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Shortstop Ozzie Albies On a Tear

Welcome to week two of the weekly report on your Atlanta Braves farm system! It is certainly a busy and tense time on the farm as we near the end of the season for these clubs! Two of the Braves’ affiliates: Mississippi (AA) and Rome (A) clinched playoff appearances this week. Gwinnett (AAA) needs one win in their last two games to clinch a trip to the postseason. Shortstop Ozzie Albies is your minor league player of the week in the Braves system and Patrick Weigel receives credit for the pitching performance of the week. (Prospect rankings are in parenthesis. Ranking is based on’s Prospect Watch for the Atlanta Braves organization.)

Shortstop Ozzie Albies on a Tear

Gwinnett Braves (AAA): The Gwinnett Braves went 3-4 this past week (64-77 on the season). The Braves are a half game up of the Charlotte Knights in the south division of the International League with two games left against the Knights. The Braves need to win just one of the last two games to clinch the division and advance to the postseason.

The Braves were led offensively by outfielder Ronnier Mustelier (unranked). Mustelier began this week on a tear, but cooled off at the end. Mustelier posted a line for the week of 8-for-27 with four runs, seven RBI, two doubles and his fifth home run of the season.

Right-hander Chris Ellis (16th) was roughed up by the Durham Bulls this week. Ellis completed five innings, but surrendered five runs on seven hits and two walks. Ellis did strike out four men and did not allow a longball, but he certainly struggled while taking the loss. He will hope to rebound in the postseason if given the opportunity.

Mississippi Braves (AA): The Mississippi Braves went on a 6-1 tear this week including five straight W’s to finish the week. The Braves currently sit with a record of 73-63 on the season and clinched the second half division record of the Southern League’s south division on Saturday. This means the Braves will face off against the first half division winners, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, in a best-of-three series beginning on Sept. 9.

Shortstop Ozzie Albies (second) was the star offensively this week for Mississippi. Albies went a cool 10-for-24 at the plate. Albies hit a little of everything, including two home runs. He went on to add a triple, three double, and eight RBI. Albies logged three steals on the basepaths to go along with six runs. His strong week was instrumental in helping Mississippi clinch a playoff appearance.

Center fielder Mallex Smith began a rehab assignment with Mississippi on Thursday. Smith was playing well in Atlanta until a broken thumb sidelined him in June. He is no longer ranked as a prospect, but he was a top-10 prospect for the Braves a season ago. Smith is expected to play with the AA club until their season ends. Smith was dominate this week with seven hits in nine plate appearances. Smith also scored four runs to go along with a triple, four RBI and three steals.

Patrick Weigel (28th) had the pitching performance of the week for the Braves farm system. Weigel hurled a gem of eight and a third innings of one run ball against the Biloxi Shuckers. The lone run was unearned on two hits and two walks. Weigel struck out four men, his lowest total at the AA level, but he looked sharp throughout the eight plus innings he worked.

Carolina Mudcats (Advanced A): The Carolina Mudcats were 2-3 in a rain-shortened week (21-46 on the season). Travis Demeritte (ninth) continues to lead the pack in Carolina. 6-for-16, five runs, triple, three doubles and a steal.

Right-hander Matt Withrow (unranked) had the pitching performance of the week in Carolina. Withrow struck out a career high 11 batters in six innings against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Withrow rounded out his quality start with just two earned runs on four hits to collect his ninth win of the 2016 season.

Rome Braves (A): The Rome Braves went a solid 4-2 for the week (42-27 on the season). Rome also clinched the second half title of the southern division of the South Atlantic League (SAL). Rome currently holds the second best record in the SAL on the season. They will face the Charleston River Dogs in the first round of the SAL playoffs.

Third baseman Austin Riley (13th) was a man on a mission for Rome. Riley went 10-for-24 this week during Rome’s push for the postseason. Six of Riley’s 10 hits went for extra bases (three home runs and three doubles). He added six runs and eight RBI with one of his homers coming in the playoff clincher.

Righty Mike Soroka (seventh) posted the best start of the week from Rome’s strong rotation. Soroka allowed a single run on three hits and a walk in seven solid innings. He finished off his strong gem with a career-high nine strikeouts. Soroka has K’d at least five batters in five of his past six starts and has accumulated 125 punch outs this season.

Danville Braves (Rookie): The Danville Braves finished the year with a rough week going 1-5. They did end on a good note with the lone win coming against the Burlington Royals on the last game of the 2016 season. Danville finished the season with a record of 31-36 and missed the postseason by seven games.

Center fielder Christian Pache (unranked) had a solid end to his season with Danville. The 17-year-old Dominican went 8-for-21with a run, one RBI and two steals. Pache finished the year with a .372 on-base percentage in 30 games with Danville. It is tough to predict where he will begin the 2017 season, but Pache is sure to bring a spark wherever he winds up. Look for this outfielder to make noise moving forward!

Starter Ian Anderson (fifth) started the last game of the season and turned in a quality outing. Anderson allowed a lone earned run on two hits over six innings. Anderson also struck out five while allowing just one walk. He was unable to pick up the win, taking a no-decision. Anderson finishes his season at Danville with an 0-2 record and a 3.75 ERA in five starts.

Which of the following was the best moment of the first half: in LastWordOnSports’s Hangs on LockerDome

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