November 16, 2012 at 11:59 am by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
The Braves quickly filled their need for a backup catcher Thursday by agreeing to terms on a two-year deal with Gerald Laird.
After losing David Ross to the Red Sox on Saturday, the Braves found themselves in need of a backup for Brian McCann, but also someone capable of starting for the weeks that McCann will sit following his shoulder surgery.
The Braves figure Laird is the man for the job, and he’s proven capable of being both a solid backup and starting in spurts. He’s a defense-first catcher, displaying a huge arm and working his feet and framing ability well. In the box, he owns a career .244/.303/.359 slash with a .293 wOBA and 72 wRC+.
There is no real split advantage to speak of, recording a career .313 wOBA vs. LHP and .284 vs. RHP, so while his career numbers against lefties are better than his overall career numbers, the results are still minimal.
Josh Worn of Walkoff Woodward, the Tigers blog on the ESPN SweetSpot Network, was gracious enough to provide his input on Laird.
Laird’s value to a MLB team comes solely as a backup player, where he became comfortable and, in turn, remarkably consistent in what seems to be his last year in Detroit.
Obviously to the untrained eye, his stats look far from impressive. He’s never been pegged as an offensive catcher (because he’s not), he doesn’t really have any advantage as a lefty or right split, and he’s about as slow as Benito Santiago with a piano strapped to his back.
(sss alert! batting ninth last year he OPSd .877 in 104 plate appearances! Wink Wink)
But Laird is interesting because he can really hold his weight in the lineup when he does play. So his offense really isn’t that much of a drain for his actual job. Defense.
He frames pitches better than any other catcher I’ve ever seen in Detroit and has a cannon for an arm. I don’t remember a bad throw he made to second base all year. If his pitchers could hold runners (which none of them can), his CS% of 19% last year would be more like the 35% he holds for his career.
That’s what Laird is. He can handle a pitching staff with ease and should fit right into Atlanta and work well with that staff. His teams have made it to the WS over the last two years so maybe he’s got some sort of voodoo vibe going on which can’t be a bad thing.
With Laird’s on-field abilities aside, the terms of the deal have not been announced, and the deal itself is pending a physical. Considering both Laird and Ross are receiving two-year deals, one would think Laird will receive less per year after the Braves allowed Ross to walk. Ross will be making $3.1 million per year in Boston after making $1.625 million each of the past two years in Atlanta. I would put Laird’s annual amount somewhere between the two, perhaps closer to Ross’ previous earnings.
For a backup catcher with great defense, it seems to be a pretty good deal for the Braves.
November 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Frank Wren became general manager of the Braves in 2008. He inherited a team that was two years removed from its 14 straight division titles and was a combined 163-161 after the streak ended. The mediocre teams he inherited had taken a hit both in the farm system (to keep the streak alive) and in the payroll. (Teams were beginning to leapfrog the stagnant Braves payroll.)
Luckily for the entire organization, Wren is very good at producing a competitive team with a limited amount of spending money. And a major part of that is knowing how to field a solid bullpen cheaply.
In 2008, Wren pieced together a bullpen that made $5,395,000 among its top five members (determined by numbers, not money). Those five combined on a 4.10 ERA and 4.08 FIP. They were hit with injuries, as Mike Gonzalez returned from Tommy John surgery to throw 33.2 innings late in the season, and Rafael Soriano threw just 14 innings due to a host of right elbow issues that led to an eventual surgery.
That year, the Braves were a bit top heavy spending-wise in the bullpen. Soriano made the most at $2.5 million, Gonzalez made $2.3 million and Will Ohman made $1.6 million. (If you include Soriano in the top five, it’s $7,895,000 total.) Wren did not sign Ohman to that deal, however, as he was given a two-year contract by the Cubs and Wren acquired him for that price in one of his first moves as general manager.
In 2009, Wren received full years from Gonzalez and Soriano to make their contracts a little more worthwhile, and the top five relievers made a combined $11,010,000. The highest paid was Soriano at $6.35 million. The top five combined for a 2.94 ERA and 3.06 FIP.
The bullpen remained top heavy contract-wise in 2009, but 3-5 were more effective while making around the minimum. Thus, the beginning of how Wren pieces together effective bullpens.
