nine-straight victories for the Bravos. As the team returns home for a two-game series with the Yankees beginning on Monday, the Braves current playoff odds sit at a strong 80.8%, according to FanGraphs (with a 79% chance to win the division). To put those percentages in perspective, this time last month Atlanta’s odds were 7% and 6.1%, respectively. Yeah… that’s quite the turnaround.

For the fourth consecutive outing, starter Touki Toussaint allowed two earned runs or less as he worked around five hits and a run last night. Touki struck out five Orioles batters, giving him 17 punch outs over his last 16.2 frames with the Braves. He could very well play an integral part come playoff time, both as a starter or an option out of the Atlanta bullpen.

Both teams remained scoreless through the first three innings on Sunday, however, as the Braves have done so many times during this winning streak, the offense came though with a big inning in the fourth. Following a groundout by Ozzie Albies, last night’s DH Jorge Soler demolished a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall to put the Braves up 1-0.

Freddie Freeman followed with a double, and two batters later Austin Riley drew a walk, which setup an RBI opportunity for outfielder Adam Duvall. With two outs and a 1-2 count, Duvall crushed a 92-MPH fastball up in the zone and deposited it to deep left-center for a two-hopper against the wall. Both Freeman and Dansby Swanson scored, giving Atlanta a 3-0 advantage.

The Orioles answered back with a run of their own in the bottom-half of the inning as Ramon Urias slapped a two-out RBI double. But Touki regrouped and got himself out of the inning. The righty managed a relatively clean fifth, working around a lead-off single, and then in the sixth he started off the frame with another strikeout before being chased by a one-out single from Baltimore’s Anthony Santander.

That three-run fourth inning by the Braves was all the team needed to take care of business on Sunday. Once Touki hit the showers, a five-man group of Braves relievers finished the final 3.2 innings as AJ Minter, Chris Martin, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson and Will Smith combined to strike out seven Orioles batters while allowing just three hits altogether.

Along with the Braves, both the Phillies and Mets also won, spoiling Atlanta’s chance to tack on another game to its division lead. Still, the Braves pace the NL East by a solid five games with just 38 games to go.

I’m flying back out this morning for work, so the minor league report will only feature scores and stats. Remember, all four of the Braves full-season affiliates will take a scheduled day off today, while the FCL Braves has already started its double header versus the Red Sox. At the time of this writing, the rookie-level Braves trail 1-0 in the third inning of Game 1.

The big league Braves will begin its series against the Yankees at home tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 7:20 PM as righty Huascar Ynoa will face New York’s Jordan Montgomery. Let’s keep the wins going!

(68-56) ATLANTA BRAVES

W, 3-1 vs. Orioles

SP, T. Toussaint – (W), 5.1 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K

DH, J. Soler – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

LF, A. Duvall – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI

1B, F. Freeman – 1 for 4, 2B, R

(55-41) GWINNETT STRIPERS

L, 5-3 vs. Louisville

SP, T. Roark – 2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, K

RP, D. Lee – IP, 3 K

C, R. Casteel – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI

3B, J. Camargo – 1 for 4, RBI

(58-38) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

W, 2-1 vs. Montgomery

W, 5-3 vs. Montgomery

SP, F. Tarnok – (L), 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 3 K

SP, A. Rangel – 2 IP, 2 K

RP, O. Javier – (H), 1.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K

CF, J. Dean – 2 for 6, SB

RF/1B, G. Jenista – 2 for 5, 2 RBI, SB

DH/C, H. Clementina – 2 for 5, HR, 2 RBI

3B, C. Alexander – 1 for 6, 2B, R

2B, J. Miller – 1 for 5, 2B, R

(43-53) ROME BRAVES

L, 6-0 (F/7) vs. Greenville

SP, M. Stallings – (L), 3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

RP, B. Dum – 2 IP, H, 3 K

C, C. Martinez – 2 for 3

DH, M. Harris – 1 for 2, BB

(40-56) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

L, 15-7 vs. Carolina

SP, D. Dodd – 3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, K

DH, V. Grissom – 3 for 4, 3B, R, SB

CF, C. Robinson – 1 for 5, 3B, 4 RBI

RF, W. Carter – 2 for 3, RBI, 2 R, SB

SS, C. Conley – 1 for 4, HR, RBI

(2021 draftee)

Atlanta wins again while Travis Demeritte tallies four hits in Gwinnett’s fifth-straight victory

Sunday, August 22, 2021

-Clint Manry

It’s crazy to think about, but there once was a time this season in which Drew Smyly seemed like the worst starting pitcher in baseball. Seriously, up until around mid-June of this year, the guy was atrocious. You have to look at Smyly’s 2021 season in two halves to see just how stark the improvement has been. There’s his first 11 starts… and then his last 11 starts…

First 11 starts — 56 IP, 5.63 ERA, 6.03 FIP, 7.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9

Last 11 starts – 55 IP, 3.44 ERA, 4.05 FIP, 9 K/9, 2.8 BB/9

If you can get past the three homers allowed, last night was another strong start for Smyly. The veteran lefty once again allowed exactly three runs, which is something he’s done in six of his last eight outings, but he still managed to appear in control against the Orioles.

And once again the Braves offense delivered when needed. After trailing 1-0 through the first two innings, Atlanta answered in the third when Dansby Swanson demolished a 93-MPH fastball to right-center field to score Jorge Soler AND Freddie Freeman.

