More hot bats as the weather warms up, but the arms aren’t interested in suddenly becoming overlooked. An impressive week from several big name youngsters as well as some not so highly-publicized kids.
As always, this isn’t a “re-ranking” of When Sid Slid’s Top 30, simply the hottest players in the system in any given week during the season.
1.) Sean Newcomb, LHSP, Gwinnett Braves
Newcomb struggled a bit to start the 2017 campaign, but looks to have found something in his last two starts. His most recent one may be his most impressive in his professional career – delivering seven one-hit shutout IP against Pawtucket (Red Sox) while striking out 11 and only walking two. Following consecutive really good outings his season numbers have improved to a 3.08 ERA and 1.37 WHIP with 35 Ks in 26.1 IP. If he can just throw a few more quality strikes on a regular basis we could see him in the rotation at SunTrust Park soon.
2.) Tyler Pike, LHSP, Florida Fire Frogs
Pike continues to turn heads – delivering a second consecutive scoreless outing this week. This one might have been his best professional start as well, blanking Palm Beach (Cardinals) for six innings on 2 hits while striking out 8 and walking only 2. Pike has only allowed 22 hits in 33.1 IP on the season, and dropped his other numbers to an awesome 2.16 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a .190 Average Against with a 37/12 K/BB Ratio. Obviously the Braves’ scouts did a great job identifying talent in the Mariners’ system.
3.) Kolby Allard, LHSP, Mississippi Braves
Several people questioned the organization’s aggressiveness with several assignments this season, but Allard’s certainly doing everything he can to make the ones who thought he wasn’t ready for AA eat crow early on. He blanked Birmingham for 6 innings this week while going to work on his ratios – allowing only 3 hits while striking out 11 and walking no one. Kolby’s season numbers improved to a 1.36 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 33 IP while he’s holding opposing hitters to a .210 average and he now has a 28/7 K/BB Ratio.
4.) Braxton Davidson, LF, Florida Fire Frogs
Davidson has slowly dropped on most lists, but he used last week to remind folks that he shouldn’t be simply written off. A .409/.519/.682/1.200 week with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs tends to scream “hey, don’t forget about me”. The former 1st Round pick is still young and still has a terrific eye – hopefully he can find a way to become just a little more aggressive at the plate.
5.) Austin Riley, 3B. Florida Fire Frogs
The Fire Frogs had a big offensive week and Riley was right in the middle of it, slashing .400/.409/.750/1.159 with 2 HRs, a 2B, 6 RBIs, and 5 runs scored. Quite possibly the most impressive number Austin put up last week is his number of Ks – 2. Yes, his approach needs work, but he appears to be making strides with it.
6.) Luiz Gohara, LHSP, Florida Fire Frogs
Braves fans living in central Florida are getting the treat the fans in Rome got last year – and then some. Gohara’s going to climb a good bit higher on the more well-known Midseason Top Prospect lists if he keeps this up. While not as dominant as some of his recent outings, Luiz was still strong this week against Palm Beach (Cardinals), allowing one earned run on 5 hits over six innings. His season line is now 3-0, 32 IP, 1.69 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, with a 30/7 K/BB Ratio and a .237 Average Against.
7.) Bryse Wilson, RHSP, Rome Braves
One of the lesser-known arms in the Braves impressive collection, Wilson is quietly making a case to be more recognized. He had two starts this week, and they resulted in 8.2 IP and 1 earned run allowed on 9 hits with 11 Ks. The former UNC commit has a big arm, and like most power Pitchers needs to work on throwing more quality strikes – but he’s no doubt someone to keep an eye on as he climbs the ladder.
8.) Kade Scivicque, C, Mississippi Braves
Scivicque’s bat has begun to wake up – as evidenced by his .375/.375/.563/.938 slash last week. He also hit his first HR of the season and drove in 5 runs. The former LSU and Detroit Tiger was acquired in last year’s Erick Aybar trade, and while he may not project as a future All-Star, Kade has all the makings of a solid MLB backstop if he continues to develop.
9.) Lucas Sims, RHSP, Gwinnett Braves
Sims’ resurgence continues, and while he’s giving up runs here-and-there, his improvement continues to be seen in his control and location. Facing a strong Durham (Rays) lineup that included former Brave Mallex Smith and top-ranked prospect Willy Adames last week, Lucas fanned 7 Bulls hitters without allowing a walk. His K/BB Ratio is now a strong 28/6 in 28.1 IP on the season, and even with seven hits given up in that outing, he’s still only allowed 18 hits for an awesome .176 Average Against.