Bethancourt and Pastornicky are Heating Up While Perez and Lipka Struggle for Consistency in the Atlanta Braves Minor League HotSheet

Who's Hot?

  • Mike Minor, Gwinnett Braves - 8 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K - Fredi Gonzalez told Minor that is wasn't guaranteed that he would be the one called back to Atlanta when the Braves need their fifth starter next week. Minor did everything he could to ensure that he would be getting the call. He retired the first 18 batters he faced before giving up a lead-off walk in the eighth inning of this game. For the season in AAA he has a 2.23 ERA with 63 K in 60.2 innings. UPDATE: And once again the top guy on our hotsheet wins a player of the week award. Minor won the Pitcher of the Week award for the second time this season.
  • Christian Bethancourt, Rome Braves - 7-21, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K - Consider this as you are looking at Bethancourt's stats from last week: for the year he has just five walks and two of them came in the last seven days. Three of them came in the last eight days as well. I don't believe he has completely changed his plate discipline but it appears he has made some adjustments to be a more effective hitter. Also having more than 50% of your hits go for extra bases helps. 
  • Tyler Pastornicky, Mississippi Braves - 10-25, HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 4 SB, CS - Pastornicky has been one of the most consistent hitters in the organization this season and really his hitting ability has been a nice surprise. In May he muscled up a little and hit four homers and he has also been one of the few moderately effective baserunners in the organization. For the year his OPS is sitting at .799 and he is hitting .345 with men in scoring position. 
  • Phil Gosselin, Lynchburg Hillcats - 10-28, 3 2B, 3B, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K - Gosselin has been making the slow climb back to respectability over the last month. Hitting at the top of the order has helped Gosselin set the table for what has become the most potent offense in the Carolina League (and its not even close). He is the perfect fit for the two-hole in any lineup - he has good bat control and can knock in some doubles while taking his share of walks. 

Honorable Mention: Gwinnett Braves - Stefan Gartrell, Todd Redmond; Mississippi Braves - Donell Linares, Randall Delgado, JJ Hoover; Lynchburg Hillcats - Joey Terdoslavich, Adam Milligan, Zeke Spruill; Rome Braves - Edward Salcedo, Chris Garcia.

Who's Not?

  • Matt Lipka, Rome Braves - 5-26, 0 XBH, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 CS - Lipka got very hot for about two weeks there but has apparently reverted back to what he was before. In fact even with his hot streak in May he still posted an OPS about 50 points below his April number. On top of his poor performance at the plate he has been ineffective on the basepaths as well with 11 steals in 18 attempts. Long term I am not worried about him but I would love to see a prolonged hot streak from him. 
  • Carlos Perez, Rome Braves - 10.1 IP, 15 H, 9 R(8 ER), 7 BB, 10 K - I could really just blindly point at just about any pitcher from Rome and they would end up on this list but Perez gets the 'honor' because of name recognition. I understand he is a groundball pitcher, but when you walk seven in ten innings you aren't helping yourself much either. His wild mechanics make it difficult for him to repeat his delivery but the stuff is nice and his changeup is filthy. He may take a little longer than guys like Teheran and Delgado to figure it out. 
  • Eliecer Cardenas, Mississippi Braves - 2 IP, 12 H, 12 R(11 ER), 5 BB, K, 2 HR - I generally don't put relievers on these lists because their job is hard to judge from game to game, but when you put up a line like this you pretty much guarantee a place here. These stats don't even include his first appearance where he allowed two more runs in an inning of work. The crazy part is he got promoted from Lynchburg right after our Talking Chop meetup and he was flat out filthy in that game. 
  • Cory Harrilchak, Mississippi Braves - 3-21, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, SB - At the beginning of the season Harrilchak was the best outfield prospect in the organization (which is maybe more of a statement about our farm system than about his talents) but at this point I don't think that is the case anymore. His plate discipline -  his biggest strength - has eroded as the season has worn on and after flashing some power in April he slugged .243 in May and just .308 so far this month. 

Dishonorable Mention: Gwinnett Braves - Mauro Gomez; Mississippi Braves - Willie Cabrera, Paul Clemens, Arodys Vizcaino; Lynchburg Hillcats - Todd Cunningham, Chris Masters, Matt Crim; Rome Braves - Steven Kent, David Filak. 

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