The lineup kept it going in the fourth, as still up 2-1, outfielder Joc Pederson went deep with his 15th homer of the 2021 season to put the Braves up by two…

However, two homers by Baltimore in its half of the fourth tied the game back up at three apiece, and it looked as if the Braves bullpen was going to need to be at its best to escape this one. Although that was before third baseman Austin Riley came to the plate in the fifth…

That long ball gives Riley 27 on the year as he continues to perform like an MVP candidate. His dinger put the Braves up 4-3 and all Atlanta needed to do was keep things where they were to hold onto the win.

Smyly hit the showers after five and Richard Rodriguez took over and pitched the sixth in scoreless fashion, followed by Tyler Matzek in the seventh. Then in the eighth, Luke Jackson worked around two hits and Will Smith allowed a gut-punch of a home run in the ninth. But a sac-fly by Soler in that final frame made all the difference.

The win gives Atlanta eight victories in a row and a 9-1 record in its last ten. The Braves was the only NL East team to win on Saturday so its division lead increases to five over the second-place Phillies, seven over the Mets, 13.5 over the Nationals and 16.5 over the Marlins. Touki Toussaint and Atlanta – with William Contreras behind the plate – will go for the series sweep today, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM.


Down in Gwinnett, it was all about the middle of the lineup as the Stripers’ nos. 4-6 batters combined for 10 of the team’s 14 hits, including Travis Demeritte’s 4 for 4 performance. Rehabbing Eddie Rosario also continues to swing a hot bat as he finished with three hits…

Gwinnett’s starter, Jose Rodriguez, didn’t have his best stuff, however, the Stripers bullpen was perfect. The trio of Jesse Biddle, Yoan Lopez and Chasen Bradford combined to pitch three scoreless innings to hold onto the team’s big lead. Gwinnett’s offense scored an additional three runs late in the game and wound up coasting to a 10-4 win, giving them five consecutive victories.


The M-Braves game was rained out yesterday, so we move on to Rome. The R-Braves got into a bit of a pitcher’s duel as Mississippi’s Jared Shuster and Montgomery’s Brandon Walter wound up combining for 11 innings of five-hit ball, including just two earned runs and 12 strikeouts. However, the R-Braves bullpen performed better and ended up outlasting the Biscuits. A two-run sixth-inning, featuring a wild-pitch that scored Cody Milligan and an RBI single by Jesse Franklin, pushed Rome ahead for the 4-2 win.


Man it was a rough start for Augusta’s Chad Bryant, who allowed eight runs (three earned) from just two hits on Saturday night, thanks to four total errors by the GreenJackets defense. Batters Cal Conley, Vaughn Grissom and Bryson Horne all combined to finished 4 for 12 with three RBI, however, Augusta still wound up with the nine-run loss. Roddery Munoz appeared in the third and struggled as well, allowing three runs (two earned) in 2.1 innings.


The FCL Braves played a doubleheader against the Rays yesterday and ended up splitting the day. The Braves only managed five hits overall in Game 2’s 6-0 loss, but in Game, the baby Braves won 2-0 thanks to contributions from a pair of 2021 draftees – a bases-loaded walk by Adam Zebrowski and an RBI single by Caleb Durbin.

Here are scores and stats from Saturday’s action…

(67-56) ATLANTA BRAVES

W, 5-4 vs. Orioles

SP, D. Smyly – (W), 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 8 K, 3 HR

3B, A. Riley – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

SS, D. Swanson – 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB

RF, J. Pederson – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

2B, O. Albies – 1 for 5, 2B

(55-40) GWINNETT STRIPERS

W, 10-4 vs. Louisville

SP, J. Rodriguez – (W), 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HR

1B, T. Demeritte – 4 for 4, HR, 4 RBI

3B, S. Kazmar Jr. – 3 for 4, R

CF, C. Pache – 2 for 5, 2B

LF, E. Rosario – 3 for 5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R

(57-37) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

PPD vs. Montgomery

Will make up game as part of a doubleheader today.

(42-52) ROME BRAVES

W, 4-2 vs. Greenville

SP, J. Shuster – (W), 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 5 K

RP, E. Ramirez – (H), 2 IP, BB, 4 K

LF, J. Franklin – 1 for 3, RBI

2B, C. Milligan – 2 for 4, 2 R

RF, S. Michel – 1 for 3, 2 R, BB

(40-55) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

L, 15-6 vs. Carolina

SP, C. Bryant – (L), 2 IP, 2 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, K, HR

1B, B. Horne – 2 for 4, RBI, BB

SS, V. Grissom – 1 for 5, 2B, RBI, R, SB

C, R. Rodriguez – 3 for 4, RBI, 2 R

RF, W. Carter – 1 for 3, 2B, R, SB

2B, C. Conley – 1 for 3, RBI, R, SB

(19-16) FCL BRAVES

W, 2-0 (F/7) vs. FCL Rays

L, 6-0 (F/7) vs. FCL Rays

SP, D. Florentino – IP, 4 BB

SP, R. Salinas – (L), 3 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 7 K

RP, E. Rodriguez – (W), 4 IP, 2 H, 2 K

CF, D. Campbell – 3 for 3

3B, G. Quintero – 2 for 4, R

C. Durbin – 2 for 3

DH, J, Fernando – 2 for 3, SB

(2021 draftee)

Max Fried goes the distance in Atlanta’s seventh-straight win; Bryce Elder impresses in Triple-A debut with Gwinnett

Saturday, August 21, 2021

-Clint Manry

The Braves just keep rolling as they picked up their seventh consecutive win last night. That’s now nine wins in their last ten, putting them ten games over .500 and four games up in the NL East. The victory on Friday wasn’t as exciting as usual, for the Atlanta lineup went quiet. However, starter Max Fried assumed control and wound up going the distance with a complete-game shutout – his first as a major leaguer.

