2012 Player Preview: Nick Ahmed

Written by Joe Lucia on .

This is the first of 70 player previews I'll be writing, previewing the 2012 season for each member of the Braves 40-man roster, each non-roster invitee, each member of our midseason top 30 prospects list, and assorted other prospects. First up: Nick Ahmed.

Nick AhmedNick Ahmed was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the second round (85th overall) of the 2011 draft out of UConn. The 21 year-old shortstop was sent to Danville to start his career, and he held his own, with a line of .262/.346/.379 in 59 games. Like many young hitters, Ahmed had a deficiency against lefties, as he hit just .228/.302/.316 against them. Overall, his plate discipline was very good, walking 30 times while striking out 46 times in 284 plate appearances, for a walk rate of 10.6% and a strikeout rate of 16.2%. His power didn't develop the way I really expected, with just a .117 ISO on the season.

Ahmed will likely start 2012 in Rome, where 2011 shortstop Matt Lipka is being converted to center field, and might have to repeat the level because of his anemic bat. At 6'3", 205, you'd really expect more power from Ahmed, even as a middle infield bat. He's a guy who could be a big riser in the Braves system in 2012, especially if the power appears this season. With the lack of power right now, I don't think he could be a starter in the majors, but his plate discipline gives the air of a strong bench bat. Then again, he's been a member of the organization for seven months, so let's not be too hasty.

I really think Ahmed can be a top 20 or so prospect in the organization by year's end, and he could possibly be top ten if (as I've mentioned before) the power develops. Right now, he's still a college bat in the low minors, and he should be dominating. The move to full-season ball will test his mettle and determine whether he's more like Philip Gosselin, or more like Joey Terdoslavich.

Check out Ahmed's 2012 player projection on THT

Photo credit to Joe Lucia

Fredi vs. Logic: Lineup Preview

Written by Mark Smith on .

Having fun at the expense of Fredi Gonzalez is pretty commonplace around here. While I think he certainly has the ability to keep the clubhouse together and has the respect of the players, he’s not good strategically, and I do think it costs the Braves wins. In fact, I wonder if Frank Wren believed the same but was afraid to mess with things mid-season while they “worked”. When a young prospect comes in with ugly mechanics, teams generally let the prospect fail a bit before they try to rework them. They do this because a player may hesitate to make changes when his mechanics have “worked” before. Though I don’t think Wren wanted September to happen the way it did, it also provided a clear opportunity to suggest ways in which Fredi could improve without Fredi being able to argue much. Who knows if that happened, but I like to think it did. Anyway, it’s time to start looking at next season’s team, and as we do, we’ll put a #FrediSpin on it. Today, the lineup.

Lineup Position

FrediLogic

FrediAnswer

Logic

Realistic Answer

1st

Fastest player

Michael Bourn

High OBP, speed preferred if all else equal

Michael Bourn

2nd

Middle infielder, contact hitter preferred

Martin Prado

Highest OBP, probably best hitter

Chipper Jones

3rd

Best hitter

Chipper Jones

2nd best hitter, preferably more power than 2nd hitter

Brian McCann

4th

Power hitter, RBIs

Dan Uggla

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Dan Uggla

5th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Brian McCann

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Freddie Freeman/Jason Heyward

6th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Freddie Freeman

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Martin Prado

7th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Jason Heyward

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Jason Heyward/Freddie Freeman

8th

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Tyler Pastornicky

Next best hitter, switching R-L preferred

Tyler Pastornicky

One thing you may notice is that the lineups don’t really look all that different. Essentially, Fredi just moves Prado up and everyone else down, but there are some key differences. Starting at the top of the lineup, Bourn is in there on both lineups, but that could change drastically with an injury. Instead of rotating a high OBP guy to the top spot (maybe Prado if we’re living in a realistic world), Fredi would be tempted to put someone like Jose Constanza at the top of lineup because of his speed (remember Jordan Schafer if you don't believe me), even though he wouldn’t get on base much to use it. This would basically be throwing away at-bats and putting the rest of the lineup in a hole from the get-go.

