May 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm by Ethan Purser under Minor Impact
There were only two games on the farm last night, and you can view the box scores here. Today, let’s check in and see how our top 40 prospects performed in the month of April.
|Sims, Lucas (2)||A-||19||11.1||6||0||6.35||159||13.46||19.23||0.412|
|Graham, J.R. (3)||AA||23||23.1||5||5||3.09||83||20.21||5.32||0.679|
|Gilmartin, Sean (4)||AAA||23||30||5||5||2.40||61||10.69||9.92||0.326|
|Wood, Alex (6)||AA||22||27||5||5||0.67||18||29.81||4.81||1.292|
|Cabrera, Mauricio (7)||A-||19||26.2||5||5||2.70||68||11.50||14.16||0.394|
|Northcraft, Aaron (16)||AA||23||21||4||4||4.29||115||24.10||9.64||0.952|
|Hale, David (20)||AAA||25||16.1||3||3||5.51||141||15.19||8.86||0.400|
|Martin, Cody (21)||AA||23||19.2||7||3||3.66||98||28.74||9.20||0.833|
|Moore, Navery (22)||A+||22||23.1||5||5||7.71||205||9.48||8.62||0.256|
|Rodriguez, Daniel (28)||AAA||28||21.2||6||6||7.48||191||26.21||16.50||0.730|
|Hyatt, Nathan (33)||A+||22||11||9||0||0.82||22||34.09||6.82||1.667|
|Shreve, Chasen (38)||AA||22||11.2||11||0||4.63||124||16.67||4.17||0.533|
|Peterson, David (39)||A+||23||18.2||5||4||2.89||77||22.37||9.21||0.810|
|Scoggin, Patrick (40)||A-||22||21.2||5||5||4.98||125||17.00||12.00||0.500|
J.R. Graham and Alex Wood have performed brilliantly at the top of Mississippi’s rotation. In fact, Wood’s ERA is a full 82 percent better than the Southern League average while posting a DOM, which is strikeouts divided by hits and walks, of 1.292. That’s, uh, pretty good.
Aaron Northcraft’s ERA and walk rate are worse than league average, but he’s striking batters out at a fairly high rate and getting a ridiculous amount of ground balls. His groundball/flyball ratio is currently sitting at 5.17.
As discussed on the pitching prospects podcast in the offseason, Mark and I were both relatively bearish on Navery Moore coming into this season, citing depressed stuff in his full-season debut in Rome last season. So far, 2013 has not been kind to the former Vanderbilt Commodore. He’s posted an ERA that is 105 percent worse than the Carolina League average and has only missed 11 bats in 23.1 innings pitched.
Mauricio Cabrera and Lucas Sims are both going through growing pains in Rome. Cabrera’s results have been better as of late, but he has still walked more batters than he has struck out. Sims, pitching out of Rome’s bullpen, has struggled both in terms of results and peripherals. There is no reason to panic, however, as these are two high-ceiling 19-year-olds getting their feet wet in full-season ball. They’ll be just fine.
Nathan Hyatt, a pitcher we championed this offseason, is absolutely destroying the Carolina League out of Lynchburg’s bullpen. His potent fastball/slider combination has led to an abundance of swings and misses and an ERA that is 78 percent better than the league. I think it’s fairly safe to say that he could be in the upper levels by season’s end, assuming he keeps performing in this manner.
|Bethancourt, Christian (5)||AA||21||46||0.341||0.356||0.500||0.856||151||13.04||2.17||0.227|
|Peraza, Jose (8)||A-||19||86||0.263||0.321||0.303||0.624||79||13.95||5.81||0.145|
|Salcedo, Edward (9)||AA||21||94||0.247||0.319||0.365||0.684||101||23.40||8.51||0.224|
|Cunningham, Todd (10)||AAA||24||104||0.253||0.317||0.305||0.623||77||16.35||6.73||0.168|
|Terdoslavich, Joe (12)||AAA||24||111||0.318||0.333||0.570||0.903||152||17.12||1.80||0.271|
|La Stella, Tommy (13)||A+||24||9||0.500||0.778||1.250||2.028||477||0.00||44.44||1.750|
|Lipka, Matt (14)||A+||21||97||0.205||0.260||0.375||0.635||81||19.59||7.22||0.273|
|Kubitza, Kyle (17)||A+||22||93||0.268||0.333||0.402||0.736||111||21.51||7.53||0.183|
|Elander, Josh (25)||A-||22||105||0.309||0.362||0.505||0.867||146||24.76||7.62||0.299|
|Beckwith, William (26)||A+||22||97||0.277||0.371||0.518||0.889||154||24.74||9.28||0.398|
|Franco, Carlos (30)||A-||21||95||0.232||0.337||0.341||0.678||94||27.37||13.68||0.329|
|Leonard, Joe (32)||AAA||24||75||0.194||0.243||0.284||0.527||49||21.33||6.67||0.149|
|Brown, Blake (36)||A-||22||60||0.151||0.237||0.245||0.483||38||43.33||8.33||0.189|
|Mejia, Ernesto (37)||AAA||27||107||0.276||0.393||0.609||1.002||180||28.04||14.95||0.529|
Don’t spit your drink out when you see Tommy La Stella’s OPS-plus, as he was injured for the first few weeks of the season and only has nine plate appearances in Lynchburg. One has to imagine that he will be in Mississippi fairly soon.
Though he was put on the disabled list today with a hamstring issue, Christian Bethancourt hit well in April. He’s still hacking at everything, but he’s making harder contact and hitting for extra bases at a higher rate than he did in 2012. In 12 games this season, he has five extra-base hits; in 71 games last season, he had eight. He’s repeating the level and all, but it’s good to see some form of improvement.
In his second go-around in the International League, Joe Terdoslavich is crushing the ball. Thus far, he’s posted a 152 OPS-plus and a .272 secondary average despite walking in less than two percent of his plate appearances. The switch-hitting corner outfielder/first baseman leads the International League in doubles. Of course he does.
22-year-old Josh Elander is off to a good start in Rome. The six-foot-one, 215-pound former catcher has moved back to a corner outfield spot, a position he hasn’t occupied regularly since his freshman year at TCU. At the plate, he’s hitting for average and power despite a strikeout rate that is a higher than league average. I have my reservations about Elander, but there are plenty of things to like about the bat here.
Edward Salcedo’s triple slash doesn’t immediately stand out, but the 21-year-old has been a league-average hitter in the Southern League so far in 2013. While the term “league-average hitter” sometimes carries a negative connotation, it’s actually quite positive in Salcedo’s case due to his relatively young age for the Southern League. The move from High-A to Double-A is also a huge jump for a hitter to make, which puts his performance thus far into perspective. After his performance in the Arizona Fall League this offseason, anything is an improvement.
*Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and Baseball America. OPS+ and ERA- have not been adjusted for ballparks.
