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bravesheart-midseason-2010-top-40-prospects | July | 2010 Articles

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BravesHeart Midseason 2010 Top 40 Prospects

Written by Joe Lucia on .

What you've ALL been waiting for! A couple of caveats to start. Anyone over the age of 25 as of 7/15/10 was not eligible for the list (farewell Lee Hyde), as was anyone who had major league experience (I'm counting this as ANY experience...take care, Brandon Hicks and Craig Kimbrel). So without any further ado...the list, with a little bit of analysis. The player's rank on the list I did ~7 months ago is also listed. 1) Julio Teheran, Myrtle Beach (LR: 2) Maybe a top 10 prospect in baseball. Teheran started the year at Rome and quickly earned a promotion to Myrtle Beach, where he has slowed down but is still mowing down hitters left and right. He's got a K:BB of 4.86...as a 19 year old. Disgusting. 2) Freddie Freeman, Gwinnett (LR: 3) The Braves best position player prospect and likely starter at 1B in 2011, Freeman started the year slowly, but has 2 straight months of OPSes above .900 3) Randall Delgado, Myrtle Beach (LR: 12) Delgado started the year like gangbusters, but has considerably slowed then...he's still been very impressive, striking out a batter per inning as a 20 year old. 4) Arodys Vizcaino, Myrtle Beach (LR: NR) Vizcaino splits the age of Delgado and Teheran, and is the least talented of the 3...not saying he's not talented, of course. He was promoted to Myrtle Beach in the middle of June, and made 3 starts before being put on the DL with a tired elbow. Something to keep an eye on. 5) Edward Salcedo, Rome (LR: NR) Salcedo was signed out of the Dominican this winter, and after a stint in the DSL, was promoted to Rome, where he's holding his own. The strikeouts have been a problem, but the power is impressive. Keep in mind, he still hasn't turned 19. 6) Mike Minor, Gwinnett (LR: 5) The Braves first round pick in 2009, Minor has already advanced to AAA and could be ready for the majors in 2011...if the team had a spot for him. He's striking out 11.19 batter per 9 this season. 7) Christian Bethancourt, Rome (LR: 4) I probably overranked Bethancourt this offseason, but he's still a fantastic prospect despite his lack of hitting this season for Rome. Like Salcedo, he's still only 18. His power will mature as he ages. 8.) JJ Hoover, Myrtle Beach (LR: 9) Hoover is a streaky pitcher, but he's still fantastic. In his last 3 starts, he's allowed 2 runs, struck out 24, and walked 2 in 19 innings. Solid effort. Out of all the pitchers at Myrtle Beach, he's the most likely to be promoted to Mississippi the soonest. 9) Robinson Lopez, Rome (LR: 18) Lopez has struggled recently, allowing 13 earned in his last 18 innings. He doesn't allow the ball to leave the yard, and is still only 19 years old. He'll be fine. 10) Carlos Perez, Danville (LR: NR) This 18 year old may not stick much longer in Danville. He's allowed 1 earned run and 15 hits in 25 innings. The K:BB is a little rough at 23:11, but the dominance in the conventional categories is hard to ignore. 11) Brett Oberholtzer, Myrtle Beach (LR: 11) Oberholtzer started off at Rome, and after it was clear he was too advanced for that league, was promoted to Myrtle Beach. He spent some time on the DL, and since coming back, has been working out of the bullpen in long relief while also getting some spot starts in every so often. Since his return, he's struck out 19 in 17 innings while only walking 1 batter. Thats what I like to see! 12) Chris Masters, Rome (LR: 17) Masters is another guy who has struggled lately, but I'm still very optimistic about his future. 16 runs over 19 2/3 innings is a crappy streak, but one that will eventually end. His normally pinpoint control has faltered lately, which is contributing to his struggles. 13) Zeke Spruill, Myrtle Beach (LR: 8) Spruill was placed on the DL after only 2 starts, and just made his return at the beginning of July. Results has been mixed: he's only thrown 8 1/3 innings, but has struck out 11 without a walk. He's also getting the groundballs that he was known for last season. He could be a huge second half riser on this list. 14) Tim Collins, Mississippi (LR: NR) Acquired just this week from Toronto in the Yunel Escobar deal, Collins is a tiny man who strikes out 15.6 batters per 9 innings as a 20 year old in AA. Very advanced for his age, and immediately jumps to the front of the cadre of relief prospects the Braves have. 15) Matt Lipka, GCL (LR: NR) The Braves first pick in the 2010 draft is having an interesting year: fantastic command of the strike zone (more walks than strikeouts!), great speed (6/8 SB), and he's hitting for a high average (.346). But...he's got no power (.086 ISO). But power matures with age, and Lipka is only 18. It'll come along. 16) Brandon Beachy, Mississippi (LR: NR) Beachy burst onto the scene for Mississippi in 2010, beginning the season as a reliever and eventually switching to the rotation. In his 5 starts, he's allowed 3 runs in 30 innings, while striking out 44 and walking 6. 17) Mycal Jones, Myrtle Beach (LR: 39) Jones has done nothing but hit since being drafted, and was promoted to Myrtle Beach earlier this June. He's turned it up a notch there. His pitch selection really needs to improve though. 18.) Dimaster Delgado, Rome (LR: 7) Delgado was involved in a car accident this offseason, and will likely not pitch all year. Its a shame, because the future for him looked bright after a strong 2009. 