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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Atlanta Braves

Time for the yearly Fabien Mang update. No

1. Julio Teheran, rhp
2. J.R. Graham, rhp
3. Christian Bethancourt, c
4. Sean Gilmartin, lhp
5. Lucas Sims, rhp
6. Mauricio Cabrera, rhp
7. Alex Wood, lhp
8. Evan Gattis, of/c
9. Zeke Spruill, rhp
10. Jose Peraza, ss

Wren has operated under more financial constraints than Schuerholz ever did, both in acquiring major league talent and in bringing in players through the draft and international markets. And when Wren has made big investments, in players such as Kenshin Kawakami, Derek Lowe and Dan Uggla, they haven’t worked out that well.

While the Braves continue to do a fine job of developing their own talent, they’ve now gone seven straight seasons without finishing in first place. They haven’t won a postseason series since sweeping the Astros in a NL Division Series in 2001.

Perhaps in reaction to those droughts, Atlanta made a big splash on the free agent market in November, signing B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75 million deal that represents the largest contract in franchise history. The Braves also picked up a $12 million option on Brian McCann for 2013, even though he had labrum surgery in the fall.

Repoz Posted: December 13, 2012 at 11:58 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, prospects

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4323803)
Thoughts on Gattis?

I was really high on Alex Wood in last year's draft. He has a funky delivery and could end up as a quirky reliever, although the Braves seem to want to let him try starting.
   2. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4323817)
This is not an impressive list. The highest rated position player is a catcher who probably can't hit, and the next highest rated position player is a 26-year-old. A 26-year-old I like, mind you, but still.
   3. Dr. House Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM (#4323832)
Agreed #2, this is probably the most uninspiring ATL prospect list I've seen over the last 10 years. As a Mets fan that's heartening but it's definitely a new feeling.
   4. DA Baracus Posted: December 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4323852)
It's not that impressive because the Braves top young players are already on the team. If Pastornicky was an average player last year then Simmons would have stayed in the minors and he'd be on this list. Graham, Gilmartin, Sims, and Spruill are as old as Simmons, Freeman, Heyward and Delgado; Wood and Teheran are only a year younger and Gattis is of course older. Obviously the deeper the pool the better, but the importance of the depth of your prospect pool is lessened when a third of your every day players are of the same age as your prospects, and your pitching staff is mostly young.
   5. with Glavinesque control and Madduxian poise Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4323900)
To back up #4, on their "projected 2016 lineup," which, so far as I can tell, BA just looks at what contracts will expire and replaces everyone with the relevant top prospect in the system, there are 14 players and 11 of them are currently on the team.
   6. phoenixscienter Posted: December 13, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4323919)
Over the past 3-4 years, the Braves farm system have graduated the following players to the big leagues:

Heyward
Freeman
Simmons
Beachy
Medlen
Kimbrel
Venters

If you go back a little further, you also get Martin Prado and Brian McCann as homegrown prospects still on the team - meaning 5 of the current 8 starting positional players are from the farm system.

Of the team's top 10 prospects from two years ago, 4 are big contributors on our current team (Freeman, Minor, Kimbrel and Beachy), two have had a cup of coffee and could be big contributors soon (Teheran and Delgado), three got us help via trade (Vizcaino, Oberholtzer and Hoover), with one still in our minor league system. I'd say that is an excellent result.

If someone can name one other system that has produced that many impressive homegrown players over the past few years, I'll give them a Coke.

   7. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 13, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4323960)
Peraza's write-up calls him the highest-ceiling SS the Braves have including Simmons. I wonder why he's only #10 behind some pretty uninspiring names.
   8. MM1f Posted: December 13, 2012 at 08:10 PM (#4324374)
Peraza's write-up calls him the highest-ceiling SS the Braves have including Simmons. I wonder why he's only #10 behind some pretty uninspiring names.


He's 18 and has posted a 700 OPS in a career consisting of only rookie and short season ball. He's pretty far away.
   9. bumpis hound Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4324427)
If someone can name one other system that has produced that many impressive homegrown players over the past few years, I'll give them a Coke.


I'll play. Sabean's Giants have:

Posey
Sandoval
Belt
Crawford
Hector Sanchez
Cain (a little older, but still)
Bumgarner
Lincecum
Romo
Casilla

Extra Credit: Brian Wilson. Not a G anymore, but still, farm grown and a big part of the '10 WS championship
   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:17 PM (#4324437)
Thoughts on Gattis?


I'd be higher on him if he could really catch (he can't) or if he hit left-handed (he doesn't). He's probably a bench player; think Matt Diaz.

-- MWE
   11. Brian White Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM (#4324440)
Thoughts on Gattis?


I like him, but that's because I always thought the young player aging curve was less about actual age, and more about accumulated baseball experience. He's 26, but he's more like a 22 year old in terms of baseball experience.

I don't actually know if my way of looking at it is correct, and we probably don't have enough data on people who just quit playing ball for a long time before returning to ever know. So I think he's an actual prospect, but this view isn't really set in stone.
   12. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: December 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4324446)
signing B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75 million deal that represents the largest contract in franchise history.

Hey when a guy with a .298 OBP hits the open market, you don't walk, you run to the bank. It's amazing how fast the salaries go up. They will pay Upton more every year than they ever paid Andruw Jones in any year.
   13. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM (#4324504)
If someone can name one other system that has produced that many impressive homegrown players over the past few years, I'll give them a Coke.

If we're going back to 2005, the Brewers have produced:

C Jonathan Lucroy
1B Prince Fielder
2B Rickie Weeks
SS J.J. Hardy
SS Alcides Escobar
LF Ryan Braun
RF Corey Hart

You can give them Lorenzo Cain in CF and play one of the SS at 3B if you want to field a full complement of position players.

Of course, pitching is another story. After Yovani Gallardo, the best pitcher they've developed recently is...Carlos Villanueva? They probably get credit for John Axford.
   14. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: December 14, 2012 at 05:02 AM (#4324537)
Peraza's write-up calls him the highest-ceiling SS the Braves have including Simmons. I wonder why he's only #10 behind some pretty uninspiring names.
He's 18 and has posted a 700 OPS in a career consisting of only rookie and short season ball. He's pretty far away

If that makes him less valuable than future back of the rotation starters, there's something screwy.
   15. bfan Posted: December 14, 2012 at 07:44 AM (#4324552)
I am trying to figure out how a CF with decent speed; power and strike-zone judgment who finishes 3rd in the SL in hitting doesn't make this list (Todd Cunningham). And honestly, I don't care how hard Christian Bethancourt can throw from the catchers position; he doesn't hit at all and has horrible strike-zone judgment. The catcher's position may be evolving in MLB (although there were a lot more good hitters there, last year); no team should be trotting out a .500 OPS player, even if he cuts down on the running game by preventing a SB every other game.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 14, 2012 at 09:04 AM (#4324573)

Casilla


Just nitpicking, but Casilla was a minor league FA. He originally began with the A's under the name Jairo Garcia.
   17. John M. Perkins Posted: December 14, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4324583)
Gattis is faintly penciled in as a Braves platoon starter in LF with Juan Francisco at 3B as the other half. Any full-time starter acquired for LF or 3B would knock both out. IOW, Gattis is a borderline 2013 starter for a contending team. That's not bad for a team's #8 prospect.
   18. flournoy Posted: December 14, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4325225)
I think Reed Johnson is more likely to wind up as Juan Francisco's platoon mate than Evan Gattis, if the Braves don't acquire someone else.

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