April 17, 2013 at 7:00 am by Ethan Purser under Minor Impact
If you’re interested in full box scores, they can be found here. I’ve put together a few selected lines along with additional commentary.
|Peraza, Jose (8)||19||A-||SAL||ATL||2-4, K, 2 SB (4); .243/.326/.270|
|Elander, Josh (25)||22||A-||SAL||ATL||3-4, 2 2B (4); .373/.385/.549|
|Franco, Carlos (30)||21||A-||SAL||ATL||0-4, 2 K; .190/.261/.286|
|Beckwith, William (26)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||2-4, HR (3), K; fielding error (4); .279/.326/.535|
|Reyes, Elmer||22||A+||CAR||ATL||1-3; .429/.429/.536|
|Kubitza, Kyle (17)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||0-3, BB; fielding error (5); .286/.354/.381|
|Rohm, David||23||A+||CAR||ATL||1-4, K; .361/.465/.556|
|Russell, Kyle||27||AA||SOU||ATL||1-3, BB, 2 K; .243/.364/.351|
|Schlehuber, Braeden||25||AA||SOU||ATL||1-3, 2B (1); passed ball (1); .105/.105/.158|
|Salcedo, Edward (9)||21||AA||SOU||ATL||0-2, BB, K; .263/.364/.263|
|Gosselin, Phil||24||AA||SOU||ATL||2-4, 2B (3); .209/.239/.326|
|Marrero, Christian||26||AA||SOU||ATL||1-3, 2B (5), BB, K; .257/.435/.400|
|Terdoslavich, Joey (12)||24||AAA||INT||ATL||2-4, 2B (4), K; .278/.304/.500|
|Mejia, Ernesto (37)||27||AAA||INT||ATL||1-2, BB; .341/.388/.886; error (interference)|
|Parraz, Jordan||28||AAA||INT||ATL||1-3, HR (3), BB, K|
|Pastornicky, Tyler||23||AAA||INT||ATL||2-4, picked off; .400/.404/.545 (playing second base)|
|Janish, Paul||30||AAA||INT||ATL||0-4, K|
Rome’s Josh Elander continues to swing a hot bat, hitting .405/.419/.619 with four doubles, a home run, and a triple over his past 10 games. Last year’s sixth round pick out of TCU could be on the fast track now that he’s playing a corner spot rather than catcher. He swings a quick bat, but there are some mechanical inefficiencies that could be exploited as he nears the highest level.
In his second game back from the disabled list, Paul Janish went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
With rumors swirling about potential trade interest from his former team, Tyler Pastornicky continues to rake for Gwinnett, adding another couple of hits on Tuesday night.
Ernesto Mejia is slugging .886 for Gwinnett so far this season, and that’s not a typo. On the other end of the spectrum, Edward Salcedo has 10 hits on the year for Mississippi, all of which have been singles.
Gwinnett’s Jordan Parraz and Lynchburg’s William Beckwith had the only two dingers in the system on Tuesday night. Both players now have three on the young season.
|Cabrera, Mauricio (7)||19||A-||SAL||ATL||6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K; 89 pitches, 52 strikes; 6/3 GO/AO|
|Fitzgerald, Jeremy||22||A-||SAL||ATL||2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K; 34p-22s; 1/0 GO/AO|
|Simmons, Shae||22||A-||SAL||ATL||1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; 14p-8s; 1/0 GO/AO|
|Moore, Navery (22)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR; 84p-50s; 10/1 GO/AO|
|Woolley, Ryan||25||A+||CAR||ATL||1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; 26p-12s; 1/0 GO/AO|
|Rivera, Wilson||23||A+||CAR||ATL||0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; 8p-5s|
|Chaffee, Matt*||24||A+||CAR||ATL||1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; 35p-17s; 1/0 GO/AO|
|Graham, J.R. (3)||23||AA||SOU||ATL||6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; 71p-50s; 6/3 GO/AO|
|Harper, Ryne||24||AA||SOU||ATL||1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; 9p-7s; 2/1 GO/AO|
|Thomas, Ian*||26||AA||SOU||ATL||1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; 31p-16s; 1/3 GO/AO|
|Gilmartin, Sean* (4)||23||AAA||INT||ATL||7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; 91p-57s; 8/10 GO/AO|
|Rasmus, Cory||25||AAA||INT||ATL||1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; 15p-8s; 1/1 GO/AO|
|Hughes, Dusty*||31||AAA||INT||ATL||0.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K; 3p-1s|
|Obispo, Wirfin||28||AAA||INT||ATL||1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; 26p-16s|
After an inauspicious start to the season, Mauricio Cabrera had his best appearance in full-season ball thus far, striking out six, walking three, and allowing only one hit in six innings of work.
Rome used Jeremy Fitzgerald and Shae Simmons in relief of Cabrera. Picked in the 21st and 22nd round last year, the two relievers both sit in the 91-93 MPH range and can pump it into the mid-90s on occasion. In my quick look at the two pitchers, both of their fastballs lacked impressive movement. Simmons, a 5-foot-9 righty, possesses a hard low-80s slider that can be used as a swing-and-miss offering, while Fitzgerald features a more traditional upper-70s breaking ball from a high three-quarter arm slot.
Navery Moore has been very hittable in his three appearances this season, allowing 20 hits and 13 earned runs in 12.1 innings of work for Lynchburg.
Vintage outing from J.R. Graham — seven strikeouts and six groundouts in six innings pitched. While he did allow two walks, the smaller righty threw 70 percent of his pitches for strikes.
There is both good news and bad news from Sean Gilmartin’s start on Tuesday. First, he allowed no earned runs (one run) on five hits in seven innings pitched against Norfolk (yay!). This came with only one strikeout and three walks, however (boo!). Over his past two starts, the pitchability lefty is sporting a 3:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio despite allowing only two earned runs. It’s two starts, though; no reason to panic.
April 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm by Ethan Purser under Atlanta Braves
Acquired in the Derek Lowe deal in October of 2011, Chris Jones is a 24-year-old lefty who spent all of 2012 in Mississippi’s bullpen, posting a 3.90 ERA with a 61:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 60 innings pitched. The six-foot-two, 200-pound southpaw opened the season back in Double-A after a decent performance in the Arizona Fall League, where he posted a 4.60 ERA with an 11:7 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 15.2 innings pitched for the Phoenix Desert Dogs.
Deception is the name of the game for Jones. He throws across his body from a low three-quarter arm slot, making it extremely hard for same-handed batters to pick up his release point. His fastball sits in the average range, but the deception created by his delivery, his ability to manipulate the pitch in all quadrants of the zone, and his ability to sink and cut the pitch with ease aid in creating an offering that is more valuable than the radar gun suggests. His upper-70s breaking ball will vary in shape and can get slurvy on occasion, but when he locates it to the glove-side effectively, the pitch elicits plenty of swings-and-misses and weak contact from lefties. He does have trouble locating this offering on a consistent basis, however.
Since 2011, Jones has faced a total of 188 left-handed hitters in the minors. Collectively, they have posted a .194/.287/.248 line against the southpaw, including 52 strikeouts and only one home run during this span. He’s by no means a perfect pitcher, but he can certainly get lefties out at a high rate, a skill that is clearly valuable in a major league bullpen.