Fried needed just 90 pitches to get through nine innings last night, which makes him the first Braves to pitch an entire game on 90 pitches or less since Greg Maddux himself did it back in September of 2000. Now with a 3.49 ERA in 118.2 innings this season, good for 2.5 fWAR, the 27-year-old Fried is looking a lot more like his 2019 self. In fact, if he keeps this up, the southpaw should easily surpass that career-best campaign in which he finished with 3 WAR in 165 innings.

The Braves offense only managed seven hits, but the lineup did a nice job providing the power. Both catcher Travis d’Arnaud and outfielder Jorge Soler homered in the victory over the Orioles…

With Baltimore’s overall struggles this season, three runs was all Atlanta needed to take care of business last night. The Braves will go for the series win on Saturday as a hot Drew Smyly will take on Matt Harvey at 7:05 PM.


Today I’m a little busier than usual, so the minor league portion of this recap will feature just scores and stats. Be sure to check out Bryce Elder’s Triple-A debut from last night, as well as the Gwinnett offense who went crazy with four homers in their win over Louisville.

(66-56) ATLANTA BRAVES

W, 3-0 vs. Orioles

SP, M. Fried – (W), 9 IP, 4 H, 4 K

C, T. d’Arnaud – 2 for 3, HR, 2 RBI

DH, J. Soler – 1 for 4, HR, RBI

(54-40) GWINNETT STRIPERS

W, 10-5 vs. Louisville

SP, B. Elder – (W), 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, HR

RF, E. Rosario – 1 for 5, HR, 3 RBI

2B, J. Kipnis – 3 for 3, HR, RBI

C, J. Morales – 4 for 4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI

1B, J. Camargo – 1 for 5, HR, 2 RBI

(57-37) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

 W, 3-1 (F/8) vs. Montgomery

W, 9-0 vs. Montgomery

SP, N. Kingham – (W), 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 5 K

SP, H. Deal – 0.2 IP, H, 2 K

2B/SS, W. Rijo – 4 for 8, HR, 2B, 3 RBI

DH/LF, J. Ramos – 2 for 6, 2B, RBI, 2 R

(41-52) ROME BRAVES

W, 5-2 (F/7) vs. Greenville

L, 4-1 vs. Greenville

SP, D. Vines – (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 7 K, HR

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

1B, B. Langhorne – 2 for 6, HR, RBI

SS/3B, B. Philip – 2 for 6, 2B, 2 RBI

3B/SS, L. Waddell – 3 for 6, RBI

2B, C. Milligan – 3 for 7

(2021 draftee)

(40-54) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

L, 6-5 vs. Carolina

SP, J. Estes – 5 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

CF, S. Paolini – 4 for 5, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 SB

LF, C. Robinson – 2 for 5, 2 R, SB

SS, V. Grissom – 2 for 5, 2B

3B, C. Bunnell – 2 for 5, 3B, 2 RBI

2B, C. Shepherd – 1 for 3, RBI, R, SB

(2021 draftee)

(19-15) FCL BRAVES

PPD vs. FCL Rays

Will make up today.

Justyn-Henry Malloy belts first pro homer in three-hit performance for Augusta; righty William Woods debuts for the FCL Braves

Friday, August 20, 2021

-Clint Manry

Unfortunately, the Braves were off yesterday, leaving us baseball-less for most of the day. However, by evening, Atlanta’s farm system cranked up, and even with both Double-A Mississippi and High-A Rome getting postponed, there was still plenty of action to cover. Oh, and by the way, the Phillies lost again, which means the Braves gained another half game on Philadelphia. That division lead is now up to four!

Here’s a brief look at what happened down on the farm…

For Gwinnett, Thursday’s matchup with Louisville began as a pitching duel, but eventually the Stripers offense was able to break through and win 8-1. Righty Kyle Wright pitched a solid game AND went 2 for 2 with a double at the plate. And after Gwinnett already led 7-1, Johan Camargo belted his 12 home run of the season…

It appeared Cristian Pache had the night off, though Drew Waters finished 1 for 3 with a pair of RBI. Veteran Tanner Roark worked the final two frames of the game in hitless fashion.


With the M-Braves and Rome both getting rained out yesterday, Single-A Augusta and the FCL Braves were the only other minor league teams to play in the Braves system. 2021 draftee Andrew Hoffmann made third start for the GreenJackets and pitched a three-inning outing. Too bad I don’t have any video, but it was third baseman Justyn-Henry Malloy that stole the show for Augusta on Thursday. Malloy finished with three hits, one of which was his first career home run. This year’s sixth-round pick is holding his own just fine in pro ball. Malloy is hitting .294 in 34 AB so far. Too bad the GreenJackets lost 6-5 last night.

Cam Shepherd, Cade Bunnell and Landon Stephens also had strong performances yesterday as all three tallied two hits apiece.


For the FCL club, righty William Woods finally made his 2021 debut, even if he only faced four batters. Woods was supposed to be a huge prospect this year (I have him ranked 24th now), but the 22-year-old has been inactive. Hopefully he can get some solid work in before the end of the season, and push for a big year in 2022. Jared Johnson wound up coming in later and working four innings for the 8-0 win. It’s been a rough 2021 campaign for Johnson but he’s been solid down in rookie ball.

Catcher Liam McGill – a ninth-round pick this year – made some noise in his very first pro game. McGill homered, slapped his first double AND knocked in four runs. Have yourself a day, kid. Kadon Morton knocked in a pair of runs as well as the Braves finished with 10 hits overall.


