Braves 2021 Farm Report: Gwinnett’s Tucker Davidson and Mississippi’s Nolan Kingham toss a pair of gems 

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Inclement weather on Wednesday resulted in only two minor league games yesterday, but neither one disappointed as both starting pitchers dominated in their respective outings. 

Here’s a recap of Wednesday’s Braves minor league action…


AAA – Gwinnett Stripers (6-2)

W, 5-0 vs. Louisville 

  • SP, T. Davidson – (W), 7 IP, 4 H, BB, 8 K
  • 2B, R. Goins – 3 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI 
  • SS, O. Arcia – 1 for 4, 2B


We know all about Gwinnett’s prolific lineup and how the offense has seemingly scored at will so far this season. But we’ll kick off the Stripers recap from Wednesday with a little bit of defense as left fielder Philip Ervin provided a gem in the top of the 2nd inning, with a diving catch…


That grab by Ervin undoubtedly saved a run for the Stripers, given the Bats had a runner on second. And in the bottom half of the inning, Gwinnett went ahead and scored the game’s first run when Travis Snider took home on a wild pitch. 

After that, both teams traded zeroes for the next three innings as Louisville’s Tony Santillan — the Reds 14th ranked prospect, per FanGraphs — had himself a strong outing (as did Gwinnett’s), allowing just one run from three hits, to go with six strikeouts, in four innings. But once Santillan left the game, Gwinnett started to rally against the Bats reliever, Brandon Finnegan, pushing across another run in the 6th, thanks to back-to-back singles by Ervin and Ryan Goins, the latter of which scored Sean Kazmar from second…


Against Louisville’s fourth pitcher of the evening, the Stripers struck again to open up the bottom-half of the 7th inning, when outfielder Travis Demeritte came on to pinch-hit and belted his fourth home run of the season, making it 3-0 Gwinnett…


Demeritte is now up to a .318 AVG and 1.332 OPS through his first 22 at-bats of the 2021 campaign, and is among several hot-hitting outfielders in the Braves minor league system. 

Just for good measure, the Stripers added on with a pair of runs in the 8th inning. Both Kazmar and Ervin each drew a walk to put runners on first and second, and Goins picked up both guys when he inside-out swing for a bases-clearing double to put the game out of reach and give Gwinnett the shutout victory…


On Wednesday night, lefty Tucker Davidson provided a big league caliber start for the Stripers, tallying 97 pitches (67 strikes) in his four-hit gem to pick up his second win of the 2021 season. 


Through seven frames of dominant pitching, the 25-year-old Davidson never allowed two consecutive base runners, and his longest single-inning  (the 5th) consisted of just five batters as he worked around a lead-off double, and later in the inning, a single. In fact, yesterday, Louisville’s offense managed only one hit through the game’s first four innings, as Davidson is clearly aiming to get himself another opportunity to start in the majors this season. 


Because of Davidson’s dominance, Gwinnett’s bullpen was given a rest on Wednesday. Veteran relievers Chasen Bradford and Trevor Kelley took care of the final two innings, and each pitcher struck out one batter apiece to help hold the Bats to just four team hits for the game. 



AA – Mississippi Braves (3-4)

W, 6-3 vs. Biloxi 

  • SP, N. Kingham – (W), 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 K
  • DH, G. Jenista – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
  • RF, T. Harris – 3 for 5, R, 2 SB


Mississippi won its third-straight game on Wednesday as the bats appear to have finally gotten going for the M-Braves. After two innings of zeroes, as part of a two-error inning for Biloxi, Mississippi pushed across the first run of the game when Trey Harris slapped a grounder that the Shuckers shortstop couldn’t handle and scored Justin Dean from second base. However, Biloxi immediately answered in the bottom half of the 3rd with two runs of their own to take an early 2-1 lead.

In the 5th, Harris got involved again at the plate as he and Shea Langeliers both singled, causing the Shuckers to go to the bullpen, which immediately led to a walk by CJ Alexander, loading the bases with just one out. Next up, Drew Lugbauer tied the game with a grounder to second, scoring Harris, and then Langeliers scored in the very next at-bat due to a balk. Mississippi was back up 3-2 through five innings. 

The 6th inning looked grim at the start for the M-Braves as both Greyson Jenista and Wendell Rijo struck out to lead off the frame. However, speedy outfielder Justin Dean turned on the first pitch of his at-bat for a no-doubter over the left-field wall to put Mississippi up 4-2…


The Shuckers homered during its half of the 7th to make it a one-run game, but the M-Braves came out swinging again in the 8th inning, with a lead-off single to right by Jefrey Ramos. Jenista followed up Ramos’ line-drive with one of his own, though much further, for his second long ball of the season, giving Mississippi a 6-3 lead they would hold on to…


His line isn’t included in the bullets above, but Langeliers finished his night 2 for 3 with a run, two walks and a strikeout on Wednesday, pushing his AVG and OPS up to .263 and 1.023 for the 2021 season. His performance thus far is notable when considering the expectations regarding his bat ever since being drafted first by the Braves in 2019. However, on the other end of the spectrum, shortstop Braden Shewmake went hitless again last night (0 for 5 with four strikeouts) as he’s now down to a. 091 AVG and .258 OPS for the season. 

A two-run single in the 3rd inning was really the only damage against Mississippi’s starter last night, righty Nolan Kingham. 

The 24-year-old Kingham threw 80 pitches (52 strikes) on Wednesday and probably could’ve easily gone another inning as he finished the 5th and final frame strong by striking out his last two batters. Although, the former 12th round pick had a bit of scare to start that inning, when the remains of a broken bat came flying back at him on the mound…


But still, Kingham definitely had his stuff working in this one. Other than the aforementioned 3rd inning, in which Biloxi brought six batters to the plate, the M-Braves starter never faced more than the minimum. 

Mitch Stallings, Brooks Wilson and Brandon White (in that order) finished Wednesday’s win for Mississippi, and other than Stallings, the trio held the Shuckers scoreless. Wilson’s appearance could’ve went bad, for he came on in the 7th with a runner on first and immediately allowed a double to give Biloxi a pair of runners in scoring position. However, the 25-year-old bounced back and struck out the next batter to get out of the jam and maintain the M-Braves lead…


White allowed a lead-off double in the 9th but then quickly dispatched the Shuckers with three consecutive batted-ball outs to pick up his first save of the season. 



A+ – Rome Braves (5-2)

PPD vs. Greensboro 

Inclement weather spoiled Game 2 of Rome’s series with the Grasshoppers on Wednesday. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Thursday. 



A – Augusta GreenJackets (3-4)

PPD vs. Myrtle Beach 

Augusta’s game was also postponed on Wednesday. The GreenJackets and Pelicans will play a doubleheader on Friday.



Thursday’s MiLB slate (May 13)

Louisville @ Gwinnett – 7:05 PM / SP, Connor Johnstone

Mississippi @ Biloxi – 7:35 PM / SP, Hayden Deal 

GM 1 – Rome @ Greensboro – 5:00 PM / SP, Jared Shuster

GM 2 – Rome @ Greensboro – following GM 1 / TBD

Augusta @ Myrtle Beach – 7:05 PM / TBD


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