The next difference is how well the lineup situates itself. Because Fredi rarely switches Uggla and McCann depending on the pitcher involved and seemed to generally favor Uggla over McCann once Uggla got hot, the lineup becomes very left-handed heavy at the bottom, with the potential for three straight lefties from McCann to Heyward. This won’t matter as much for most of the game, but once the opposition goes to their bullpen, they can just [insert lefty here] and mow through the inning. If you switch to the other lineup, it constantly switches back-and-forth, and the opposing manager is at least forced to think about burning a couple more relievers or taking his chances that Uggla and/or Prado doesn’t rake the lefty. The more switches the opposing manager has to make, the better.

Heyward also becomes an issue. Should he begin to hit, where do you put him in Fredi’s lineup? Unless Fredi puts him fourth (which I doubt), he will still have back-to-back lefties or even back-to-back-to-back lefties in the lineup, and Prado, the team’s fifth or sixth-best hitter still getting more ABs than the better hitters. Using the other lineup, you could move Heyward to third or fifth (depending on just how good he’s hitting) and shifting McCann and Freeman down accordingly without having lefty-lefty issues or the problem of a worse hitter getting more ABs than better hitters.

Like I’ve said before, I realize this is nit-picking to a degree. The difference between Fredi’s lineup and my own probably isn’t worth more than 5-10 runs (or about a win) over the course of the season. But it’s all about process and critical thinking. If Fredi can’t make correct decisions here, how many other similarly small ones does he make, and how many wins does that begin to cost the team overall? 2? 3? More? The NL East has just become much more competitive this season. The Marlins are much improved. The Nationals are improved. And the Phillies are still the favorites. The Braves can’t just give away wins, and I hope last year showed them that.

Dan Uggla Is Weird, Man

Written by Mark Smith on .

To say that last season was a roller coaster for Dan Uggla would be a compliment to any roller coaster. After a disastrous start that saw him hitting .170 at the beginning of June and under .200 until July 27th, Uggla went on a 33-game hitting streak that saw his average climb to .237. The awful start coined the term #Struggla, and he was a punchline until the hitting streak really got under way. But now that the season is over and another one nears dawn, we have to start wondering about next year.

Before we take a look forward, it’s kind of fun to look back at what he’s done.


Season

BB%

K%

BABiP

fWAR

2006

7.0

18.0

.309

4.5

2007

9.3

22.9

.279

2.7

2008

12.4

27.6

.320

4.6

2009

13.8

22.5

.274

2.7

2010

11.6

22.1

.330

4.9

2011

9.2

23.2

.253

2.5

Career

10.5

22.7

.294

22.0/3.7


As you can see, Uggla’s entire career has been a roller coaster. Jacob Peterson (aka @junkstats; follow him if you don’t already) was the first to point out the BABiP fluctuations to me. His career BABiP is .294, but none of his seasons are particularly close to that mark. When you then look at his fWAR, it’s no surprise that it fluctuates wildly as well as his average is 3.7, but none of his seasons are within a win of that. Based on this, it looks like Uggla is headed for a nice 4-5 win season.

We, of course, can’t just assume that. Adam LaRoche had those ridiculously good second halves … until he didn’t in 2010. Bouncing back-and-forth like that is mainly just a statistical anomaly - someone has to do it - and we just happen to be witnesses. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe statisticians whose job it is to do this sort of thing. Bill James and RotoChamp all have Uggla playing to his career averages, and the FANS come to the same conclusion - Uggla should be worth about 3.5 wins this next season. We certainly don’t “know” that, but that’s the best prediction we can give.

The next question we have to ask is if Uggla showed signs of decline. When a player goes up-and-down like he has, it’s harder to see when he declines. So we need to look at some peripheral stats to see what’s going on and if the .253 BABiP is really to blame. First thing’s first, Uggla didn’t strike out more than usual. While the BB rate dropped (probably due to being #aggressive), I expect the reason behind that - Larry Parrish - is gone. The next thing we do is look at batted ball statistics. Before we get too into it, batted ball statistics can fluctuate because it can be difficult to tell between a line drive and a fly ball, etc. When you look at those, everything looks pretty normal except for a massive spike in pop flies, but the question becomes what caused it. Was it a loss of bat speed? Well, he still hit usual array of home runs and didn’t seem to sell-out and strike out for the power. Was it something in his swing mechanics that prohibited him from making the same contact? Perhaps. I remember a lot of backside collapses, which would cause that sort of thing, but I can’t compare him to past seasons. Ultimately, the answer is no. I don’t think he’s declining, at least rapidly.