Taken as a whole, losing Jones is not a huge deal in terms of the impact on the farm system. He is more than likely a situational bullpen piece down the road, and while there is certainly value in his arm, there are other options with similar profiles in the upper minors. One can fairly easily see a modest big-league future here, however, a fact that makes his loss slightly less palatable.
As always, be on the lookout for more analysis concerning this trade as the day progresses.
*Stats courtesy of MiLB, Minor League Central, and Baseball Reference.
April 10, 2013 at 6:00 am by Ethan Purser under Minor Impact, Prospects
Mississippi was off yesterday, prompting Christian Bethancourt to post these messages on twitter. I found them to be fairly humorous. Also, I was fully expecting a Chipotle off-day tweet at some point, but alas . . .
Now, on to the fun stuff.
|Mueller, Tony||23||A-||SAL||ATL||1-4, BB; .125/.222/.167|
|Luna, Robert||20||A-||SAL||ATL||1-5, K; .333/.368/.369|
|Elander, Josh (25)||22||A-||SAL||ATL||2-5, 2B; outfield assist; .333/.333/.481|
|Sanchez, Edison||22||A-||SAL||ATL||1-3, 2B (2), BB, 2 K; .143/.250/.286|
|Franco, Carlos (30)||21||A-||SAL||ATL||1-3, 2B (2), BB, 2 K; throwing error; .174/.240/.261|
|Tewell, Tyler||21||A-||SAL||ATL||1-4, 2B (3); throwing error; .375/.412/.563|
|DeSantiago, Nick||22||A-||SAL||ATL||1-3, BB; .111/.273/.111|
|Lipka, Matt (14)||21||A+||CAR||ATL||0-3, 2 BB, SB (2); .222/.333/.333|
|Reyes, Elmer||22||A+||CAR||ATL||2-5; .500/.500/.667|
|Beckwith, William (26)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||2-4, HR (2), BB; .267/.313/.667|
|Hefflinger, Robby||23||A+||CAR||ATL||1-5, HR (4); .313/.421/1.063|
|Kubitza, Kyle (17)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||2-5, 2 2B (3), K; .438/.526/.625|
|Skinner, Will||24||A+||CAR||ATL||1-3, BB; fielding error; .167/.231/.250|
|Weaver, Matt||22||A+||CAR||ATL||1-3, HR , BB; .375/.444/.750|
|De La Cruz, Luis||24||A+||SOU||ATL||1-3, BB, K; .333/.500/.333|
|Constanza, Jose||29||AAA||INT||ATL||1-4, BB, K; .167/.250/.167|
|Terdoslavich, Joey (12)||24||AAA||INT||ATL||1-5, 2B, 4 K; fielding error; .227/.261/.273|
|Mejia, Ernesto (37)||27||AAA||INT||ATL||2-5, 2B (2), HR (3); .318/.348/.818|
|Cunningham, Todd (10)||24||AAA||INT||ATL||1-3, BB; .250/.318/.250|
|Pagnozzi, Matt||30||AAA||INT||ATL||2-3, 2B, BB; .364/.462/.455|
|Pastornicky, Tyler||23||AAA||INT||ATL||1-5, 2 K; .304/.304/.391|
In the words of Chip, Robby Hefflinger is hotter than a dancing bobcat, as the 23-year-old has four home runs over his last three games in Lynchburg. The six-foot-four, 220-pound corner outfielder has massive raw power, but there is plenty of swing-and-miss in his game, which has led to fairly high strikeout rates in parts of four professional seasons. He’s a corner outfield profile, so he will have to keep mashing to move up the ladder. He’s certainly off to a great start in what could be a put-up-or-shut-up year for the slugger.
After a terrible first game of the season, Josh Elander is nine for his last 22 (.408) with a double and a home run.
Kyle Kubitza is off to a great start in Lynchburg, posting a 1.151 OPS thus far. He slashed two doubles on Tuesday night.
It would have been fun to have seen Ernesto Mejia in an Atlanta uniform while Freddie Freeman recovers from his oblique strain. The hulking first baseman is a one-trick pony (extra-base power), a skill that was readily on display in Durham on Tuesday night. Could he be a good backup first baseman/right-handed bat off of the bench? Possibly. Does he fit on this roster as it is currently constructed in Freddie’s absence? Not really.
|Briceno, Rafael||22||A-||SAL||ATL||2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 0 K; 3/0 GO/AO|
|Rohde, Brandon*||23||A-||SAL||ATL||1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K; 0/2 GO/AO|
|Sims, Lucas (2)||19||A-||SAL||ATL||2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; 3/1 GO/AO|
|Ross, Greg||23||A-||SAL||ATL||4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR; 7/0 GO/AO|
|Weber, Ryan||22||A+||CAR||ATL||5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; 8/0 GO/AO|
|Miller, Jarrett||23||A+||CAR||ATL||2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K; 0/2 GO/AO|
|Rivera, Wilson||23||A+||CAR||ATL||1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K; 1/0 GO/AO|
|Pacheco, Ronan*||24||A+||CAR||ATL||1.0 IP, 1 H, R, 2 BB, 0 K; 1/1 GO/AO|
|Rodriguez, Daniel* (28)||28||AAA||INT||ATL||0.1 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR; 37 pitches, 20 strikes|
|McCurry, Cole*||27||AAA||INT||ATL||3.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR; 59p-37s; 4/3 GO/AO|
|Obispo, Wirfin||28||AAA||INT||ATL||1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K; 22p-14s|
|Buchter, Ryan*||26||AAA||INT||ATL||1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K; 20p-12s; 2/0 GO/AO|
|Hughes, Dusty*||31||AAA||INT||ATL||2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K; 27p-19s; 1/2 GO/AO|
I’m not entirely sure how to approach this, but here it goes: Daniel Rodriguez gave up nine earned runs on seven hits and two walks in a third of an inning pitched for Gwinnett. As we saw in spring training, the 28-year-old lefty has legitimate secondaries at his disposal that can elicit swings-and-misses, but the issue holding him back is the lack of command and control over his entire arsenal. He’s just an organizational depth piece, but if he ever wants to make the jump to the show, this is the area that will require the most work.
Lynchburg starter Ryan Weber put together a decent first start in 2013, going five innings and allowing only two runs on five hits and a walk. Weber is adept at keeping the ball on the ground with a fastball that features heavy sink and arm-side life. This trait was very evident on Tuesday night, as he did not record an out via the fly ball all evening.
Rafael Briceno got the nod for the Rome Braves, and he responded with a lot of fives: five hits, five earned runs, and five walks in two innings pitched. That 0:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio is just brutal.
After a poor full-season debut, Lucas Sims pitched well in relief of Briceno, allowing a hit and striking out one in two innings of work. Don’t panic because he’s pitching in relief, as the organization is more than likely regulating his innings.
