Braves Minor League Update

Spencer Strider made his highly anticipated pro debut Friday night, and it lived up to the billing and more.

Strider, Atlanta’s fourth-round pick last year out of Clemson, fired three perfect innings with seven strikeouts in his first start for the org for Augusta at Myrtle Beach. He actually struck out eight, but the umpire badly missed a call on a strike three.

The debut was pure dominance. Strider threw maybe three or four pitches that weren’t fastballs, and Myrtle Beach was constantly underneath and behind on the pitch. He pumped fastballs up in the zone with strong command and confidence throughout.

The fastball has plus potential with plus running life up and arm-side. It has immense carry up in the zone with an electric late hop that causes batters to swing late and underneath. He’s comfortable working up with regularity and can change eye levels at times. He filled the zone and showed advanced command in the upper half of the zone. I don’t have velocity for this outing, but he’s been 93-97 and has touched 99 in the past.

Strider threw a few curveballs but lacked feel for them. It flashed average depth and come downward ability, but it showed early with hump and lacked effective bite. He needs to tighten the spin and gain depth to be able to play off the fastball. Strider didn’t show his changeup in this outing. It’s said to have made huge strides at the alternate site and instructs. Overall, it produces mixed results but flashes very well and could develop into his go-to secondary. Friday’s start appeared to be more about Strider getting comfortable on a pro mound and getting in his work.

He has a moderate build and lacks height on the mound. He does use his moderate height to his advantage, though, but generating angle with his three-quarters slot to produce “rise” on the fastball. He’s a good athlete with quick actions and plus arm speed. It’s a straightforward release with a late arm path that he gets away with because of his quickness. He repeats well and surprised me with the level of command he showed.

It’s impossible to project Strider’s role after this start. He threw basically 99% fastballs and was only out there for three innings. I put a reliever role on him based on his college work, but I always revisit roles after getting pro looks. Strider’s report will have to wait until I get a better grasp of his overall profile.

Schedule

Triple-A Gwinnett
May 18-23: at Nashville (Brewers)
May 18-22 at 7:35 p.m., May 23 at 3:05

Double-A Mississippi
May 18-23: vs. Chattanooga (Reds)
May 18-21 at 7:35 p.m. EDT, May 22 at 6:05, May 23 at 2:05

High-A Rome
May 18-23: vs. Bowling Green (Rays)
May 18-21 at 7 p.m., May 22 at 6, May 23 at 2

Low-A Augusta
May 18-23: vs. Fayetteville (Astros)
May 18-21 at 7:05 p.m., May 22 at 6:05, May 23 at 2:05

Prospects to Watch This Week

Triple-A Gwinnett
Tucker Davidson has dominated through two starts, totaling 14 strikeouts while allowing one run on seven hits in 14 innings. He threw seven scoreless innings on four hits and one walk with eight strikeouts May 12. He’s lined up to start Tuesday at Nashville, and his outings are currently must-watch for Braves prospect fans.

Double-A Mississippi
Before an 0-fer Saturday night,Shea Langeliers was 3-7 with a home run and five walks in his previous three games. He’s displaying both a solid amount of power and a strong recognition of the strike zone early in his Double-A stint. The latter is more important to his development at the plate and was the main question surrounding his bat. If he can continue working counts and punishing hittable pitches, he could make his way to Gwinnett at some point.

High-A Rome
It should come as no surprise that Michael Harris leads Rome in hitting so far, entering the new week at .333. He boosted his average by going 4-4 with a home run Sunday, following only his second 0-ofer night of the season so far Saturday. He’s quietly getting on base and producing at a steady clip so far.

Low-A Augusta
I’m taking the easy way out here, but after what Spencer Strider did in his debut last week, his follow-up start will be worth watching. It will be interesting to see if he expands his repertoire next time out and starts showing more changeups and curveballs.

