I did one of these last year as you can see here
We are arriving to the Allstar Break and lets see how our top prospects have been doing by the numbers.
Ups- His major league start
Downs- everything else. He has worse stats in every single category this year compared to his last in AAA
Julio Teheran. The "Next Pedro Martinez", The next Atlanta Ace. This year he has not even come close to these comparison. Last year at this time Teheran was dominating AAA and trying to earn a spot on the 2012 Braves. This year he is struggling mightily in AAA. He has a 4.50 ERA this year and many of you are probably saying he is just getting unlucky. Well that is not true because his FIP is even worse at 5.11! According to reports his fastball location is struggling and his curveball is still a below average pitch with no control. If he is ever going to be a major league starter than he needs to develop this third pitch into at least an average pitch. His K% is also down, and I'm thinking that this is because that he is trying to work on his curveball some more so he will throw it more in games then he wants to in K situations instead of his devastating change up. BUT for all that watched his major league start, Teheran still showed his potential similar to how you could see Trevor Bauer's potential last week. His fastball was up in the zone the whole game which is the reason why he gave up those runs. But a very odd thing I saw on fangraphs was that he threw his worst pitch, his curveball, at lest 5 times more than his best pitch, his changeup. So to conclude, Teheran is really struggling in AAA, but I expect him to pick it up a little in the second half.
Ups- 7.25 K/9 only one start giving up more than 4 runs
Downs- 4.52 ERA 4.31 BB/9
Randall Delgado has top of the rotation stuff, but he will never be a top of the rotation pitcher if he never has control of all those pitches. He has had flashes of brilliance, and dismal performances too. This is typical for a young pitcher that he is. Only one game has been incredibly bad and that was against one of the top offenses in the Major leagues in one of the best hitter parks in the MLB. He needs to attack hitters and not just try and hit the corners which eventually ends in higher pitch counts which leads to more runs allowed which leads to shorter outings. In that one dominating 8 inning performance against he attacked the hitters according to Pitch F/X while he usually does not do as well we he just stays only on the black or outside of it. If Delgado can harness his control then he has the ceiling of a #2, but now he may be trade bait as the Braves supposedly are in the running for Greinke. He could be the main piece of that trade along with a SS spec and maybe more.
Poor Vizcaino is visiting Dr. Andrews at the time :(
Ups- 3.64 ERA 2.27 BB/9 0.64 HR/9
Downs- 6.64 K/9
First off I'd like to say that there is a great article on Gilmartin on fangraphs here. Gilmartin has drawn comparisons to Mike Minor due to their description psychically, but they are completely different pitchers. Gilmartin is a groundball pitcher with late movement to cause soft contact. He has done great in AA and is improving quickly to maybe even entail a mid season call up next year. He has done everything you really want in a pitcher except that with his stuff, he doesnt strikeout batters, but instead gets weak contact and ground balls. This is all going off the numbers available to me and with the low HR rate, I am going to say that he is a groundball pitcher unlike Minor who has K potential. Gilmartin may earn a late year promotion to AAA, and even have a chance for the rotation next year.
Ups- um well he still has the potential to be the top defensive catcher in the MLB
Downs- Everything else. 0 hrs .254/.275/.282 line in AA
Bethancourt as been dismal this year. He has come up to the plate 192 times and only hit an extra base hit 3 times. You might would expect that from a contact speedster, but Bethancourt is a player with power potential and he has double as many SBs than extra basehits! He obviously has not got worse on defense, but this year has to worry the Braves front office because they may have to reluctantly extend McCann or go Via trade or FA for a new catcher in 2014. He still has 1 1/2 years to pull himself together, but I think his bat may never come around. If not then he will probably just be a great backup catcher, but if he does even become an average bat at the catching spot then he will be starting in 2014.
Ups- 8Hr, 15 2B, 15 SB, .257 Average
Downs- 5.1% BB 22 Errors
We all know that Salcedo can hit the baseball. Salcedo has hit for power this year and showed off his speed in Lynchburg (A+). But something he has always had a problem with was walks. He typically never walks and hacks about at everything which you can tell because every PA he has a 75% of hitting it into play. Also, his transition to 3b has not gone as smoothly as we all would have liked. His fielding percentage has been even worse at 3b with .894 than his fielding percentage at SS last year! He is extremely young and can still develop into an above average bat at 3B in the future or be used as trade bait this summer.
