Season in Review: Danville Braves
Ryan Delgado, who posted a fantastic slash of .301/.349/.510 with only 28 strikeouts in 153 at bats (18.3% rate). The 2010 32nd round pick played out of his mind in August, with a .983 OPS and .218 ISO. Solid all around, but he did play the season at a 22 year old...a little advanced for the league.
The team's lone all-star was Andrelton Simmons, a shortstop defensive whiz that had rumblings of possibly being converted to a pitcher. He stayed at short though, and had an alright offensive year: .276/.340/.356. Not great, but he played the year as a 20 year old. There were some huge positives to his offensive game that zipped under the radar: he was successful on 18 of 22 stolen base attempts, and only struck out 14 times in 239 at bats (5.9%). Now that is an insane rate. In August, he had 105 at bats, walked 10 times, and struck out only 4 times all month, 2 of which coming in the same game during the last series of the year. Insane.
Another 2010 draftee that had success in 2010 was Joseph Terdoslavich, who spent most of his time in Danville, but had a stint in Rome to end the year as well. He started to really hit his stride once being promoted to Rome, boosting his OPS 40 points over his time in Danville. Overall for the season between both levels, his line stood at .302/.355/.410, and he posted a solid 16.8% strikeout rate. The power could use a little work, as he didn't homer after being promoted to Rome, and held only a .108 ISO for the season. That's not acceptable out of a corner infielder.
I'd be totally remiss if I didn't mention my favorite prospect on the Danville team, second baseman Elmer Reyes. Reyes spent a week tearing up the GCL in June before the Braves brass decided he'd best spend his summer in Danville, and he had himself quite an American debut: .301/.363/.472 as a 19 year old in his first year in America. I'll take that any day of the week. Reyes showed surprisingly huge power (.171 ISO) for someone who weighs in at 150, but his plate discipline could use a little work (9 walks, 41 strikeouts in 216 at bats). Despite that, he's still one fantastic and interesting prospect to keep an eye on in 2011. This is a guy who could go rocketing up charts with a solid effort in Rome.
2009 18th round pick Jakob Dalfonso was also on the 2010 Danville team, and impressed in some facets of the game, improving his line from a dire .259/.322/.309 in the GCL last season to a more respectable but still flawed .301/.395/.386 this season. The strike zone discipline is absolutely there for Dalfonso, walking 11 times and striking out only 19 in 153 at bats. The power...not so much. He only had 9 extra base hits in those 153 at bats. That's really not good. Thankfully, OBP is more important than SLG, and I'm willing to live with a .395 mark.
One more offensive player to look at. 2010 12th rounder Barrett Kleinknecht had a good year for Danville before struggling with Rome during the final week of the season. His overall line was .290/.316/.433, so unlike Dalfonso, he's got the power part down pretty decently, but not the plate discipline thing. 6 walks in 238 at bats is absolutely terrible. The 26 strikeouts is a great number though. He showed decent wheels too, going 9/12 on the bases. If he learns how to take some bad pitches, he could develop into something pretty interesting.
Lets look at pitching. The first name that immediately springs to the forefront of any discussion is Carlos Perez, the 18 year old Dominican. Perez was actually promoted to Rome at the end of July, and was shut down after only 2 starts. Perez is still a work in progress, as you'd expect from an 18 year old. He threw 39 innings in 2010, allowed only 28 hits, 1 homer, walked 17, struck out 31, and got 2 ground balls for every one in the air. He's clearly an electric young pitcher, and the Braves just want to be careful with him. Next season could be a huge breakout for him if he's healthy. Yet another one in the line of young Braves international free agent signings...ho hum.
Ryan Weber is the Braves 17th round pick from 2009, and had a mixed year. For Danville, he was unstoppable in 41 2/3 innings: 4 homers, 3 walks, and 36 strikeouts allowed to go with an absurd GB:FB of 4.73. Then for 59 2/3 innings in Rome...he was a different pitcher. The homers stayed relatively constant at 5, the walks jumped to 14, and the strikeouts fell to only 39. And oh yeah, his BAA jumped from .212 in Danville to .312 in Rome. Thats not his fault, considering he was still putting the ball on the ground 3 times more than it was going in the air. Overall for Weber, it was a solid season despite what conventional stats may say...in 101 1/3 innings, he allowed 9 homers, walked 17, and struck out 75. Package it up and put a bow on it, and you get a 3.38 FIP with a 3.60 GB:FB ratio. Yeah, I'll take that. I'd like to see if he's able to adapt better in Rome his second go around.
2010 4th round pick David Filak had a solid year for Danville. The Braves were careful with his innings, limiting him to only 26 despite 8 starts...bizarre, but thats what teams do sometimes. The 3 weeks he missed in July probably had a lot to do with that. He was impressive: 1 homer, 11 walks, 27 strikeouts. The walks are high, but I like the single homer allowed on the year. His future could be in the bullpen.
Tyler Stovall...I don't know what I can say about Tyler Stovall anymore. He's the Braves 2008 2nd round pick, and his career can be summed up in one word: control. In 103 1/3 career innings, he's got 97 walks and 113 strikeouts. Its absolutely amazing that he's walking a batter per inning and surviving, but that's due to his ability to keep the ball in the park: 3 career homers, one per season. He's not an extreme ground ball pitcher, so its not out of hand to say that things could go pear shaped for him one of these days, but it hasn't yet...inexplicable to me, but whatever. It's looking like he'll be a reliever in the long run, as he didn't get one start in 2010 after 12 starts in 2009. But that control...man. Something's gotta happen there.
And that will do it for Rome. A few guys I didn't mention will probably get talked about a little bit in the Rome writeup. As for others...I don't want to run this writeup to 2000 words talking about every guy on the team. If they step up in 2011, rest assured, I'll be writing about them though.
Danville was used almost as a transition league this year, with plenty of players spending only brief stints there this season.
34-34, T-2nd division
All-Stars: Andrelton Simmons (postseason)
The 2009 Appy League champions didn't get a chance to defend their title despite having a good enough record to get the wild card slot...they lost out on a shot at the playoffs in tiebreakers to Burlington, who matched their .500 record. Regardless, it was a solid year for Danville, a team which was rife was 2010 draftees. The team's offensive superstar, who didn't make the postseason all-star team, was by far catcher