April 6, 2013 at 2:04 am by Ethan Purser under Prospects
|Mueller, Tony||23||A-||SAL||ATL||0-4, K|
|Peraza, Jose (8)||19||A-||SAL||ATL||1-4, 2B; fielding error (1)|
|Elander, Josh (25)||22||A-||SAL||ATL||2-4, SB (1)|
|Franco, Carlos (30)||21||A-||SAL||ATL||1-4, 2B; throwing error (2)|
|Lipka, Matt (14)||21||A+||CAR||ATL||1-4, 2 K|
|Heffley, Ross||23||A+||CAR||ATL||1-3, CS (1); fielding error (1)|
|Beckwith, William (26)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||0-4, 3 K|
|Kubitza, Kyle (17)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||1-4, K; throwing/fielding error (2)|
|Rohm, David||23||A+||CAR||ATL||1-4, K|
|Gosselin, Phil||24||AA||SOU||ATL||0-4, 3 K|
|Bethancourt, C. (5)||21||AA||SOU||ATL||1-4, 2B|
|Salcedo, Edward (9)||21||AA||SOU||ATL||2-4, K|
|Marrero, Christian||26||AA||SOU||ATL||2-4, 2B, K|
|Constanza, Jose||29||AAA||INT||ATL||1-3, BB, K, CS (1)|
|Pastornicky, Tyler||23||AAA||INT||ATL||4-4, 2 2B, SB (1)|
|Terdoslavich, Joey (12)||24||AAA||INT||ATL||1-4, K|
|Mejia, Ernesto (37)||27||AAA||INT||ATL||1-4, 2 K|
|Dewitt, Blake||27||AAA||INT||ATL||1-3, K|
|Cunningham, Todd (10)||24||AAA||INT||ATL||0-4, K, CS (1)|
|Leonard, Joe (32)||24||AAA||INT||ATL||2-4, K|
|Parraz, Jordan||28||AAA||INT||ATL||1-4, 2 K, CS (1)|
Note: numbers in parentheses indicate the player’s ranking on our offseason top prospects list.
While he’s not technically considered a “prospect” any longer, Tyler Pastornicky is only 23 years old and still has a bright future, though it will likely come at a position other than shortstop on a first-division team. He’ll continue to work on adding positional versatility in Gwinnett, and with more nights like this at the plate, he could hit his way back to Atlanta at some point in 2013.
Rome only had four hits on Friday night, half of which belonged to left fielder Josh Elander. Good rebound after a dismal debut in which he earned a golden sombrero.
Speaking of strikeout issues, Lynchburg’s William Beckwith compiled a hat trick on Friday. The big first baseman has some swing-and-miss in his game, though it’s not an excessive amount. He’ll need to hit and hit for power, as he’s a first-base-only type who will derive all of his value from his bat.
Prized shortstop prospect Jose Peraza knocked his first extra-base hit and committed his first error in full-season ball.
Mississippi’s Edward Salcedo and Christian Bethancourt put together a decent night collectively, going 3-for-8 with a double and a strikeout.
|Cabrera, Mauricio (7)||19||A-||SAL||ATL||2.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K; 5/3 GO/AO|
|Rohde, Brandon*||23||A-||SAL||ATL||1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR; 0/2 GO/AO|
|Sims, Lucas (2)||19||A-||SAL||ATL||1.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K; 3/1 GO/AO|
|Perez, Carlos*||21||A-||SAL||ATL||2.1, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K; 3/0 GO/AO|
|Moore, Navery (22)||22||A+||CAR||ATL||1.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR; 2/1 GO/AO|
|Miller, Jarrett||23||A+||CAR||ATL||2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; 1/3 GO/AO|
|Peterson, David (39)||23||A+||CAR||ATL||1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K; 1/1 GO/AO|
|Brewer, Caleb||24||A+||CAR||ATL||2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; 2/2 GO/AO|
|Pacheco, Ronan*||24||A+||CAR||ATL||1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; 4/1 GO/AO|
|Graham, J.R. (3)||23||AA||SOU||ATL||2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K; 24 pitches-15 strikes; 5/0 GO/AO|
|Lee, Michael||26||AA||SOU||ATL||3.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; 52p-32s; 5/2 GO/AO|
|Shreve, Chasen* (38)||22||AA||SOU||ATL||2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; 36p-21s; 2/2 GO/AO|
|Harper, Ryne||24||AA||SOU||ATL||2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; 32p-18s; 1/1 GO/AO|
|Gilmartin, Sean* (4)||23||AAA||INT||ATL||5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR; 87p-52s; 6/5 GO/AO|
|Rasmus, Cory||25||AAA||INT||ATL||1.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR; 11p-7s; 1/1 GO/AO|
|Hughes, Dusty*||31||AAA||INT||ATL||1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; 39p-24s; 1/0 GO/AO|
|Russell, Andrew||29||AAA||INT||ATL||2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 K; 31p-21s; 1/0 GO/AO|
Note: an asterisk indicates a left-handed pitcher.
buzz·kill (noun): Both Mauricio Cabrera and Lucas Sims made their full-season debut on Friday night and struggled. Collectively, they went 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and seven earned runs while posting a 2:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That stings a bit, but it’s one game; they’ll be fine.
Vanderbilt product Navery Moore took the hill for Lynchburg and was hit around quite a bit, allowing seven runs on eight hits in only 1.2 innings pitched. I’m on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to his prospect status, as a lack of command and control downplays the efficacy of his offerings. Still, he has raw stuff, and again, it’s just one start. But whoa.
The ever-steady Sean Gilmartin threw five innings of solid baseball, allowing only one run on six hits and two walks while striking out four.
In his fourth shot in the Sally League, Carlos Perez put together a solid 2013 debut out of the bullpen. The six-foot-two, 195-pound lefty struck out three and allowed a hit and a walk in 2.1 innings of work, inducing three groundouts along the way. The 21-year-old has stuff and deception, but inconsistency with his delivery, which negatively affects his command and control, has always been the issue.