Transactions

5/15: UTL Johan Camargo optioned to Triple-A
5/14: OF Guillermo Heredia sent to rehab assignment at Triple-A
5/13: RHP Carter Linton assigned to Low-A
5/13: RHP Jose Rodriguez assigned to Triple-A
5/13: C Victor De Hoyos activated at Low-A
5/13: OF Drew Campbell placed on 7-day IL at Low-A
5/13: RHP Peyton Williams placed on 7-day IL at Low-A
5/12: LHP Sean Newcomb recalled to Atlanta
5/12: RHP Bryse Wilson optioned to Triple-A
5/11: RHP Spencer Strider assigned to Low-A
5/11: OF Jaycob Brugman placed on 7-day IL at Triple-A
5/11: RHP Jay Flaa assigned to Triple-A
5/11: RHP Trevor Kelley activated from temporarily inactive list at Triple-A
5/11: RHP Bryse Wilson recalled to Atlanta
5/11: OF Garrison Schwartz assigned to High-A from Double-A
5/11: RHP Will Latcham activated at Double-A
5/11: LHP Jake Higginbotham placed on 7-day IL at Double-A
5/11: RHP Brent Burgess placed on 7-day IL at Low-A
5/10: UTL Johan Camargo recalled to Atlanta
5/10: RHP Jasseel De La Cruz optioned to Triple-A
5/10: RHP Victor Arano optioned to Triple-A
5/10: RHP Carl Edwards Jr. elected free agency
5/10: INF Sean Kazmar Jr. outrighted to Triple-A
5/9: RHP Shane Greene optioned to Triple-A

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94 thoughts on “Braves Minor League Update”

  1. By the way, if we had Shane Greene, we probably win yesterday’s game. He would have undoubtedly pitched instead of either Tomlin or Biddle.

  2. If we’d had Bruce Sutter, he’d have pitched ahead of those guys, and he’s 68 years old.

  3. I imagine Tucker is short-term and is here in case Braves need a long man today or tomorrow.

  4. In former Braves news, Kevin Gausman is very much looking the part of a staff ace with the Giants this year. In 53.2 IP, he has a 1.84 ERA, 2.57 FIP, and 4.92 K/bb. He is at the absolute peak of his game this year.

    Since joining the Giants last season, Gausman has tossed 113.1 IP with a 2.78 ERA, 2.85 FIP, and 4.93 K/bb. I don’t know where the Braves went wrong while he was in our possession, but this looks like the guy everyone said he could be. Going to have to look into what has actually changed.

  5. I really appreciate these minor league updates. I’m a Braves fan, but admittedly I’m pretty clueless as to the farm system.

  6. Nothing against Tomlin, but I’d rather they had a Wilson or a Wright or a Davidson in that role. Rather than the reward for 6 good innings being a one-way ticket back to Gwinnett, one of those guys could be learning with semi-regular innings at the MLB level.

  7. @9 thats a great point Rusty. Throwing Tomlin out there doesn’t help the team now or long term. Use that long inning role to prepare them for moving into a starting role at some point. They have proven they can get out AAA hitters…let them work on MLB hitters in low leverage and then higher leverage opportunities

  8. @5 Why Davidson now? What is the obsession with lefties? Why not Arano or de la Cruz?

  9. I’m quite confident there are at least 10 major league pitchers who would be good relievers in our organization, and that’s what’s frustrating about being in mid May and not knowing who they are. What is the point of Spring Training when you spend the first two months still trying to figure out what you have.

  10. @7 – re: Gausman, for whatever it’s worth, Eric O’Flaherty & DOB were wondering on their podcast today (which I’ll admit has grown on me, despite DOB’s continued DOB-ness) if he & other flyball pitchers might not be benefiting the most from the new baseball.

  11. You have got to be kidding me.

  12. Ugh, if Ynoa did this after leaving the game, upset with himself, there’s no excuse for that. If he did after watching Biddle pitch, then it’s kind of understandable….

  13. @18 Unbelievable. You pitched shitty…we get it. But now go and do something even more stupid. What a cluster-F this season has been so far.

    And cue the team talking heads telling us this will be like a trade deadline pick up…blah blah blah.

    We really need Varsity to have found his form and now we need Wilson, Wright or Davidson to show up.

