D-Braves Opener Two Nights Away

Danville Braves Notebook

The 20th season of Danville Braves baseball begins Thursday night at 7 p.m. against the Princeton Rays.

I was at the team's brief practice on Tuesday. They were rained out for most of the day. Here's some information I've gathered and we'll have much more on the team in the coming days.

The D-Braves roster has 32 players on it and one is outfielder Kyle Wren. He was just drafted in the 8th round out of Georgia Tech after hitting .360 with two home runs, 28 RBIs, and 28 stolen bases. He's also the son of current Atlanta Braves General Manager Frank Wren. Up until recently he didn't want to be drafted by the Braves (out of high school or college) based on that fact. Now he is comfortable with the situation.

When asked if he was able to twist the arm of his dad during contract negotiations with his dad, Kyle said, "He's not the type of guy that would ever let me do that. I kind of jokingly sent him a text - 'This is going to be tough negotiations.' He said, 'Yeah it's going to be tough. You're going to be signing for slot [money].' That was the plan all along. I was just joking. He drives a hard bargain. I think he's made a reputation for that in the big leagues so knowing that I knew I wasn't going to get any extra dollars."

Kyle told me the best pitcher he's ever faced is Danny Hultzen when he pitched for UVa. The second best he's faced is current N.C. State pitcher Carlos Rondon who just threw a complete game against North Carolina in the College World Series.

Danville is once again coached by Jonathan Schuerholz, the son of current Braves President John Schuerholz. He's a young manager at age 31 and he's instructed his players to not call him "Coach." They're only allowed to call him "Skip" or by his name "Jonathan."

Matt Kimbrel will be a relief pitcher for the D-Braves. He's the younger brother of current Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel. There's a poster of Craig on the side of the clubhouse building. So Matt has to walk in front of a poster of his older brother every day he goes to work. He told me he literally says "Hey Craig" when he walks by it.