October 5, 2009 at 2:52 pm by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves
Number 30: Jose Ortegano – LHP (21) 6′1″ 145 LB
It was a nice season for Jose Ortegano, one that saw him crack the upper minor leagues–where he was met with success–as a 21-year-old. After pitching 69 and 2/3 innings for the Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach Pelicans (12 starts, 9 relief appearances) with a 3.49 ERA, a 1.077 WHIP, and a 59-to-19 strikeout-to-walk ratio he was promoted to Class-AA Mississippi. Ortegano shined at Mississippi, pitching 47 and 2/3 innings (8 starts) with a 2.83 ERA, a 1.280 WHIP, and a 42-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His strikeout rate slightly rose at Mississippi, but his walk rate also slightly rose. Overall, for the year, he had a 7.7 K/9, a 2.6 BB/9, and a 2.97 K/BB. I don’t think a top-20 ranking is in store for Ortegano, but it could be.
Number 29: Cory Gearrin – RHP (23) 6′3″ 200 LB
Good numbers for Cory Gearrin in 2009. After posting a monstrous 7.0 BB/9 in 2008, he dropped that number down to 1.8 BB/9 and cracked the upper minor leagues for the first time. Gearrin finished the year, between Myrtle Beach and Mississippi, with a 2.30 ERA, a 0.951 WHIP, and a 52-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 54 and 2/3 innings. The strikeout rate is down significantly from his 2008 14.1 K/9, but that’s to be expected from a guy who is older than the rest of the players around him. The former fourth rounder has turned into one of the more interesting relief prospects in the system.
Number 28: Steven Evarts – LHP (21) 6′3″ 180 LB
Didn’t play professional baseball in 2009. Out of baseball. Out of the system.
Number 27: Chad Rogers – LHP (21) 6′3″ 185 LB
Chad Rodgers apparently battled some injuries in 2009, because he notched only 8.0 professional innings. While he may be a sleeper for 2010, he probably doesn’t crack the top-40. He was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2006 draft as an 18-year-old. He’s now a 21-year-old and still hasn’t pitched more than 4 innings at Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach, his highest level. Time’s running out for Rogers.
Number 26: Jose Cabrera – OF (22) 5′11″ 185 LB
Jose “Willie” Cabrera had an OK season in 2009, posting a line of .275/.333./402 in 415 PA’s for the Class-AA Mississippi Braves. He played good defense at both corner OF spots as well. His skill set is very “young player”. He puts the ball in play a lot (51 K’s in 415 PA’s), but he doesn’t walk very much (33 BB’s, 7.95 BB%) he doesn’t hit a ton of homers (8) or hit for much power in general (.402 SLG%, .127 ISO). He stole 3 bases and was caught 7 times, so he should probably just drop that from his game all together. He’ll be 23 next year and needs to start showing more secondary offense. Not off the prospect map, not prominently on it, though.
Number 25: Cody Johnson – OF (20) 6′4″ 195 LB
Cody Johnson’s power numbers are easy to look at and drool, but his development is still nowhere near complete. And if it is, he won’t make it to the big show. Johnson belted 32 HR in 518 PA’s with Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Class-AA Mississippi (hit 0 HR in 25 PA with Mississippi). He remains a 3-true-outcomes guy. His walk rate was impressive (12.93%). His 32 HR, .500 SLG%, and .261(!) ISO are also very impressive. Still, Cody has to make adjustments that allow him to put the ball in play with more regularity. He struck out 180 times (besting last year’s 177 by 3), 34.75% of his PA’s, and overall hit just .239/.342/.500. Without putting the ball in play more frequently, his 80 power won’t play in the big leagues. Probably a top-20.
Number 24: Richard Sullivan – LHP (22) 6′3″ 235 LB
Pretty bad season for Richard Sullivan. Between Class-A Rome, Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach, and Class-AA Mississippi, he made 27 starts and posted a 4.60 ERA, a 1.468 WHIP, and a 115-to-54 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 154 and 2/3 innings. He was extremely hittable, allowing 173 hits. The former 11th rounder will most likely fall out of the top-40, though there’s still a chance that he cracks the list.
Number 23: Isaiah Ka`aihue- 1B (24) 6′2″ 230 LB
Hit .157/.306/.262 in 232 PA’s for the Class-AA Mississippi Braves and got released. He signed with Oakland and was pretty much just as bad there. He’s Billy Beane’s problem now. I bet that’ll work out, considering how many hitters Beane has developed.
Number 22: Todd Redmond - RHP (24) 6′3″ 210 LB
Todd Redmond pitched 145 innings with the Class-AAA Gwinnett Braves and posted underwhelming numbers across the board. He posted an ERA of 4.41, a 1.372 WHIP, and a 106-to-47 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He’s never been a strikeout guy, but the increase in his BB/9 from 2.0 (career pre-2009) to 2.8 concerns me. He also pitched, and pitched well, for the USA World Cup team. He’s looking like organizational filler at this point. Maybe his 2010 season rebirths his career.
Number 21: Ross Francis – RHP (21) 6′1″ 200 LB
Ross “David” Francis seemingly took a step backwards in 2009. Overall, between Class-A Rome and Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach, he posted a 4.20 ERA, a 1.524 WHIP, and a 95-to-43 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 105 innings. His strikeout rate dipped from 11.6 K/9 to 8.1 K/9 and his walk rate rose from 2.9 BB/9 to 3.7 BB/9. He was also much more hittable, allowing 117 hits. The 2008 11th rounder’s prospect stock has taken a hit, but he’ll still probably crack the top-40.
View the complete top 40 list here.