Shuster dazzles with 10 K's over seven innings

September 24th, 2022

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Shuster dazzles with 10 K's over seven innings (Sept. 23)
After a string of short starts that included just one over five innings since Aug. 10, visited the seventh. He brought his strikeouts with him.

Atlanta's No. 2 prospect fanned 10 over seven innings, his second-highest K total in what tied for his longest outing of the year, as Triple-A Gwinnett held off Memphis, 4-3.

Shuster started his big night without a strikeout in the first before fanning the first two batters in the second. That kicked off a stretch of 10 K's in six innings, including four stretches of back-to-back strikeouts. The only blemish on the left-hander's night was a two-run homer by Minor League home run leader Moises Gomez in the fifth.

Prior to his dominant effort against the Redbirds, Shuster had not gone longer than six innings nor struck out more than four since being promoted to Triple-A in late July. In fact, his 10 K's matched that of his three previous starts combined.

Through 26 games (24 starts) between Double-A and Triple-A this year, Shuster has gone 7-9 with a 3.10 ERA, striking out 143 while walking only 35 and limiting opponents to a .206 average. His seven-inning start matched three outings with Double-A Mississippi that reached that length, most recently July 12 against Rocket City. Shuster's 10 K's were two shy of a season-best mark he established on April 16 at Biloxi and matched in that July 12 outing. -- Tyler Maun

Salinas fans 10 in first postseason appearance (Sept. 13)
Royber Salinas started the playoffs like he started off the year, making hitters whiff.

The No. 21 Braves prospect produced his sixth double-digit strikeout game in his first playoff appearance, as he struck out 10 while allowing one run off three hits in 4 1/3 innings of work in High-A Rome's 3-2 win over Bowling Green.

The 21-year-old was on his “A” game throughout his start, as he fanned 10 of the 19 batters he faced. Salinas’ blemish came in the fourth inning through an RBI double but he zoned in the rest of the way as he finished the night with 77 pitches -- 49 of them strikes.

The Venezuela native’s outing helped the Braves beat the Hot Rods in Game 1 of the South Atlantic League semifinals. The starter dealt the way he has in the regular season, when he posted a 3.55 ERA and 175 strikeouts. -- Edwin Perez

Murphy fans career-high 5 in third start at Single-A (Sept. 9)
Owen Murphy is getting accustomed to the next level. 

The Braves' No. 5 prospect marked his third start at Single-A, and it was his best one yet. 

The first-round (20th overall) selection in the 2022 Draft is just getting accustomed to professional baseball. In Augusta's 6-1 win over Kannapolis, Murphy tossed four scoreless -- his longest in the pros -- allowing just one walk while fanning a career-high five batters. 

The 18-year-old was selected straight out of Riverside-Brookfield High School. Before being promoted to the GreenJackets on Aug. 23, he earned a 0.00 ERA in the FCL over two starts. 

Now he's rising through the farm system and getting acclimated to the next stages of his development. -- Ethan Sands

Murphy spins three scoreless in second pro start (Aug. 19)
So far, so good for Owen Murphy.

Building on two scoreless innings in his professional debut, the Atlanta first-rounder worked three frames in his second start for the FCL Braves, once again holding the opposition scoreless. It set his squad off on the right foot, with the Braves ultimately beating the FCL Rays, 10-3.

The 20th overall pick in the 2022 Draft set down the first eight batters to face him before the ninth reached on an error. Murphy didn't break a sweat, though, regrouping to strike out the next batter and finish his day. Across his first five pro innings, Atlanta's fifth-ranked prospect has allowed just two hits while striking out seven. -- Jacob Resnick

Braves top pick in 2022 Draft goes unscathed in first start (Aug. 12)
A scoreless professional debut? It doesn't get much better than that, and Atlanta's first-round pick Owen Murphy got started on the right foot in FCL Braves' 5-0 win over the FCL Rays.

In his first professional start, the 20th overall selection in the 2022 Draft tossed two clean innings, allowing just one hit while fanning four of the seven batters he faced. The lone hit was a single to right field on the third pitch he threw in the first inning. It only took the 18-year-old 16 pitches to get through two innings of work.

