The Kids Are Alright–Braves 9, Marlins 2

Mike Soroka had another terrific start, going seven strong innings, giving up only three hits and no earned runs (2 runs scored in the second due to errors by Swanson and Donaldson).  Ozzie Albies had the big blow on offense, hitting the go ahead grand slam in the top of the sixth.  And Ronald Acuña went 4 for 4.

Each of these players was born in 1997.  Soroka is as good a 21 year old pitcher as the Braves have ever had.  I know he’s had shoulder problems, and you can’t really count on pitching prospects, but he is an absolute delight to watch.  He throws strikes, his stuff is outstanding, and he really knows what he is doing on the mound.  I’m looking forward to watching him for many years to come.  Ozzie Albies is as good a 22 year old player as the Atlanta Braves have ever had—at least until Acuña has his next birthday.  I know he’s not as strong hitting left handed, but he’s coming around; today’s slam was crushed from the left side. And you know all about RAJ.  Players who are good as these guys are at their age have an excellent chance of being perennial all stars. 

You know who else was born in 1997?  Austin Riley.  The AAA third baseman hit his 8th homerun in the last nine games.  He’s hitting .514 over that stretch, with 18 rbi’s and 13 runs scored.  It looks like we’ll see him sooner rather than later in ATL. 

You know who was born in 1998?  Ian Anderson.  No, not the Jethro Tull guy; the Braves AA pitcher who was the top pick in the draft 3 years ago.  He pitched his second consecutive shutout (albeit six innings in each start).  He’ll join Soroka and Fried in the rotation next year.  

Christian Pache and Drew Waters were also born in 1998.  Pache’s the best defensive outfielder in the minor leagues, and he’s slugging .563 at AA, in a notorious pitcher’s park.  Waters, his teammate in the outfield, has an OPS of .945.  I’m looking forward to watching those guys in SunTrust Park in another year or so, manning the outfield with Ronald.

Of course, they may not all turn into stars at the big league level, but it’s pretty doggone exciting to see so many talented guys all about the same age.

I’m not just focused on the future; I’m counting on Fried, Soroka, Albies, and Acuña, and Freeman, Donaldson, Swanson, and McCann (2 for 4 with 3 ribbies today; his OPS is .910) to lead this year’s team to the pennant.  But AA—you still need to do something about the bullpen.  Don’t let all this talent go to waste.

Julio on the mound Sunday as the Braves go for the sweep of the Fish.

33 thoughts on “The Kids Are Alright–Braves 9, Marlins 2”

  1. Perhaps this factoid is well known to all but me, but if we were to sign Kimbrel after the draft he obviously wouldn’t cost us a draft pick, right? It seems like if he’s still lingering around then, we could easily sign him.

    We do need to start concerning ourselves with converting some of our looking 40-man crunch into top-shelf on-field talent, or recycling them into younger versions of talent.

  2. Great recap, tfloyd, thank you.
    You’re right, this is so exciting and it feels like the Braves are just getting started for years to come.

    RAJ apparently has had back issues for a while and he said that he still expects to play every day.

  3. It’s happening.

  4. ‪I think the Braves handling it the way they did, plus MLB seemingly intentionally not issuing warnings ahead of time allows Gaus to avoid a suspension and all parties being happy it’s over. ‬

  5. Thanks, tfloyd. Future’s bright, the here and now ain’t too shabby. Woohoo! Go Braves.

  6. @1 I’m onboard with this. We really need to do some consolidation of talent.

    The Braves already have the 4th best offense in all of baseball. The pitching is improving. A couple of weeks ago, we were near the bottom. FG has us up to 24th in WAR now but ERA, FIP, and xFIP all have us higher in the teens (xFIP at #20). We have seen a lot of good relief pitching in the last week or so (minus the Carle appearance). We need a little extra boost – and everyone knows, in my opinion, it’s MadBum and Kimbrel (after June 5th). The fish are out there, we just need a good rod and reel and some bait.

  7. Julio just wouldn’t give in without throwing 3 straight sliders in the same spot to walk Anderson and the refusal to pitch to a guy hitting .233 has him in a self inflicted jam

  8. Bring Joe back — this putdown to Chip was outstanding:
    Chip: Markakis is old-fashioned. See ball, hit ball, hit to all fields.
    Joe: There’s some of that Chip, but Nick spends a lot of time studying the video of the guys he’s going to face — probably more than anyone else on the team.

    I particularly like the “there’s some of that” followed by none of that.

  9. Seems like Freddie F. has not been carrying the team as much as we are used to :/

    Seems like they are planing on giving away this game, which shoud have been winnable even with the terrible lineup.

  10. @22 Tomlin in the 8th then Jackson in the 9th if Tomlin succeeds in the 8th. But not this time.

    You gotta give Tomlin credit for the scoreless 9th, though. No one’s perfect but Tomlin’s good.

    Nice AB by Ender too.

  11. How about that Luke Jackson!!! Gets unlucky on a fluke double to lead off and doesn’t even allow one run. No walks, 2 Ks. He’s got my vote.

    I’m not unhappy with Tomlin either. He allowed a run but nothing hard hit and no walks.

    Winkler was fabulous too. Not to mention this was Julio’s best start this year. I tell you, Julio has more value (and trade value) than it looks on the surface. He was hitting 93-94 on the gun.

  12. Did you know that the 2019 Atlanta Braves bullpen is the pure definition of league average?

    Did you know that the 2019 Atlanta Braves bullpen is the best pen in their division?

  13. From MLB.com

    “According to Statcast, Fried’s sprint speed was 28.9 ft/sec. The Major League average is 27 ft/sec, with 30 ft/sec considered elite.”

    Seems like a good choice as a PR. That’s Culby/Swanson speed.

  14. So, after Luke Jackson, who is the biggest surprise of the season for Atlanta so far?

    Flowcann?
    Soroka?
    Fried?
    Others?

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