Atlanta Braves Top-25 Prospects: April Update

Each month this season Talking Chop will keep you updated on the progress of the Atlanta Braves top-25 prospects. We'll tell you if their stock is up, down, or unchanged (even), and we'll provide comments as to how their season is going. At the end of this list, we'll also list a few prospects who could make their way into the top-25, as other prospects graduate to the Majors or fall out of favor.

Rank Prospect, Position Stock Comments
1 Julio Teheran, RHP Up Can the top prospect's stock get any higher? Yes, yes it can. Teheran has handled triple-A with little to no problem as one of the youngest players in the league.
2 Freddie Freeman, 1B Majors He's continuing to learn his craft in the Major Leagues. Looks like he'll stick for the entire season.
3 Randall Delgado, RHP Up He fronts one of the best rotations at any level of the minor leagues in AA, and continues to impress every time out.
4 Mike Minor, LHP Up He's putting in some fantastic work at AAA. He seems to be accepting that role very well and working on what he needs to work on. 
5 Craig Kimbrel, RHP Majors One of the best relievers in the Majors. Keep in mind he's still young and learning.
6 Arodys Vizcaino, RHP Even A great spring training led to an average start to the season, and now he's sidelined with a lower back injury.
7 Matt Lipka, SS Even Showing good speed and bat control at low-A. He's doing everything the organization wants him to do, and he should only get better throughout the season.
8 Edward Salcedo, SS Even The bat looks a little better this year, but he's striking out a lot, and making a lot of errors at third base. The jury is still split on this kid.
9 Brandon Beachy, RHP Majors What a competitor. This kid is easy to root for, and if we had known more about him he would have likely been higher on this list before the season.
10 Carlos Perez, LHP Even Good strikeout to walk ratio, but he's been far too hittable. He should get better, though we need to see better results. 

The rest of the top-25 are after the jump...

Rank Prospect, Position Stock Comments
11 J.J. Hoover, RHP Up Every time we think he's peaked, he goes out there and gets better. Great control so far this year.
12 Christian Bethancourt, C Down Struggling offensively in his second go-around at low-A. He's a guy who might take a lot more development time at the lower levels than previously thought.
13 Mycal Jones, CF Even Myke has been injured and in extended spring training. He's getting eager to return, and we're all excited to see what he can do at AA.
14 Joe Leonard, 3B Even The power hasn't been there yet, but patience and control at the plate are a good sign. He should add power as the season moves on.
15 Brett Oberholtzer, LHP Up This is the guy who has had possibly the best start to the season in the organization. He's improved his stock to a definite top-10, and a probable top-5. He should also get some consideration for top-100 in baseball.
16 Cory Harrilchak, OF Down He hasn't hit for a high average at AA, but he has more walks than strikeouts. Without much power he'll have to hit for a high average to have success. 
17 Cory Rasmus, RHP Down He was impressively striking out people in the Hillcats rotation before going down with another injury. Patience is needed with him, but it may be running out.
18 Eric Cordier, RHP Down Still hasn't come back from his latest injury. He could be too fragile to be considered a prospect.
19 Steve Kent, RHP Down He's had a few good starts, but he's also gotten rocked a few times. He might be better in the long run as a reliever. 
20 David Filak, RHP Down Lots of control problems early in the season, though the organization seems to be taking it very slow with him. He should come around.
21 Andrelton Simmons, SS Up He started off slow at the plate, but he's picked it up lately as the organization is pushing him to high-A, skipping him over low-A. He's responded very well and looks like he'll stick at SS.
22 Todd Cunningham, OF Down Not much power, and he's been mired in a slump to start the season. Without any real plus skill, his success will need to be reflected in his stats, and so far there's not much there.
23 Adam Milligan, OF Even He's healthy, and hitting home runs, but he's also striking out with regularity. That will stunt his prospect potential if he can't fix it.
24 Abraham Espinosa, RHP Even He did not make one of the full season teams out of spring training. We'll look for him at Danville when their season starts.
25 Tyler Pastornicky, SS Up He continues to be the scrappy shortstop at AA. More walks than strikeouts, but not much power.

And here are seven more prospects who we could see in the top-25 someday soon:

Prospect, Position Comments
Zeke Spruill, RHP He has been mighty impressive this year after putting a disappointing 2010 behind him. He's become the ace of the Hillcats staff.
Paul Clemens, RHP He spent last year bouncing between the bullpen and the rotation, and seemed like a guy without a role. This season he is keeping pace with the other top starting pitching prospects at AA, and finally looks comfortable starting.
Stephen Marek, RHP He'll crack the top-25 if he's not on the Major League roster, and he should be on the ML roster.
Juan Abreu, RHP After a very impressive spring training, he's continued his great work at Gwinnett. He's still fighting his control at times, but if he sorts that out he could be a great power reliever.
Chris Masters, RHP He's been hard to hit this year and could sneak onto the list. Currently leading the organization in ERA.
Joe Terdoslovich, 3B He strikes out like Adam Milligan, but he also seems to have just as much power. Leading the organization in HRs with 7. 
Caleb Brewer, RHP He's been the hardest guy to hit in the Braves organization so far this year, though he's still walking too many people.

That's all for now. Until the end of May update, keep up with all the Atlanta Braves minor league action with Talking Chop's daily minor league recaps.

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