Young Braves Dominate AFL Opener
While the baseball world’s attention is focused on the MLB playoffs, and rightfully so, some of the game’s top prospects have headed west to hone their skills in the Arizona Fall League. The Peoria Javelinas (Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Toronto Blue Jays) were set to face off with the Glendale Desert Dogs (Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates) on Tuesday to get the AFL’s 26th season under way.
The Javelinas logged a 3-0 win thanks to an outstanding performance on the mound, especially from some young hurlers out of the Braves system. Max Fried, who appeared in nine games for the major league club, was the first Braves prospect to toe the rubber. Fried started the game with three shutout innings while getting seven of his nine outs via the strikeout.
Javelinas manager Luis Salazar then called on right hander Touki Toussaint, the Braves number 14 prospect. Known for his incredibly effective curveball, Toussaint tossed two scoreless and hitless innings while using the strikeout to record four of his six outs.
Two more Braves pitchers, Josh Graham and Corbin Clouse, would get in on the action and sit down five Desert Dogs via the strikeout in their combined 3 innings. Both pitchers were credited with a hold as Toronto Blue Jays prospect, Andrew Case, converted his first save opportunity of the AFL season. Toussaint was credited with the win. Braves farm hands combined for 16 strikeouts over eight innings on the day.
Offensively, three different hitters in the Javelinas lineup recorded two hits a piece. Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna, Red Sox number two prospect Michael Chavis, and San Diego Padres number 10 prospect Josh Naylor each had multiple hits to open up AFL play.
The Javelinas (1-0) and the Desert Dogs (0-1) will meet again on Wednesday afternoon.