In 2010, the top five relievers made $11,940,000. Wren stepped out of his zone a little by signing Billy Wagner to a one-year deal worth $6.75 million, giving him one last hurrah while still producing insane numbers as closer. It remains the highest money total given to a reliever since Wren became general manager. Peter Moylan received a raise from $410,000 to $1.15 million, and Wren signed Takashi Saito to a one-year deal worth $3.2 million. Saito gave the Braves very good numbers, but he managed just 54 innings due to a hamstring strain and shoulder inflammation.
That season’s bullpen spread the money out a little more than the first years of Wren’s reign after Soriano and Gonzalez departed, but the overall increase was minimal. Despite just a small increase in pay, the Braves’ top five bullpen arms produced a 2.32 ERA and 2.97 FIP.
In 2011, Wren’s bullpen spending in relation to effectiveness simply embarrassed the rest of the general managers. The top five arms combined to make $4,943,500. Yes, that’s the total. This marked the year of the emergence of the big three: Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty. Venters and O’Flaherty both had good years in 2010, but this was the first season all three would put it together as a trio, while none of the three even cracked $1 million.
In fact, the two lesser arms among the top five made the most. Scott Linebrink topped the list at $2 million, and Wren even managed to get the White Sox to cover $3.5 million to unload Linebrink. George Sherrill made $1.2 million as a bloated LOOGY deal. Moylan’s contract continued to go up, reaching $2 million, but he only threw eight innings due to Tommy John surgery.
That season’s top five arms produced a 2.31 ERA and 2.84 FIP… for a little less than $5 million.
In 2012, it was more of the same but with small raises. The top five totaled $5,003,250. They combined on a 2.30 ERA and 3.06 FIP. (Thank Chad Durbin for the increased FIP.) The highest paid was O’Flaherty at $2.49 million. The trend continues.
So, essentially, this is what you have (top five arms):
Year – Total/Highest Paid/ERA/FIP
2008 – $5,395,000/$2.5m/4.10/4.08
2009 – $11,010,000/$6.35m/2.94/3.06
2010 – $11,940,000/$6.75m/2.32/2.97
2011 – $4,943,500/$2m/2.31/2.84
2012 – $5,003,250/$2.49m/2.30/3.06
Relievers are volatile creatures. Wren can’t afford to make a spending mistake in the bullpen. He knows both of these things and has done an outstanding job of keeping the bullpen spending down while taking advantage of what the farm system produced. Yes, Kimbrel and Venters came from the farm, but Wren deserves credit for piecing around them with cheap but effective arms.
The Braves’ ability to produce solid bullpens cheaply is compounded by the fact that other teams are throwing money at their pens. The Phillies are paying Jonathan Papelbon $13 million each of the next three years. Wren has never paid $13 million for an entire bullpen. The Dodgers are paying Brandon League a total of $22.5 million guaranteed with a chance to up that by nearly $10 million in vesting options. The Marlins paid Heath Bell $7 million in 2012 and is owed $10 million each of the next two seasons.
Wren has an interesting dilemma regarding Kimbrel’s future and O’Flaherty’s current earnings, but if history is any indication, he knows when to pay, when to part and how to take advantage of relievers coming through the system. His greatest test is soon arriving.
November 2, 2012 at 1:45 am by David Lee under Atlanta Braves, Transactions
Center field seems to be coming full circle in Atlanta, although maybe it’s not a complete circle.
The Braves claimed Jordan Schafer off waivers from the Astros on Thursday, giving Atlanta an option for fourth/fifth outfielder or Triple-A depth.
After getting sent to Houston in the Michael Bourn deal, Schafer returns to the Atlanta organization during the same offseason as Bourn’s projected departure for the free agent market.
If bringing back Schafer means nothing more than minor league depth, I don’t care about this move and it’s probably not even worth this post. However, if Schafer is signed as a fourth or fifth outfielder (depending on whether the Braves platoon left field), it does make a difference, if just a slight one.
Fourth outfielders do play defense from time to time, and Schafer isn’t very good at it. He makes bad breaks on line drives and takes bad routes to the gaps at times, and he relies heavily on speed. Schafer’s one advantage defensively – and perhaps his entire game – is his strong arm.
Defensive metrics back up my claims, as well. For his career, Schafer has been worth -24 defensive runs saved and -10.2 UZR. Someone will be quick to say he’s good defensively based on speed, but speed doesn’t equal good defense, and I’d like to think we’re beyond that line of thinking by now.
