1.) Williams Perez – RHSP – Gwinnett Braves
Perez twirled a gem against Charlotte (White Sox) Friday night, tossing a complete game 1-hitter with 7 Ks against 1 BB. He’s certainly got to be a candidate to step into the pen as soon as the big club begins to “trim the fat” (Jim Johnson, Bud Norris, and Alexi Ogando, for example).
2.) Casey Kelly – RHSP – Gwinnett Braves
Kelly’s another candidate to claim a pen role in the near future. He held the Toledo MudHens (Detroit) to 4 hits over 8 scoreless innings last Wednesday. The start dropped his ERA to 1.65, his WHIP to 1.06, and his BAA to .165 when he’s pitched for Gwinnett. Kelly doesn’t strike out many hitters, but promoting guys like him (and Perez) would give McDowell and Gonzalez guys who could handle multiple innings out of the pen – something the big club desperately needs right now.
3.) John Gant – RHSP – Gwinnett Braves
Gant made noise last week as well. In two appearances covering 9.2 innings against Toledo and Charlotte, he allowed 2 ER on 10 hits with 9 Ks and only 2 BBs. The big club desperately needs pen help, but Gant is the likeliest of the Perez/Kelly/Gant trio to be a useful SP at some point. Keeping him stretched out will buy time to keep from needing to start either of Tyrell Jenkins or Lucas Sims’ clocks in the event Jhoulys Chacin or Mike Foltynewicz stumbles before June.
4.) Ronald Acuna – CF – Rome Braves
Acuna’s quietly climbing prospect ranking lists, and he turned in another fine week in Rome last week. His 7-20, 4 runs scored, 3 RBIs, 4BBs, and 6 SBs brought his season slash line to .306/.390/.388/.778 and he’s now been successful on 12 of 16 SB attempts. Acuna’s a slasher/leadoff type cut out of the Mallex Smith mold who could eventually grow into a little more power as he grows and learns.
5.) Sean Newcomb – LHSP – Mississippi Braves
Newcomb’s control issues still exist, but he showed flashes of improvement by striking out 8 hitters against 1 BB over 6 innings against Tennessee (Cubs) on Friday. He did allow 8 hits and 3 earned runs, but the main focus for Newcomb is improving his control and K/BB Ratio – as it improves, Sean could rise quickly.
6.) Dansby Swanson – SS – Mississippi Braves
Swanson cooled off a little this week (6-22 with 2 2Bs, 3 RBIs, 4 runs scored, 2 SBs, and 5 BBs against 3 Ks) slashing .273/.429/.364/.793 for the week. The off week (for him) still leaves him at .310/.444/.517/.962 since his promotion.
7.) Ozhaino Albies – SS – Gwinnett Braves
Ozzie took a couple games to adjust following his promotion as well, but “Ozzie” went 5-10 with 2 2Bs, a run scored, 1 SB (and the game-winning hit against Charlotte on Friday) over the weekend.
*** While not a prospect anymore, Gordon Beckham’s return deserves noting. Gordon went 4-12 with 2 2Bs and a run scored over the weekend for Gwinnett. Expect to see him back with the big club as early as Tuesday.