I decided to take the short hike up to Chatt-nasty to check out what was going on down on the farm. I got an opportunity to talk to Matt Lipka, Rio Ruiz and Braeden Schlehuber. They were excited for the Southern League matchup against the Lookouts. This was BY FAR, the most thrilling game I’ve ever seen. 21 combined runs, and the Braves rallied down by 6 in the 9th with TWO OUTS to win 11-10. Some prospects shined, while others looked dismal. This is what I gathered from the game.
BOX SCORE FOR STARTERS
W- Francisco Rondon (3-2, 7.09 ERA)
L- J.T. Chargois (1-1, 6.08 ERA)
S- David Peterson (3)
LF Matt Lipka (2-5, 2 R) (.280)
2B Emerson Landoni (5-5, 4 R, 3 2B, 3B, 3 RBIs) (.266)
DH K.D. Kang (3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) (.264)
3B Kevin Ahrens (2-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBIs) (.236)
1B Matt Kennelly (2-4, R, BB) (.223)
RF David Rohm (0-4) (.238)
CF Sean Godfrey (1-5, 2B, 2 RBI) (.211)
SS Eric Garcia (0-5) (.216)
C Braeden Schlehuber (1-3) (.154)
Note; Rio Ruiz did not start. He came in to pinch hit for David Rohm, drew a bases loaded walk and was credited with an RBI. Schlehuber was replaced by Steve Rodriguez due to an injury sliding into 2nd trying to stretch a single off of the wall into a double.
From what you’ve read, you noticed pitching did not rule the day. I was still impressed with Mississippi’s starter Victor Mateo (5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2.87 ERA). Nice ground ball pitcher. Not a good day; still impressed with his stuff.
Prospect of the Day:
Hands down, Emerson Landoni raked all over the park. By the way; one of those doubles credited to him was him thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple (he was out by maybe an inch). He was the cog driving the offense today, a nice second base prospect with a good glove.
Matt Lipka may be finally realizing his potential. He was considered a bust by many after being drafted in the first round (COMP A, 35th Overall) by Atlanta in 2010 and having a rough few years. Lipka is hitting .280, and saved a run by hosing a Chattanooga runner at the plate. Just to rub the dirt in it Braves fans, Tyrell Jenkins, Noah Syndergaard, Taijuan Walker, Nick Castellanos, and Mike Olt were taken within the next 15 picks. However; Lipka is showing signs of being an MLB everyday player, and he may make an appearance in September.
Kang, a South Korean from the Hooch, has made a big impact this year. Over his last ten games, he’s batting .342 with 1 HR and 8 RBIs. He’s 27, and considered a career minor leaguer by most. His solid play this season may lead to him getting a call in September to see what he can do. He has a good eye, and works the count well.
Godfrey DID deliver the go ahead hit, but that was his only hit of the day. He didn’t look like a ballplayer in the field, and didn’t hit the ball hard at all. Standing at a menacing 6’1, 180 lbs, I wouldn’t expect to see him in an Atlanta uniform.
Garcia was one of 2 Braves to be held hitless, but David Rohm’s play in the field kept him off of my list. Garcia, like Godfrey, is barely batting above .200 and is not impressing scouts with competition like Landoni, Peraza, Albies, Simmons, Cruz, and Peterson. He swung at a lot of bad pitches, and his impatience is not doing him any favors. A decent fielder, I expect Garcia to be in Mississippi for a while.