Braves: Michael Harris tallies seven RBI in a rout by Rome and starting pitching dominates system wide

Braves farm system taking a hit

Last night featured several notable performances down on the farm, especially from the system’s starting pitching. However, there was plenty of offense, including a career game at the plate by one of the Braves’ most exciting prospect outfielders. 

Here’s what happened on Wednesday…

 

(23-26) Gwinnett Stripers 

W, 2-1 vs. Durham 

  • SP, B. Wilson – 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K
  • LF, O. Arcia – 1 for 4, HR, RBI
  • CF, C. Pache – 2 for 3, 2B, RBI, BB

Gwinnett snapped a four-game losing streak last night, and though the offense was still a bit quiet with just five hits overall, it at least came through in the clutch for a win over first-place Durham. However, the Stripers bullpen nearly pulled a play from the Atlanta Braves playbook as reliever Dylan Lee coughed up the team’s 1-0 lead when he allowed a lead-off homer in the 8th. Fortunately, in the 9th, Alex Jackson led off with a double, and two batters later, prospect Cristian Pache knocked him in with an RBI single for the go-ahead run and the eventual victory. 

Before the late-innings, though, this game was all about Bryse Wilson as he had himself a solid outing. Three singles were all Durham could muster against Bryse, and following a base-hit in the 3rd, the righty sat down 13-straight before he surrendered another single in the 7th. His most recent start in the majors didn’t go too well, but Wilson has shown a little more consistency on the mound this season, and when he’s right… these are the kind of outings he puts together.

 

The hit of the night was most definitely Orlando Arcia’s solo-homer in the 3rd, in which he ambushed a 3-1 fastball and sent it in to one of the bricked buildings behind the left-center wall. Perhaps a good sign regarding a potential MLB promotion for him, Arcia started in left field for Gwinnett on Wednesday and batted lead-off, so hopefully, he’ll get his deserved opportunity in Atlanta soon. The guy’s hitting .306 with 12 homers, for crying out loud.

Also notable: Pache’s much-needed two-hit game on Wednesday was his first multi-hit performance since way back on June 10. The Braves’ top prospect has really struggled lately, going just 1 for 21 in his last seven games leading up to last night. 

 


(30-20) Mississippi Braves 

L, 6-3 vs. Montgomery 

  • SP, S. Strider – (L), 3 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
  • C, S. Langeliers – 2 for 3, HR, RBI, SB
  • SS, B. Shewmake – 1 for 4, 3B, RBI

Prospect catcher Shea Langeliers nearly did it all himself on Wednesday, but the M-Braves couldn’t quite make a second comeback in two days versus the Biscuits. With his fourth homer in his last eight games, and his 13th of the season, Langeliers blasted another 420-foot long ball last night, putting Mississippi within one run in the 6th. The Baylor product also threw out two would-be base stealers from behind the plate in this one AND picked up his first career stolen base as a pro. Have yourself a night, Shea. In case you’re wondering, Langeliers is 7 for his last 18 (.388 AVG).

 

Spencer Strider didn’t fare as well in start no. 2 for the M-Braves as he failed to make it out of the 4th, although the first run charged against him was due to a balk in the opening frame. During innings two and three, the young righty was terrific, displaying a heavy fastball and a filthy offspeed offering, and in just those two frames alone, he tallied four of his five punch outs overall. Strider is certainly quite the prospect and will be a force to reckon with at the Double-A level. 

 

Also notable: Braden Shewmake’s RBI triple in the 8th looked like it may spark another comeback rally for the Mississippi offense. The prospect shortstop has now recorded a hit in each of his last six games and nine of his last eleven, as he ever so slowly inches that season AVG up to a more palatable mark. 

Back from the dead, given he hadn’t managed a hit in his last 16 AB (four games) entering last night’s contest, third baseman CJ Alexander ripped a triple in the 4th, his first XBH since June 20. 

 


 

(26-22) Rome Braves 

W, 13-3 vs. Wilmington 

  • SP, A. Rangel – (W), 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K
  • CF, M. Harris – 2 for 6, HR (GS), 7 RBI
  • LF, J. Franklin – 1 for 3, 3B, 2 RBI 

Behind a grand slam and a career-high seven RBI for star prospect Michael Harris, Rome blew out Wilmington last night. The Futures Game participant has been destroying High-A pitching all season, and his two hits on Wednesday give Harris a .320 AVG and a .817 OPS overall, to go with his 35 RBI. Even better, a lot of his damage has come at the best possible times too…

Michael Harris – 2021 splits 

  • RISP – 1.046 OPS
  • Bases loaded – 1.750 OPS 
  • Runner at third – .861 OPS
  • Runner at second – 1.345 OPS

The 14 overall hits by the R-Braves meant pretty much every batter in the lineup enjoyed his day on Wednesday. Both Bryce Ball and Jesse Franklin each provided a pair of RBI, with the latter player also finishing with a triple. Kevin Josephina tallied a pair of hits, and both Beau Philip and Andrew Moritz — Rome’s nos. 8 and 9 batters, respectively — each came away with three hits, including a double by Moritz. The R-Braves ran away with this game rather quickly, putting up five runs in each of the 5th and 6th innings. 

To make Rome’s win a complete success, last night’s starter Alan Rangel put together a masterful six-inning outing that featured just two hits and a pair of unearned runs. Rangel’s performance this season, in terms of run prevention, is right in line with his career norm, but with a little closer look, it’s evident that he’s perhaps pitching at his best. The 23-year-old righty is allowing career-lows regarding both opponents’ AVG (.213) and K rate (12.3 K/9) this season. 

 


(22-27) Augusta GreenJackets 

W, 1-0 vs. Columbia 

  • SP, T. Gordon – 5 ⅔ IP, 2 H, BB, 10 K
  • SS, C. Bunnell – 1 for 3, 2B, BB
  • RP, E. Rodriguez – (S), 2 IP, 3 K

As shown by the stats above from last night’s Augusta-Columbia game, righty Tanner Gordon had the start of his life as he tallied a career-high 10 strikeouts in 5 ⅔ innings.

 

Gordon, a former 6th round pick, has always had the potential to become a prospect pitcher in the Braves system possibly, and on Wednesday, he put his talent on full display. Following a walk in the 1st and a double in the 2nd by the Fireflies, Gordon took down 13 consecutive batters before he allowed a double in the 6th. The 23-year-old slashed his season ERA down from 4.39 to 2.79 with last night’s dominant outing. 

With both teams combining for just seven hits, it was Landon Stephens that made the difference when he popped up a sac-fly in the 6th to put Augusta up 1-0. Cade Bunnell and Cody Birdsong each got on base to allow Stephens to provide the go-ahead run and the win. Bunnell started at shortstop last night in place of an injured Vaughn Grissom. 

Also notable: following Gordon’s gem, relievers Luis Santos and Emmanual Rodriguez made strong appearances, combining four strikeouts in 3 ⅓ hitless frames to preserve the GreenJackets’ one-run lead. 

 

The first day of July will feature Hayden Deal on the mound for the M-Braves matchup. Jared Shuster and Jared Johnson will start for both Rome and Augusta, respectively. As of early this morning, Gwinnett hadn’t announced its pitcher. 

 

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