|Hamilton, Billy, CF||22||AAA||INT||CIN||2-3, 2B (2), K, 3 SB (3)|
|Lee, Hak-Ju, SS||22||AAA||INT||TBR||2-4, 3B, BB, K, 2 SB (2)|
|Watkins, Logan, UT||23||AAA||PCL||CHI||3-3, 3B, 2 BB|
|Arenado, Nolan, 3B||22||AAA||PCL||COL||3-3, 2B, HR (2)|
|Rojas, Mel, CF||23||AA||EL||PIT||2-5, 2B, HR, SB|
|Hewitt, Anthony, RF||24||AA||EL||PHI||2-3, 2 2B (2), BB|
|Miller, Brad, SS||23||AA||SOU||SEA||3-5, 3B, K|
|Puig, Yasiel, RF||22||AA||SOU||LAD||2-3, BB, K, SB|
|Villanueva, Christian, 3B||22||AA||SOU||CHC||3-5, 2B|
|Ha, Jae-Hoon, RF||22||AA||SOU||CHC||3-5, 2B, K, SB; outfield assist|
|Pham, Tommy, CF||25||AA||TL||STL||2-4, 3B, K|
|Fuentes, Reymond, RF||22||AA||TL||SDP||3-6, 2 2B (3)|
|Blash, Jabari, LF||23||A+||CAL||SEA||2-4, HR, 2 K|
|Spangenberg, Cory, 2B||22||A+||CAL||SDP||3-4, 2B, BB, 4 SB (6)|
|Gaedele, Kyle, LF||23||A+||CAL||SDP||2-4, 2 HR (2), SB|
|Yarbrough, Alex, 2B||21||A+||CAL||LAA||2-3, 2B, BB|
|Ramsey, James, CF||23||A+||FSL||STL||3-6, 2B, 3B|
|DeVoss, Zeke, CF||22||A+||FSL||CHC||3-5, 2B, 3B, BB, SB (2)|
|Baez, Javier, SS||20||A+||FSL||CHC||2-5, 2B, HR, 2 K|
|Gumbs, Angelo, 2B||20||A+||FSL||NYY||2-5, 3B|
|Wilson, Zach, 3B||22||A+||FSL||NYY||3-5, 2 2B (2); throwing error|
|Ruiz, Rio, 3B||19||A||MWL||HOU||2-4, 2B|
|Buxton, Byron, CF||19||A||MWL||MIN||2-3, HR (1), BB, SB (2)|
|Herrera, Rosell, SS||20||A||SAL||COL||2-6, HR, 2 K|
|Moroff, Max, SS||20||A||SAL||PIT||3-5, 2B, K; PO|
|Johnson, Micah, 2B||22||A||SAL||CHW||4-5, 2 2B (2), K, 2 SB (4); fielding error|
|Plawecki, Kevin, C||22||A||SAL||NYM||3-5, HR|
Get used to this: Javier Baez had two extra-base hits, including a home run, but also struck out twice. So. Much. Raw.
Former Miami Hurricane Zeke DeVoss had a great second game in the Florida State League, getting on base four times with two extra-base hits while adding a stolen base. The switch-hitting center fielder pairs a decent feel for hitting with incredible patience at the plate to go along with plus foot speed. He’s still on the raw side, but DeVoss has the potential to be a catalytic player at the top of a lineup.
We can’t discuss catalytic players without mentioning Billy Hamilton. The fastest man in the game stole three bases, including home, Friday night while adding a double and a single.
Byron Buxton, last year’s second overall pick in the draft, hit his first home run of the season in the Midwest League. The center fielder is ridiculously toolsy and has one of the highest ceilings in the minors.
Kevin Plawecki, a former Purdue Boilermaker, was taken in the supplemental round last year by the New York Mets. The catcher pounded three hits last night, including his first home run in the South Atlantic League. While his line-drive-oriented swing is fairly short and compact to the ball, he will often get to his front side far too early in his swing sequence. I’ll be getting my first in-person look at him tonight.
|Prior, Mark||32||AAA||INT||CIN||1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K; 13 pitches-8 strikes; 1/0 GO/AO|
|Archer, Chris||24||AAA||INT||TBR||5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; 82p-49s; 7/0 GO/AO|
|Webster, Allen||23||AAA||INT||BOS||5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K; 85p-50s; 5/3 GO/AO|
|Cole, Gerrit||22||AAA||INT||PIT||4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 K; 63p-40s; 3/5 GO/AO|
|Grimm, Justin||24||AAA||PCL||TEX||5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 BB; 89p-58s; 8/4 GO/AO|
|O’Sullivan, Sean||25||AAA||PCL||SDP||5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; 74p-51s; 6/1 GO/AO|
|Mazzoni, Cory||23||AA||EL||NYM||5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K; 81p-54s; 4/3 GO/AO|
|Biddle, Jesse||21||AA||EL||PHI||6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; 81p-51s; 7/1 GO/AO|
|Tropeano, Nick||22||AA||TL||HOU||5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR; 64p-39s; 6/2 GO/AO|
|Bradley, Archie||20||A+||CAL||ARI||5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 9 K; 4/0 GO/AO|
|Garces, Frank||23||A+||CAL||SDP||5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 9 K; 3/2 GO/AO|
|Jimenez, Eswarlin||21||A+||CAL||LAA||6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 K, 1 HR; 8/2 GO/AO|
|Tapia, Domingo||21||A+||FSL||NYM||6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K; 10/3 GO/AO|
|Fried, Max||19||A||MWL||SDP||4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K; 4/1 GO/AO|
|McCullers, Lance||19||A||MWL||HOU||5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 5 K; 8/0 GO/AO|
|Edwards, C.J.||21||A||SAL||TEX||5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; 8/1 GO/AO|
|Vargas, Cesar||21||A||SAL||NYY||5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K; 61p-40s; 9/0 GO/AO|
|Agosta, Martin||22||A||SAL||SFG||5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 9 K; 4/0 GO/AO|
|Ynoa, Gabriel||20||A||SAL||NYM||5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; 5/2 GO/AO|
I remember emulating the mechanics of Mark Prior and Kerry Wood as a child, which probably helped to cause a wicked elbow injury by the time I was 13 years old. Regardless, my inner child is rooting for Prior to make it back to the majors in some capacity. He got off on the right foot Friday night, pitching an inning of scoreless relief with a strikeout.
One has to wonder how long the Rays can keep Chris Archer in Durham. The 24-year-old compiled a great first start of the season, striking out five while allowing a run on three hits and a walk in five innings of work. According to Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus (sub. req’d), the righty has one of the best sliders in the minors.
Houston’s Lance McCullers had an incredibly solid debut in the Midwest League, scattering four hits across five innings while striking out five. The 19-year-old righty has some effort in his delivery, but who cares? The stuff is legitimate.
Speaking of big-time arms, Archie Bradley made his California League debut Friday night, allowing no runs on four hits while compiling a 9:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 5.2 innings pitched.
One of the best starts of the night belonged to Augusta’s Martin Agosta. The smaller righty, a product of St. Mary’s College of California, struck out nine in five innings pitched while allowing only four hits. Last year’s 84th overall selection (which was, coincidentally, one pick ahead of Alex Wood) kept the ball on the ground and didn’t record a fly-ball out all evening. Check out David Lee’s game story from The Augusta Chronicle.
April 5, 2013 at 7:00 am by Ethan Purser under Atlanta Braves, Prospects
Here’s a quick look at how Braves prospects performed on the opening night of minor league play. The content here will be a bit lighter than one can expect as the season gets rolling, as Rome and Mississippi were the only affiliates in action last night. For this segment, I’ll pick and choose which players to include, focusing primarily on prospects who are at least semi-legitimate. I also have some notes from around minor league baseball in general; I will try to get those up throughout the day as time permits.