  14. Welllllll maybe this season ain’t gonna go like we all hoped. Of course our best pitcher would break his hand in anger, as all of the pessimists predicted.

  15. Wasn’t it Crash Davis that said “if you’re gonna punch a drunk, don’t do it with your pitching hand”? Isn’t this what Jeff Mathis and Tyler Flowers are supposed to be teaching our guys?

    Ynoa studying the masters Kevin Brown and AJ Burnett.

  16. On the slightly brighter side……. here’s a little tidbit I just noticed. In the National League, only the Dodgers have scored more runs than the Braves AND given up fewer. So most other high scoring teams have even worse pitching staffs than the Braves.

  17. What’s wrong with taking out a water cooler, or has that somehow become passé?

  18. @33 Yes, and taking it out with a bat to avoid injury. Ynoa could’ve put a good swing on it.

  19. RE: Ynoa — That kind of behavior is inexcusable. I won’t be surprised if he’s in the doghouse for a long time. He has let down his teammates as well as fans.

  20. Of course it’s bad news so Chief would say it’s definite. No one has said that yet, but it isn’t looking good.

  21. @Donny

    He’ll be out of the doghouse as soon as his right hand is healed.

  22. Way to make Walker work hard in the first with two first pitch swings and 7 pitches in total

  23. Fried took more pitches than half the lineup…. and got the first hit….. this offense used to be fun to watch, wtf happened? Even yesterday with 9 runs, they were due to multiple fielders choice mistakes by the brewers.

    Oh, and robot umps when?

  24. From Mets Radio: Sounds like Taijuan Walker might’ve hurt himself.

    From what I understand, the Mets were prepared to have a bullpen game tomorrow… and it appears they’ll be going to the bullpen in the 4th inning here.

    Nice to see Max dealing pretty well tonight.

  25. With Fried also potentially being injured, this feels like the slower, more painful version of 2014.

  26. Every year, almost without fail, there is a team universally expected to contend that is just a dud, for reasons injury-related or otherwise. The Braves are that team in 2021. It makes you appreciate 14 consecutive division titles all the more, really.

  27. Webb shouldn’t be in the game. It also shouldn’t be a close game. I hate this team right now. Just right now though.

  28. Why in the everloving hell did he put Jacob Webb into the game here?

    On Fried, my guess is a blister if it’s anything at all. There didn’t seem to be a great deal of urgency by anybody involved and Fried looked nonplussed that Snit pulled him.

  29. This organization deserves what it gets for the low budget operation that they are. When you nickel and dime the bullpen and bench and have sucky depth, you get what you get.

  30. @52 Listen to Chip rationalizing it…better yet, never listen to him.

    @53 thats all well and good, but why has the offense been no hit tonight? Thats the area where they didn’t cheap out. (Besides Duvall.).

    Edit: ooof, not a fan of the intentional walk to load the bases with webb’s issues.

  31. So tell me again why Mathis is on the team? Dude brings nothing but hey, he only gets minimum wage so you get what you pay for

  32. @50 The Dodgers would be that team if they didn’t have one of the highest payrolls in the league. Mets are also pretty banged up in their own right. We are not the only team that is injured. We’re just the only team that will potentially crater their season because of it.

  33. I mean, Fried’s in the dugout. There’s clearly not a whole lot wrong with him.

  34. And there is why I said loading the bases was a bad idea. Not that I expected to see someone nearly murdered.

  35. Yes, please leave Webb in the game after that. By all means, let’s let him give up the grand slam here!

  36. It’s gotta be a pretty miserable feeling to break a guy’s face accidentally.

  37. He missed his spot by 3 feet on the pitch before so it’s not surprising he would miss by that much again. The fact that AA set up our bullpen with these options is ridiculous. Get rid of the retreads and get the kids experience. If you blow a year of service time, who cares?

  38. Webb should have been gone, now he must be gone. Into the sun.

  39. Webb has electric stuff. He really should have more leash in the minds of fans, regardless of if he’s heady enough to carry the plate on a wild pitch.