Here are you scores and stats from Thursday’s action down on the Braves farm. The big league Braves will kick off a three-game weekend series against the Orioles tonight at 7:05 PM…

(53-40) Gwinnett Stripers

W, 8-1 vs. Louisville

  • SP, K. Wright – (W), 7 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 5 K
  • 1B, J. Camargo – 1 for 5, HR, RBI
  • 3B, Y. Sanchez – 2 for 4, 3 R
  • LF, D. Waters – 1 for 3, 2 RBI, BB

(55-37) Mississippi Braves

PPD vs. Montgomery

Will play doubleheader today.

(40-51) Rome Braves

PPD vs. Greenville

Will play doubleheader today.

(40-53) Augusta GreenJackets

L, 6-5 (F/7) vs. Carolina

SP, A. Hoffmann – 3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, HR

3B, J-H. Malloy – 3 for 3, HR, 3 RBI

1B, C. Bunnell – 2 for 4, 2B, R, SB

2B, C. Shepherd – 2 for 4, RBI

(2021 draftee)

(18-15) FCL Braves

W, 8-0 vs. Orioles Orange

SP, W. Woods – IP, H, K

RP, J. Johnson – (W), 4 IP, BB, 5 K

C, L. McGill – 2 for 3, HR, 2B, 4 RBI

1B, M. Backstrom – 1 for 4, 3B, R

SS, A. De Los Santos – 2 for 5, 2B, RBI, R

LF, D. Campbell – 2 for 4, R

(2021 draftee)

Freddie Freeman hits for cycle in Atlanta’s win and Eddie Rosario belts grand-slam for Gwinnett

Thursday, August 19, 2021

-Clint Manry

The Braves nearly spoiled a win last night in Miami as their five-run lead quickly turned into only a two-run lead in the span of just a few innings. Lord knows why Josh Tomlin is still pitching in the majors, but good grief he almost shit the bed on Thursday. Five earned runs in the span of 23 pitches.

Hopefully manager Brian Snitker has finally learned his lesson with him.

Anyways, congrats to Freddie Freeman for hitting for the cycle for the second time in his amazing MLB career. ICYMI, here are all four of his hits last night…

Back-to-back NL MVP campaigns may seem unlikely (he’s currently tied for 13th in fWAR among MLB hitters), but Freddie is once again putting together a top-notch season. Too bad fellow first baseman Vlad Jr. is having a breakout year as well as Freddie would be just behind Max Muncy for most WAR at the position.

Vlad Jr. – 5.3 WAR

Max Muncy – 4.9 WAR

Freddie – 4.3 WAR

Just as important, though (especially regarding the postseason), veteran Charlie Morton was again at his best. With Wednesday’s outing, the 37-year-old has now reached 140 innings this season and has been an absolute blessing. Morton’s 3.3 fWAR in 2021 is tied for the sixth-most in MLB. That one-year, $15-million contract is paying HUGE dividends.

Given the Phillies lost last night, the Braves are now 3.5 games up in the division. Six wins in a row really helps as according to FanGraphs Atlanta now has better playoff odds than the Padres (68.6% / 44.6%).

Here are Wednesday’s scores and stats from down on the Braves farm…

(65-56) ATLANTA BRAVES

W, 11-9 vs. Marlins

SP, C. Morton – (W), 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 9 K

1B, F. Freeman – 4 for 5, HR, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI (hit for cycle)

LF, A. Duvall – 1 for 2, 2B, 3 RBI

3B, A. Riley – 3 for 5, 2 RBI, 2 R

SS, D. Swanson – 2 for 4, 2 R, BB

(52-40) GWINNETT STRIPERS

W, 4-1 vs. Louisville

SP, K. Muller – (W), 6 IP, H, R, 3 BB, 4 K

LF, E. Rosario – 1 for 4, HR (GS), 4 RBI

3B, S. Kazmar Jr. – 1 for 4, 2B, R

CF, C. Pache – 2 for 3, R, BB

(55-37) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

W, 7-3 vs. Montgomery

SP, S. Strider – 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 K, HR

1B, D. Lugbauer – 2 for 4, HR, 2B, RBI

SS, B. Shewmake – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

DH, H. Clementina – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI

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

(40-51) ROME BRAVES

L, 1-0 vs. Greenville

SP, T. Gordon – 6 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 5 K

CF, M. Harris – 1 for 2, BB

3B, G. Saunders – 1 for 2, 3B, BB

(40-52) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

L, 7-2 vs. Carolina

SP, R. Cusick – 2 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K

SS, C. Conley – 1 for 4, 2B, R

2B, C. Bunnell – 2 for 4, 2 2B, R

LF, W. Carter – 2 for 4, RBI, SB

1B, L. Stephens – 1 for 4, 2B

(2021 draftee)

Huascar Ynoa looks sharp in return for Atlanta; Drew Lugbauer slugs grand-slam in M-Braves win 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

-Clint Manry

It was a three-month wait, but righty Huascar Ynoa made his highly anticipated return last night for the Braves… and the kid pitched well. Ynoa lasted all the way into the sixth inning on Wednesday, which, due to his absence, is pretty impressive.

Ynoa threw 53 of 80 pitches for a strike and did a nice job of keeping the ball in the infield. After working around a single by Miami’s Brian Anderson in the second frame, Atlanta’s righty didn’t allow another hit until the sixth, when a knock by Miguel Rojas chased him. 

From there, relievers Tyler Matzek, Chris Martin, Luke Jackson and Will Smith combined to finish the final 3.2 innings. The Braves bullpen was sharp, allowing just one hit altogether to go with five strikeouts and no walks. 

Offensively it was Jorge Soler who put Atlanta up in the eighth. The newly-acquired outfielder has been a blessing since his arrival…

In the final frame, third baseman (and a sneaky candidate NL MVP) Austin Riley added another run to the Braves lead when he belted his 26th home run of the year…

All-in-all, it was a pretty unexciting game as both the Braves and Marlins combined for just 10 hits. However, it was great to see Atlanta’s pitching once again come through with a stingy performance. 

