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braves-top-30-prospects-25-21 | November | 2007 Articles


Braves Top 30 Prospects: 25-21

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25. 3B Jon Gilmore- Gilmore was a sandwich pick in the '07 draft. The Iowa third baseman boasted power potential from the hot corner and Atlanta's front office was raving about him after the draft. Gilmore played 40 games at third for the GCL Braves, hitting .284 with only one home run and seven extra base hits. His defense is behind his bat and his plate discipline needs serious work. The lack of power he showed shouldn't be considered a big problem. At only 19, Gilmore has plenty of time to fill out his 6'3" frame. I'm targeting 2009 as a breakout year for Gilmore in terms of his power. 24. LHP Jose Ortegano- Ortegano, a left-hander out of Venezuela, not only had a phenomenal season in '07 for Danville, but took home the Most Spectacular Pitcher's award. Ortegano was 6-1 with a 1.48 ERA in 60.2 innings, allowing only 11 walks while striking out 55. What's most impressive is that he got almost two ground ball outs for every fly ball out. He's only 20 and a ways away. Next year is going to be the big test for Ortegano, who will need to prove himself above rookie ball for the first time. 23. RHP Jose Ascanio- Ascanio really came out of nowhere this past season. After posting a 4.57 ERA in 2006 between Myrtle Beach and Mississippi, the right-handed reliever found his command, lowering his BB/9 from 4.83 to 2.08, and significantly improved his ground ball tendencies. In 78 innings with Mississippi in '07, Ascanio had ten saves and a 2.54 ERA. Ascanio was up and down a bit in the majors and after a stellar seven July innings, Ascanio tanked quickly. He was unable to control his stuff within the strike zone and even though he has a pretty nice fastball-slider combination, he got hit hard and often. If he can learn to keep his pitches consistently down he'll be a nice reliever, however if he stays this way, his future is more than likely as a journeyman reliever. He reminds me of Tyler Yates when Yates was at this point in his career. 22. SS Diory Hernandez- The 23-year old Hernandez was known solely for his defense... before this season. After four years in pro baseball, Hernandez hadn't hit higher than .271 in any season but in almost 500 at bats between Myrtle Beach and Mississippi, Hernandez hit .308/.366/.429 with seven home runs and 33 doubles. He showed some speed as well, swiping 24 bases but also got caught on 22 attempts. Obviously there are still huge doubts about his bat but if he can keep any sort of production going next season, he might get a shot as a utility man in the majors, which would be a nice fit. 21. SS Brandon Hicks- The same questions which exist for Diory Hernandez do for this shortstop as well. Drafted out of Texas A&M in the third round this year, Hicks has good speed and defensive ability, however a lot of people question his ability to hit enough at higher levels. His power and hitting ability both grade out as below average with only decent plate discipline. His future more than likely lies as a utility infielder with his speed and defense but unless he proves everyone wrong and keeps hitting, he's not looking at a starting role down the road. MILB.com has a nice rundown of the Braves minor leagues this past season. It is a bit of a long read but well worth it if you have the time.

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