Brandon Beachy (offseason: NR. Midseason: 16). No Braves prospect has rushed his way up the prospect lists than Beachy, who went from a middling reliever and occasional starter last season, to an absolute dominant starter and legit prospect this season. He started the season in Mississippi's bullpen and was dominant, eventually being converted to a starting role. His numbers overall at Mississippi just started to look silly: 100 strikeouts, 22 walks, and 3 homers in 73 2/3 innings pitched. That earned him a promotion to Gwinnett at the end of July, and he's been just as good there: 40 strikeouts, 6 walks, and 3 homers in 39 2/3 innings pitched. FIP for the season? 2.04. He also proved to be rather unhittable too, allowing a batting average of only .208 for the season. Beachy goes into the 2011 season just needing to polish a couple of things up before he's major league ready.
Ryan Delgado (offseason: NR. Midseason: 40). Delgado is a player I latched on to after the draft...as a 22 year old college catcher, I was intrigued. Delgado's July was middling, but still showed flashes of brilliance: the .236 batting average was strengthened by an ISO of .181, and his 18% strikeout rate wasn't terrible. Then in August, Delgado absolutely exploded. For the month, he posted a line of .358/.403/.582 (.224 ISO), cut his strikeout rate down to 16.4%, and became a legitimate offensive force for Delgado. He'll be 23 when the 2011 season starts, so he'll be expected to move fast through the system. His progress depends a lot on that of Christian Bethancourt's: would the Braves want Bethancourt to repeat at Rome, or would they be moving him up to Myrtle Beach? I don't think the Braves would force Delgado and Bethancourt to split time, so it will be interesting to see what the organization decides to do.
Elmer Reyes (offseason: NR. Midseason: 27). Reyes is another player in Danville I've latched on to, with good reason. He won't be 20 until after the season ends, and has held his own in Danville (with a week long stint in the GCL as well), posting a great line of .301/.363/.472. Reyes is a 150 pound middle infielder, and he's posting an ISO of .171. The plate discipline could use work, as the 19.0% strikeout rate and 4% walk rate can attest to, but he's absolutely made a mark on the organization this summer. Its worth noting that in August, Reyes's walk rate has increased to 4.8%...still not good by any stretch of the imagination, but he's showing improvement. His power also spiked in August, with a .233 ISO. Now that's sexy.
Cory Rasmus (offseason: 34. Midseason: 24). Rasmus earned himself a promotion to Myrtle Beach around the All-Star Break, and has continued to perform very well: despite his strikeout and walk ratios both dropping, Rasmus is keeping the ball on the ground at the exact same ratio, and his homer rate has stayed consistent. For his first year in full-season ball since debuting way back in 2006, Rasmus is finally healthy and performing at a high level. He might not be the same pitcher he was when the Braves originally signed him, but he's still a young arm who's got a lot of potential.
Freddie Freeman (offseason: 3. Midseason: 2). Yeah, this is a cop out...we all know who Freddie Freeman is. But after a 2009 season where he struggled after a promotion to Mississippi, there were slight whispers about what the Braves would get out of Freeman in 2010. He showed is doubters that he is still the first baseman of the future for the Braves and will be a force in the lineup for years to come. I wrote about him last week, and how great of a season he's having, so I'm not going to rehash those same points. But his stock has been absolutely solidified with his 2010 season, and its hard to argue that.
The second part of this 3 part series...now, we're going to take a look at 5 players on the midseason top 40 who strengthened their stock after the list was put together.
I wrote about 5 guys who's value took a hit earlier today...now, its time for a look at 5 guys who's value increased since I put together that top 40 list 6 weeks ago.