A shake-up with the Atlanta Braves’ roster had a trickle down effect for the Gwinnett Stripers, and resulted in the team’s Triple-A affiliate being sent reinforcements in the form of some of the organization’s most prized young prospects as they battle the Durham Bulls for the International League’s South Division.
Outfielders Cristian Pache and Drew Waters and pitchers Ian Anderson and Tucker Davidson are all headed to Gwinnett after being promoted from Double-A Mississippi by the Braves on Monday.
Those moves were part of a flurry activity by the Atlanta organization that also included placing right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman on waivers, and recalling fellow right-hander Mike Foltynewicz when Gausman was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.
Monday’s transactions also means that in addition to right-handed pitchers Kyle Wright (4), Bryse Wilson (6), Huascar Ynoa (10) and Patrick Weigel (12) and catcher Alex Jackson (25), the Stripers’ roster now includes nine of the Braves’ top 30 prospects, as ranked by MLB.com.
The 20-year-old Pache, ranked as the top prospect in the Atlanta organization, hit .278 with 28 doubles, eight triples, 11 home runs, 50 runs, 53 RBIs, and eight stolen bases in 104 games with Mississippi. Through Sunday, he ranked among the Southern League top 10 in total bases (second, 186), extra-base hits (second, 47), doubles (second), triples (tied for second), hits (third), at-bats (fourth), games (tied for fifth), slugging percentage (sixth, .474), OPS (seventh, .814), RBIs (tied for seventh), and batting (ninth). He was also selected for both the Southern League All-Star Game and 2019 All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland.
Waters, also 20 and ranked the Braves’ No. 2 prospect, hit .319 with 35 doubles, nine triples, five homers, 63 runs, 41 RBIs, and 13 stolen bases in 108 games with the M-Braves. Through Sunday, the switch-hitter led the Southern League in batting, hits, total bases (202), extra-base hits (49), doubles, triples, at-bats, and games, and ranked in the top 10 in runs (second), OPS (second, .847), slugging percentage (fourth, .481), and on-base percentage (fifth, .366). Additionally, he ranked among Minor League Baseball leaders in doubles (tied for second), games (tied for sixth), and triples tied for 10th). Waters was named the league’s Player of the Week for June 10-16 and earned selection to the Southern League All-Star Game.
Anderson, 21, was 7-5 with a 2.68 ERA, .202 opponents batting average, and a 1.16 WHIP in 21 games with Mississippi, including one complete game. Through Sunday the right-hander led the Southern League with 147 strikeouts (tied for third in MiLB) and ranked among the league’s top 10 pitchers in opponents batting average (second), starts (tied for third), ERA (fourth), WHIP (sixth), wins (tied for seventh), and innings (eighth). Like Pache, the Braves’ No. 3 prospect was selected to both the Southern League All-Star Game and the 2019 All-Star Futures Game.
Davidson, 23, went 7-6 with a 2.03 ERA, a .224 opponents batting average and a 1.20 WHIP in 21 starts with the M-Braves. Through Sunday, the left-hander led the Southern League in ERA and ranked among the league’s top 10 pitchers in starts (tied for third), GO/AO ratio (fourth, 1.21), strikeouts (fifth, 122), BAA (sixth), WHIP (seventh), wins (tied for seventh), and innings (ninth). Davidson, the Braves’ No. 13 prospect, was also selected to the Southern League All-Star Game.
To make room for the four additions to the Stripers’ roster, catcher Jonathan Morales, outfielder Connor Lien, infielder Riley Unroe and lefty pitcher Thomas Burrows were reassigned by the Braves to Mississippi.
All four of the new prospects are set to make their Triple-A debuts for the Stripers (66-46), who hold a 3 1/2-game lead over Durham (63-50) for first place in the IL South with 27 regular-season games remaining, as they begin a six-game road trip Tuesday in Rochester.
They are expected to make their home debut on Aug. 13 when the Stripers host the Columbus Clippers at Coolray Field.