Murphy was drafted straight out of high school, where he was recently named Illinois’ Gatorade Player of the Year. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound two-way athlete posted a 0.12 ERA with 137 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings while also batting .548 with 18 homers during his senior season at Riverside-Brookfield (Ill.) High School. -- Ethan Sands

Vines fans 10 in six innings of work (July 23)
Darius Vines
has been impressive in the month of July.

The Braves' No. 11 prospect has been dealing in his recent outings as he has had two scoreless in his three outings this month. The 24-year-old continued that stretch, striking out 10 while allowing one hit in six scoreless innings in Double-A Mississippi’s 2-1 loss to Montgomery.

The righty was on his “A” game at the end of his outing, fanning seven out of the last nine batters he faced. He threw 93 pitches – 68 of them strikes – in his start.

Vines lowered his ERA to 4.31 and brought his K tally to 114 in the 94 innings he has pitched this season. -- Edwin Perez

Grissom acing early Double-A tests (July 13)
 played a supporting role in his first Double-A game. In his second, he was the star.

Atlanta's No. 4 prospect crushed his first Double-A homer and went 3-for-5 for the second straight game as Mississippi beat Rocket City, 9-3.

Grissom rolled up three singles in his Double-A debut, which went in support of a brilliant effort on the mound from Atlanta's No. 7 prospect . On the following afternoon, he picked up on an even better note from where he left off.

The shortstop belted the third pitch he saw in the bottom of the first inning out to left-center for his first homer since being promoted. After flying out to center in the second and grounding out to short in the fourth, Grissom singled on a bouncer through the left side in the seventh and reached on an infield single to short in the eighth.

Grissom started his season with 74 games at High-A and batted .312/.404/.487 with 11 homers and 55 RBIs. -- Tyler Maun

Shuster continues rolling for Mississippi (July 12)
Coming off six scoreless innings in his last start,  went longer and was even better.

Atlanta's No. 7 prospect matched a career high with 12 strikeouts while dealing seven innings of two-hit ball as Double-A Mississippi blanked Rocket City, 6-0.

Shuster was perfect through four innings, retiring the first 13 batters he faced, nine via strikeouts. Starting with the second out of the second inning, the left-hander struck out seven straight, five swinging. After Rocket City's Jeremiah Jackson broke up the perfect game with a one-out infield single to third base in the fifth, Shuster retired the next two to wrap the frame.

In the sixth, Jordyn Adams lined a leadoff single to center but was erased on a double-play ball off the bat of Bryce Tedosio one batter later. That put Shuster back on track, and the southpaw retired the final five batters he faced, the last two via swinging strikeouts.

Shuster finished his night with 88 pitches, 62 for strikes, and improved his record to 6-7 to go along with a 2.87 ERA. His 12 K's matched a career-best mark, last set on April 16 at Biloxi.

In support of Shuster, Atlanta's No. 4 prospect, , made a strong impression in his Double-A debut. Grissom tallied three singles, drove in two runs and stole a base to help lead Mississippi's offensive effort. -- Tyler Maun

De Avila fans nine en route to no-no (July 2)
Luis De Avila's
professional career has been the opposite of straight and narrow, but he rewrote his own script in a no-hit performance.

The 21-year-old put together the best performance of his young career, a seven-inning no-hitter to lead High-A Rome to a 5-0 win over Greenville. He allowed three walks, but fanned a career-high nine, including the last two batters of the game.

"I was really focused on just going pitch-by-pitch, hitter-by-hitter," De Avila said through interpreter Jesus Aviles, who is also the team's athletic trainer. "Since it was a seven-inning game, I was just trying to go the entire way. I didn't figure out I had a no-hitter until the last inning, so [I was more relaxed]." Full story »

Tarnok whiffs 7 in a row, 12 overall (June 30)
Freddy Tarnok was in the midst of a fairly normal start before he decided to become virtually unhittable.

The No. 8 Braves prospect tied a career high with 12 strikeouts in Double-A Mississippi's 6-5 win over Biloxi, though eight of those punchouts didn't materialize until the final nine batters he faced. Tarnok, who had allowed a pair of runs on four hits through three innings, shut down the Shuckers by striking out the side in the fourth and fifth innings.

The outing concluded a strong month for the 23-year-old. After allowing six runs on June 1, Tarnok posted a 2.55 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings over his final five starts. -- Jacob Resnick

Davidson strikes out 9 in scoreless outing (June 22)
Bouncing between the Major Leagues and Triple-A isn’t an easy task, but Tucker Davidson is continuing to show that he has little left to prove in the International League.

