July 12, 2011 at 11:39 am by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves, Minor Leagues, Prospects
Peter and I put together our own lists and I put the results together to come up with the final list. Peter has seen more of these players in person than I have, so when a tie was reached I sided with his first-hand knowledge as most of my analysis is based off of statistics and scouting reports. Below is Peter’s list, my list, and the aggregate list with details on each prospect.
1. Julio Teheran
2. Randall Delgado
3. Edward Salcedo
4. Arodys Vizcaino
5. Sean Gilmartin
6. Tyler Pastornicky
7. Paul Clemens
8. J.J. Hoover
9. Brett Oberholtzer
10. Christian Bethancourt
11. Andrelton Simmons
12. Adam Milligan
13. Carlos Perez
14. Todd Cunningham
15. Zeke Spruill
16. Nick Ahmed
17. Mycal Jones
18. Matt Lipka
19. Joseph Terdoslavich
20. Barrett Kleinknecht
21. Juan Abreu
22. Cory Gearrin
23. Seth Moranda
24. David Filak
25. Kyle Kubitza
1. Julio Teheran
2. Randall Delgado
3. Arodys Vizcaino
4. Edward Salcedo
5. Tyler Pastornicky
6. J.J. Hoover
7. Sean Gilmartin
8. Christian Bethancourt
9. Adam Milligan
10. Brett Oberholtzer
11. Nick Ahmed
12. Zeke Spruill
13. Carlos Perez
14. Paul Clemens
15. Matt Lipka
16. Andrelton Simmons
17. Phillip Gosselin
18. Todd Cunningham
19. Billy Bullock
20. Mycal Jones
21. Joseph Terdoslavich
22. Juan Abreu
23. Abraham Espinosa
24. Kyle Kubitza
25. Cody Martin
1. Julio Teheran – 6”2, 175lb RH SP, Current Level: AAA
Teheran was the World Team starter in the futures game and one of the top prospects in all of baseball. He should be in the rotation consistently some time next season, although he has already made two MLB starts.
2. Randall Delgado – 6”3, 200lb RH SP, Current Level: AA
Delgado has struck out 90 batters in 97.2 innings at double-A this year and made his MLB debut against the Rangers earlier this season. He should be ready to stick in the rotation some time next year, but may be used more as a sixth starter due to the glutton of MLB level starters.
3. Edward Salcedo – 6”3, 195lb RH 3B, Current Level: Low-A
In Salcedo’s first full season in the states he is proving why he was such a big signing for the Braves. Salcedo has the best bat in the system and while he has struggled defensively, does not profile as a below average defender. We will not see Salcedo for a few seasons, but he should be the team’s top prospect when he debuts.
4. Arodys Vizcaino – 6”0, 190lb RH SP/RP, Current Level: AA
Vizcaino started the year at high-A Lynchburg but pitched well enough to earn a promotion after nine starts. His exceptional two pitches may force him to the back-end of a bullpen, which he could be ready for this year. He still has a chance to stay in the rotation.
5. Tyler Pastornicky – 5”11, 170lb RH SS, 21yo, Current Level: AA
Pastornicky was acquired in the Yunel Escobar trade with Toronto and has improved offensively since joining the Braves. His stolen base rate has slightly declined, but his power numbers and hit tool have improved. He may be ready to start at shortstop some time next season.
6. Sean Gilmartin – 6”2, 195lb LH SP, 21yo, Current Level: Unsigned
Gilmartin was the first round draft pick for the Braves this year, and features a deadly changeup with an average fastball. As a college arm, Gilmartin should be able to advance rather quickly, though likely not as fast as Mike Minor has.
7. J.J. Hoover – 6”3, 215lb RH SP/RP, 23yo, Current Level: AA
Hoover began the year at double-A Mississippi and was promoted to Gwinnett after a handful of starts. He struggled in his two starts at triple-A, one of which I was in attendance for, and was demoted back to double-A. His past eight appearances have been out of the bullpen, where some believe he may end up, but this may just be to give him a bit of a breather.
8. Christian Bethancourt - 6”2, 190lb, RH C, 19yo, Current Level: High-A
Bethancourt got off to an inauspicious start at the plate but eventually tore up Rome and earned himself a promotion to high-A Lynchburg. He has struggled at Lynchburg since, but his catch and throw skills behind the plate compare with some of the best in all of baseball.
9. Brett Oberholtzer – 6”2, 230lb LH SP, 22yo, Current Level: AA
It has been more of the same for Oberholtzer, who continues to develop and perform in that second tier of Braves starting pitching prospects. The K/BB ratio of 5.48 from last season was bound to drop as he moved to double-A, but he has remained a steady starting pitcher as he has posted a 3.41 FIP for Mississippi.
10. Paul Clemens – 6”4, 180lb RH SP, 23yo, Current Level: AA
This is Clemens’ first season as solely a starting pitcher and he has progressed as expected thus far. His walk and strikeout rates are nearly identical to last season’s through 17 starts. Clemens was my 24th ranked prospect before the season and was unranked by Peter, so his performance this season has been one of the more delightful surprised in the entire system.
11. Adam Milligan – 6”3, 210lb LF/RF, 23yo, Current Level: High-A
Milligan’s biggest problem has always been health. In just six more games he will have matched his highest amount of total games played in any given season. He has the most power in the system, compiling 32 extra base hits so far, but you would like to see the walk total of 16 increase.
12. Carlos Perez – 6”2, 195lb LH SP, 19yo, Current Level: Low-A
It has not been a banner season for the 19-year-old Dominican left-hander, as he has posted a 5.13 ERA through his first 17 starts. However, his K/BB has improved to a 2.18 and this is just his first full season worth of starts. He has very good stuff, and his 8.0 K/9 is still impressive.
