BravesHeart Top 40 Prospects: #40-36
40. Caleb Brewer, RHP
Brewer was drafted by the Braves out of a Georgia high school in the 14th round back in 2007. He struggled that year, with a 4.68 ERA in 32 2/3 innings. Control was also an issue for Caleb, as he walked more (24) than he struck out (23). Brewer missed all of 2008, but came back with a vengeance in 2009, posting a 2.82 ERA and striking out 65 in only 44 2/3 innings. The walks are still an issue, as he issued 31 free passes, but Brewer did not allow a homer in his time in the GCL this season. Also worth noting is the .132 BAA, aided by a BABIP that was close to normal at .289. I’d expect to see Brewer start the year in Danville, but if he impresses in the spring, a spot for Rome wouldn’t be out of the question.
39. Mycal Jones, SS
Mycal Jones was drafted by the Braves just this past summer, in the 4th round out of a Miami area community college. Jones was hyped for both his power and speed, and he delivered in both areas this season in Danville, stealing 19 bases (while only being caught 4 times), and posting a .172 ISO (which is fantastic for a middle infielder). Jones also showed a decent eye with a 9.6% walk rate. I really love the 28 extra base hits in 64 games. I expect Mycal to start the year in Rome, where he will be a huge upgrade over what was getting playing time at short this season.
38. Cory Harrilchak, OF
Harrilchak is another 2009 Braves draftee, in the 14th round out of Elon University. Cory was named a post-season All-Star in the Appalachian League, and he had himself a pretty good year. At the age of 22, he showed fantastic plate discipline, posting a 10.8% walk rate compared to a strikeout rate of 9.0%. I don’t care how advanced you are for the league, when you strike out 9% of the time, you’ve got something good going on. Like Jones, Harrilchak showed fantastic speed, as he was successful in 19 of his 21 steal attempts. However, unlike Jones, Harrilchak does not have a lot of power. His ISO was only .117, but also unlike Jones, Harrilchak managed to post a good batting average (.324). I also expect Cory to start 2010 in Rome. He’s a very interesting guy to keep an eye on.
37. Brett Butts, RHP
A lot of Brett Butts fans read this blog, so I figured it would be good to give him a little hype. Butts is 19th round pick from 2007, and spent 2009 with Mississippi. He’s posted back to back similar years, so let’s take a brief look at things. He raised his K rate this season by half a strikeout up to 8.34, but his walk rate also ballooned to 4.42. Put those 2 numbers together and you get a K:BB that has fallen by nearly a full point to 1.88 in 2009. However, there’s another part of Butts’s game that has changed for the positive, and that’s his homer rate. It dropped from 1.07 last season all the way down to 0.61 this season. He also keeps the ball on the ground, which everyone knows I love, posting a rate of 1.14 this year. After posting a luck aided 2.58 ERA in 2009, he should start the year off in Gwinnett in 2010, where he’ll play an important role in relief for the Braves.
36. Ryne Reynoso, RHP
Ryne Reynoso was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006 out of Boston College. He served primarily as a reliever in 2007, and was shifted full-time to the rotation in 2008 with Myrtle Beach. Reynoso had himself a good year with solid peripherals…K rate above 7.00, K:BB approaching 3. The only real negative was a homer rate above 1. So Reynoso started 2009 in Mississippi, and his peripherals took a major step back. His K rate absolutely tanked and went down to 5.41, and his K:BB suffered poorly as well, hitting 1.50 for the year. But somehow, some way, his ERA was only 3.47. His FIP was nearly a full run higher, in the area of 4.24. Reynoso’s tendency to allow flyballs worries me, as that rate was at a cool 0.50 this season. Reynoso will start 2010 in Gwinnett, where he made one start during the final week of the 2009 season and was shelled.
We're getting this started, folks. I'll be counting down from #40 all the way down to Jason Heyward at #1 (whoops, spoiler). I'll bust out 5 prospects per entry, maybe there will be a couple entries a day based on how busy I end up getting and being able to write capsules for everyone. So without any further ado...we start with #40!