The Major League baseball site is a bit slow updating their Winter Leagues pages, especially the roster pages, but on the ones that are updated I've been able to find quite a few Atlanta Braves players and prospects competing this off-season in fall and winter leagues.
In the Mexican Winter League, which starts today, the Braves have four prospects representing Atlanta, pitchers Brett Butts and Tim Gustafson and outfielders Concepcion Rodriguez and Matt Young. It's worth keeping an eye on all of these guys, as the pitchers could figure into our future bullpen mix and the outfielders could at least become candidates as future major league backups. We might see a few other guys participating, but not all of the rosters are available yet.
In the Venezuelan Winter League, which also starts today, the Braves have several participants; catchers Osman Marval and J.C. (automatic yearly invite to spring training because he's a catcher) Boscan, who are not really prospects, and first baseman Ernesto Mejia, who is certainly a prospect to keep an eye on. Left-handed starter Jose Ortegano will be another prospect to watch, and he is joined on the same team by outfield prospect Luis Sumoza.
Gregor Blanco also makes his annual appearance in the VWL, and Martin Prado is listed on the roster of one of the teams, so hopefully he gets to spend some time close to his family while getting some extra work in (I wonder if he'll play right field <<big gasp>>).
Of course, the Arizona Fall League starts Tuesday with the elite Braves prospects participating. The Braves top two prospects Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman highlight the position players, along with shortstop Brandon Hicks. Top draft pick Mike Minor gets his first taste of upper-level minor league competition, as he fronts the Braves pitching contingent of closer candidate Craig Kimbrel and relievers Lee Hyde and Jeff Lyman.
Matt and CB will be spinning up daily Fall/Winter League recaps starting next week so that everyone can keep up with our prospects this off-season. So check back daily for the latest on the next generation of Atlanta Braves.