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Braves NRI In-Depth: Joe Terdoslavich

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There's much more concern over Joe Terdoslavich's glove than his powerful bat.
There's much more concern over Joe Terdoslavich's glove than his powerful bat.

After the Braves selected him in the 6th round of the 2010 draft out of Long Beach State University, Joe Terdoslavich had a nice debut, hitting .302 with a .766 OPS, 19 doubles, and 34 RBI in 70 games between Rookie level Danville and Low Rome, splitting time between first and third base. He shifted over to first base full time in 2011, and had a great season for High A Lynchburg, hitting .286 with a .867 OPS, 20 homers, 82 RBI, and he broke a 65 year old Carolina League record by clubbing out 52 doubles.

As excited as the Braves are about Terdoslavich's future, there are some real question marks surrounding him, mostly on the defensive side of things. He was a third baseman in college, but struggled there with Danville and Rome, committing 10 errors in just 36 games. He struggled at first for those squads as well, committing 11 errors in 33 games, though it was his first time playing the position. He was more steady with Lynchburg in 2011, committing 10 errors in 106 games, though that's still a high total for a first baseman. Terdoslavich has hard hands and has trouble with fluidity and flexibility when it comes to fielding. Despite his troubles, the Braves are going to move him back to third base in 2012, mainly because they feel his bat will allow him to move quickly through the organization and Freddie Freeman has already established himself as Atlanta's first baseman.

While he doesn't have any chance of leaving Spring Training with a Major League roster spot, it should still be a fruitful experience for Terdoslavich, who will work closely with infield coach Terry Pendleton, who played 1785 games at the hot corner in the Majors after moving there from second base. He'll also benefit from playing alongside Chipper Jones, who has played 1889 game at third base after converting from shortstop. Even veteran Jack Wilson, who only has 4 games of third base to his credit, should be able to help with his vast knowledge of the best ways to field a baseball.

How important a part of Atlanta's 2013 Terdoslavich is will be determined by how well he can handle third base with Mississippi in 2012, because while there are some things he can work on with his offensive game, striking out less and taking more walks, there's a good chance his powerful bat will translate well at the higher levels.