  40. @65 his many seats are available on the trip to the sun? There are others that need to go with him

  41. Damn…you can see Webb about wants to cry. That’s a terrible burden to carry

  42. @66

    1) He’s a complete headcase, so until he gets that figured out, you can’t trust him with anything but a big lead or a big deficit.

    2) Even if you do, he’s clearly not one of our top three relievers, so why would we not use one of them in the seventh inning of a tie game?

  43. @69 What rank is he in our current bullpen? 6th? That’s about who you use in a tie game in the 7th when Minter and Smith aren’t available.

  44. You can see Acuña grimacing on that misplay on the rbi bloop….he should be on the IL if that is the case.
    Him being hurt in the lineup hasn’t kept them from being nearly no hit.

    And Mathis caused that run to happen by nonchalantly allowing a wild pitch.

    Why cant our bullpen throw strikes? Fire Kranitz into the sun as well.

  45. 1 flippin hit .. and it was by pitcher …we got a bunch of undisciplined hitters ..

  46. @74 yeah, I usually wait until a 4 run deficit in late innings before tuning out, but I just might.

    I just didn’t expect them to be no hit on what has been essentially a bullpen game for the mets.

    Also, I don’t want Acuña messing up his ankle if he is playing hurt. The double in the 7th that started the rally is something he maybe catches if he were 100%.

    Edit: finally, some pop from Riley!

  47. He’s playing with a sore ankle and had to stop fast when the ball spun away from him. I’m sure he’ll be fine.

    And suddenly, we’ve got Sandoval up as the tying run.

  48. Max Fried had a hand cramp, apparently, so you can belay your freak out on that one.

  49. “This is a 2-run game in the ninth. I wish I could just go tell the umpire that we decide to end the game now and just give the Mets the win.” -Brian Snitker

    Alright, we got out of the inning before the edit window on this post ended, so my bad on this one.

  50. Those last two at-bats … WTF were those?

    This team has the baseball I.Q. of a soft pretzel.

  51. I keep waiting for these guys to turn a corner, but maybe it just is what it is.

    @85 even Acuña swung at a ball at 2-0 and tapped it to the mound.

    Bad approach to start the game against Taijuan Walker, bad approach ending the game.

  52. Like I said undisciplined .. Acuna swings at a 2-0 slider, Freddie makes him try to throw strike .. gets 4 ball walk , Ozuna and Albies swing at 1st pitch .. are these guys paying attention ?? Hell no

  53. So, yes, with Newcomb, Matzek, Minter, Martin, and Smith fully rested, Snit could have easily went to Martin instead of Webb. And he would have still had Matzek, Newcomb, Minter, and Smith to get 2 innings.

    Did Snit throw Webb first because he didn’t want to burn his only decent righty (Martin)? Defensible. If so, how frustrating it must be for a manager to have to throw your 6th-best guy in high leverage because he’s your 2nd-best RHP. Greene will help this, Santana and Arano may help this, and Flaa probably won’t help this. There is a good bullpen in all of this, but it’s very weirdly constructed with such a top heavy lefty core.

  54. I think you could reasonably argue that right now, the Braves are the fourth best team in the division, because the Marlins top 3 SP are better right now by far than the Braves (minus Ynoa and Soroka) and their Run DIF is much better. The Braves have the 4th worst run differential in the NL.

    The Braves are 25th in fPitWAR, 26th in BABIP against, and 19th in xFIP.
    The Marlins are 11th in fPitWAR, 14th in BABIP against, and 14th in xFIP.

  55. @92 This team is closer to 90 losses than 90 wins, right now. By the numbers.

    The Braves would be fools to sign Freeman to a long term mega deal right now, also. Sorry, but it’s true.

  56. Well, since Chief has come back out of the woodwork after barely uttering a peep (if that) during the Milwaukee series, I’d prepare for us to win the remaining games of this series and pull to within a game of first.

    Let me see if I’ve calibrated my inner Chief right: The 2001 Mariners were closer to 90 losses than 162 wins. By the numbers. So really, were they that good?

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