Note: AGE = player’s age on June 30th, 2013.
|Mueller, Tony||23||SAL||ATL||1-5, 2B, 3 K|
|Peraza, Jose||19||SAL||ATL||1-4, BB, K, SB|
|Hyams, Levi||23||SAL||ATL||2-3, 2B, 2 BB, SB|
|Elander, Josh||22||SAL||ATL||0-5, 4 K (ouch!)|
|Franco, Carlos||21||SAL||ATL||2-5, 2 K, E|
|Sanchez, Edison||22||SAL||ATL||1-5, 2B, K|
|Alcantara, Aris||23||SAL||ATL||1-4, BB, K, GDP|
|Tewell, Tyler||21||SAL||ATL||3-5, 2 2B, K; CS|
|Marte, Felix||22||SAL||ATL||1-4, 2B|
|Gosselin, Phil||24||SOU||ATL||2-4, K, SB|
|Bethancourt, C.||21||SOU||ATL||1-4, K; PB|
|Salcedo, Edward||21||SOU||ATL||0-4, 3 K|
|Jones, Mycal||26||SOU||ATL||3-4, 2B, SB; outfield assist|
So, uh, Tyler Tewell made me look pretty good after I selected him as a sleeper on Rome’s roster, going 3-for-5 with a couple of doubles. The catcher also threw out an attempted base stealer.
UGA product Levi Hyams is old, but he can hit and has a good plan at the plate. Good debut at Rome.
It was a tale of two nights for Carlos Franco in his full-season debut, as he stroked two singles but struck out twice and committed a throwing error in the field.
Also in his full-season debut, Josh Elander took it on the chin with four strikeouts.
More of the same for Edward Salcedo in his Double-A debut, as he struck out three times in four at-bats.
Mycal Jones has seemingly been in the system forever and is looking to rebound after a poor 2012 campaign. The center fielder got off on the right foot on Thursday night, going 3-for-4 with a double and a stolen base.
|Briceno, Rafael||22||SAL||ATL||5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K|
|Garcia, Bryam||24||SAL||ATL||1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB|
|Lafreniere, Frank||23||SAL||ATL||1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K|
|Jadofsky, Zach||23||SAL||ATL||1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 K|
|Simmons, Shae||22||SAL||ATL||1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K|
|Northcraft, Aaron||23||SOU||ATL||6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 8 K; 83 pitches, 53 strikes|
|Martin, Cody||23||SOU||ATL||0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K|
|Thomas, Ian||26||SOU||ATL||1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 K|
|Lamm, Mark||25||SOU||ATL||1.0, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K|
For the Braves, the best pitching line of the night was turned in by Aaron Northcraft. The big righty kept the ball in and around the zone on Thursday night, striking out eight and producing five groundouts while allowing no free passes and only two hits.
It looks like the Braves are starting Cody Martin in the bullpen this season, a role that is not new to the big righty. He wasn’t incredibly sharp in his first appearance, allowing two walks in less than an inning pitched.
Rafael Briceno turned in a good-not-great performance as Rome’s opening day starter, spreading five hits and two runs across five innings pitched. He did a good job of keeping the ball on the ground, inducing eight groundouts.
Now, here are some lines and thoughts from around MiLB.
|Arcia, Oswaldo||22||INT||MIN||2-4, 2B, HR, BB, K; 2 outfield assists|
|Gose, Anthony||22||INT||TOR||3-4, 2B|
|Hamilton, Billy||22||INT||CIN||1-4, 2B, K|
|Castellanos, Nick||21||INT||DET||0-3, 3 K|
|Brentz, Bryce||24||INT||BOS||3-5, 2 2B, K|
|Joseph, Corban||24||INT||NYY||2-5, BB, K|
|Romine, Austin||24||INT||NYY||1-3, 2 BB, K|
|Hernandez, Cesar||23||INT||PHI||2-3, 2 2B, BB|
|Prince, Josh||25||PCL||MIL||1-3, BB|
|Gennett, Scooter||23||PCL||MIL||1-3, K|
|Morris, Hunter||24||PCL||MIL||2-4, 2B, HR|
|Profar, Jurickson||20||PCL||TEX||2-3, BB, SB; throwing error|
|Beltre, Engel||23||PCL||TEX||2-4, K, SB, CS, PO|
|Olt, Mike||24||PCL||TEX||1-4, 2B, 2 K; throwing error|
|Davidson, Matt||22||PCL||ARI||3-4, HR|
|Arenado, Nolan||22||PCL||COL||1-4, HR|
|Decker, Jaff||23||PCL||SDP||1-4, HR, 3 K|
|d’Arnaud, Travis||24||PCL||NYM||2-3, 2 2B, 2 BB, K|
|Flores, Wilmer||21||PCL||NYM||3-3, 2B, BB|
|Zunino, Mike||22||PCL||SEA||3-4, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, K|
|Austin, Tyler||21||EL||NYY||1-4, 2B, BB, 2 K|
|Bogaerts, Xander||20||EL||BOS||0-4, 3 K|
|Vitek, Kolbrin||24||EL||BOS||1-3, 2B, 2 K|
|Alcantara, Arismendy||21||SOU||CHC||2-3, HR, BB, SB|
|Walker, Keenyn||22||SOU||CHW||1-2, 2 BB, CS, PO|
|Thompson, Trayce||22||SOU||CHW||1-4, HR, K|
|Saladino, Tyler||23||SOU||CHW||2-4, HR (GS)|
|Ahmed, Nick||23||SOU||ARI||0-3, 2 K|
|Realmuto, J.T.||22||SOU||MIA||2-3, 2B, HR, BB, K|
|Marte, Jefry||22||TEX||OAK||3-5, 2B, BB, K|
|Springer, George||23||TEX||HOU||1-4, HR, 2 K|
|Santana, Domingo||20||TEX||HOU||2-4, 2B|
|DeShields, Delino||20||CAL||HOU||2-5, 2B, 3B, K|
|Fontana, Nolan||22||CAL||HOU||2-2, HR, 2 BB, HBP, SB|
|Heineman, Tyler||22||CAL||HOU||3-5, 2B|
|Williamson, Mac||22||CAL||SFG||3-5, 2B, HR|
|Muncy, Max||22||CAL||OAK||3-4, HR, K|
|Robinson, Dusty||23||CAL||OAK||1-3, HR, BB|
|Russell, Addison||19||CAL||OAK||1-4, BB, 3 K|
|Peterson, Jace||23||CAL||SDP||1-5, 2 K, SB|
|Spangenberg, Cory||22||CAL||SDP||2-5, K, 2 SB|
|Jankowski, Travis||22||CAL||SDP||2-3, 2B, BB|
|Sanchez, Gary||20||FSL||NYY||2-4, 2B, SB|
|Gamel, Ben||21||FSL||NYY||2-4, 2B, K|
|DeVoss, Zeke||22||FSL||CHC||1-2, BB, K|
|Baez, Javier||20||FSL||CHC||0-3, 2 K|
|Soler, Jorge||21||FSL||CHC||2-4, K, CS, PO|
|Franco, Maikel||20||FSL||PHI||1-3, BB, K|
|Hanson, Alen||20||FSL||PIT||0-4, 3 K|
|Rosario, Eddie||21||FSL||MIN||0-3, BB, K|
|Sano, Miguel||20||FSL||MIN||1-3, BB|
|Smith, Mallex||20||MWL||SDP||2-4, HR, BB|
|Rodriguez, Luigi||20||MWL||CLE||2-4, K|
|Toles, Andrew||21||MWL||TBR||2-5, 2B|
|Leonard, Patrick||20||MWL||TBR||2-5, 2B|
|Drury, Brandon||20||MWL||ARI||0-4, E|
|Correa, Carlos||18||MWL||HOU||2-5, 2B, 2 K|
|Ruiz, Rio||19||MWL||HOU||1-3, 2 BB, K|
|Ovando, Ariel||19||MWL||HOU||1-4, BB, 2 K|
|Candelario, Jeimer||19||MWL||CHC||1-3, BB|
|Haniger, Mitch||22||MWL||MIL||2-5, 2B, BB, K|
|Coulter, Clint||19||MWL||MIL||1-4, 2 BB, 2 K|
|Buxton, Byron||19||MWL||MIN||2-5, K, SB|
|Goodrum, Niko||21||MWL||MIN||1-3, BB; throwing error|
|Walding, Mitch||20||SAL||PHI||2-2, BB|
|Nimmo, Brandon||20||SAL||NYM||2-3, BB|
|Boyd, Jayce||22||SAL||NYM||3-4, 2B|
|Plawecki, Kevin||22||SAL||NYM||1-3, BB, K|
|Herrera, Rosell||20||SAL||COL||1-4, K|
|Dahl, David||19||SAL||COL||0-4, 3 K; outfield assist|
|Murphy, Tom||22||SAL||COL||2-3, 2B, BB|
|Herrera, Dilson||19||SAL||PIT||0-3, BB, K, SB|
|Bell, Josh||20||SAL||PIT||1-4, 2 K|
|Allie, Stetson||22||SAL||PIT||0-4, 4 K|
|Renda, Tony||22||SAL||WAS||1-4, BB|
|Hutter, Joel||23||SAL||BAL||2-4, 2 3B|
The centerpiece in the R.A. Dickey trade, Travis d’Arnaud hit the ground running in his debut with the new club, rapping out two doubles and reaching base a total of four times.
