Today we finish up Talking Chop's countdown of the top 25 prospects in the Braves organization. The top 25 are selected by yondaime14, gondeee, and myself each putting together our own lists, then averaging the three lists together.
1. Julio Teheran, RHP
The Skinny: Arguably the top prospect in baseball. Dominated in AAA in 2011, earning International League Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors. Made a pair of spot starts for Atlanta during the year before joining the team in September for the stretch run.
The Good: Above average stuff, including mid to upper 90s fastball with sharp movement and above average changeup and curveball. Deceptive delivery. Has been durable over the last few seasons. Intelligent pitcher with an advanced game plan who gets the most out of his stuff. Allows the defense to work behind him. Hard worker with strong drive to be the best. Only 21 years old.
The Bad: Has a tendency to lose feel for his curveball which makes him very hittable. Has added muscle but is still very skinny. Smallish frame.
...in a perfect world...Teheran becomes an ace and one of the best pitchers in all of baseball.
ETA: 2012. He has nothing left to prove in the Minors and there's a good chance he earns a job in Atlanta's rotation out of Spring Training.
2. Randall Delgado
The Skinny: Began 2011 as an All-Star with Mississippi and finished as Atlanta's best starter in September.
The Good: All of his pitches are above average, including a moving, low 90s fastball. Big and durable with the potential to be a workhorse. Advanced feel for pitching.
The Bad: Sometimes gets too fine with his pitches, which leads to walks. Needs to become more aggressive at attacking hitters.
...in a perfect world...Delgado becomes a top of the rotation starter.
ETA: 2012. Despite his great work in September, he may still be behind Julio Teheran and Mike Minor on the depth chart. Even if he starts the year in Gwinnett, he'll finish it in Atlanta.
3. Arodys Vizcaino
The Skinny: After missing the second half of 2010 with arm injuries, began 2011 by dominating for Lynchburg, then pitched well in Mississippi where he moved to the bullpen. After a quick stop in Gwinnett he moved up to Atlanta in mid-August where he was a solid member of the relief corp.
The Good: Blazing, upper 90s fastball with serious movement that he couples with a devastating hammer curveball. Strong, muscular frame. Versatile enough to start or relieve. Eager to learn and takes quickly to coaching. Only 21 years old.
The Bad: Has been injury prone throughout his career, with shoulder, elbow, and back ailments. Will need a solid third pitch if he goes back to the rotation, meaning his changeup needs work. Coaches have questioned his confidence and aggressiveness.
...in a perfect world...Vizcaino either becomes a top of the rotation starter or an elite closer.
ETA: 2012. He could make Atlanta's roster out of Spring Training as a reliever, though the team may decide to send him to Gwinnett to return to the rotation. Either way, he'll be in the Major Leagues at the end of the year.
4. Sean Gilmartin
The Skinny: Braves first round selection in the 2011 draft out of Florida State. Pitched well in his pro debut at Rome and put on a good showing in the Arizona Fall League after the season.
The Good: Superb changeup and above average command. Average fastball that sits around 90 with reliable movement. Solid slider that needs work. Big, strong, durable body. Advanced feel for pitching.
The Bad: Only average stuff. Could stand to add some velocity. Not much room for projection.
...in a perfect world...becomes an above average middle of the rotation starter.
ETA: Late 2013. He'll likely start the year in Lynchburg or Mississippi as the Braves will be aggressive with his development.
5. Christian Bethancourt
The Skinny: After struggling with Rome in 2010, he returned there to start 2011 and played well, earning a promotion to Lynchburg where he had mixed results. Performed surprisingly well in the Arizona Fall League after the season playing against much older competition.
The Good: Absolute cannon for an arm that shuts down opposing teams' running games. Has the potential to be a Gold Glove catcher. High contact hitter. Big, strong body with room to add muscle. Smart baserunner. Only 20 years old.
The Bad: Has trouble blocking balls in the dirt. Very poor at drawing walks. Needs to learn how to drive the ball for power. Struggles to adjust when he moves up a level. Has been accused of being lazy and unmotivated.
...in a perfect world...Bethancourt becomes a perennial Gold Glove winner with above average offensive production.
ETA: 2014. He's very young with a lot of rough edges on his game. The Braves already have the best catcher in baseball, so they have no reason to rush Bethancourt.