The good and the bad in May in the Atlanta organization

Macon TelegraphJune 3, 2013 

ATLANTA

Justin Upton came back down to Earth after his unbelievable April with an ordinary month of May. He hit .211 with only two home runs and 10 runs batted in, with a .327 on base percentage.

Ramiro Pena hit another home run on Sunday to help the Braves beat the Nationals, and he really got things going in May. Pena hit .395 in his 38 at bats to post the best batting average for Atlanta in May.

Reed Johnson also helped make the Atlanta bench the best in baseball with his .346 average in May.

Evan Gattis (.317/.362) and Freddie Freeman (.316/.366) were both outstanding in May. Freeman led the team with 22 RBI in May, while Gattis tied Dan Uggla and Brian McCann with six home runs in the second month.

Mike Minor (1.98 ERA in six starts) and Julio Teheran (2.60 ERA in five starts) had the best records amongst the starting pitchers, while Tim Hudson’s mark of 7.33 was the worst.

In the bullpen, some credit needs to go to David Carpenter, who had a 1.93 ERA in six appearances in middle relief. Carpenter continues to have some issues with his control, but he has helped a bullpen in desperate need of help.

GWINNETT

Joey Terdoslavich had a great month of May, with a .340 batting average, four home runs and 19 RBI, along with a .368 on base percentage. Terdoslavich is showing the Braves he’s bounced back after his rough start to the 2012 season in Triple-A. Terdoslavich is tied for sixth in the International League with a .335 batting average. He leads the IL with 73 hits, 31 extra base hits and 21 doubles.

Todd Cunningham picked up things in May, with a .402 OBP and 13 RBI in 83 at bats.

Kameron Loe has done rather well since being signed and placed in the Gwinnett bullpen. The former big leaguer had a 2.45 in seven games, with only six hits allowed in 11 innings.

Sean Gilmartin had a tough month, with a 6.33 ERA in five starts.

MISSISSIPPI

Edward Salcedo is on fire. He had a .327 batting average, five home runs, 14 RBI and a .385 on base percentage in May.

While top prospect Christian Bethancourt struggled a bit in May (.229), his main backup Braeden Schlehuber did well with a .333 average, three home runs and 10 RBI.

Gus Schlosser had a 1.88 ERA in six May starts, with 30 strikeouts in 38.1 innings pitched.

The bullpen was led by Mark Lamm, who had three saves and a 1.13 ERA in 11 games.

Lefty Ian Thomas put up ridiculous numbers: four runs allowed on 10 hits in 16 innings, with five walks and 30 strikeouts. He’s got the highest strikeout per nine innings ratio of any reliever in the Southern League, with 13.97 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s also got the fifth lowest batting average allowed among relievers with a .158 mark.

Mississippi has the best team ERA in the Southern League with a 3.08 mark.

LYNCHBURG

Robbie Hefflinger continues to be the story for the Hillcats. He had seven home runs and 18 RBI in May. He leads the Carolina League with 16 home runs, 29 extra base hits and in slugging percentage with a .602 mark. Hefflinger is second in the CL with 39 RBI for the season.

Kyle Kubitza did better in the second month, with a .398 OBP and three home runs and nine RBI.

Matt Lipka was perhaps the MVP for the High-A affiliate in May. He hit .316 with two home runs, 11 RBI, eight stolen bases and a .365 OBP.

After starting the season on the disabled list, reliever John Cornely has come on strong. He had a 2.13 ERA in 11 appearances, with 20 strikeouts in 12.2 innings pitched.

The Braves had to be happy with Navery Moore’s work in May. He was 5-1 in his six starts with a 3.44 ERA and 31 hits allowed in 36.2 innings pitched. Moore leads the Carolina League in wins with six.

ROME

Without a doubt, Josh Elander is the player of the year in the organization through the first two months of the season. The former catcher turned outfielder hit .353 in May with six home runs, 30 RBI and a .412 OBP in 28 games. Elander is fifth in the South Atlantic League with a .335 batting average and he’s second in RBI with 47 and in extra base hits with 31.

Last year’s first round pick Lucas Sims did well in May, with 30 strikeouts and only seven walks in 19.2 innings. The Braves have placed him in the Rome rotation after he started the season in the bullpen.

Carlos Perez continues to find his niche in the bullpen. He allowed only one run in 16.2 relief innings in May, with two walks and 21 strikeouts. Perez has the fourth lowest batting average against in the Sally League with a .144 stat. He’s also allowed the second fewest base runners per nine innings for relievers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

                                                                                                                                                                           

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