Fire Frogs' Wentz continues to roll

Braves No. 10 prospect allows two hits over five scoreless innings

Joey Wentz ranked second in the South Atlantic League with 152 strikeouts and fourth with a 2.60 ERA last year. (Brian McLeod/

By Rob Terranova / | April 13, 2018 10:44 PM

Through two Florida State League outings, the results have been there for Joey Wentz, even if they're not showing up in the win column.

The Braves No. 10 prospect continued his impressive start with Class A Advanced Florida, allowing two hits over five scoreless innings, in a 1-0, 10-inning loss to Palm Beach at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Gameday box score

"I felt really good out there. I had all three of my pitches working and my body felt good," Wentz said after striking out six and issuing one walk. "My plan whenever I got out there is to attack hitters early, go right at them and get ahead and then try to expand the zone. I was actually pretty fortunate tonight, there were a few hard-hit balls, but they were hit right at somebody, so that was good. Overall, it was good to get this outing."

Wentz retired four of the first five batters he faced and, after walking Andy Young in the second, set down the next seven hitters in a row.

"I'm still on a pitch count here, so I was happy that I was able to be efficient and get some good outs," the 6-foot-5, 210-pound left-hander said. "My changeup was really effective tonight and I used it a lot to keep guys off-balance. I had my fastball working, too, so that really helped. I was able to get some swings and misses, and that's always a good thing."

In his first start with the Fire Frogs on April 8, Wentz went four innings and gave up one run on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

"I thought my stuff was good last time, too, but you definitely get more comfortable every time you go out there," the 20-year-old said. "I was able to use my off-speed pitches better tonight, so that's why I think my results were better tonight. But I felt good both times I went out there."

MiLB include

Wentz spent last season with Class A Rome, where he went 8-3 with a 2.60 ERA that ranked fourth in the South Atlantic League. In 131 2/3 innings, he gave up 99 hits and 46 walks while striking out 152.

"We have a lot of really good players here and a lot of really good guys," Wentz said of the Fire Frogs. "It's definitely been fun, but I just want to get the ball every five days and go out there and compete. I just want to give us a shot every time I get a chance, and so far it's been a great experience."

Devan Watts followed Wentz and gave up a hit over two scoreless innings. Jon Kennedy (1-1) took the loss after yielding an unearned run on three hits in two frames.

Cardinals starter Mike O'Reilly struck out nine over seven shutout innings, allowing three hits without a walk. J.B. Woodman scored the winning run on a throwing error by catcher Lucas Herbert.

Rob Terranova is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @RobTnova24. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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