Uggla will turn 32 during Spring Training, and he’s beginning to reach the point at which we ask questions about collapses. Additionally, the scrutiny over Uggla’s extension was over a possible quick decline. But let’s remember a few things. 32 isn’t that old. It’s just beyond his theoretical prime. And while the worries over the extension were about a decline, the worry wasn’t really about 2012. I realize that the slow start to 2011 caused some additional concerns and that his hitting streak didn’t make up for that, but we have to realize that, as odd as the it was, his season was one that was bound to happen at some point to someone. It’s certainly an interesting story, but let’s not read too much into it.

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Are the Waves of Pitching Talent Breaking?

Written by Mark Smith on .

When I wrote about the Braves’ pitching depth last year, I mentioned that the best thing about the Braves’ pitching depth was that it was coming in waves. Almost a year later, it’s time to re-examine the starting rotation and ask whether or not the depth is still there.

We’ve already seen some turnover this off-season, and we even expect a little more. Derek Lowe was traded to the Cleveland Indians for salary relief and a relief prospect that may make it to AA. Now, we wait to see if Jair Jurrjens will share Lowe’s fate, but as the off-season wanes, it’s becoming less-likely that he’ll be traded. Although we’re all a little bummed that no hitter or prospects are headed our way, it really isn’t the worst thing in the world. Jurrjens should perform well enough to retain his value, though there’s obviously some injury risk, and there will certainly be trade partners looking for pitching at the deadline. All the while, the Braves retain the added pitching depth. Speaking of that, let’s take a look at this year.

2012

MLB

AAA

AA

High-A

Low-A

Tim Hudson

Julio Teheran

Sean Gilmartin

Carlos Perez

JR Graham

Jair Jurrjens

Randall Delgado

Zeke Spruill

Cody Martin

Tommy Hanson

JJ Hoover

Chris Masters

Brandon Beachy

Mike Minor

The rotation looks mostly like I thought it would, and the only change is the surprise trade of Lowe. I really didn’t think they’d ever get rid of him, but never doubt Frank Wren, I guess. While it’s uncertain if Hudson or Hanson will start the season in the rotation, it doesn’t seem like they’ll miss more than a month, and if/when they do, that’s why this is a depth exercise. Comparing it to last season, some of the depth and upside is gone from the back-end of the minor-league system. Teheran and Delgado were fantastic, and I’ll include Hoover until they officially make him a reliever, which I think is a bad move for the moment. Moving down to AA, Gilmartin, Spruill, and Masters are likely to be 4/5 starters, but they’re still decent depth. Perez, at High-A next season, is the one pitching prospect that really let us down, but that’s about what you expect in regard to prospect attrition. Another level down, Graham and Martin look to be given a chance to start, but I’m not sure how long that will last.

2013

MLB

AAA

AA

High-A

Tim Hudson/Jair Jurrjens

Julio Teheran/Randall Delgado

Carlos Perez

JR Graham

Tommy Hanson

Sean Gilmartin

Cody Martin

Brandon Beachy

Zeke Spruill

Mike Minor

Chris Masters

Julio Teheran/Randall Delgado

In the above table, the “/” means either/or. If Hudson’s option is picked up, then I expect Jurrjens to be traded, and If the Braves think it’s better to hold onto Jurrjens and/or Hudson’s back continues to act up, I expect the Braves to pass on the option. As for Teheran and Delgado, it’s really up to who performs better this season. Along with the loser in the battle between Teheran and Delgado, Gilmartin, Spruill, and Masters will pitch in AAA. Well they will if they don’t get traded. When you have surplus of back-end starting prospects and a rotation of guys who could be better, you trade the back-end starters, and I expect Hoover (not shown above because I’m guessing he’ll be moved to the bullpen; I made my stand in the last section), Spruill, Masters, and/or Perez to be traded at the deadline like Brett Oberholtzer and Paul Clemens were this past season. Watch which two do best, and they’ll probably be gone.

-----------------------------

So are the waves breaking? Kind of. There was certainly some attrition last season. Paul Clemens and Brett Oberholtzer were traded. Carlos Perez lost some of his luster. Dave Filak kind of fell on his face. But there were some additions, like Gilmartin and the rebirth of sorts from Spruill. What we see coming from further down the pipeline isn’t the same type of mid-to-front-line pitching at AAA now. It’s more of the 4/5 variety. That’s not surprising for a couple reasons. One, this collection of talent doesn’t happen often, and two, the Braves have been college- and reliever-heavy in past drafts. As a result, the lower levels don’t have the high-upside prospects. That, of course, could be fixed if the Braves draft differently come June or if they pump in a few more Latin American prospects. But for now, the Braves still have a lot of depth ready to help the major-league team, which is way more important than lower levels.