The Braves’ seventh-ranked prospect turned in a stellar outing for Gwinnett on Wednesday, striking out nine over 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the Stripers’ 7-2 win over the Nashville Sounds.

“I definitely feel like my offspeed pitches were there, curveball and slider,” Davidson said. “Felt like I had good command of the strike zone, and just kept my foot on the gas pedal all night.” Full story »

Grissom extends three-hit streak to four (June 17)
There's on-fire, then there's what Vaughn Grissom has been doing to Asheville pitching recently.

The No. 6 Braves prospect recorded four hits -- including a pair of doubles -- in the Tourists' 13-7 win over High-A Rome. The second two-bagger drove in two of three runs plated by Grissom on the night.

The 21-year-old has recorded at least three hits in all four games of the series and four knocks in consecutive games. Grissom's latest effort came on the heels of a multi-grand slam performance. -- Jacob Resnick

Grissom swats two grand slams for Rome (June 16)
A good measuring stick for determining whether a huge performance qualifies as the best game of a player’s life is if you have to start pulling out the Little League game logs.

The last time Vaughn Grissom hit a grand slam? “I was like 12 years old, maybe 11,” he recalls.

A two-homer game? Surely there was one in high school. “I didn’t hit my first until the second-to-last game I ever played.”

Therefore, this was surely the game of Grissom’s life. The sixth-ranked Braves prospect swatted a pair of grand slams in back-to-back innings, added a double and a single and scored five times in High-A Rome’s 22-1 rout of Asheville. Full story »

Waters homers on four-hit night for Gwinnett (June 7)
 had a slow start to June. With one big night, he looked back on track.

Atlanta's No. 2 prospect belted an opposite-field home run and finished 4-for-5 to help lead Triple-A Gwinnett to a 7-0 win at Jacksonville.

Waters kicked off his night with singles in each of his first three at-bats, lining one to right field in the first inning before reaching on an RBI infield single to second in the second and on a bouncer to left in the fifth.

Then came the outfielder's big blast. In the top of the sixth, with his team already leading 6-0, Waters clubbed an offering from Jacksonville reliever Huascar Brazoban and deposited it beyond the wall in left-center for his third homer of the season.

The performance was Waters' second four-hit showing of the season, joining a 4-for-4 day that also featured a homer on May 3. Waters had gone just 2-for-17 in his first five games played in June prior to his big game against the Jumbo Shrimp. -- Tyler Maun

Elder twirls eight scoreless innings for Gwinnett (May 30)
For six-plus innings, Bryce Elder chased history. In the end, he settled for pure dominance.

The No. 4 Braves prospect tossed 6 1/3 no-hit frames on his way to a career-high eight innings to lead Triple-A Gwinnett to a 2-0 win over visiting Louisville. Elder struck out eight, walked one and surrendered two hits to end what had been a horrific month on a high note.

The 23-year-old faced one over the minimum and needed just 70 pitches to navigate through six hitless innings. He set down the first batter in the seventh but yielded his first hit on a first-pitch single by Cristian Santana. Elder responded with consecutive strikeouts to end the seventh and surrendered another single in the eighth before finishing off the frame for the first time in 30 Minor League starts.

"I realized around the sixth inning that I hadn't given up any hits," Elder said. "But nothing changed for me. I was just trying to get the hitters to put the ball in play. Walks have been an issue for me so my focus was on letting my defense do its job. I stuck to that plan the entire game." Full story »

Shuster continues to roll with M-Braves (May 28)
It was business as usual for Jared Shuster, who tossed six one-run innings with eight strikeouts for Double-A Mississippi in the Braves' 9-1 victory over Pensacola.

The left-hander fanned the side in the first and retired nine batters in a row in a stretch that spanned from the first to the fourth innings. He exited after throwing 93 pitches, 65 for strikes.

The ninth-ranked Braves prospect has allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts this season. Shuster sports a 2.06 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and a .181 average against over 48 frames this season.

In support of Shuster, catcher Hendrik Clementina went 4-for-4 with a 444-foot dinger and a walk to extend his on-base streak to 13 straight plate appearances. -- Rob Terranova