19) Cory Harrilchak, Myrtle Beach (LR: 38) Harrilchak was promoted from Rome as soon as he had a good hot streak, and he's kept his hitting up since his promotion. He's got a good command of the strike zone, and the power is coming along. He needs to improve his success rate on the basepaths though...19/32 won't cut it. 20) Scott Diamond, Gwinnett (LR: 22) Diamond earned a much-deserved promotion to Gwinnett this week after having himself a solid season for Mississippi as a starter, despite being rather hittable. He has the danger of falling into the same trap Todd Redmond has found himself in, of being too hittable and as a result, becoming a less effective pitcher. 21) Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, Rome (LR: 30) RSF broke his hand the first week of the season, and just got back to Rome a month ago. He's showing solid plate discipline, but his power has been hampered, likely by the hand. 22) Joe Leonard, Rome (LR: NR) Leonard was just drafted this season by the Braves, and has hit a ton at Danville and Rome. He's a candidate to fall down the list in the second half, due to the glory of small sample sizes. 23) Cody Johnson, Mississippi (LR: 6) The former first round pick has fallen on hard times this season. Always prone to the strikeout, Johnson's K rate this season has jumped up to 47.3%. His prodigious power has vanished too, with an ISO of only .175. He is currently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. 24) Cory Rasmus, Rome (LR: 34) Its just been a solid year for Cory...nothing outstanding in either direction. There must be something in the water in Rome...he's allowed 8 earned in his last 3 starts. 25) Tyler Pastornicky, Mississippi (LR: NR) The other part of the Escobar trade, Pastornicky has fantastic speed, a decent command of the strike zone, and is showing some blossoming power. He reminds me of Brandon Hicks with less power and more speed. 26) Brett DeVall, Rome (LR: 15) DeVall is an odd case. I still think he's recovering from his offseason arm surgery...but the 17 strikeouts to 1 walk in his last 3 starts makes me think he's coming around. Another candidate to rise in the second half. 27) Elmer Reyes, Danville (LR: NR) Reyes raked enough in a week in the Dominican to earn a promotion to Danville. He hasn't killed the ball like he was in the DSL, but has shown impressive power. His patience will need to improve, but most 19 year olds are like that. 28.) Adam Milligan, Myrtle Beach (LR: 10) Milligan has been on the DL for 2 months after a horrendous start to the season. I have no idea whats wrong with him, or when he'll be back. Prior to being disabled, he had 35 K in 85 at bats. 29) Jesus Saldeno, DSL (LR: NR) Saldeno is 17, and is striking out a batter per inning with only 8 walks on the season in 38 innings. He's also only allowed 1 homer. The pipeline of young talent from the Hispanic countries will NEVER dry up for this team. 30) Philip Gosselin, Rome (LR: NR) Another 2010 draftee, Gosselin has been hitting impressively for Rome this season. 31) Abraham Espinosa, DSL (LR: NR) Espinosa is only 17. He's got a Cliff Lee-esque 26:1 K:BB in 37 innings. The 3 homers kill his chance for an insanely low FIP however. 32) Jesus Sucre, Mississippi (LR: NR) Sucre scuffled with Myrtle Beach this season, but since a promotion to Mississippi a month ago, he has thrived, posting an .856 OPS. Even more impressive: with Mississippi, he's struck out 6 times in 79 at bats. Insane! 33) Andy Otero, GCL (LR: NR) Otero is on the DL for the GCL Braves right now, but is on this list for striking out 13.08 batters per 9 last season in the DSL. He's only 18 too. 34) Caleb Brewer, Rome (LR: 40) I like to think of Brewer as my pet project. More walks than strikeouts aren't helping his case of being on the next list I do, however. 35) Tyler Stovall, Danville (LR: 25) He's still only 20, but its hard to think this isn't a last call for him. He's been shifted to the bullpen to take care of his control issues, but has walked 7 men in 10 1/3 innings. A bad rest of the season could lead to him falling off the list. 36) Tyrelle Harris, Myrtle Beach (LR: 33) Harris has still not allowed a homer in his professional career, and has an even 3.00 K:BB ratio this season. He's a reliever and nothing more, but his ability to get strikeouts and keep the ball in the park gives him some value. 37) Edison Sanchez, GCL (LR: NR) Sanchez has always possessed a solid grasp of the strike zone, and his 12 walks to 15 strikeouts this season are the pinnacle of that part of his skills. His power has dropped off from last year, but the season is still young. 38.) Benino Pruneda, Mississippi (LR: NR) Pruneda is a poor man's Collins: small dude who strikes out a lot of guys. He's split the year between Mississippi and Myrtle Beach, and has struck out 12.78 batters per 9 this season. 39) Aris Alcantara, DSL (LR: NR) Alcantara's bat has finally arrived after a couple of years in hibernation in the DSL. His BB:K is just about even, and has a .156 ISO. You know what...thats pretty solid. 40) Ryan Delgado, Danville (LR: NR) The 22 year old recent draftee is old for the league, but he is dominant with the bat: .300 ISO with 9 extra base hits in 50 at bats. Insane. His command of the strike zone is terrible, though. Do you think I missed anyone? Rated someone too high? Rated someone too low? Let me know about it! Comment, tweet me, yell at me on Facebook...whatever, I welcome all sorts of criticism on my work. This will be the list I use for the Weekly Prospect Reports for the rest of the season. We're going to get back on a regular posting schedule today, so you've all got stuff to look forward to now.
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