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Braves Winter League Rounup: 11/17

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Braves prospects played their final Arizona Fall League games this week

Back again for another week. This week, I decided to add the Arizona Fall League guys who completed their fall seasons earlier in the week. I have also removed any of the players from previous lists who are now considered minor league free agents.

Arizona Fall League

  • Tommy La Stella: 18G, .290/.436/.468, 16BB/4K – La Stella grabbed most of the headlines for the Braves in the AFL and rightfully so. He will be fighting for a role in Atlanta come spring and continued to do what he does best, hit and get on base. He reportedly put a good amount of work into his defense, which might determine what time of role he takes on come spring.
  • Kyle Kubitza: 19G, .305/.431/.458, 13BB/22K – Kubitza quietly put up a very similar slash to La Stella, coming on strong in the final week. The 23-year-old might jump over Salcedo while moving up the organizational ladder with his impressive 2013 campaign.
  • Elmer Reyes: 13G, .256/.347/.349, 5BB/8K – In limited games, Reyes put up solid number playing up the middle for the Scorpions. Turning 23 next week, Reyes should begin 2014 in Mississippi.
  • Robby Hefflinger: 20G, .189/.244/.284, 4BB/30K – For all the positives to take from the AFL, this was not one of them. Hefflinger struggled at the plate, striking out 37% of the time and looked over matched at times during the televised AFL games. At Lynchburg, he gained a lot hype for his big power, banging 21 home runs in 74 games. However, at 23, this was mostly a product of beating up on younger competition. The contact issues are going to be the biggest concern as he moves through the system.
  • Aaron Northcraft: 18IP, 23H, 16ER, 15BB, 19K – Northcraft was Hefflinger on the pitching side of the spectrum. The numbers are a sore sight and were rightfully backed up by the eye test. During the televised game, his fastball was relatively flat and was poorly located, at one point walking three guys in a row. The 2009 10th round pick will be playing in his age 24 season next year.
  • John Cornely: 11.2IP, 10H, 6ER, 13BB, 16K – Cornley also faced some location issues in Arizona, which has been a lingering problem since he's been in the system. He does induce a good amount of swing and missed, as the K% suggests, but at 24, he has yet to surpass the high-A level.
  • Juan Jaime: 10.1IP, 11H, 7ER, 7BB, 15K – The story has been the same with Jaime for awhile now, if he can stay healthy and find some sort of secondary pitch to complement his triple digits heater, he could be a force to reckon with. He has fooled around with a couple of different changeup and splitter grips, but has yet to find one that works.
  • Shae Simmons: 10IP, 6H, ER, 7BB, 15K – Simmons had the best performance on the mound this fall, giving up one run in 10 innings. At this point in time, he could be the organizations top relief prospect. Simmons has yet to surrender a home run in 88 professional innings.

Dominican Winter League

  • Christian Bethancourt:10G, .138/.212/.172, 2BB/7K – The numbers are a sight for sore eyes, but again, don't make too much of it. Best thing to do is wait until spring and see if he can work his way onto the roster.
  • Edward Salcedo: 7G, 1.74/.208/.217, BB/5K – Salcedo did not appear in any games this week.
  • Omar Luna: 0-6, 3K – Luna did not appear in any games this week.
  • Wifrin Obispo: 11.1IP, 7H, 5ER, 6BB, 10K – Obispo appeared in one game this week, throwing two innings giving up two hits. The groundball pitcher, who averaged a little over a K/innings this season, also recoded a strikeout.
  • Ronan Pacheco: IP, H, 0ER, 0BB, 0K – The 25-year-old lefty made his Dominican debut Friday night, throwing a scoreless inning in relief for the Leones del Escogido. The Dominican Republic native split time in Lynchburg and Mississippi this season, throwing 48 innings with a 46:39 strikeout-to-walk. While I haven't seen him in person, it appears the 6'6" lefty has become a side arm slinger. Prior to this change, he has an extremely whacky and snappy delivery in which three arms and legs appeared to be coming towards the batter after the pitch (explaining the high walk rates). In a perfect world, he controls this enough to become an effective LOOGY, but at his age, the chances of this problem being fixed is minimal.

Venezuelan Winter League

  • Ernesto Mejia: 28G, .231/.362/.433, 18BB/28K – Mejia had a pretty solid week at the plate, highlighted by a two home run game Friday night. He also went deep Thursday night and now has six on the winter league season. He has now brought his OPS to .795, much closer to his minor league numbers from the past couple seasons.
  • Emerson Landoni 1-3, BB – Landoni did not appear in any games this week.

Mexican Winter League

  • Daniel Castro: 23G, .222/.271/.356, 2BB/10K – Castro didn't see much time the past week, only playing in two games. Again, it will be interesting to see how he does in 2014 with his first full season in the states.
  • Joey Meneses: 1-1, 0BB/0K – Menses made his Mexican league debut in a big way earlier this week. The 21-year-old ripped a bases clearing double, driving in all three in his only plate appearance of the season so far. The Mexican native spent the entire 2013 season in Rome where he put up a .257/.308/.349 triple slash.
  • Ryan Buchter: 10.1IP, 4H, ER, 6BB, 20K – Buchter only threw one inning this week, striking out and walking a batter each. He still continues to post an impressive 2/inning in limited work.
  • Ryan Hinson: 39.1IP, 27H, 13ER, 19B, 23K – Hinson got knocked around quite a bit in his one start this week. In 5.1 innings, he surrendered six runs on 10 hits. This comes after an impressive two start week last week.
  • Mark Lamm: 3.1IP, 4H, 3ER, 5BB, 3K – Lamm did not appear in any games this week.
  • Andrew Russell: 5IP, 3H, 6ER, 3BB, 2K – Russell pitched this week for the first time since October 26. He apparently was a little rusty, giving up three earned in 1.1 innings while walking two batters.
  • Daniel Rodriguez: 3IP, 2H, ER, BB, 3K – The lefty threw two innings this week for the Tomateros de Culican, giving up one hit.

Also, as I mentioned above, here is the list of Minor League Free Agents according to Baseball America

Brett Cammons (AA), Pat Egan (AA), Gary Moran (AA), Omar Poveda (AAA), Benino Pruneda (AA)
LHP: Joe Beimel (AAA), Juan Cedeno (AAA), Yohan Flande (AAA), Jose Lugo (A+)
INF: Shawn McGill (A+), Jose Yepez (AAA), Alden Carrithers (AAA), Jaime Pedroza (AA)
OF: Stefan Gartrell (AAA), Greg Golson (AA), Christian Marrero (AA), Jose Martinez (AA)