University of Buffalo product Tom Murphy put together a solid campaign in the Northwest League upon being drafted by the Rockies in the third round last June. The catcher picked up where he left off last season in his full-season debut, ripping a double and reaching base a total of three times in four plate appearances.
Speaking of college catchers drafted in 2012, how about this Mike Zunino guy? The former Florida Gator very nearly hit for the cycle, pounding out a double, triple, and home run in his PCL debut. He also took a walk and struck out once.
Received in exchange for Collin Cowgill this offseason, Jefry Marte put together a solid performance in his Midland debut, going 3-for-5 with a double and a walk. The former Mets farmhand has great contact skills and the frame to grow into more power.
All Nolan Fontana does is get on base; in five plate appearances, Houston’s second-round pick from 2012 drew two walks, was hit by a pitch, and knocked a home run. The former Florida Gator is starting the season on a stacked Lancaster squad that includes George Springer, Domingo Santana, and Delino DeShields, among others.
|Cingrani, Tony||23||INT||CIN||6.0 IP, O H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 16 K|
|Oliver, Andy||25||INT||PIT||6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K|
|Montgomery, Mark||22||INT||NYY||1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K|
|Thornburg, Tyler||24||PCL||MIL||5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K|
|Tepesch, Nick||24||PCL||TEX||5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 5 K|
|Smith, Will||23||PCL||KCR||5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K|
|Delgado, Randall||23||PCL||ARI||4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 K, 1 HR|
|Wheeler, Zack||23||PCL||NYM||3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K|
|Hultzen, Danny||23||PCL||SEA||6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K|
|Montero, Rafael||22||EL||NYM||5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8 K|
|Salazar, Danny||23||EL||CLE||5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K|
|Britton, Drake||24||EL||BOS||3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 HR|
|Turley, Nik||24||EL||NYY||2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, HR|
|Lobstein, Kyle||23||EL||DET||5.0, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, HR|
|Cumpton, Brandon||24||EL||PIT||5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K|
|Molina, Nestor||24||SOU||CHW||4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K|
|Walker, Taijuan||20||SOU||SEA||5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR|
|Holmberg, David||21||SOU||ARI||6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K|
|Arguelles, Noel||23||TEX||KCR||3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K|
|Foltynewicz, Mike||21||CAL||HOU||2.2, 6 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HR|
|Blackburn, Clayton||20||CAL||SFG||5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6 K|
|Chafin, Andrew||23||CAL||ARI||3.0, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K|
|Wisler, Matthew||20||CAL||SDP||5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K|
|Anderson, Tyler||23||CAL||COL||7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K|
|Nicolino, Justin||21||FSL||MIA||5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, BB, 2 K|
|Stephenson, Robert||20||MWL||CIN||5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K|
|Velasquez, Vincent||21||MWL||HOU||5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, HR|
|Johnson, Pierce||22||MWL||CHC||2.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K|
|Butler, Eddie||22||SAL||COL||5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K|
|Bridwell, Parker||21||SAL||BAL||5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K|
Cincinnati’s Tony Cingrani was on the mound for 18 outs, 16 of which were via the strikeout. Yeah.
Old friend Randall Delgado was roughed up a bit in his first start with a new organization, surrendering three runs on four hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
Mets farmhand Rafael Montero, who really opened the eyes of prognosticators last season by showcasing an impressive mix of pitchability and stuff, threw well in his Double-A debut, striking out eight in 5.2 innings pitched.
Former Georgia Tech starter Brandon Cumpton is repeating the Eastern League in the Pittsburgh organization. The smaller righty possesses a fastball with heavy arm-side run and a decent curveball. His first start of the year for Altoona left a bit to be desired, as he allowed four runs and six hits in five innings pitched, striking out six and walking two along the way.
Command/control lefty Tyler Anderson got off to a solid start in the California League, spreading five hits and three runs across seven innings of work while striking out five and walking a pair of batters. The former Oregon Duck has a deceptive delivery that features a strange front leg kick as his foot nears the ground, but the funkiness helps his stuff to play up.
April 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm by Ethan Purser under Atlanta Braves, Prospects
Happy MiLB Opening Day, prospect aficionados. While rain threatens to damper the hopes and dreams of those who have waited months for this day, we will not be deterred from discussing the talent dispersed throughout the system for the upcoming season. Players who were in our top 40 prospects this offseason are highlighted along with guys I like more than most and sleepers for each level. I tried to keep discussion centered around actual prospects and/or players who are on the 40-man roster, so while I’d love to talk about Jordan Parraz (trust me, I would), players of his ilk didn’t make the cut. Note: click on the affiliate for the team’s full roster.
Top 40 prospects on the roster: Lucas Sims, RHP (2); Mauricio Cabrera, RHP (7); Jose Peraza, SS (8); Josh Elander, OF/C (25); Carlos Franco, 3B (30); Blake Brown, OF (36); Patrick Scoggin, RHP (40)
Guy I’m higher on than most: Blake Brown is an incredibly raw talent who is loaded with physical tools. He’ll always be prone to high strikeout totals, but his tantalizing power/speed combination could fit well in the outfield at the highest level. One thing to pay attention to concerning his development is the position he occupies this season, as he split time between right field and center field in Danville. If he can stick, the latter would obviously be a big boost for his prospect status. Brown will likely be a frustrating prospect to follow, but the potential reward could be worth the dissatisfaction in the present.