Schafer’s offensive struggles are well-documented. He owns a career line of .221/.305/.301 with a .274 wOBA and 68 wRC+. He’s also had injury issues, including separating the AC joint in both shoulders, fracturing a middle finger and left wrist surgery. At 26 years old, his potential is pretty much tapped out.
As I said, if the Braves are bringing Schafer back as minor league depth, this move means little to nothing. If they expect him to play defense in a pinch, or more if he has to fill in for an injured starter, his below-average fielding does not make this a worthwhile move. A lot of this depends on how the outfield will shake out by spring.
October 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
The Braves announced they exercised the options of Brian McCann ($12 million), Tim Hudson ($9) and Paul Maholm ($6.5). All three are no-brainers, and the only question that remains from this group is who is left after next season. Check our thoughts on McCann’s future. I mentioned Hudson’s future briefly here.
The Braves have made it known they want David Ross back. Ross previously made it known he wants to return. I expect this to go smoothly. Ross has said in the past he prefers a backup role because of the toll his body takes while playing over long stretches. Also, he’ll be 36 in March, and giving him a starting job on a multi-year deal at this point isn’t smart.
Chris Haft of MLB.com says “(Angel Pagan is) expected to command in excess of $10 million annually on a multiyear contract. The Giants must decide whether Pagan is truly worth that figure or if they can live with overpaying him.”
When Pagan has actually played an entire season, he has been good for 4-5 wins, even when UZR gives him average defense. He has been around average defensively in center field for his career, but his bat has largely made up for it by producing a career .329 wOBA and 104 wRC+. The 31-year-old is a speed player with an average walk rate, so giving him a long-term contract might not be in the Braves’ best interest. But he remains one of the best center field options out there.
Rob Neyer of SB Nation chooses Kris Medlen as his Braves player of the year. There’s no denying Medlen’s success as a starter down the stretch, as well as his role as a reliever for much of the season. Getting a 1.57 ERA and 2.42 FIP with 3.9 fWAR from a guy who made just 12 starts is solid.
However, for all Medlen did to boost the pitching staff down the stretch, it’s also tough to deny Jason Heyward’s 6.6 fWAR, hitting 27 home runs with 21 stolen bases, and a .351 wOBA and 120 wRC+. If Medlen had done what he did, or even close to it, for an entire season, sure, give him the honor (not his fault but that doesn’t change anything). But Heyward amassed his totals over an entire season and was neck-and-neck with Chipper Jones in wOBA while playing in 158 games. When a player does what Heyward did this season, he’s usually the team’s best player.
Heyward was named the winner of the 2012 Fielding Bible Award for right field. “The youth movement continued in right field with first-time winner Jason Heyward. Heyward secured 96 points to top Josh Reddick, who had 84. Reddick actually saved more runs defensively for his team than did Heyward, 22 runs saved to 20, but Heyward’s excellent range and his third straight season of great defensive play earned him a well-deserved award.”
Heyward was also named a Gold Glove winner Tuesday night, giving him a sweep of the defensive awards. It’s the first of what should be many in Heyward’s career.
Martin Prado and Michael Bourn were both up for Gold Glove awards, but the voters chose lesser defenders based probably on their names and hitting ability. Freddie Freeman was also a finalist at first base but lost to Adam LaRoche.
Around the NL East
Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post digs into the new compensatory system and how it affects the Nationals’ dealings with Edwin Jackson and Adam LaRoche.
The Phillies exercised the $5 million option for Carlos Ruiz. The catcher, who will turn 34 in January, hit .325/.394/.540 with a .398 wOBA in 421 plate appearances this past season. His 5.5 fWAR was a career high. While he’s almost certain not to repeat those numbers in 2013, he remains both a solid bat and glove behind the plate and will be underpaid at $5 million.
Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley looks at Ruiz’s future in Philadelphia.
The Phillies declined the $5.5 million mutual option for Placido Polanco, buying out his contract for $1 million and letting him walk. Polanco played in only 90 games with 328 plate appearances in 2012 due to a host of injuries, including two trips to the disabled list for lower back inflammation. He’ll be 37 years old for the 2013 season.
The Phillies also declined options on Ty Wigginton and Jose Contreras, both receiving $500K buyouts.
