The Braves have added catching prospect Christian Bethancourt as well as four right-handed pitchers in Zeke Spruill, David Hale, Aaron Northcraft, and Cory Rasmus to their 40-man roster, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
The 21-year old Bethancourt is known for his defense that draws rave reviews, but the Braves and everyone else are waiting for his bat to come around. Atlanta aggressively started him at Double-A in 2012, and Bethancourt hit .243/.275/.291 with 45 strikeouts and 11 walks in 71 games before breaking his hand in August.
Bethancourt also played in the 2012 MLB Futures Game for the World team.
Spruill, also at Double-A Mississippi in 2012, struck out 106 and walked 46 in 161.2 innings while putting up a 3.67 ERA. The 23-year old was one of the Braves' choices to play in the recently completed Arizona Fall League, and Spruill had a 3.63 ERA in 22.1 innings of work while striking out 13 and walking seven.
A third member of Double-A Mississippi this past season, Hale struck out 124 batters while walking 67 in a career high 145.2 innings of work. The 25-year old had a 3.77 ERA.
At High-A Lynchburg in 2012, the 22-year old Northcraft took a big step forward as he struck out 160 batters in 151.2 innings. He walked just 53 batters and posted a 3.98 ERA.
The final member of the group, Rasmus moved to the pen exclusively in 2012 for Double-A Mississippi, and pitched pretty well. In 58.2 innings, the 25-year old struck out 62 hitters while walking 32 and put up a 3.68 ERA.
Rasmus also was chosen to pitch in the Arizona Fall League by Atlanta, and he struggled with the long ball during his time in Arizona. In ten relief appearances, Rasmus allowed four home runs and had a 7.53 ERA in 14+ innings. He struck out 13 and walked six.
With these five additions and the signing of Gerald Laird, Atlanta now has 36 players on its 40-man roster at the moment.