MVP: Adam LaRoche, .173 WPA. Five PAs, four singles, a walk, and an RBI. He's now been on base eleven times in sixteen tries since coming over to the Braves.
LVP: Nate McLouth, -.065 WPA. That's actually a pretty high WPA for a least valuable player. McLouth did have a double, but that was canceled out by a second-inning flyout with two outs and men on the corners when the score was still 1-1.
MIP: Matt Diaz's sixth-inning two-run homer to put the Braves up 5-2.
UotG: Offense. Nice start for Javy Vazquez, but the hitters didn't need it.
Gwinnett: Reid Gorecki went 3-for-4 to raise his season averages to .283/.353/.469; if you ask me, he's really starting to make himself a candidate for potential fifth outfielderdom. Barbaro Canizares went 2-for-5, and Van Pope went 2-for-3 with a homer to bring himself very close to the Mendoza line (he's at .199 right now). Todd Redmond has now allowed just five earned runs in his last five starts, including three outings where he didn't allow any runs. He went six shutout in this one, allowing just two hits, though he did walk four while striking out just three. His ERA stands at 4.31, and he gives up nearly twice as many flyballs as grounders, which doesn't bode well at all for his future success. His recent results are encouraging but still not enough to make me a believer. Luis Valdez got five outs for his 21st save of the season. He'll carve out a role in somebody's bullpen someday. In the interesting oddity column, the opposing starting pitcher was our old friend Ken Ray.
Mississippi: Two more hits for Jason Heyward, and the man is hitting .422/.505/.722 in 27 Southern League games. Matt Young also homered and walked twice in five plate appearances. He's 26 and still in Double-A, and it really would be nice to see what he could do in the International League. Edgar Osuna gave up a second-inning grand slam, but outside of that he gave up just two hits, so his tenth Double-A start wasn't as bad as it might look from the box score.
Myrtle Beach: Utilityman Cole Miles had two hits including a homer, and he's now hitting .271/.355/.406 since the All-Star break. Not all that exciting, but hey he can play lots of positions, right? Two more base knocks for Gerardo Rodriguez as well. A strong day for Jacob Thompson as well, as he struck out five in 5 2/3 innings while allowing only a run and a walk. Lee Hyde, Jaye Chapman and Cory Gearrin combined to throw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless one-hit ball in relief.
Rome: Catcher Braeden Schlehuber has really struggled after being highly touted as the Braves sixth-round pick last year. His receiving skills are solid, but he's hit just .211/.279/.336. Fortunately he's just 21, and perhaps his 3-for-4 day is the beginning of a little turnaround. Omar Infante went 1-for-3 with a walk in his first rehab game; the sooner he replaces Diory Hernandez, the better. He might actually have been able to outhit Diory even with his bones still broken. Perhaps emboldened by the announcement that Julio Teheran will be promoted to bolster Rome's rotation, the pitching staff had a good day: Buddy Carlyle allowed a hit and struck out one in his two rehab innings, J.J. Hoover struck out seven while allowing two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings, and Paul Clemens got four outs without allowing a run to finish the game and get the win.
Danville: L.V. Ware doubled twice in four at-bats, and Cory Harrilchak's recent hot streak continued with a 2-for-4 night. Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg only had one hit in three tries, and his average is now down to .384...where has all the talent gone? One of my favorite sleeper draft picks, 21st-round selection Matt Crim tossed seven shutout innings, and 19-year-old Venezuelan Luis Avilan finished off the Princeton Rays with three K's and no runs in the last two frames.
GCL: Christian Bethancourt's solid season continues, as he homered and singled in four trips to raise his season averages to .316/.364/.480. If that doesn't look incredibly impressive, remember that he's a catcher and he's still just 17 years old and still adjusting to life stateside. He must really be enjoying the U.S. experience at Disney World, though, as he's hitting .440/.462/.680 at home with just a .544 OPS on the road (remember, the GCL Braves play at Champion Stadium at Disney's Wide World of Sports, where the Braves have their spring training complex). Last year's 15th-rounder Jake Hanson also had a two-hit day. Carlos Perez's wildness continued, as he walked two and coughed up a wild pitch in four innings, allowing two earned runs and punching out three. Again, though, just 17 years old.