Elander Wrapping Up Rome Stay; Ubiera Debuts

Braves Minor League Report:: Wednesday

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - by David Jenkins

Guys, it's time to set all doubts aside and extend monster props towards Josh Elander.

Haven't heard if he has a catchy nickname, but he is a run-making machine this season unlike anything the Braves have brought through the pipeline since  Freeman.

As awesome as his full-season stats are currently at Rome (.329-11-58 in just 64 games), the 22-year-old outfielder is heating up with the weather. Going into Wednesday's afternoon contest, the Rome outfielder had driven in eight runs in his last three games (4-13, 2 homers).

But the former TCU catcher has steadily kept his average on the green side of .300 with a .308 April and a sizzling .353 in May.

Braves fans might also appreciate his productive at-bats.  Elander struck out only 15 times in 28 games during his May rampage and is well below a whiff a game. Even more assuring, even at this early point in his career the Braves were able to settle on a position for his bat – left field. After signing last June, he caught exclusively while hitting .260 at Danville, but in one of the least discussed moves the Braves player development people did this off-season was an assortment of changes of position.

Elander was moved front catcher to left field. University of Washington outfielder Chase Anselment, also drafted in 2012, was moved behind the plate. Another lower round pick Casey Kalenkowsky, has also been moved behind the plate in addition to playing first base. Talk of moving him back behind the plate has diminished with the others' adjustment.

As for his future in Rome, Elander is probably counting the days. Trailing first place Savannah by 2..5 games with the first half ended with the weekend.  Next week should find Elander in Lynchburg, or higher.
--------------
Wednesday's starter in Rome, Andy (or “Andry”) Ubiera, worked 3.1 hitless innings in his first 2013 start before his pitch count claimed him due to bases on balls. He is one of the fast-rising prospect who has made strides each of his two pro seasons. This time next year, he figures to be in the Braves'  Top 10; here is what Baseball Prospectus said about him this spring:

19-year-old Dominican power arm, Ubiera is inching toward a breakout in 2013. He can already work 92-93 with a lively fastball that can touch 95, and shows feel for a plus potential curveball. When he puts together the command and finds some consistency, he is going to take off.

At age 18, part of the DSL team, Ubiera was 4-1, 2.66 in 14 games (nine starts). Moved to the Gulf Coast Braves in 2012, he was 2-2, 4.04 in 12 games (nine starts), and he averaged a strikeout an inning each season. One of his GCL winning starts was five innings, one hit, no runs, no walks, five strikeouts.

He's a 6-0, 170 righty from San Pedro de Macoris who figures to be part of the Rome rotation the rest of the year.

WEDNESDAY GAMES

CLASS AAA

Gwinnett, idle

CLASS AA

Mississippi, idle

ADVANCED CLASS A

Lynchburg (34-30) 6, Winston-Salem 3

WP: Ross (3-3) 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Pacheco (Save, 1) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.
Skinner 2-5, 2 HR (10, 11th), 2 RBI; Kubitza 1-4, HR )7th), RBI; Heffley 1-3, 2 RBI, SB; Reyes 3-4, SB; Lipka 2-5, R 2 SB.

Note: Heffley was 2-23 in June before today.

CLASS A

Rome (36-29) 3, Lexington 2

WP: Jadofsky (4-1) 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. SP: Ubiera 3.1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. A. Wilson (Save, 2) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
Moses 1-3, RBI (.372); Anselment 1-3, 2B, R (.310); Hyams 1-3, R,RBI, SB; Elander 0-3.

DSL SHORT-SEASON

DSL Braves (4-6) 9, DSL Brewers 3

SP: Santana 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. WP: Falcon (1-0) 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
Grullon 3-5, R; Castro 2-5, R, RBI; Tejada 1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI.


Pigeon Forge Wins Second A-AA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN – Pigeon Forge won the Class A-AA State Duals title for the second straight year as they beat the Hixson Wildcats in the final, 36-23. Hixson had finished in third place the last four years and Wildcat coach Garrick Hall was happy to not finish there again, but he would have liked a better result than the runner-up finish. The Tigers bolted to a 17-0 lead with a pin, ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Finishes Fourth In A-AA After Loss To Alcoa

FRANKLIN -- Notre Dame's wrestling team came to the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center ready to fight Saturday morning and it took all of 32 minutes to eliminate Martin Luther King by a lopsided 70-12 final score. It took just a little bit longer in the second round, but the Fighting Irish prevailed in that one as well with a 47-27 win over Greeneville, setting ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

1 Dies In House Fire In Rhea County

Rhea County Fire Department officials said one person died in an early-morning house fire on Saturday. The call came at about 6:30 a.m. The brick residence is on Fisher Road. S tate arson investigators were on their way. (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)