Braves Quote For The Day III... Mike Minor's Ceiling

From Baseball America's top-25 mid-season chat with John Manuel, here is his answer about what Mike Minor's ceiling could be.

Minor, to me, is in a similar spot to where he was in the summer of 2008, when he was our summer college POY and ace of Team USA. He was in our Top 10 college prospects at that time; then he went and messed with a curveball in fall ball as a junior, his arm angle went up, and he lost the life on his fastball, slider and change. Instead of a guy with an avg fastball, avg. slider and plus change, he became a four-pitch guy with no plus pitch. He's ditched the curve, and his stuff is sharper. I don't think anyone was anticipating his velo jump, not even the Braves, but I got several reports he's hitting 95-96 mph consistently. As a result, he's not quite throwing as many strikes as he used to. For me, he's more of a No. 3 starter now - chance to be a 2 if he maintains the velo and improves his control. When he was drafted, I thought he was a No. 4 at best.

I'm starting to re-think my assessment of Minor with these good reports, and with his success in triple-A. I still think Teheran, Arodys, and Randall are ahead of him, as with Freddie, but to call Mike Minor the fifth-best prospect in our system is quite something. A tip of the cap to the Braves scouting and development folks too, for seeing that by cutting out a pitch Minor could actually be a more effective pitcher.

There's a lot of quotable stuff today, busy for a Friday.

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