Talking Chop Top-25 Braves Prospects:  6-10

Braves prospect Cody Johnson could be a force in the lineup if he learns to lower his strikeouts. (Photo by C.B. Wilkins)

Our countdown of the top-25 prospects in the Atlanta Braves organization continues with #6 through #10:

6.  Cody Johnson, OF :: B/T: L/R Born: 8/28/1988 Ht: 6'4" Wt: 195
Last Year's Talking Chop Rank:  13
The Skinny: Controversial first round pick of the Braves in 2006. He was young when he signed and has moved slowly through the ranks.
The Good:  True 80 power on the 20-80 scouting scale to go along with a developing ability to take walks. Has made big strides since coming into the organization and is still young despite spending 4 seasons in the organization.
The Bad:  Strikes out in over 30% of his plate appearances and plays poor defense in LF. He is also a bit of a liability on the basepaths.
...In a perfect world... Cody adjusts to advanced pitching and learns to take 70+ walks a year and hit 35-40 homers a year while manning left field and having the center fielder cover up his mistakes.
ETA:  He could spend 2 years at AA, but a late call-up in 2011 wouldn't be out of the question if he does more of the same in the upper minors.
...for a full scouting report, go here.

7.  Christian Bethancourt, C :: B/T: R/R Born: 09/02/1991 Ht: 6'2" Wt: 175
Last Year's Talking Chop Rank:  NR
The Skinny:
  Bethancourt has been on the prospect radar since he helped represent Panama in the 2004 Little League World Series. The Braves signed him as the top catching prospect from the international signing period in 2008.
The Good:
  He projects as a top defender behind the plate with plus-plus arm strength and soft hands. His bat was better than expected this year, showing a little power and more polish than scouts had anticipated. He will play next season as an 18 year old, young for whatever league he will be in.
The Bad:
  Bethancourt, young as he is, still needs to develop his finer points to hitting and catching. He could improve game calling skills and movement behind the plate. His body still needs to fill out, which could go anywhere.
...In a perfect world...
he could be a gold glove caliber catcher with above average offensive potential for the position.
ETA:  At 18 in Low A and Brian McCann entrenched in Atlanta there is no rush. 2013 seems like a good bet for him.
...for a full scouting report, go here.

8.  Craig Kimbrel, RHRP :: B/T: R/R Born: 5/28/1988 Ht: 5'11" Wt: 200
Last Year's Talking Chop Rank:  14
The Skinny:
  The Braves took Craig in the 33rd round of the 2007 draft, but he turned down the $125,000 bonus they offered, so they took him a year later in the 3rd round and signed him for $391,000.
The Good:
  Kimbrel's best pitch is an explosive fastball that sits at 93-95 and has touched 98 at times and has tons of movement. He also refined his slider this year after complaints of it being a bit slurvy last season.
The Bad:
  He started the year at high-A Myrtle Beach, but severe control problems led to a rough first month and ultimately a demotion to low-A Rome. His fastball is almost too lively making it difficult to control sometimes. His changeup is difficult to project and rate because he hasn't had to use it much since being drafted.
...In a perfect world...
Kimbrel gets moderate control and becomes a dominant pitcher (and even a closer) out of the bullpen for years to come with the Braves.
ETA:
  Kimbrel finished 2009 in AA and did well there (despite his walks), but the walks followed him and haunted him in the AFL. A 2010 debut isn't out of the question.
...for a full scouting report, go here.

9.  Randall Delgado, RHSP :: B/T: R/R Born: 2/9/1990 Ht: 6'3" Wt: 165
Last Year's Talking Chop Rank:  NR
The Skinny: Pitched much better than his poor record for Rome, striking out more than a batter per inning.
The Good: Excels at the strikeout. Unlike most pitchers his age, he got better toward the end of his first full season, going deeper into games and pitching more effectively. Managed to add some bulk to his frame, allowing him more stamina. Deceptive delivery.
The Bad: His weaker secondary stuff might necessitate a move to the bullpen. He'll need to cut down on the walks to succeed at a higher level.
...In a perfect world...he becomes a dynamic Major League pitcher, either as a middle of the rotation starter or as a top arm out of the bullpen.
ETA: He'll start 2010 at Myrtle Beach and seems likely to reach Atlanta sometime in late 2012 or 2013.
...for a full scouting report, go here.

10.  Adam Milligan, OF :: B/T: L/R Born: 03/14/1988 Ht: 6'3" Wt:  210
Last Year's Talking Chop Rank:  NR
The Skinny:  In what is now Braves internet legend, Milligan was drafted 3 different times by Atlanta and finally signed after the 2008 draft. He broke onto the prospect scene this year with a stellar season split between Danville and Rome. 
The Good:  Milligan showed superb power this season and an ability to hit for average. He is a big, strong guy but has shown some speed and good ability in the OF with a slightly above average arm.
The Bad:  He struck out 50 times in nearly 250 ABs and only walked 15 times. The Ks aren't a huge issue yet, but he needs to get on base more because he probably won't be able to sustain a .350 BA at every level. He is a little older than a top prospect for the level he played at this year.
...In a perfect world... Adam learns some plate discipline and the Braves have to decide between Johnson's light-tower power and Milligan's better overall package of tools. 
ETA:  There is at least one player ahead of him, but Milligan has the ability to move quickly, especially if the OF situation in Atlanta isn't close to being settled. He could be up in late 2011 or 2012 barring disastrous results anywhere.
...for a full scouting report, go here.

Tomorrow we present the top-5, which I'm guessing everyone can figure out by now... but what order will they be in.

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