The Mets picked up the options of David Wright ($16 million) and R.A. Dickey ($5), both of which were no-brainers. New York has much to discuss this offseason and in 2013 regarding the futures of both players.
October 30, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
The topic? Brian McCann’s future in Atlanta, starting with a $12 million option that the Braves must make a decision on soon. To the roundtable we go.
There are a few options with Brian McCann going forward, pick up the option, decline it, or extend him. The latter point is one that I have seldom seen brought up, but it’s what I would try and do if I were Wren and company. Given that McCann will be in for his biggest pay day yet, he may try to avoid an extension, but given his past season and a half of play combined with the injuries he is becoming accustomed to dealing with, he may opt to take some guaranteed money to ensure paychecks over the next few years.
What I would go after is a three year, $30 million deal that would cover this year and remove the option year. It would save $2 million this year, and while it is risky in that McCann could struggle and not live up to the contract, it also has the potential to be cost saving if McCann can revert back to his old form.
If it comes down to picking up the option or not doing so, I would most certainly pick it up. The Braves should have some money to spend and filling in the catcher position will be costly regardless. Picking up the option, while costly, seems like the correct call in my opinion.
2012 notwithstanding, Brian McCann has been an incredibly potent cog behind the plate and in the
middle of Atlanta’s lineup for the better part of eight seasons. When healthy, McCann has shown
a tantalizing combination of power, on-base ability, and fine defense behind the dish, notably in
the area of framing pitches. With all of this being said, McCann suffered through an injury-riddled
2012 and saw his numbers drop accordingly. He underwent surgery for a torn labrum earlier this
month and his status for the beginning of 2013 remains cloudy. We all knew 2012 was going to be
an interesting offseason with respect to McCann’s future contract situation with the team, just not
in the current context.
There are four possible scenarios regarding McCann’s 2013 club option. The least likely of these,
at least as I see it, would be for the Braves to decline the club option. Frank Wren and his staff are
privy to more information regarding the results of his surgery and the details surrounding his
recovery than the general public, so there is at least a non-zero chance that this is genuinely being
discussed internally. Without an heir apparent waiting in the wings*, however, declining the club
option without significant evidence suggesting that he will not return to form would be somewhat
imprudent**. Sticking with unlikely scenarios, the Braves could also choose to exercise the club
option and trade him thereafter to a team in the market for a catcher/DH. This situation depends
entirely on the player(s) received in return for McCann, but with his stock at an all-time low when
taking into account last year’s performance along with the injury/recovery concerns, the Braves
could very well be selling low on McCann. This also puts the Braves in a similar situation regarding
next season’s catcher, assuming that the return does not include a major league ready backstop.
With the previous two scenarios in mind, the Braves should choose to exercise the club option for
2013. Signing a competent backup—e.g. David Ross—will be key in this situation, as McCann will
likely miss time at the beginning of next season recovering from shoulder surgery. If the Braves
plan on keeping McCann past 2013, they are forced to consider that he may regain form next season
and command much more money on the open market next offseason. In light of this, the Braves
could offer McCann a short-term extension, possibly in the range of three years. Many behind-the-
scenes conditions would have to be met for this to be considered—namely confidence that McCann
will fully recover from his surgery and that he can remain operative behind the plate into his
early thirties—but the potential for surplus value is inherent. For McCann, the added certainty of
guaranteed money for a few years after a subpar season—not to mention the possibility of hitting
the open market in his early thirties—would undoubtedly entice, although he could opt to turn
down an offer for an extension and choose to test the free agent waters next offseason, a move that
could pay dividends or be very costly for McCann if he does not return to form.
All things being equal, I believe the Braves will exercise Brian McCann’s 2013 option with the hope
that Christian Bethancourt makes significant strides offensively within the next calendar year.
*I’m looking at you, Christian Bethancourt.
**I love the guy, but I do not consider David Ross to be an adequate full-time replacement for Brian
McCann going forward.
The first issue is whether or not the Braves exercise McCann’s option. The Braves hold a $12MM club option for next year, and I think it’s a near guarantee that they pick up this option unless they are privy to some serious health issues that nobody else is.
