Minor, Sags post AFL's first shutout
Braves first-rounder lowers Fall League ERA to 1.17
Mike Minor continues to impress, only seven starts into his professional career.
The Braves prospect scattered three hits over three innings and combined with six relievers on the first shutout of the Arizona Fall League season Saturday as the Peoria Saguaros blanked the Peoria Javelinas, 6-0.
Minor (1-0) gave up three singles and two walks while striking out one, lowering his ERA in the hitter-friendly AFL to 1.17.
"He was electric," said Saguaros first baseman Yonder Alonso. "He kept pounding the strike zone. You saw it from the first inning. He's got it all. He was able to throw the two-seamer, he's got a great curveball and good velocity on his fastball."
Selected by Atlanta with the seventh overall pick in the June First-Year Player Draft, Minor had an 0.64 ERA in four starts for Class A Rome of the South Atlantic League. In seven games as a pro, opponents are hitting just .234 against him.
"He's also got a good move to first base, so he keeps guys off second base," Alonso noted.
Carlton Smith (Indians), Logan Ondrusek (Reds), Brandon Gomes (Padres), Evan Englebrook (Astros), Jeff Lyman (Braves) and Craig Kimbrel (Braves) each pitched an inning as the Saguaros shut out a Javelinas team that was averaging a league-leading 8.2 runs per game.
Alonso helped support Minor with two hits, including a two-run single in the fifth. The Reds' first-round pick in the 2008 Draft raised his average 47 points to .207 but has been productive with 10 RBIs in seven games.
"My swing's been pretty good. I've been hitting a lot of balls hard, they just weren't going my way," Alonso said. "A couple of balls here and there and I'm back at .300. I' actually pretty happy."
Alonso's also been working with Saguaros manager David Bell, taking some ground balls at third base and fly balls in left field.
"I'm doing everything I can," he said. "I can only control what I can control. I don't know what the future holds. I'm going to have a positive attitude, whatever [the Reds] want me to do."
Braves farmhand Brandon Hicks capped the Saguaros' four-run second with a two-run single and Indians Minor League Nick Weglarz singled, walked twice and scored a run.
Southern League All-Star Jordan Danks (White Sox) had two hits for the Javelinas to raise his average to .424. Tigers right-hander Scot Drucker (1-1) took the loss after surrendering four runs on three hits in two innings.
Daren Smith is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.