Now into Wednesday, the Braves lead the division by 2.5 games as both the Phillies and Mets lost their respective games yesterday. The Braves are rolling, folks!


Down on the farm, righty Ian Anderson made his third rehab start since returning from an injury. The young pitcher wasn’t as crisp as usual, needing nearly 80 pitches to get through 4.1 innings on Tuesday, but Anderson still managed to get through the outing in scoreless fashion. 

In the opening frame, Johan Camargp continued his incredible Triple-A season by putting Gwinnett up by two with a homer…

In the next inning, Ryan Goins joined the fun with a long ball of his own, putting the Stripers up 3-0…

Of course it’s not a party until Orlando Arcia gets involved, and in the third he went deep as well, slugging his 17th homer of the season…

Following Arcia’s homer, though, things got a little chippy. Louisville’s pitcher threw a ball behind Camargo’s back, and in the end, several Stripers and Bats players wound up getting ejected…

No one was hurt… and eventually Gwinnett held on to the win.


For the M-Braves, starter Alan Rangel continued his strong 2021 season by tossing another quality-start against Montgomery…

Rangel is now down to a 4.24 ERA at the Double-A level as he’s made some impressive strides on the mound this year. 

The play of the night, though, has to go to first baseman Drew Lugbauer, who made my Midseason Braves Top 30 earlier this month. Lugbauer belted a grand-slam in the fifth inning, giving him 15 homers now in 2021…

The trio of Odalvi Javier (who I guess is now a reliever), Indigo Diaz and Matt Withrow finished the game by working together for three scoreless innings. 


Rome was rained out, though the R-Braves and Greenville will play a doubleheader today.


Down in Single-A, the GreenJackets were routed by Carolina, although Augusta’s offense did well by tallying 12 hits combined. Save for Cade Bunnell, every batter in the GreenJackets lineup recorded at least one hit, including 2021 draftees Cal Conley, Justyn-Henry Malloy and Christian Robinson. 

Rainiery Rodriguez got the start for Augusta on Tuesday, but he struggled mightily and allowed six runs (five earned) from a dozen hits in five innings. Reliever Kenny Wells struggled as well, and by the time Peyton Williams came in for garbage time in the ninth, Augusta was already trailing by six runs. 


The FCL Braves shutout the Orioles Orange team, thanks to some strong pitching. Reibyn Corona started and was sharp, but then five Braves relievers came in and dominated, combining to allow just one hit over six innings, including six strikeouts. 

Mahki Backstrom had a solid game and picked up a double, as well as Jose Palma. Also, 2021 draftee, and the Braves lead-off hitter, Tyler Collins contributed with a triple. Overall, the Braves out-hit the Orioles by a tally of 10-2 as the rookie team continues to play well down in Florida.

(64-56) ATLANTA BRAVES 

W, 2-0 vs. Marlins

SP, H. Ynoa – 5.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K

3B, A. Riley – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

RF, J. Soler – 1 for 4, RBI

1B, F. Freeman – 2 for 4

(51-40) GWINNETT STRIPERS

W, 4-2 vs. Louisville 

SP, I. Anderson – 4.1 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K

1B, J. Camargo – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI

SS, O. Arcia – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

3B, R. Goins – 1 for 3, HR, RBI

(54-37) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES 

W, 9-3 vs. Montgomery 

SP, A. Rangel – (W), 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 6 K

1B, D. Lugbauer – 1 for 5, HR (GS), 4 RBI

2B, J. Miller – 1 for 5, 2B, RBI

C, S. Langeliers – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R, BB

LF, T. Harris – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI, 2 R

CF, J. Dean – 3 for 5, 3B, 3 R

(40-49) ROME BRAVES

PPD vs. Greenville 

(40-51) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS 

L, 10-4 vs. Carolina 

SP, R. Rodriguez – (L), 5 IP, 12 H, 5 ER, 3 K

DH, W. Carter – 2 for 3, 2B, RBI, R, 2 SB

RF, C. Robinson – 1 for 4, 2B, R

CF, S. Paolini – 2 for 3, 2B, RBI, R, 2 SB

C, R. Rodriguez – 1 for 4, RBI 

(2021 draftee)

(17-15) FCL Braves

W, 5-0 vs. Orioles Orange

SP, R. Corona – 4 IP, H, BB, 2 K

1B, M. Backstrom – 1 for 4, 2B

LF, J. Palma – 2 for 4, 2B, R

CF, T. Collins – 1 for 4, 3B, RBI, R

SS, G. Quintero – 1 for 3, RBI, R, SB

(2021 draftee)

Prospect righty Joey Estes wins Pitcher of the Week

Monday, August 16, 2021

-Clint Manry

One of my biggest risers on my Midseason Braves Top 30, going from 23rd to no. 15 in just the span of a few months this year, former 16th round pick Joey Estes earned a well-deserved accolade today as he won Pitcher of Week, according to MiLB.com.

Estes, still only 19-years-old and pitching with the Single-A Augusta GreenJackets, won the weekly award for his performance this past Saturday, when he tossed a complete-game that featured just two runs from four hits and a whopping 14 strikeouts. Of the final 21 batters he faced, only two Kannapolis batters managed to reach base, including a stretch in which the righty recorded six-straight punch outs in the seventh and eighth innings combined.

As you can see from the clip below, Estes’ high-octane fastball was just too much for opposing batters… and has been all season long down at the lowest full-season level.

