Who is hot and who is not in the minors

Here's a look at who is hot and who is not at the plate in the Braves' minor league system.

Who is hot?

Richmond second baseman Martin Prado has a ten-game hitting streak (16-43, .372). Since he returned from Atlanta, Prado has hit .321 (43-134) with seven doubles and 21 runs scored in 35 games. His .311 overall batting average is 11th best in the International League.

Larry Bigbie has been on a tear. The Richmond outfielder has taken over for the injured T.J. Bohn and is hitting .480 (12-25) in his last seven games. He's hitting .322 overall this year between his time in Richmond (26 games) and his 34 games with Las Vegas.

Doug Clark is finally coming around. After hitting .242 with 5 home runs and 18 RBI in the first three months of the season, the Richmond outfielder is hitting .387 in July with 3 home runs and 6 RBI in his first eight games this month.

Brayan Pena continues to torch the International League. He's hitting .393 (11-28) in July and now .328 overall with 4 home runs and 31 runs batted in. Pena continues to play all around the diamond, with nine games at first base, two at third, eleven in the outfield, and eight games behind the plate.

Mississippi outfielder Brandon Jones has a twelve-game hitting streak (19-48, .396) and has driven in 14 runs in his last seven games. He now leads the Southern League with 68 RBI and is fourth in the league with 102 hits. Jones is hitting .417 in July.

Carl Loadenthal, Jones's outfield mate in Mississippi, has a nine-game hitting streak (14-34, .412). He is tied for the Southern League with 31 stolen bases.

After a horrific first two months of the season (.150, 1 HR, 13 RBI), Mississippi third baseman Van Pope continues to rebound nicely. He's hit .303 (33-109) with 4 home runs and 15 RBI since June 1st and now has his overall average up to .210.

Myrtle Beach outfielder Jordan Schafer is at it again. He's hitting .385 (15-39) in July so far with four RBI and three stolen bases. Between his 30 games in Rome and his 59 games in the Carolina League, Schafer's overall numbers are impressive: .318, 10 home runs, 47 RBI, 16 stolen bases, and a .383 on base percentage.

Roberto Alvarez is quietly having a nice season, hitting .364 in July with two home runs and six runs batted in. Alvarez is at .276 with 4 home runs and 31 RBI in 250 at bats.

Before he was placed on the disabled list, Rome second baseman Chase Fontaine was having a good start in July (.393 with 8 RBI).

Willie Cabrera (.370) and Larry Williams (.394) have improved Rome's offense in July. But Tyler Flowers is becoming the big power source. Flowers is hitting .333 this month with four home runs and 17 RBI.

Someone cool off Danville first baseman Ernesto Mejia, who is hitting .457 in his first eight games this month. And Adam Coe is doing well after a slow start. The third baseman is hitting .378 in July.

Jon Gilmore, the supplemental first rounder from last month's draft, is just tearing up the Gulf Coast League. He's hit .382 in July with 13 RBI. He's fourth in the league in RBI with 15, tied with teammate Samuel Sime.

Sime, hitting .387 in July, is in the Top Ten in many league offensive categories. Sime leads the league in total bases (44), is second in the league in hits (25) and doubles (10), seventh in OPS (.928), and ninth in batting average (.333).

Who is not hot?

Gregor Blanco got off to a hot start, hitting .303 (54-178) in the first two months of the season. But since June 1st the Richmond outfielder is hitting only .245 (36-147).

Richmond first baseman Graham Koonce is hitting .214 for Richmond since coming over from the Royals' organization. He's only 3-for-26 in July has ten strikeouts in seven games.

Several Mississippi hitters are off to slow starts in July. Clint Sammons is hitting .136 (3-22) this month. J.C. Holt is hitting only .200 in 30 at bats. And Matt Esquivel has yet to hit a home run in July and is hitting .219 (7-32).

Myrtle Beach first baseman Isaiah Ka'aihue is struggling a bit in July hitting only .229 (8-35), but he does have three home runs and 10 RBI. ‘KK' still leads the Carolina League with 19 home runs and is fifth with 52 runs batted in.

Eric Campbell is scuffling in July, with only four hits in his first 11 games (.093). Campbell's overall average is down to .212.

Rome outfielder Jon Mark Owings is hitting only .158 this month with two solo home runs.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com.

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