13. Andrelton Simmons – 6”2, 170lb RH SS, 21yo, Current Level: High-A
After skipping low-A completely, Simmons bat has actually performed better than expected this season. He still has little power and his stolen base rate has been awful this year (11 SB, 10 CS), but he is known more for his defensive skills and arm than anything. Having fully committed to shortstop rather than pitcher, Simmons’ defense has been shaky at times this season as he has compiled 17 errors.
14. Nick Ahmed – 6”3, 205lb RH SS, 21yo, Current Level: Rookie League
Ahmed is the second 2011 draftee to appear on our list. He is a very athletic player with a solid arm and speed that help make up for his so-so range at the position. He is a big shortstop, sort of in the Derek Jeter-type mold where he relies on bat control and fields the balls hit at him very well. Not saying he will ever be that type of player, but that’s the kind of guy you are looking at rather than a 6”3 power hitter.
15. Zeke Spruill – 6”4, 184lb RH SP, 21yo, Current Level: High-A
It feels as though Spruill has been in the system forever, but he is still just 21-years-old and has developed nicely so far. He has displayed extremely good control at Lynchburg, walking just 18 batters in 116.1 innings and has rebounded nicely from a poor 2010 season. He may get moved up to double-A if a spot in the rotation opens up.
16. Todd Cunningham – 6”0, 200lb SH OF, 22yo, Current Level: High-A
There is no one tool that specifically stands out about Cunningham, but he has shown a respectable ability to get on base. His power is lackluster, as he only has 12 extra base hits this season, but he has his uses as a switch-hitting outfielder who can play all three positions.
17. Matt Lipka – 6”1, 188lb RH SS/2B/CF, 19yo, Current Level: Low-A
Lipka has probably been the biggest disappointment in the system this year. Prior to the start of the season he was eighth on my rankings and ninth on Peter’s, and his drop has obviously been significant. Peter stated he was not very impressed when he saw him in person at spring training this year, and his slash line of .230/.288/.269 has been atrocious. He also has 16 stolen bases and has been caught nine times, which is not quite the pace you are hoping for with such a speedy player. Hopefully, Lipka is able to get it going and revamp his status.
18. Mycal Jones – 5”10, 170lb, RH CF, 24yo, Current Level: AA
It’s looking more and more like Jones is destined to be a utility player at the major league level. The braves have moved him to center field this year and he has performed decently despite injuries. His slash line of .212/.343/.324 is not impressive on its face, but a .343 OBP combined with a .112 ISO is respectable from an up-the-middle player.
19. Joseph Terdoslavich – 6”1, 200lb SH 1B, 22yo, Current Level: High-A
“The Terd” has had quite the season so far, racking up 44 extra base hits in just 83 games played. His 30 doubles are quite impressive as are his 13 home runs. A .333 OBP is lower than his career marks, but his power has helped his OPS remain at a very nice .842 this year.
20. Juan Abreu – 6”0, 180lb, RH RP, 26yo, Current Level: AAA
Abreu is kicking the door on a MLB call-up as we speak. With Scott Proctor struggling and Fredi Gonzalez seemingly losing faith Jair Asencio, Abreu may be the next in line if Proctor is designated for assignment. Abreu is sporting a 2.14 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 42 innings. The walk rate of 4.7 is a bit alarming, but you take the good with the bad.
21. Phillip Gosselin – 6”1, 190lb, RH 3B, 22yo, Current Level: High-A
.289/.346/.438 is certainly respectable from a second basemen. He has not provided much over-the-fence power, hitting just six career home runs in 615 plate appearances in professional baseball, but his 23 doubles and five triples this year are the main reason for his quality offensive line.
22. Billy Bullock – 6”6, 225lb RH RP, 23yo, Current Level: AA
Bullock was acquired for Scott Diamond at the close of spring training, as Diamond was not set to make the Twins’ roster and was going to be sent back to Atlanta if no trade was made. Bullock’s ERA of 4.89 looks bad, but his 49 strikeouts in 35 innings certainly does not. Much like Abreu, his walk rate of 4.6 per nine is far from good, but when a pitcher is striking out 12.6 per nine you can justify pitching him in high leverage situations, which is the type of reliever he profiles to be.
23. Barrett Kleinknecht – 6”0, 200lb RH IF, Current Level: High-A
Another Lynchburg position player, Kleinknecht has struggled in 174 plate appearances this season. He plays all over the field, making appearances at every infield position in just 46 games played, but he has primarily played third with Lynchburg and first in his stint with Rome before his promotion.
24. Kyle Kubitza – 6”3, 190lb LH 3B, 20yo, Current Level: Rookie League
Kubitza is the third and final 2011 draftee to make our list. The 20-year-old third base prospect has power, patience, and tools to be a solid defensive third basemen. He struggled with errors at the hot corner in college, but has skills to perform well defensively and is a solid athlete.
25. Abraham Espinosa/Seth Moranda.
Espinosa – 6”1, 175lb RH SP/RP, 18yo, Current League: Dominican
Abraham is in his second season in the Dominican League and has started five of the eight games he has appeared in. His strikeouts have not been exceptional, but he has walked just 18 batters in 101.2 innings over the past two seasons.
Moranda – 6”2, 180lb RH SS, 18yo, Current League: Rookie League
Moranda was slated to attend Fresno State but the Braves wound up signing him. He was a two-way player in high school and is a solid athlete. He was also the first high school player taken by the Braves, who grabbed him from Buchanan High School in Clovis, California.