For 2021, it’s clear that Estes is ready for more of a challenge, even if the Braves are in no rush to promote him. The righty is enjoying some of his best pitching of the campaign over these last 4-6 weeks, and right now he leads Single-A’s East League in multiple categories, including strikeouts (116), innings-pitched (87), ERA (2.69), WHIP (0.97), AVG (.187) and now complete-games (1).

As it stands now, even though the list is likely to change a bit by season’s end, I have Estes as the eighth-ranked pitching prospect in the Braves system, just behind Augusta teammate and Braves 2021 top pick, righty Ryan Cusick. There’s certainly much more to development in the future for Estes, for he is indeed a raw pitcher, however, if it keeps this up he’ll likely work his way into the top-10 in no time.

Atlanta takes sole possession of first-place; M-Braves’ win streak ends at eight

Monday, August 16, 2021

-Clint Manry

Thanks to three-straight wins and an 8-2 record over their last ten, the Braves are now back on top in the NL East. And a lot of that is because of the play of shortstop Dansby Swanson, who once again finished with a multi-hit performance on Sunday. For the third consecutive game, Swanson went deep in yesterday’s win…

The last month in a half has been an incredible stretch for the 27-year-old Swanson. Since the start of July (a span of 39 games), the Braves shortstop is slashing .327/.369/.622 with 24 XBH (11 HR) and 36 RBI — good for a 154 wRC+. Swanson continues to play at the best level of his career, and there’s no signs of him slowing down anytime soon.

Staying in the Braves infield, third baseman Austin Riley was another big contributor in Sunday’s win over the Nats. Riley finished 3 for 5 with a home run and is also enjoying a career-best stretch of play since July 1. During that span, the 24-year-old has been even better than Swanson, totaling 22 XBH (12 HR) and a 164 wRC+. Riley’s fifth-inning homer yesterday came immediately after Freddie Freeman’s and was his 25th of the season, putting the Braves ahead by two.

Once again, the Atlanta bullpen came through after working with a slim lead. Following four innings by lefty starter Drew Smyly, five Braves relievers allowed two runs from four hits over five innings and struck out five. Over the last seven days, spanning 26.2 innings, the Atlanta bullpen has been solid overall, pitching to a 3.71 ERA to go with 11.8 strikeouts per nine.


Down on the farm, Gwinnett’s Nolan Kingham suffered through another rough start in a loss to the Durham Bulls. At this point it’s just getting out of hand for the 24-year-old righty, who now owns a 10.13 ERA in 29.1 Triple-A innings. After pitching really well with the M-Braves, Kingham has NOT finished one outing with the Stripers in which he’s allowed fewer than two runs. And to make matters worse, over his last three starts, Kingham has now surrendered 18 runs in 13 frames (12.46 ERA). He might need another stint in Double-A to figure things out again.

While Kingham continues to struggle in Triple-A, though, outfielder Travis Demeritte just keeps hitting as he homered yesterday for the 14th time in 2021…

The 26-year-old has been one of Gwinnett’s top hitters all year long, and heading into Monday’s off day Demeritte is hitting a solid .300 to go with a 1.057 OPS in 50 Triple-A games.

Both Cristian Pache and Drew Waters had the day off, and rehabbing outfielder Eddie Rosario finished hitless in four at-bats.


Mississippi’s winning streak died at eight-straight yesterday as they were routed by Biloxi. Prospect pitcher Freddy Tarnok didn’t have his best stuff on Sunday, and the M-Braves offense only managed six hits overall; however, that didn’t stop shortstop Braden Shewmake from absolutely pummeling a pitch in the first inning for his ninth home run of the season…

Shewmake has nearly dug himself out of that horrible hole from earlier this season. He’s still hitting only .238 for the year, but since June 17 he sports a .333 AVG with 19 XBH (6 HR) in 36 games with the M-Braves. Given how deep of a hole it was, if he’s able to finish 2021 with a .250-ish AVG and 10-15 homers, I’d call this campaign a success.


Rome completed a suspended game from August 14 on Sunday, scoring four runs in the final inning to beat Hickory. It was a team effort on offense as every batter in the R-Braves lineup – save for lead-off hitter Luke Waddell – finished with at least one base-hit. Third baseman Beau Philip and first baseman Brett Langhorne led the way with two RBI apiece, while both Michael Harris and Jesse Franklin each contributed with two hits.

Mitch Stallings was slated to start Sunday’s game, but a 1 hour and 30-minute rain delay spoiled his outing, giving way for Jared Shuster. The former top pick (Shuster) managed a strong three-inning start in his place.


Augusta’s pitching kept Kannapolis quiet yesterday, holding the Cannon Ballers to just three hits while striking out 11 overall in the win. On the offensive side, it was GreenJackets’ third baseman Braulio Vasquez who put the team out in front in the third inning with a two-run single…

Vasquez and center fielder Stephen Paolini both combined for three RBI, however, prospect infielder Vaughn Grissom led the way with two doubles and first baseman Cade Bunnell finished with two hits.

Chad Bryant got the start for Augusta, working four innings and allowing three runs from two hits. But it was the young sensation, righty Roddery Munoz, that earned the win. Munoz pitched three hitless frames and struck out three before giving way to two more relievers. It’s been an up and down year for the 21-year-old Munoz, but Sunday’s dominant appearance was his first since going on the IL at the end of last month – a month that featured a 4.76 ERA in 5.2 innings. Hopefully the kid can finish this season strong.


