Riley off to a good second half in Rome

Bill Shanks has some notes from the Braves farm system.

Rome third baseman Austin Riley has hit home runs in two straight games since the Rome Braves started the second half of the season. Riley has hit .269 this month with a .324 batting average, his best numbers of the season so far. Riley now has a .252 batting average, with 5 home runs, 29 RBI and 18 doubles in 273 plate appearances. His on base percentage is .300. Last year, Riley hit .304 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 252 plate appearances.

Mississippi shortstop Dansby Swanson is now hitting .247 in Mississippi with 5 home runs and 23 RBI in his 46 games in Double-A. For the season, Swanson now has a .273 batting average with 6 home runs and 33 RBI. Swanson has hit only .200 in June, but he does have three hits in the first two games of the second part of the season.

Dustin Peterson has been tremendous in June, hitting .338 in 77 at bats, with 2 home runs and 16 RBI. For the season, Peterson is now up to .275 with 7 home runs and 42 RBI and 17 doubles. Peterson is really gaining traction as a serious hitting prospect. He leads the Braves'  organization with his 42 RBI.

Gwinnett's Ozzie Albies is now hitting .243 in his 52 games in Triple-A after hitting .369 in his 22 games in Double-A Mississippi.

What do the Braves have with 24-year-old Joey Meneses? He led the Carolina League (by 35 points) with a .342 batting average before he was promoted this week to Double-A Mississippi. Meneses hit only .239 last season in the Carolina League. Meneses is a first baseman, and in his first two games in Mississippi he has four hits in eight at bats.

On the pitching side, Touki Toussaint had another strong start for Rome Friday night. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in 5 innings, with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. In his last four starts, Toussaint has allowed 3 earned runs on 15 hits in 25 innings (1.08 ERA), with 7 walks and 24 strikeouts.

Max Fried has also been great in his last four starts, allowing just four runs in 22 innings (1.64 ERA) with 26 strikeouts and 8 walks. Fried now has allowed 60 hits in 70.1 innings, with 36 walks and 66 strikeouts. The Braves will likely be very careful with Fried's innings in the second part of the season.

The Braves must be pleased with the relief duo in Carolina. Evan Phillips is a right-hander who has a 0.99 ERA in 20 games, with 8 saves. Chase Johnson-Mullins is a lefty with a 2.59 ERA and also 8 saves. Plus, A.J. Minter has still not allowed an earned run in his 11 games this season - 5 in Rome and 6 in Carolina. He has 5 walks and 13 strikeouts in 14 innings, with only 5 hits allowed. Minter will be a candidate for the Atlanta bullpen in 2017.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at and email him at

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