Sleeper: Taken by the Braves a round after Appalachian State teammate Nathan Hyatt last June, Tyler Tewell hit the ground running in rookie ball, slashing .308/.319/.495 with nine doubles, a triple, and three home runs in 113 plate appearances. He only drew three walks between the GCL and Danville, a trait that can be traced to his college days where he never walked in more than eight percent of his plate appearances in any given season. The bright side is that he makes a lot of hard contact via a short, line-drive-oriented swing that should produce plenty of gap power. He was an outfielder in college, but the Braves like him behind the plate. He has a strong arm wherever he is placed on the diamond, and if he can stick at catcher, his prospect status could grow exponentially.
Three others to keep an eye on: Williams Perez, Carlos Perez, and Chase Anselment.
Top 40 prospects on the roster: Tommy La Stella, 2B (13); Matt Lipka, CF (14); Kyle Kubitza, 3B (17); Navery Moore, RHP (22); Juan Jaime, RHP (24); William Beckwith, 1B (26); Nathan Hyatt, RHP (33); David Peterson, RHP (39)
Guy I’m higher on than most: While his 2012 season was strange statistically, Kyle Kubitza is a legitimate third base prospect with plenty of tools and skills across the board. The tall, lean Texan has wiry strength and can hit with power to all fields while showcasing a great eye at the plate. He has plenty of arm strength and possesses the physical capabilities to stick at third base as he continues to climb the ladder. If I were forced to pick one riser who could be in the organization’s top 10 by season’s end, Kubitza would be on the short list.
Sleeper(s): Ross Heffley was sent directly to Rome last season after being taken as a senior sign in the 18th round out of Western Carolina University. The small second baseman hit well in his debut, posting a .296/.345/412 line, including 13 doubles, a triple, four home runs, and an 18:36 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 259 plate appearances. Heffley is a player who is greater than the sum of his parts, as his only real tool is his bat. He’s adept at keeping his hands inside the baseball and spraying line drives all over the field, showcasing a bit of extra-base pop in his bat along the way. He’s a smart runner who lacks blazing speed, and he makes all of the necessary plays at the keystone. As a rule, most second base prospects are made, not born, and there are no backup second basemen at the major league level. This means that Heffley will have to hit his way up the ladder. My favorite prospect profiles are defense-first catchers, speedy center fielders who showcase some potential for power, and small second basemen who can flat-out hit. Heffley obviously falls into the latter category, so I may be glass-half-fulling it a bit here. In a weird way, his hair-on-fire style of play reminds me of Brooks Conrad; therefore, he shall be dubbed Raw Dog Jr.
After being drafted in the 15th round out of Wofford University as a senior sign in 2011, John Cornely posted eyebrow-raising strikeout numbers between Rome and Lynchburg in 2012, punching out 36 percent of the batters he faced. Along with the strikeouts came plenty of free passes, however, as the smaller righty walked right under six batters per nine innings between his two stops. Cornely possesses a fastball that sits in the low-90s and touches the mid-90s along with a developing breaking ball that varies in shape and velocity, normally sitting in the low-to-mid 80s. His mechanics are a little quirky, but his short arm action and straight-over-the-top release point offer some deception. He’ll be old for his level at Lynchburg, but if he can continue to harness his command, he could find himself in the upper levels of the system by season’s end.
Three others to keep an eye on: Ronan Pacheco, Robby Hefflinger, and Wilson Rivera.
Top 40 prospects on the roster: J.R. Graham, RHP (3); Christian Bethancourt, C (5); Alex Wood, LHP (6); Edward Salcedo, 3B (9); Aaron Northcraft, RHP (16); Cody Martin, RHP (21); Chris Jones, LHP (35); Chasen Shreve, LHP (38)
Guy I’m higher on than most: LOOGYs aren’t necessarily the sexiest prospect profiles, but their utility at the major league level is something that should be considered when evaluating pitching prospects. Chris Jones does not possess lightning stuff, but all of his pitches play up due to a deceptive delivery that keeps left-handed hitters at bay, as they posted a .599 OPS against the 24-year-old last season. He can sink and cut his high-80s to low-90s fastball and will mix in a decent curveball along the way. Jones will be repeating Double-A as a 24-year-old.
Sleeper: Gus Schlosser was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year last season, so calling him a sleeper is a bit of a stretch. He didn’t make our top 40 prospect list, however, so he could be underrated in that regard. Schlosser was drafted in the 17th round as a senior sign out of Florida Southern College in 2011 and performed well out of the bullpen between Danville and Rome upon signing. He was an integral part of Lynchburg’s rotation in 2012, posting a 3.38 ERA with a 139:33 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 165.1 innings pitched. The big righty does not possess overpowering stuff, but like teammate Chris Jones, he possesses enough deception via a sidearm delivery to hold off arm-side hitting, as righties posted a paltry .577 OPS against him in 2012. His fastball sits in the average range but has plenty of wiggle, as he can sink and cut it with ease. As one can imagine given his delivery, his best secondary pitch is his slider, but he can also mix in a developing changeup that works to keep lefties honest. We’re not talking about a future star here — after all, he’ll be a 24-year-old in Double-A this season — but he should be another cheap bullpen option in the near future, which is incredibly valuable given the current market rate for middle relievers.
Three others to keep an eye on: Ryne Harper, Benino Pruneda, and Mark Lamm.
Top 40 Prospects on the roster: Sean Gilmartin, LHP (4); Todd Cunningham, OF (10); Joe Terdoslavich, OF (12); David Hale, RHP (20); Daniel Rodriguez, LHP (28); Joe Leonard, 3B (32); Ernesto Mejia, 1B, (39)
Guy I’m higher on than most: Princeton’s own David Hale has climbed through the system at a steady pace, starting in the Appalachian League in 2009 and spending a full year at each subsequent level. The righty has faced a few developmental bumps along the way, but his performance in Mississippi last season was enough for the Braves to add him to the 40-man roster this offseason. He’ll likely start in the rotation for Gwinnett, but his legitimate fastball/slider combination could play well in a major league bullpen down the road.
Sleeper: Ryan Buchter put together a fine showing in the Arizona Fall League this offseason after performing well in Mississippi in 2012. The lefty struck out 50 batters and allowed only 24 hits in 41.1 innings in Double-A, but struggled mightily after a promotion to Gwinnett in August. Control has always been an issue for the big lefty, a problem that was clearly evident in Gwinnett and, to a certain extent, the AFL. He has good stuff from the left side, however, and this is what makes him a sleeper of sorts. He adds and subtracts from a low-90s fastball that features good life and mixes in a slurvy breaking ball that has tightened up a bit in recent looks. He’ll get another look at Triple-A this season, and while he’ll likely never be dominant, high-leverage reliever, he could be a good situational lefty in middle relief if he tightens up his control. The Braves seem to have a ton of these guys, eh?
Three others to keep an eye on: Robert Fish (injured), Cory Rasmus, and David Carpenter.