There has been some speculation that the Braves might exercise their option and then trade McCann and go with a combination of Ross and Bethancourt. While McCann has no no-trade provisions that I’m aware of and doesn’t yet have 10 years of MLB service, I view any preseason trade as unlikely. Most importantly I don’t think the Braves believe Bethancourt is fully ready to handle MLB pitching yet, and I don’t think the Braves believe that David Ross is a day to day #1 catcher over an entire season. Furthermore, it would be a bad move from a PR perspective however important such a concern may or may not be.
So, I view it as a near certainty that Brian McCann will be the Braves #1 catcher when he returns from rehabbing his shoulder, likely in May. I could envisage a scenario where the Braves fall out of contention early, and McCann gets traded mid-season, but I view that as unlikely as I don’t realistically see the Braves fully falling out of contention before the trade deadline.
As far as going past that, I think it’s 100% a wait and see approach once McCann returns from his rehab. If McCann shows that he is healthy and that his poor results from last year were purely a function of his injured shoulder, the Braves would likely be willing to extend him for 3-4 more years (though prior to last year I think they would have been willing to go 5). If McCann returned at least mostly to form offensively, I think 3 years, $45MM is a likely starting point, perhaps going to 4 years, $55 MM.
However, if McCann does not return to form or continues to be plagued by injuries, I think the Braves will bite the PR bullet and simply part ways and hope that a David Ross/Christian Bethancourt combination would be competitive over a full season. In such a scenario it would be a sad, but necessary end to a very beloved Brave’s career here, as he would likely be better off as a part time DH / backup catcher in the AL.
To begin with, picking up the $12 million option for 2013 seems to be a no-brainer. You’re paying for the potential of 4-5 wins at a prime position when Brian McCann is healthy, and with the cost and scarce amount of talent at the position (especially at McCann’s level), it’s worth the risk of him returning from shoulder surgery at 100 percent.
As all three have pointed out above, extending McCann at 3-4 years is not a bad way to go. If McCann proves his bat speed and hands have not lost a step after the shoulder injury, an extension would be a wise move to lock up what his career numbers have shown to be one of the best catchers in the game. And you have to assume if he does return healthy that he will return to those career norms for at least a few more years.
The Cardinals did the Braves no good by locking up Yadier Molina at five years and $15 million per while Molina is a couple years older than McCann. But it’s the reality of a catcher’s market these days that the best are going to get $12-15 million per. McCann has proven he’s worth that amount when healthy.
So stick to a patient approach right now and see how McCann’s bat responds to extra time off. You have a safety net in David Ross (assuming he returns), and while Christian Bethancourt’s bat is in no way major-league ready, his defense is, and that tends to win out at the position. The Braves have the ability to wait on McCann, and that’s key right now.
October 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson wants to remain a Brave for the rest of his career. Hudson’s $9 million option for 2013 will almost certainly be picked up, but it’s beyond next year that’s in question.
I wrote the following in response to a Dave Cameron blurb on ESPN questioning picking up Hudson’s option:
“Hudson’s velocity has dropped slightly this year, but his contact rates haven’t changed, and he isn’t benefiting from BABIP any more than usual. He’s also allowing fewer home runs than his career average, and his FIP is identical to his career mark.
Will Hudson decline? Of course. He’s 37 years old. But to throw up red flags based on a slight drop in velocity and swinging strike rate for a pitcher who relies on completely different factors to succeed isn’t how you go about determining his decline.”
As I said, the Braves will almost certainly pick up Hudson’s option, but what he is worth after that is a pretty big question. It’s tough to consider more than a couple years for a 38-39-year-old pitcher, but Hudson’s success based on weak contact more than velocity is in his favor as he declines. Depending on the rotation’s outlook and his own health a year from now, I would be hard pressed to give him more than two years.
Brian McCann underwent surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday. Earlier in the day, everyone was optimistic that the surgery would only limit McCann to mid-February. However, the surgery revealed a bigger tear than a recent MRI showed, and it will likely push him back to the beginning of spring training before he can begin activities. This will probably push McCann’s 2013 debut to sometime in April.
Mark Bowman notes the Braves haven’t committed to McCann’s $12 million option and have until three days after the conclusion of the World Series to make the decision. Even though the Braves might not have McCann for opening day, the option will likely get picked up if for no other reason than there’s no better option for the job. McCann’s history says $12 million is a solid deal for his career numbers, and if healthy, there’s no reason to believe he can’t return to that.