7. Zeke Spruill
Ups- 3.65 ERA .27 HR/9 105.2 IP
Downs- nothing really
Another contact pitcher. Another groundball pitcher. We have alot of these dont we? That is not really a bad thing with our future infield defense. Anyway, Spruill has been a complete horse throwing already 105.2 innings. He has kept the Homeruns down which I always think is a good thing for a groundball pitcher. He has pretty much pitched 7 innings around 70% of his starts which is very good. He is having a solid year in AA and I think he is in the same boat as Gilmartin as his timetable for getting to the majors. He has mid rotation potential and at the least he will be a innings eater.
Ups- .273 average in AAA
Downs- Errors, 3.8% walk rate
Pastornicky came into this year as a top prospect with the future of an above average hitting SS, but a decent glove. That has changed since. He has no spot in the Braves future except as a UTIL which isnt that bad. He did not hit horrendously in the majors, but his horrible glove cost us 11 runs while he was up and he couldnt walk to save his life. He is back in AAA to work on his defense until he is ready to go into a UTIL role, but most likely he will be traded at the deadline in a package for a starting pitcher. He still has potential to be a major league SS or 2B, but he really needs to get his act together on defense and show better plate discipline.
Ups- Everything humanly possible
Downs- Nothing, absolutely nothing
Simmons. Wow, this kid does not belong at 9 on this list. I feel like he should be #1. 1.6 WAR. .311/.351/.476 batting line. flawless defense. this kid is just amazing to watch. I dont feel like it is even necessary to say anything else, So we move on!
10. Carlos Perez
He pitched horrendously in single A, and he is currently injured. Nothing to see here boys
I'll outline some of the performances of prospects who have recently raised in status
1. Evan Gattis
A .385/.468/.821 line 9 homeruns in A+
A .274/.384/.581 line 4 homeruns in AA
Gattis exploded on to the scene this year. He was not even a top 25 prospect in the organization and now he is arguably a top 10 prospect no matter which position he ends up at as a LF/C. I honestly would rather him be a catcher so we can replace McCann with him if Bethancourt fail, but he could me a mid season call up next year at LF if he continues l number like those in AA. He has plus power and a great eye. He even doesn't strikeout much at all at a cool 11.6%. The funny think is that his BABIP was .260 in AA, but he had a .274 average which shows he was actually unlucky. He is currently injured, but hopefully when he comes back he will continue numbers like those in AA
2. J.R. Graham
Talking about dominating, in the Braves advanced single A affiliate J.R. Graham owns a 2.82 ERA in 92.2 innings pitched. Most didnt see Graham as a starter, but he has shown he can start this year. He has gone deep into games and been a complete Horse. He throws mid 90s while starting and in the Baby Braves Vs. the Atlanta Braves game. he dominated. He has an ETA of about 2014 or 2013 as a reliever. This man can pitch and I think next year we will see him around 6 or 7 in our top prospect list.
3. David Hale
Another horse in our system. this man has thrown 92 innings already in the Minors. He is can be inconsistent, but when he is on, he is on and lately David Hale has been on. In his last 16 starts he has only given up more than 3 runs 4 times... He owns a 3.52 ERA in AA. He needs to work on his control a bit with a 4.01 BB, but he has the same ceiling of Spruill and Graham. All being potential workhorses.
4. Matt Lipka
I wouldn't say he is having a great year, but as a former first round pick, everyone should know how he is doing. He owns a .270/.333/.335 line in A+. He has had a decent year, but he continues to show off his plus speed with 12 SBs. He is currently playing CF, but I wouldnt expect him to be ready until at least 2014. He has been a slower developer. He might not have the potential of a A\first round player, but he could be a decent CF or most likely trade bait for the Braves. Maybe his new team will try him again at SS.
Cunningham is having a great year in AA with a .307/.349/.383 line. Like Lipka he has shown off his speed with 12 SBs. He barely strikes out with a 10.9% rate, and walks 4.6% percent of the time, so this guy lives of contact. He could be a starting outfielder one day, but for the Braves I see a very good 4 OF. He has speed and the defense versatility. He definitely is one to keep your eye on.
Last guy here. Terdo failed at AAA, but that is nothing to worry about because he wasn't close to being ready for AAA. I think he still needs another month or 2 at AA to work on 3B/1B. I have no idea what position Terdo will end up playing, but Im guessing 1b/3b/LF. He hit .180 in AAA, but after being sent down he is hitting .297/.340/.440 in AA now. He still has great potential to be a good bat in the Majors, but we don't need to rush him
Sorry for going overboard with too many players, but I just felt like I wanted to get to 2000 words! Hopefully all these guys can excel in their respected affiliates in a weaker than usual, but still strong Atlanta Braves minor league.