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Braves Alternate Jersey Leaked?

Written by Joe Lucia on .

newjersey

We've been hearing about a new alternate jersey all winter. Well, the jersey leaked this evening, and it doesn't look too bad, as you see above, courtesy of SportsLogos.net (an amazing resouce). The most notable difference is the lack of a tomahawk on the front for the first time since the 1980's.

The  jersey is very similar to the 1963 throwback sold on the Braves website, with a few key difference...most notably, the lack of the screaming brave on the arm (boooo), replaced instead by a pair of crossed tomahawks. The name and number on the back more closely resemble the current jerseys, with navy blue text for the player's name as opposed to the larger font red in the '63 throwbacks.

Anything to make a buck, right? As good as these jerseys look, they're really nothing but a cash grab for the team, and based on the reaction I'm seeing on Twitter, they'll sell bucketloads and make the introduction of this jersey totally worthwhile. First it was the Sunday reds, then the navy roadies....now, we have a third alternate jersey. Do the Braves really need any more?

Braves Re-Sign Wilson To Back Up Pastornicky

Written by Joe Lucia on .

All offseason, the Braves were looking for a veteran to back up rookie Tyler Pastornicky at shortstop. Today, they got him: veteran Jack Wilson, who Mark Bowman is reporting has been re-signed to a one year deal. The Braves acquired Wilson from the Mariners last August.

Wilson's bat is completely gone at this point, as the .559 OPS he posted last year was the second worst of his career. But the Braves didn't bring the veteran back for his bat, they brought him back for his glove. Wilson is still a good defender at short, even if the -1 DRS that he posted in 2011 was a career worst.

So, the Braves appear to be doing this year what they did last year in favoring defense over offense at short. I'd say that's a good move, even with Derek Lowe and his groundball tendencies off the team. With Wilson's presence on the team, the Braves now have the ability to double switch Pastornicky out of the game and not lose anything defensively, something that was lacking from the team before Wilson was acquired.

This is a minor move, but I don't mind it at all. I guess this tells you all you need to know about what the team thinks about Brandon Hicks, though. Jon Heyman is reporting that Wilson's salary for the year will only be $1 million, so there isn't a tremendous financial burden here either.

Chipper's Heir-Not-So-Apparent

Written by Mark Smith on .

It’s the question we haven’t been able to stop talking about for the past five years. At some point in the near future, Chipper Jones will retire, and when he does, there will be a void at third base to be filled. The Braves have already run through numerous “Third Baseman of the Future”s from within the organization in guys like Eric Campbell and John Gilmore, but basically because of the general attrition of prospects, they never quite developed the way everyone hoped or were traded away. The Braves currently have a couple of possibilities in Edward Salcedo and Joey Terdoslavich. Salcedo, however, is too far away to be ready by 2012 or 2013, and Terdoslavich is not a third baseman no matter how much you say he was at one point in his life (Jim Thome was a shortstop, for goodness sakes). Martin Prado is another possibility, but he’s not under team control for much longer and may be traded soon anyway (meaning the Braves probably don’t see him as the heir). Looking toward free-agency, Mark Reynolds (will be 29) and Maicer Izturis (32) are the best options, but they aren’t exactly appetizing. I may have another option.

His name is Matt Dominguez, and I imagine, if you know about prospects, that his name doesn’t exactly send you into seventh heaven. But bear with me. The situation in Miami is terrible for Dominguez, and he’s become an after-thought. The Jose Reyes signing moves Hanley Ramirez to third, and while Hanley doesn’t seem too excited about it now, I wouldn’t imagine he would be but imagine he’ll get used to the idea as Spring Training progresses. With those two entrenched on the left side of the infield, there’s nowhere for Dominguez to go, and after stumbling last season, his value might be at its lowest possible spot. But why would the Braves want someone the Marlins seem to not want?

