September 2, 2010 at 5:31 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
Hitter of the Year: Freddie Freeman — Became the second hitter this year to crack the MLB active roster before his 21st birthday yesterday. He’s been by far the best hitter in the system this year. I don’t suspect he’ll play in the minor leagues any more unless he’s on a rehab assignment, so his parting gift from me is the hitter of the year award.
Honorable Mention: Matt Lipka — The 35th overall selection in this year’s draft signed quickly and got started in the GCL, hitting .302/.357/.401 in 210 PA’s with 20 SB in 23 attempts. He’s scuffled a bit since his promotion to Danville, but he’s only 18 years old and an excellent prospect. With 80 speed, he’s looking at being the first real leadoff hitter the Braves have developed since Rafael Furcal.
Pitcher of the Year: Julio Teheran — Teheran’s much anticipated full-season debut surpassed even the most lofty of expectations. Teheran made it all the way to AA as a 19-year old and hasn’t slowed down yet. One of the top pitching prospects in the game, he’ll almost certainly be on top of my Braves top-40 list in December.
Honorable Mention: Randall Delgado — Fantastic command, excellent 3-pitch mix, smooth delivery. He’d be the top pitching prospect in more systems than not, Teheran keeps him from achieving that label in Atlanta. Like Teheran, he’s made a successful transition to AA, though he’s a year older. He has an outside shot at making it to the big leagues before his 22nd birthday.
Most Improved Hitter: Mycal Jones — After hitting .125/.157/188 with a 29/3 K/BB ratio in 81 April AB’s, Jones has excelled with the bat, recently earning a promotion to AA. He’s a bit older, and like Lipka isn’t a smooth defender, but his bat has shown lots of promise and rates as one of the top two middle infield prospects in the system.
Honorable Mention: Jesus Sucre — Sucre has improved both on and off the field, going from an organizational scrub that can’t speak English to a legit back-up catcher prospect with plus makeup. He’s shown more power this year and hasn’t been trying to pull everything–something that has plagued him in the past. He still has a ways to go before he’ll be ready to back up Brian McCann, but by the time David Ross’s new contract is up, we may see The Sugar Jesus in Atlanta.
Most Improved Pitcher: Mike Minor — He added a few ticks onto his fastball and has improved his breaking pitches which has some scouts calling his ceiling that of a #2 starter. He’s probably more of a #3, but his improvement and ascension to the majors during his first full season should not be ignored.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Beachy — The out-of-nowhere, reliever convert has shocked the prospect-following world with his dominant campaign. His pitchability is off the charts and he has major league stuff. He’s dominated AAA as a starter after dominating AA as both a starter and reliever, and if he’s pitching this well next year he’ll make the big league team out of Spring Training.
Rolaids Relief Award: Craig Kimbrel — This was pretty much the easiest one to pick. By far the best relief prospect in the system, the only thing that’s keeping him from being an elite closer in MLB is the inability to throw strikes. Two plus-plus pitches and excellent mound presence, he could end up being very, very good.
Best Tools Awards
Hit: Freddie Freeman
Power: Cody Johnson
Run: Matt Lipka
OF Arm: Ramon Flores
INF Arm: Andrelton Simmons
C Arm: Christian Bethancourt
OF Fielder: Hector Garcia
INF Fielder: Andrelton Simmons
C Fielder: Christian Bethancourt
Fastball: Julio Teheran
Curveball: David Filak
Slider: Craig Kimbrel
Changeup: Tie–Mike Minor and Chris Masters (palmball)
Command: Randall Delgado
Control: Brett Oberholtzer
Mound Presence: Craig Kimbrel