(62-56) ATLANTA BRAVES

W, 6-5 vs. Nationals

SP, D. Smyly – 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 4 K

SS, D. Swanson – 2 for 5, HR, 2 RBI

3B, A. Riley – 3 for 5, HR, RBI

1B, F. Freeman – 2 for 5, HR, RBI

CF/RF, J. Pederson – 2 for 4, 2B

(50-40) GWINNETT STRIPERS

L, 6-3 vs. Durham

SP, N. Kingham – (L), 5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HR

RF, T. Demerrite – 1 for 3, HR, RBI

LF, T. Gore – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI, R

(53-37) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

L, 11-3 vs. Biloxi

SP, F. Tarnok – (L), 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

SS, B. Shewmake – 2 for 4, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI

RF, T. Harris – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI, R

(40-49) ROME BRAVES

PPD vs. Hickory

W, 7-5 (F/7) vs. Hickory

SP, J. Shuster – 3 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 4 K, HR

DH, M. Harris – 2 for 3, RBI, 2 R

3B, B. Philip – 1 for 3, 2B, 2 RBI

C, C. Martinez – 2 for 4, 2B

1B, B. Langhorne – 1 for 2, 2 RBI

(40-50) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

W, 5-3 vs. Kannapolis

SP, C. Bryant – 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 4 K, HR

RP, R. Munoz – (W), 3 IP, 3 K

2B, V. Grissom – 2 for 4, 2 2B, BB

3B, B. Vasquez – 1 for 3, 2 RBI, BB 1B, C. Bunnell – 2 for 4, R, BB

Kyle Muller doesn’t have it as Atlanta gets routed by Cincy; Eddie Rosario and Ryan Cusick debut for the Braves down on the farm

Friday, August 13, 2021

­-Clint Manry

Welp, two out of three versus the Reds is better than nothing. The Braves just couldn’t keep the good momentum going as they dropped Game 3 following a rough outing by young lefty-starter Kyle Muller. The prospect pitcher was immediately optioned to Triple-A today, so that’s a bummer. But I think we can all appreciate what Muller was able to do while in Atlanta.

Down on the farm, we finally were able to see recently-acquired outfielder Eddie Rosario. The rehabbing Brave even tallied his first hit as a member of the organization, running out an infield RBI single…

Other than the debut for Rosario, not much went on with the Stripers offense. Cristian Pache finished 0 for 3 and Drew Waters appeared to have the night off. However, Yolmer Sanchez did blast off with his seventh homer of the season…

All in all, it was a good day of pitching for Gwinnett. Jose Rodriguez got the start and the win, and the Stripers bullpen backed him up by working a combined 3.1 scoreless innings, striking out two. Relievers Jesse Biddle and Sean Newcomb had some much-needed clean work as well.


Spencer Strider got the start for the M-Braves, and though he didn’t pitch his best, the Mississippi offense came through in the final inning to win on a walk-off sac-fly by Wendell Rijo…

Rijo is now up to a .779 OPS so far this season and has made some impressive strides as a hitter. At nearly 26-years-old, he isn’t much of a prospect, but Rijo’s 24 XBH in 2021 has been a big part of the M-Braves success on offense.

Earlier in the game, Jalen Miller and Hendrick Clementina went back-to-back with big homers to tie the game at four apiece in the middle-innings…

This Mississippi team just continues to find ways to win… no matter who it is that’s leading the way.


Given Rome and the FCL Braves were both rained out, we’ll move on to Augusta’s big game last night, which featured a pro debut for former top pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, righty Ryan Cusick. The GreenJackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead early thanks to another 2021 draftee’s two-run homer. Cal Conley’s first career home run as a pro was a nice one…

He wasn’t on the mound long, but Cusick settled in and wound up tossing three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out seven. This kid looks to be a strikeout machine…

Prospect Vaughn Grissom also had a nice game, picking up a pair of hits. Grissom continues to play well this season. Next year should be huge for him as he’ll likely spend a lot of time in High-A… and maybe even Double-A.

(59-56) ATLANTA BRAVES

L, 12-3 vs. Reds

SP, K. Muller – (L), 2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, K, HR

2B, O. Albies – 1 for 5, HR, RBI

SS, D. Swanson – 2 for 3, RBI, SB

RF, J. Soler – 1 for 3, R, 2 BB

(49-38) GWINNETT STRIPERS

W, 3-0 vs. Durham

SP, J. Rodriguez – (W), 5.2 IP, 3 H, BB, 5 K

3B, Y. Sanchez – 2 for 3, HR, RBI

DH, E. Rosario – 1 for 4, RBI

LF, T. Gore – 1 for 3, 2B, R

(51-36) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

W, 5-4 vs. Biloxi

SP, S. Strider – 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HR

2B, J. Miller – 1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI

C, H. Clementina – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

SS, B. Shewmake – 1 for 4, 2B

RF, T. Harris – 1 for 3, 2 R

*Wendell Rijo hit walk-off sac-fly in the ninth, scoring CJ Alexander.

(38-48) ROME BRAVES

PPD vs. Hickory

(37-50) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

W, 6-4 vs. Kannapolis

SP, R. Cusick – 3 IP, H, 7 K

2B, C. Conley – 2 for 3, HR, 3 RBI

1B, B. Horne – 1 for 4, 2B

SS, V. Grissom – 2 for 3, R

CF, S. Paolini – 1 for 4, RBI, R, SB

(bold = 2021 draftee)

(13-14) FCL BRAVES

PPD vs. FCL Pirates Black

Ozzie Albies gives Atlanta a share of first-place with walk-off drive; Ty Tolve hits first pro homer 

 Thursday, August 12, 2021

-Clint Manry 

The Braves now have a chance to sweep the Reds today, following an extra-inning walk-off win on Wednesday night. Ozzie Albies came through in a BIG way, with the game-winning long ball in the 11th inning…

The dinger was no. 19 for Albies, who now carries a 110 wRC+ through 113 games this season. He really needed last night’s performance. So far in the August, Albies is hitting just .167, with Wednesday’s longball just his second XBH this month.


