Yahoo! Sports recently released its NL East preview. I don't really care where they think the Braves will finish, but there was one thing I found bizarre: one of the two authors predicts Joey Terdoslavich as his divisional Rookie of the Year. What are your thoughts the Braves' best rookie 2012? My thoughts after the jump.
I would like to first state that I am considering only the performance of our rookies in this year only. My analysis in no way considers the future value of players. This is also based solely on on my limited eye-test analysis this spring.
I have no idea where this guy is seeing Joey T as an NL East Rookie of the Year, let alone the team's best rookie. From the games I have seen this spring, I am not convinced that the Braves will call up Terdoslavich for much more than spot duty. Also, the Braves' recent outfielder search suggests that they will bring Prado back into the infield. Maybe Terdo learns some outfield defense, or he starts mashing the ball in ways that make his ham-fisted defense acceptable. Even then, he would need to get a call up with a substantial portion of the season remaining. All of this is highly unlikely.
Next, let's look at the rest of the infield. We have a shortstop battle between Pastornicky and Simmons. Both have had ups and downs this spring. No matter who wins the position, I don't see either being our best rookie. Pastornicky scares me defensively with his arm. Simmons has an entirely different problem. Simmons would be asked to hit against major league pitchers, a tremendous change from his prior experience at high-a ball. I am confident either will be serviceable this season, but neither will be the Braves' best rookie.
The last possibility is starting pitching. I am confident this is where our best rookie will be found this spring, specifically in the fifth rotation spot. Delgado has won that spot his through his pitching success and Teheran's arm soreness. Delgado is certainly an elite pitcher in the making, but he seems to still be working some things out with his consistency. Perhaps this could be blamed on normal spring training work. However, I seem to remember a few starts last year with similar issues. He will keep the spot as long as Hudson is out, which gives him ample time to build confidence if another starter goes down. Unfortunately, that has recently been the case.
Teheran will likely be the second starting pitching call-up this season, but it would take a significant injury to promote him up for an appreciable length. I do not believe he will pitch enough innings to compete in this race.
Here are the ZiPs projections for the previously discussed players in no particular order:
Please Note: I could not find any information regarding ZiP's correlation or appropriateness for projecting prospect performance in the majors. That is why I also included the "previous level" category for the hitters. Hopefully, that will allow you to consider the projections in context with their previous performances.
Pitchers Games ERA
Randall Delgado 29 4.76
Julio Teheran 28 3.85
Hitters Games OPS Previous Level
Andrelton Simmons 156 654 High A
Tyler Pastornicky 146 674 90 games in AA and 30 in AAA
Joey Terdoslavich 155 699 High A
I anticipate Delgado having a solid season with one or two terrible games. Overall, however, I'm predicting a solid season from him.
What are your thoughts?
Edit: sorry for the wonky formatting on the table. I cannot get the numbers to space appropriately.