Braves 2021 Farm Report: Tucker Davidson continues to flourish, spins a one-hitter in Gwinnett’s loss

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Sunday wrapped up Week 3 of the minor league season and marked the first day that the Braves were swept down on the farm. It’s weird; while the big league Braves wound up outscoring the Pirates 33-3 in the series’ final three games this past weekend, offense in the minors has been nearly non-existent.


AAA – Gwinnett Stripers (9-9)

L, 1-0 vs. Nashville 

  • SP, T. Davidson – (L), 6 IP, H, ER, BB, 9 K
  • CF, D. Waters – 1 for 4
  • RP, T. Roark – 1 ⅔ IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K


Entering Sunday’s start versus Nashville sporting a 0.64 ERA through his first two outings with Gwinnett, it would’ve been hard for lefty Tucker Davidson to do anything to improve on such an incredible start to the 2021 season; however, he nearly did as Tuck went six strong for the Stripers yesterday, tossing a one-hitter with a season-high nine strikeouts. A 1st-inning solo-homer off the bat of the Sounds’ Keston Hiura was the only blemish of Davidson’s start as he went on to sit down seven-straight batters before issuing his lone walk of the day.


Unfortunately, though, Gwinnett’s offense struggled against Nashville’s starter yesterday, lefty Aaron Ashby (ranked no. 126 on FanGraphs‘ 2021 Top 100 prospect rankings), who managed to also one-hit the opposition. The Stripers’ Drew Waters was the only batter to record a hit off Ashby… or any Sounds pitcher for that matter. 

Newly-acquired veteran pitcher, 34-year-old righty Tanner Roark, got his first innings as part of the Braves organization, needing just 16 pitches to get through 1 ⅔ frames on Sunday, including three strikeouts. Trevor Kelley got the final out for the Stripers. 



AA – Mississippi Braves (7-11)

L, 10-5 vs. Chattanooga 

  • SP, A. Puckett – 2 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
  • 1B, D. Lugbauer – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI
  • SS, B. Shewmake – 1 for 5, 3B, 2 R


Mississippi lost its bullpen game on Sunday as starter A.J. Puckett found himself in a mess right out of the gate, walking the first three batters of the game before getting an RBI double-play ball to get through the 1st inning finally. Puckett faced eight more batters in the 2nd and parts of the 3rd, but two singles, two hit batsmen, and a wild pitch forced him out — leaving with the M-Braves trailing 3-0. As a bright spot, though, as soon as reliever Emmanual Ramirez replaced Puckett on the mound, catcher Shea Langeliers threw out yet another would-be base stealer…


In the 4th, Mississippi tried to start a rally when a struggling Braden Shewmake led off the inning with a triple…


Trey Harris knocked in Shewmake with an RBI ground-out, but Langeliers and CJ Alexander couldn’t keep it going as both went down quietly. 

Reliever Chris Nunn entered to start the 5th and found himself battling eight batters, including a three-run home run for Chattanooga, and by the end of the frame, a 9-1 deficit for Mississippi. Shewmake and Alexander answered with an RBI apiece to get within six, but the Lookouts tacked on another run in the 9th to make it 10-2 with just three outs to go. 

Alexander led off the final frame with a walk, and a hot-hitting Riley Unroe knocked him in with a double to right. The M-Braves then found themselves down by five after Drew Lugbauer scorched a line drive through the gap to score Unroe…


However, the next three Mississippi batters went down quickly. No comeback today. 

It’s been a rough year so far for Shewmake, who, entering Sunday, was hitless in his last nine at-bats, a stretch spanning three games. His triple yesterday was just Shewmake’s third XBH in 2021 as the former 1st-round pick is hitting only .100 in his first 14 games of the campaign. 



A+ – Rome Braves (10-8)

L, 5-3 vs. Bowling Green 

  • SP, T. Gordon – (L), 6 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 K, 2 HR
  • RF, J. Franklin – 4 for 4, 2 2B, RBI, SB
  • 1B, B. Langhorne – 1 for 4, 2 RBI 


Rome’s 23-year-old righty Tanner Gordon gave up a solo-homer to the second batter he faced in the 1st but settled down nicely after that, getting the next six batters out in a row before surrendering a single and an RBI groundout in the 3rd. As a result, the R-Braves were trailing 2-0 entering the 4th, although Rome worked some two-out magic as Jesse Franklin doubled, stole third and then was knocked in by Brett Langhorne’s ground-ball single to right in the Braves’ half of the 4th.

Gordon ran into some more trouble in the 5th when, after getting a lead-off flyout, Bowling Green singled and homered to give the Hot Rods a 4-1 advantage. But Rome answered again an inning later, once again thanks to Franklin, who doubled for the second time, this time scoring Logan Brown from second.

Langhorne came up big again, too, knocking in a run with an RBI single to put the R-Braves within just one through six.

25-year-old lefty Jake McSteen relieved Gordon and worked a perfect 7th before allowing a Bowling Green run in the 8th, after giving up a single, throwing a wild pitch, and walking a batter. Rome went down in order in the 9th, despite a lead-off walk by Garrett Saunders. 

This was a much-needed four-hit day — and the first four-hit performance of his pro career — for a struggling Franklin, who, entering Sunday, was hitting just .192 with only two XBH in 13 games so far this season. Now up to a .250 AVG and .593 OPS with Rome, if the former University of Michigan star can catch some momentum, he could easily find himself in Double-A Mississippi once the Braves execute its first-round of minor league promotions in the coming weeks. 



A – Augusta GreenJackets (8-10)

L, 9-1 vs. Fayetteville 

  • SP, A. Barger – (L), 5 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K
  • 3B, V. Grissom – 2 for 4, RBI
  • SS, C. Shepherd – 1 for 2, 2B, R, BB


Right-hander Alec Barger was simply cruising along during his start on Sunday versus Fayetteville, pitching around just three walks to go with a measly single in the 2nd and an RBI single in the 5th. However, the Woodpeckers weren’t missing once GreenJackets’ reliever Jake Seipel entered in the 6th as almost immediately Augusta found themselves down 4-0 after a double, single, triple, walk, and another single. Seipel was out of the game, having gotten just one out for the Jackets, and exited with a runner on second, who immediately scored once reliever Kenny Wells entered and allowed an RBI double. 

Augusta did what it could to make the best of a 6-0 deficit in the 6th. Both Cam Shepherd and Cade Bunnell drew back-to-back walks that set up an RBI single by Vaughn Grissom. However, it was one step forward, and three steps backward for the GreenJackets as Fayetteville tacked on another three runs in the 7th from a two-run homer and RBI single, making it an insurmountable 9-1 game with just two frames to go. A double by Shepherd in the 8th was all Augusta could muster as the Jackets went away quietly to end the game. 

Relievers Justin Yeager, Estarlin Rodriguez, and James Acuna worked the final three innings of Sunday’s loss, and for the first time this season, Yeager got roughed up a bit, allowing three runs from four hits in ⅔ innings. His ERA goes from 0.00 to 4.05 for the 2021 campaign. 


That wraps up this week’s minor league action as all four Braves minor league teams will take their scheduled off-day on Monday. Soon I’ll provide a preview of this week’s upcoming games.


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