Jerry Beach penned an outstanding piece on Chipper Jones and himself. I hope you take the time to read this in full, because it deserves that.
Eno Sarris of FanGraphs writes on Freddie Freeman’s season.
Minor League and Draft Notes
Mike Newman of FanGraphs ranks the third basemen he has seen in the minors this season. The list includes Edward Salcedo, Brandon Drury and Kyle Kubitza of the Braves.
Matt Garrioch of Minor League Ball reports on Josh Hart, a prep outfielder from Lilburn, Ga. Hart is committed to Georgia Tech.
Don Olsen of Bullpen Banter has several reports on prep left-handers for the upcoming draft, including Trey Ball, who looks like a solid first-round talent.
Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus continues his series looking at early draft prep with a few infielders and catchers from the high school ranks. The list includes Nick Ciuffo, a good-looking catcher from Lexington, S.C.
Fall/Winter League Notes
Arizona Fall League:
Edward Salcedo – 2-24, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
Nick Ahmed – 6-13, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Matt Kennelly – 1-9, 1 BB, 1 K
Zeke Spruill – 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Ryan Buchter – 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
Chris Jones – 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Cory Rasmus – 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Evan Gattis – 6-19, 4 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K
Ernesto Mejia – 6-22, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 8 K
Josh Kroeger – 3-15, 5 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
Jose Yepez – 0-1
October 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
With offseason news coming at sporadic times, it’s tough to maintain a daily post over the winter. Odds and ends will provide news and discussion as it is presented, as well as the occasional discussion topic when it presents itself.
The Braves have extended Frank Wren through 2014. Also, Bruce Manno was awarded vice president and assistant general manager/player development. John Coppolella was promoted to assistant general manager. Coppolella is definitely on the radar as a future general manager, and it’s only a matter of time before teams start targeting him, if they haven’t already. Hopefully he’s able to hang around for a long time, but you never know.
Mark Bowman outlines the Braves’ plan this offseason, namely finding a center fielder and either a left fielder or third baseman.
Frank Wren: “We’re going to be looking for premium players. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. But there [are] a couple things we’re always mindful of. We’re putting a team together. We’re not trying to put a player on this team. That’s overriding philosophy — to put a team together. If we think we can add two players that give us more than one player, then we’re going to do that.”
David O’Brien has a full transcript of an interview with Wren providing thoughts on pretty much everything.
Jim Bowden gives some names as possibilities for the Braves in 2013 (ESPN Insider). It’s the usual list that one can make up by using MLB Depth Charts, but it’s worth a look as a resource. Of course, possible center fielders, left fielders or third basemen will be provided in detail here in the future.
Center fielders to seriously consider (mine, not Bowden’s): Ben Revere, Denard Span, Peter Bourjos, Angel Pagan, Gerardo Parra (also for LF), Shane Victorino.
There’s a report saying Parra and Jason Kubel are being made available by Arizona. Parra is under control through 2015 and is arb-eligible for the second time this winter. He could be the most attractive piece considering the combination of talent and value.
Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley analyzes possible center fielders for the Phillies. Much of this can be applied to the Braves.
Minor League Notes
Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports the Braves signed Australian catcher Nathan Hass and outfielder Juan Reyes. A newspaper article from Hass’ native Australia provides more information on him. He seems to have versatility, playing in a world tournament as a first baseman and also known as a relief pitcher. He’s 18 years old.
For your reading pleasure, Nick Faleris of Baseball Prospectus gives reports on prep outfielders for the 2013 draft, including Clint Frazier, Austin Meadows and Justin Williams (subscr.)
Baseball America released its Top 20 International League Prospects, with Julio Teheran coming in at No. 4. This link is free; follow the link for the scouting reports behind the paywall.
Arizona Fall League Notes
Keith Law ranks 10 prospects he is most excited to scout in Arizona (ESPN Insider). No Braves make the list, but he includes Edward Salcedo among the “others.”
Law gave an early report on who has stood out to him so far (ESPN Insider). No Braves are listed.
J.J. Cooper of Baseball America recaps the AFL‘s good and bad through three games. If you’re looking for Braves, they aren’t mentioned here. But it’s a great read.
Robert Emrich of MLB.com recaps Wednesday’s game in which Zeke Spruill started.
AFL Braves Through Three Games