The first reason is Dominguez’s strength - he’s an elite defensive third baseman. With exceptional range, hands, and arm, Dominguez is the best defensive third baseman in the minors, and if he steps into the majors right now, he might give Adrian Beltre and Ryan Zimmerman a run for their money, though it’s hard to be that good. But if you’re going to trade for a guy that brings most of his value on defense, you want to get use of it. For outfielders, that means being fly-ball heavy in the pitching staff, but for infielders like Dominguez, you would want a staff full of worm killers.

So let’s think about the future of the staff. Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe were the only “ground-ball” pitchers in the rotation with Jair Jurrjens around average. Well, Lowe is gone, Hudson may or may not be back next year (but probably won’t be the season after), and Jurrjens may be gone soon. That leaves Tommy Hanson, Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Randall Delgado, and Julio Teheran, and all of them are fly-ball pitchers. While that does dampen the outlook of bringing Dominguez on board, those pitchers do still get ground balls, and the bullpen is actually ground-ball heavy. Craig Kimbrel, Johnny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty, Christhian Martinez, and Cory Gearrin/Peter Moylan all get a ton of ground-balls, possibly indicating that the leverage of those ground balls could near off-setting the value lost from the rotation not getting so many ground balls.

The other reason I like him is that I wonder if the offensive worries about him are overblown. As it stands now, Dominguez has average to a tick above average power, but his approach and plate discipline haven’t really advanced in his 4 years of minor-league play. He still gets pull happy, and he’s still lacking in the ability to recognize breaking pitches. Here, obviously, comes the however. Dominguez will be 22 for most of this next season, and that means he’s been 2-3 years young for the levels he’s played in. Try learning calculus when you haven’t grasped algebra completely yet. You’re so focused on learning the basics and then grasping the new ideas that it makes it difficult to stay afloat. You would still like for Dominguez to have hit better and developed more than he has, but he hasn’t exactly failed anywhere, either. Dominguez does have some things going for him offensively. He can hit for decent power, doesn’t strike out all that much, and walks at an average or better clip, and though his swing has a long, tricky load, the swing itself isn’t too bad. The chances of him being a star, especially offensively, are limited, but I don’t see a major reason that he can’t be a solid starter in the majors. Age means a lot in regard to prospects, and Dominguez is still very young.

But the real question when it comes to acquiring talent outside of the organization is what it will cost. John Sickels labeled Dominguez as a B- player, which has a value somewhere around $5 million. If the Braves were to trade straight prospect-for-prospect, someone like JJ Hoover or Zeke Spruill might do the trick, and if it would do the trick, I’d make either deal without too much hesitation. The Marlins might also want to continue to bolster their bullpen, and the Braves have any number of those to choose from, though the big guns are obviously off the table. We, unfortunately, do not know how the Marlins truly value him, but we do know A) the two teams have made in-division trades before and B) the Marlins have no real need of Dominguez.

Dominguez certainly has his weaknesses. He hasn’t hit at an elite level since 2008, and he flopped in the majors (48 plate appearances) in 2011. And his biggest asset - infield defense - isn’t something the Braves’ rotation would particularly need. But he’s young, has potential, and plays outstanding defense regardless. I won’t say it’s a certainty that the Braves should go for him, but I think this is a possible opportunity that the Braves should pursue for a cheap “Third Baseman of the Future” that is currently better than any of their other options within the organization or through free-agency.

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Did The Atlanta Braves Need A Big Offseason?

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Here is a summary of the Braves' offseason moves:

-Traded Derek Lowe for salary relief and no players of consequence
-Fired Larry Parrish, replaced him with Greg Walker
-Nontendered Peter Moylan and Brooks Conrad
-Picked up Eric Hinske's 2012 option
-Let George Sherrill and Alex Gonzalez walk away as free agents
-Named Tyler Pastornicky as starting shortstop

Nothing on that list screams "high profile" move, with the exception of the Lowe salary dump. With all the talk this offseason about trading Martin Prado, trading Jair Jurrjens, getting an impact bat...the Braves have done absolutely nothing. Here's a look at ESPN's free agent tracker, with the Braves selected as the free agent's new team.

bravesfa 
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It's January 8th, and the team hasn't signed one free agent. This really isn't a bad thing, because the team is essentially saying that they're going with what brought them to the dance last year. And I don't think that's a bad thing at all. 

Martin Prado, or Adam Jones?

Written by Joe Lucia on .