Down on the farm there’s plenty to talk about from last night. Righty Ian Anderson took his first step to returning to Atlanta when he started for Gwinnett in Game 1 of its doubleheader.

Anderson threw 64 pitches (35 strikes) in three innings yesterday, and though he did allow a few runs, what matters is that he’s back on the mound. Hopefully he’ll be back in the Braves’ starting rotation in the next few weeks.

For the Stripers offense, Wednesday was all about prospect outfielder Cristian Pache, who homered in both games against Durham, tallying a total of five RBI for the day.

The two dingers on Wednesday gives Pache nine for the season in Triple-A, and while it hasn’t been a great year for him overall, the Braves top prospect still sports a 110 wRC+ in the minors this season. A hot stretch could possibly get him added to the big league roster next month.


Down in Double-A, the M-Braves kept its magical season going, this time off the backs of starter Alan Rangel’s ten strikeouts. Mississippi shutout Biloxi on Wednesday.

Rangel was just filthy yesterday, and for the year, the 22-year-old now sports a K rate of 11.4 K/9 at the Double-A level. Rangel has always been a solid pitcher, but he’s having a career season in 2021.

Also of note for the M-Braves is the incredible stretch of hitting by CJ Alexander. The 25-year-old homered again on Wednesday, giving him back-to-back games with a long ball as he’s now hitting .286 over his last eight games. If you recall, I had Alexander on my Braves Top 30 to begin the year but recently excluded him from the list in my midseason update. The third baseman is still hitting just .167 overall this season, but it appears he’s determined to turn things around at the plate.

It was also an important night for lefty Corbin Clouse, who made his Double-A debut for the 2021 campaign. Clouse had shoulder surgery last year and has been recovering slowly. The 26-year-old pitched 13 innings with the FCL Braves before getting his new assignment with the M-Braves, and given his experience as a pro, as long as he progresses well he should be in Gwinnett in no time.


For High-A Rome, Wednesday night featured a big win when outfielder Andrew Moritz drove in the go-ahead RBI single in extra-innings.

There wasn’t much offense in the R-Braves win last night, however, 2021 draftee Luke Waddell, star prospect Michael Harris II and Moritz each chipped in with RBIs. Jake McSteen made the start for Rome and pitched what will probably go down as his best outing of the year. McSteen struck out nine in seven innings and allowed just three hits.


Perhaps the most exciting bit of action down on the farm last night, though, was Tyler Tolve’s first career home run as a professional. Augusta was in cruise control by the seventh inning of its game against Kannapolis, but the lefty-hitting Tolve gave the GreenJackets another spark when he drove an oppo-shot over the left field wall. The 17th-round pick from this year’s draft seems to be enjoying his time in the Braves organization so far as Tolve is now hitting .250 in his first five games in Single-A. Outfielder Landon Stephens also enjoyed another strong performance at the plate on Wednesday, finishing 2 for 4 with a homer. Stephens — an UDFA by the Braves — now has 13 long balls this season and is hitting .244 in 76 games with the GreenJackets.


Overall, Wednesday was a productive day for the Braves organization, and more importantly, a huge step in the right direction for the big league team. With the Phillies squandering its series versus the Dodgers, losing its last two in a row, Atlanta has strong chance at taking sole possession of first-place in the NL East today. With the young Kyle Muller set to take the mound tonight at 5:10 PM (ET), a win over Cincy on Thursday would no doubt become the highlight of the 2021 season so far. We’ll see what happens… but I’m loving the determination of this team right now.

Here are your scores and key stats from everything Braves on Wednesday…

(59-55) ATLANTA BRAVES 

W, 8-6 (F/11) vs. Reds

SP, T. Toussaint – 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR

2B, O. Albies – 2 for 5, HR, 3 RBI, SB

CF, G. Heredia – 1 for 5, HR, 2 RBI

3B, A. Riley – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI

(48-38) GWINNETT STRIPERS 

W, 4-3 vs. Durham

W, 5-3 vs. Durham

SP, I. Anderson – 3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

SP, H. Ynoa – 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K

CF, C. Pache – 4 for 6, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI

SS, O. Arcia – 2 for 3, 2 HR, 3 RBI

3B/1B, J. Camargo – 2 for 6, 2B, 2 R

2B, R. Goins – 2 for 6, HR, RBI 

(50-36) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

W, 6-0 vs. Biloxi 

SP, A. Rangel – (W), 6 IP, 2 H, BB, 10 K

RP, C. Clouse – 1 IP, BB, 3 K

LF, J. Pearson – 2 for 3, 3 RBI

3B, C. Alexander – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI

SS, W. Rijo – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R

RF, G. Jenista – 1 for 3, 2B, R

(38-48) ROME BRAVES

W, 5-4 (F/11) vs. Hickory

SP, J. McSteen – 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 9 K, HR

RF, M. Harris – 1 for 4, RBI, R

SS, L. Waddell – 1 for 4, RBI, R

LF, A. Moritz – 1 for 5, RBI

*Andrew Mortitz hit go-ahead RBI single in the 11th, scoring Riley Delgado. 

(bold = 2021 draftee)

(36-50) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

W, 12-3 vs. Kannapolis 

SP, R. Rodriguez – (W), 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 7 K, HR

RF, L. Stephens – 2 for 4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI

C, T. Tolve – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI

LF, C. Robinson – 1 for 4, 2 RBI, R

1B, C. Bunnell – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, 2 R

(bold = 2021 draftee)