Down On the Farm: Danville Braves Update

Brett KettyleCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2009

This week Down the Farm will continue to review the Braves minor league affiliates and provide an update on the Danville Braves.

The Danville Braves currently have the best record of any team in the Braves system, with a 34-17 record. That comes out to an incredible .680 winning percentage, which gives the D-Braves a 5.5 game lead in the Appalachian League East Division.

Danville is currently the league leader in team ERA, and has scored the third most runs on offense.

Just like the GCL Braves, the biggest news thus far out of Danville is a no-hitter. On August 11, Cory Rasmus, a former first-round pick, threw seven no-hit innings in the second game of a double header.

Rasmus struck out nine, and one walk was the only thing keeping him from a perfect game. Pitching in relief and starting games, Rasmus has pitched well and may finally be living up to the potential that prompted the Braves to make him their top pick way back in 2006.

Rasmus has been unable to stay healthy thus far in his career, but has posted a 2-2 record and a solid 3.32 ERA in 2009. Striking out over a batter per inning, Rasmus simply needs to stay healthy to begin advancing through the Braves system.

Another high potential pitcher currently on Danville’s roster is Tyler Stovall, a second-round pick in 2009. After struggling in 2008, Stovall has been solid in Danville, posting a 2-1 record and 3.81 ERA in 9 starts.

Walks have been a problem so far in 2009, as Stovall has 42 of them in just 37.2 innings pitched.

The Danville pitching staff features plenty of other recent draftees, some of whom are among the league leaders in many categories.

Christopher Masters, an 11th round pick, is leading the Appalachian league in ERA (1.68) and strikeouts (64) in 10 games (eight starts). Although he has just a 5-4 record, Masters has posted an insane 64:4 strikeout to walk ratio in his 53.2 innings.

Second in the league in ERA (1.73) is Brett Oberholtzer, an eighth-round pick in 2008. To go along with a 4-1 record, Oberholtzer also boasts an incredible strikeout to walk ration of 41:5.

Thomas Berryhill, a fifth-round pick in 2009 is second in the league in saves with six. Matthew Crim, the Braves 21st round selection from this year leads the lead in victorie with eight and hasn’t lost a game yet.

Danville also features some impressive hitters on its roster.

Riann Spanjer-Furstenburg (also known as RSF), a 16th round pick who plays first base, is second in the league in batting average (.376) and RBI (43) third in on-base percentage (.427) fourth in slugging percentage (.582) and home runs (seven) and leads the league in total bases (99).

L.V. Ware, who was only drafted in the 43rd round, is in the top ten in the league in batting average and runs scored. His trademark has been his speed, which allows him to cover a lot of ground in the outfield and has gotten him 19 stolen bases, good for second in the league.

Another impressive outfielder on the Danville roster is Cory Harrilchak, a 14th round pick in 2009. Fourth in the league in batting average (.353), fifth in the league in runs (34), seventh in stolen bases (13) and surprisingly, tenth in slugging percentage (.482), Harrilchak has been one of the Braves best all-around players in 2009.

Finally, a candidate to be a future middle infielder in Atlanta, 2009 third-round pick Mycal Jones has played well in his first taste of professional baseball, compiling a .279/362/.475 line with four home runs and 12 stolen bases.