Today we kick off our 2012 top 25 Braves prospects with players 21-25. We will bring you five a day each day until Friday when we unveil the top five.
21. Jean Carlos Gil, RHP
The Skinny: Gil has been the best pitcher on his staff in both the GCL and the DSL but has gained very little national acclaim. He's the kind of lighter-tossing "pitchability" pitcher the Braves are great at identifying and developing.
The Good: In two professional seasons Gil has struck out nearly a batter an inning with low walk totals and a good groundball rate while demonstrating the ability to work deep into ballgames.
The Bad: At 20 years old in the GCL Gil isn't old, but many of the guys he was up against were two or three years younger.
....In a Perfect World.... Gil's stuff plays well at higher levels and he becomes an innings eater number four starter.
ETA: Given his age the Braves could push him to Rome next season and on a normal progression curve we could see him in 2015 if everything goes well.
22. William Beckwith, 1B
The Skinny: He showed power and patience in the Appalachian League and finished as one of the best all around hitters in the league.
The Good: His .251 isolated power comes from both doubles and home runs and in two seasons he has maintained a walk rate over 12% between two levels while striking out less than 20% of the time.
The Bad: Beckwith doesn't have an ideal physical frame and doesn't offer a ton of projection, but so far he has shown good athleticism (he swiped eight bases in ten attempts this season). He finished the season at 21 years old, just a year younger than Freddie Freeman.
....In a Perfect World.... His power and patience continue to shine at higher levels and he becomes a legitimate power bat in the middle of a lineup, though it may not be the Braves.
ETA: He will start 2012 in Rome, but if he continues his performance from 2011 he will move to Lynchburg in a hurry. He could be in the majors by late 2014.
23. Todd Cunningham
The Skinny: The Braves 2010 second round pick showed signs of why the Braves drafted him so high, but some second half injuries cost him most of June and all of July and he wasn't the same when he returned.
The Good: Cunningham offers excellent on base skills and above average defense at all three positions in the outfield. Scouts continue to project him as a future .300 hitter because of his compact swing.
The Bad: He projects for little power and while he is smart on the basepaths he doesn't have elite speed. Injuries have slowed his development and he hasn't impressed in the Arizona Fall League.
....In a Perfect World.... He becomes a perfect number two hitter in the majors with above average on base skills and center field defense.
ETA: Even with poor end of season stats Cunningham still held his own when healthy in the Carolina League. He will be in AA next season with a shot for a callup in 2013
24. Kyle Kubitza, 3B
The Skinny: The Braves 2011 third round pick out of Texas State, Kubitza hit well in his debut in the Appy League showing good plate discipline while hitting .321.
The Good: He got stronger as the season went on hitting .382 over the last month of the season. He walked nearly 13% of the time while knocking a lot of doubles.
The Bad: The projected power did not show up as he hit just one homer. He also struck out 20% of the time and his defense at third is raw and he may have problems sticking there long term.
....In a Perfect World.... He is able to stick at third and his power develops, making him into a third baseman with a promising power/patience combination.
ETA: He will start 2012 in Rome with the chance to move quickly. He could be in Atlanta by 2014.
25. Cory Gearrin
The Skinny: Gearrin finally made his Major League debut in 2011 after methodically progressing through the minors level by level.
The Good: His sinking fastball generates tons of groundballs making him an ideal long term replacement for Peter Moylan. His strikeouts spiked back into the 28% range this year after falling below 20% in late 2009 and all of 2010.
The Bad: His walk rate spiked in his short trial in Atlanta and has risen since he was promoted to AAA. There isn't much projection for him and we have known for a while what he is going to be.
....In a Perfect World.... He ends up being exactly what we wanted him to be: a late inning reliever and double play specialist.
ETA: Right now.