The Atlanta Braves have promoted left-handed starting pitcher Chuck James to AAA Richmond. They have also sent third baseman Van Pope and outfielder Brandon Jones to High-A Myrtle Beach.
James started the season in Myrtle Beach and didn’t stay there long. He started seven games and went 3-3, but had an ERA of 1.08. He allowed only 20 hits and 5 earned runs in 41.2 innings pitched, with 8 walks and 59 strikeouts.
The Braves promoted him to AA Mississippi on May 13th, but the higher classification did not slow him down one bit. He started 16 games for Mississippi and went 9-1 with an ERA of 2.09. He allowed only 62 hits in 86 innings, 18 walks, and 104 strikeouts.
Overall this season, James is 12-4 with a 1.76 ERA in 23 games started, with only 82 hits allowed in 127.2 innings pitched, 25 earned runs, 26 walks, and an astonishing 163 strikeouts. His career numbers are even more remarkable: 24-10, 1.89 ERA, 60 games, 56 games started, 200 hits allowed in 310 innings pitched, 81 runs allowed, 65 earned runs, 93 walks, and 387 strikeouts.
If James does well in AAA Richmond, expect him to be called up in September, even though he is not on the 40-man roster.
Van Pope hit .277 in Rome with 6 home runs and 60 RBI in 386 at bats. He has played tremendous defense at third base, committing only four errors at the hot corner. Pope was the Braves’ 5th round pick out of Meridian Community College in 2004.
Brandon Jones was hitting .308 at Rome with 8 home runs and 27 RBI in 156 at bats. He broke his wrist in mid-April and missed two and a half months of the season. Since he returned a few weeks ago, Jones has been on fire hitting .295 with 8 home runs and 22 RBI in 122 at bats.
Bill Shanks has a book out on baseball scouting and player development called Scout’s Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team. Bill can be reached at email@example.com.