Braves release 14 minor league position players

Bill Shanks

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reported Friday the Braves have released 30 players in the last several weeks. Most if not all of these players would have been released during or after spring training if not for its cancellation in mid-March.

Here is a rundown on some of the position players the Braves released.

First baseman Braxton Davidson was Atlanta’s first pick (32 overall) in the 2014 draft out of Robertson High School in Asheville, NC. Davidson, who got hurt in the Arizona Fall League in 2018 and missed all of last season, hit only .213 in his five minor league seasons with 729 strikeouts in 1754 at bats.

Hagen Owenby was the 12 round pick in the 2017 draft out of East Tennessee State. He hit .274 in his three minor league seasons with five home runs and 44 RBI in 438 at bats. Owenby hit .288 for Rome last season in 125 at bats.

Catcher Zack Soria was Atlanta’s 18 round pick in 2017 out of Florida International. He hit just .198 in his three minor leagues seasons.

The Braves signed Brandon Chapman as an undrafted free agent after the 2018 June draft out of George Washington University. Chapman hit just .247 in 89 at bats in two seasons, including only 53 at bats last year in Danville.

Denzel Bryson was a non-drafted free agent signed after the 2018 season out of Aruba. He hit just .065 in 62 at bats for the GCL Braves last summer.

Randy Ruiz was signed as a free agent last April out of the Dominican, but he hit just .202 in the Dominican Summer League in 89 at bats.

Two years ago, the Braves drafted first baseman Brendan Venter in the 13 round of the amateur draft out of Auburn. Last year, Venter hit just .220 in 277 at bats for Rome with six home runs and 32 RBI. His overall average in two minor league seasons was .207.

Ray Hernandez was also a draft pick in 2018, in the 29 round out of Alabama State. Hernandez hit just .199 last year in 141 at bats for Danville, with two home runs and 21 RBI.

Shortstop Nelson Celesten was signed just last summer out of the Dominican, but he hit just .214 in the DSL in 103 at bats.

Third baseman Yerangel Medina signed three years ago out of the Dominican but just .216 in 2018 in the DSL and then .231 when he returned there last summer.

The Braves drafted former Tennessee Volunteer Jordan Rodgers in the sixth round of the 2017 draft. The third baseman never got going at the plate, as he hit just .227 in his three minor league seasons, including a .204 mark when he returned to High-A Florida last season.

Outfielder Joel Reyes was an international signee in the 2017 class, but a .174 average in the DSL and GCL in three minor league seasons never set him apart.

Christian Zamora is another outfielder signed in that same class three years ago. Zamora’s .164 batting average in 171 at bats did not get him another chance, especially with 70 strikeouts.

And Randi De La Cruz also came from the 2017 international group out of the Dominican. He hit just .194 in two minor league seasons.

Listen to The Bill Shanks Show weekdays at 3:00 p.m. ET on Middle Georgia’s ESPN. You can listen online at TheSuperStations.com. Follow Bill on Twitter at @billshanks and you can email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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