These god forsaken Adam Jones rumors JUST WON'T STOP, so I figured I'd briefly touch on them. When it comes down to Martin Prado or Adam Jones on the Braves, the two players are rather similar. Prado made $3.1 million in 2011, and has two more seasons of team control. Jones made $3.25 million, and also has two more seasons of control left. 

Neither player has great plate discipline. Jones walks at 4.8% for his career, while Prado is at 6.6%. Prado strikes out a lot less, 11.3% of the time, compared to Jones and his 19.7% rate. Jones has more power, with a .161 ISO compared to Prado's .141.

Defensively, Prado is a +12 over his career at first, second, third and left field (and a brief tenure at short), with +4 of that coming in the outfield. Jones is a +16 in his career, all coming in the outfield. He had a positive mark every year of his career until last season, when he was a -9 in center.

If Jones is shifted to left field, I think he provides a much higher ceiling defensively than Prado, a converted infielder. Remember, the majority of Jones' defensive numbers have come in center, with more ground to cover. He could be a phenomenal defender in left, where he's a +3 in just 119 innings.

If you look at just the past three years on offense (which excludes the early part of each player's career when they were still maturing), the battle becomes a little closer. Jones holds a slight edge with a .338 wOBA compared to Prado's .334. Their walk rates also come a little closer, with Jones at 5.0% and Prado at 6.3%. The ISO gap also widens, with Jones improving to .174 and Prado remaining relatively constant at .144.

Looking at things from an overall player standpoint, Prado's versatility gives him an edge over Jones due to his ability to play three of the four infield positions. But the Braves are looking for a left fielder right now, not a bench player. If you compare them just as outfielders, I'd give Jones the edge due to his potential superstar defense in left. We know he's historically been good in center, and that should translate well to left.

Neither guy is an ideal fit due to both players having an adversity to the base on balls. But I think in an even, one for one swap, Jones would be the player I'd prefer. Apparently, the Orioles want more than just Prado for Jones, which is a deal I'd balk at. In a straight up deal though, I'd probably end up taking Jones. 

Braves Release Crim, Richardson, Cabrera

Written by Joe Lucia on .

A couple tidbits from the minor leagues, courtesy of Baseball America editor Matt Eddy on Twitter. The Braves have released minor league pitchers Matt Crim and Dustin Richardson, and outfielder Willie Cabrera.

Crim was drafted in the 21st round of the 2009 draft after attending The Citadel, and was the 2009 Appalachian League player of the year for the Danville championship team. It was his finest season as a pro, going 10-2 with a 3.18 ERA, 48 strikeouts, and 10 walks in 68 innings. In 2010 for Myrtle Beach, Crim went 7-11 with a 4.87 ERA, 86 strikeouts, 59 walks, and 15 homers allowed in 149 2/3 innings. This past season, Crim was used mainly out of the bullpen, starting just 11 games between Lynchburg and Mississippi. Combined at the two levels, he had a 5.83 ERA with 26 walks and 57 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings. Crim is 24, and when you have peripherals that bad in the low minors at that age, there's not much hope for a turnaround.

Richardson is a former fifth round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2006 draft, and was acquired by the Braves in the middle of 2011 from the Marlins organization. During his tenure in Gwinnett, he had a 6.00 ERA in 30 innings, walking 22 and striking out 29. He was roster filler, and nothing more.

Cabrera was drafted in the 14th round of the 2005 draft by the Braves, and was a postseason All-Star in 2006 with Danville and 2008 with Myrtle Beach, and a midseason All-Star with Mississippi in 2010. 2011 was the worst year of his career, with a slash line at Gwinnett and Mississippi of .256/.303/.352. His best two seasons came in 2008, where he had a .289/.344/.469 line in 125 games for Myrtle Beach and Mississippi, and 2010, where he had a .298/.359/.439 line in 107 games for Missisippi and Gwinnett. As a 25 year old who struggled in a pair of brief tenures with Gwinnett (8/50, 13 strikeouts), it seemed like there wasn't much of a place for him in the upper levels of the organization. One strong suit about Cabrera is his inability to strikeout, as the highest strikeout total he posted in his career was just 59, over a 511 at bat season.

EDIT: Marcus Lemon also released. He was acquired from the Rangers last season, and had a .254/.303/.333 line for Lynchburg and Mississppi over 108 games. He was a former fourth round pick of the Rangers (who got a seven figure signing bonus), and has now posted sub-.700 OPSes for three years running.