Welcome back friends! Somehow, I’m still here and posting, which means that K and Stephen have either been DDOS’d or they both had aneurisms. I dunno. Anywho, on to more important things, I’m here to tell you about the top performers in Atlanta’s minor league system this week. Let’s hope there was some fun farther down the ladder (see what I did there?) because there certainly wasn’t much of it to be had in the bigs this week.
Jose Peraza, SS, AAA Gwinnett: 8-25, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB, 1 CS
Not exactly the best of weeks by Jose Peraza‘s lofty standards, but still a very good one, nonetheless. Peraza notched three multi-hit games and reached base ten times over six games. He stole two bases as well, but was also caught once. It’s been an up-and-down year for Peraza in his first taste of AAA; he’s had excellent weeks followed by struggles. Consistency will be key for him as he continues his development, but remember–he’s only 21 years old.
Mallex Smith, CF, AA Mississippi: 8-23, 6 BB, 3 K, 3B, 3 SB, 2 CS
Mallex Smith continues to rock an on base percentage over .400, and he showed why this past week. In addition to using his stellar bat-to-ball skills for eight hits, he also showed off his improving eye by drawing six walks. Smith continues to show all the tools you want from a “prototypical” lead-off man: excellent contact skills, an above-average eye, and impressive wheels. After Smith came to Atlanta this off season, I predicted that he could be one of the fastest risers up prospect lists. So far, so good.
Jake Brigham, SP, AA Mississippi: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 96 pitches – 66 strikes
I mentioned last week that 27-year-old Jake Brigham was not a prospect, but the righty followed up his near-perfect-game from last week with 8 innings of two-hit ball this week. While more pedigreed names struggle pitching in Mississippi *cough Jason Hursh cough* Brigham keeps chugging right along. It wont last, but it has been fun to watch.
Keith Curcio, OF, High-A Carolina: 13-24, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 BB, 3 K, 2 SB, 1 CS
The BGS Minor League Player of the Week goes to Mudcats’ outfielder Keith Curcio, who notched a ridiculous thirteen hits in six games. But as if that wasn’t enough, he also managed to draw six walks as well. That means he reached base on 19 of 30 plate appearances this week. That’s kinda good, I think. Curcio was drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 draft out of Florida Southern, and while he’s never been seen as a traditional prospect, he’s arguably been the Mudcats best hitter this year. He also spent most of this week playing second base, which is an interesting development. Perhaps the Braves want to turn him into a Martin Prado-esque super-utility man? Time will tell.
Braxton Davidson, LF, A Rome: 11-24, 3 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 5 K
The only person who could compete with Curcio for top billing last week was Braxton Davidson, who was similarly sizzling for Rome. Atlanta’s first rounder from 2014 exploded for eleven hits–four for extra bases. Davidson’s hot week bumped his batting average up 25 points, and now both his on-base percentage and slugging percentage sit north of .400. Not bad for a kid hitting “only” .279.