Today we continue Talking Chops countdown of the top 25 prospects in the Braves organization. The top 25 are selected by cbwilk, gondeee and myself each putting together our own lists and then averaging the three lists together.
16. Dimasther Delgado, LHP
The Skinny: After missing all of 2010 due to a fractured femur, Delgado returned to action in Lynchburg. After knocking the rust off early in the season his peripherals improved as the season wore on with a 4.80 ERA in the first half and a 2.98 mark in the second half.
The Good: When he is on Delgado has a fastball that sits in the low 90s with good movement and a plus changeup that he uses to get hitters out.
The Bad: His curveball is slow and inconsistent though he has shown improvement. The injury cost him a year of development; he should have been in AA this year.
...In a perfect world.... he continues to develop his arsenal and he becomes a solid back end of the rotation starter for the Braves.
ETA: The logjam of starters ahead of doesn't help, but he could be in Atlanta by 2013.
17. Mycal Jones
The Skinny: Jones put together a solid season in Mississippi while adjusting to his third position (centerfield this time) in two years.
The Good: He is an excellent athlete which has allowed to him adjust quickly to center. He showed an excellent eye at the plate this year and can combine that with good speed on the basepaths.
The Bad: He will be 25 next season, just his fourth in professional ball. Because he got started so late his athleticism hasn't translated to skills on the diamond and he fights to stay consistent week to week.
...In a perfect world....he could be a top of the order hitter with a patience/speed combo that is rare.
ETA: The Braves are pushing him and he could be in AAA this season. 2013 seems like a good bet.
18. Adam Milligan
The Skinny: He missed nearly half the season due to injuries but when he was on the field he hit well posting a .902 OPS and .266 ISO.
The Good: Power. Milligan is one of the few legit power bats in the Braves system with over half of his hits going for extra bases this season.
The Bad: Injuries have cost Milligan parts of each of his first three seasons in professional baseball. His plate discipline leaves a lot to be desired and many scouts feel if he doesn't make the adjustments his approach won't translate against advanced pitching.
...In a perfect world.... he learns to take the occasional walk and becomes a power bat fit for the middle of a lineup.
ETA: He is AA bound next year and barring injuries he could see Atlanta in late 2013.
19. Tommy La Stella, 2B
The Skinny: Drafted by the Braves in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, La Stella jumped to Rome after signing. He posted a .573 OPS in his first month but then posted marks of .862, 1.033 and 1.330 in July, August and September.
The Good: Offensively he brought everything to the table in Rome by hitting for average and power while walking in 10% of his plate appearances and striking out in just over 10%.
The Bad: Defensively he may not be able to stick in the infield, though his bat could play in left. At 22 years old he should have destroyed the Sally League.
...In a perfect world.... he could hit 20 homers a year while supplying a good OBP and serviceable defense at second base. A Dan Uggla-light.
ETA: After his performance in Rome and his college pedigree expect the Braves to push him. He could make Atlanta by late 2013.
20. David Hale, RHP
The Skinny: After struggling as a starter in 2010 Hale moved to relief in the second half and shined. After struggling as a reliever in 2011 Hale moved to starting in the second half and shined.
The Good: Hale has one of the best arms in the Braves system hitting the mid-90s with his fastball and his slider is a true strikeout pitch. He had a career high strikeout rate and career low walk rate - and both improved when he moved to the rotation.
The Bad: After three seasons we still don't know what Hale is. His changeup has lagged behind his other offerings and he was still old for the Carolina League.
...In a perfect world....he finally harnesses his stuff and becomes a a nice fourth starter or power arm at the back of a bullpen.
ETA: If he continues to put things together he could be pulled into the Braves bullpen in 2013.