The Lynchburg Hillcats have announced that first baseman Joey Terdoslavich has been named the Atlanta Braves Organizational Player of the Year. J-Terd bested all other hitters in the Braves organization, and broke a 65-year old Carolina League record by collecting 52 doubles, in his first full professional season.
Terdoslavich also ranked third in the Brave minor league organization in home runs (20), second in slugging percentage (.526), second in total bases (254), first in extra base hits (74), and fourth in batting average (.286) and RBI (82).
He is a switch-hitting first baseman drafted last year in the sixth round out of Long Beach State. He has baseball roots, as his uncle is longtime Red Sox player Mike Greenwell.
Terdoslavich did not stand out from the crop of college draftees last season when he split time between Danville and Rome. Though he did post a good batting average at each stop, the flashy home run numbers were not there (2 in 70 games).
Even with his impressive season this year as a 22-year old in Advanced-A ball, he may be overshadowed by some of the flashier bats in the system. Terdoslavich seems to be a blue collar steady-though-unspectacular prospect -- and I say that knowing he is an extra base machine. We need to see what he will do in double-A. If his production there next year approaches what he did this season, then he should be considered a legit Major League prospect.
With that said, I have Terdoslavich tentatively ranked as the 11th-best prospect in the Braves system for our 2012 top-25 Braves prospects (with three hitters ranked ahead of him). The Talking Chop staff collectively ranked him 17th in our 2011 mid-season rankings. Much of that ranking has to do with Terdoslavich being the first bat to really emerge from the 2010 draft in any meaningful way (Andrelton Simmons is close behind him in that sense). Also keeping in mind that the Braves system is pretty much currently a barren wasteland when it comes to high ceiling hitting prospects.
It will be interesting to see if Terdoslavich can emerge as a mid-to-high ceiling hitting prospect in the eyes of the folks who rank prospects nationally. Breaking the doubles record should open a lot of eyes, being named the Braves Player of the Year will open even more (though Kala Ka'aihue once won that award).
Overall J-Terd seems like a solid bat, and it seems like he could continue his production at higher levels. His strikeout rate is not too high and his walk rate is pretty good for a slugger. He may have to find a spot in the outfield eventually, as his first base defense is not great. I went into way too much analysis there, but a lot of that has to do with Terdoslavich being new to the system, and having this kind of success so early. Is it for real, or is it a fluke?
It hasn't been announced yet, but I expect Julio Teheran will be named the Braves Organizational Pitcher of the Year.