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Braves Winter League Recap 11/16-11/22: The Arizona Fall League is Over

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The Arizona Fall League came to a close, with all of the pitchers having very good finales. Emerson Landoni was benched by his team, but Adonis Garcia continues to surge for his. Joey Meneses had another solid week for Culiacan. As for Hector Olivera, he still hasn't shown much power

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Fall League

With the Arizona Fall League ending this week, it was the last chance for the Braves' 7 prospects to make an impression going into the 2016 season. It hasn't been a great year for the Braves sent to the AFL, but the pitchers ended on a fantastic note. With 4 players who all have the potential to be in Atlanta next year, it is nice to see them to put up a good performance. (However, a lot would have to go wrong for the Braves and a lot right for Sims, Thurman, and Cabrera for them to crack the 2016 major league squad.)

RHP Lucas Sims-Peoria Javelinas

Season To Date
6 G, 0-0, 2.12 ERA, 17 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 17 K


Weekly Recap:
Lucas Sims was the best Brave in the AFL this year, and it wasn't particularly close. On that note, he ended the season with his worst outing in almost a month. That's more a testament to how incredible he has been, as he only gave up 1 run on 3 hits and no walks in 3 innings pitched. For the first time since the second game of the season he didn't have as many strikeouts as innings pitched, and ended with 17 strikeouts in 17 innings. Perhaps the most inspiring stat was his walk rate. He finished the year not allowing a walk in any of his last 3 games, a span during which he allowed 1 run and 5 hits in 9 innings while striking out 10. This could be the beginning of Sims' resurgence, and if so it was quite the start.

RHP Mauricio Cabrera-Peoria Javelinas

Season To Date
9 G, 0-0, 6.17 ERA, 11.2 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 8 ER, 7 BB, 15 K


Weekly Recap:
The much-maligned hurler was actually pretty good after 2 horrendous games to start his season. His last 7 games he went 9 IP, struck out 13 batters and gave up 3 runs on 8 hits. These aren't dominating statistics, but they are a far cry from the over-5.00 ERA he posted in each of his past 2 seasons. Walks were still an issue for Cabrera -- 7 in 11.2 IP. His last outing was one of the best of the season, when he threw 1.1 hitless innings while striking out 3 and walking 2. Hopefully Cabrera will continue to improve quickly as the Braves are already having to keep him on the 40 man roster and waste an option due to his upcoming Rule V eligibility.

RHP Andrew Thurman-Peoria Javelinas

Season To Date
8 G, 1-1, 9.00 ERA, 13 IP, 14 H, 14 R, 13 ER, 6 BB, 12 K


Weekly Recap:
Thurman has been very up and down for much of the year with Mississippi and Peoria, but he was just good for Peoria in his final game. He pitched 2 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts -- easily his best game of the season. He was to an extent another victim of a poor start, and after the first 2 games he had a 30.86 ERA. His next 6 outings were much better, as he went 10.1 IP, allowed 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10 batters. His 4.35 ERA over that stretch isn't great, but he was sank by another couple of really bad outings (that's a theme with him). It's really hard to take anything out of this fall for Thurman because he was just so inconsistent; it was hard to figure how who he truly is. That should be the one takeaway for Thurman, that he needs to get better at having his stuff game in and game out.

RHP Daniel Winkler-Peoria Javelinas

Season To Date
7 G, 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 9 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 11 K


Weekly Recap:
Winkler ended the year with a great outing. He allowed 1 hit in his inning of work, but struck out every other batter he faced to get his ERA to an even 3.00. He wasn't great, but he also wasn't bad and that's all the Braves can ask for. He will be on the Braves roster as a Rule V selection for a couple of months next year, and hopefully they can get enough out of him that he won't be a burden on the bullpen or just a guy who comes in when they are losing by 7. His numbers this fall after sitting out for so long with injury were pretty impressive, so he should be a good piece to have in the system going forward.

C Joseph Odom-Peoria Javelinas

Season To Date
8 G, .133/.133/.167, 4-30, 0 BB, 1 RBI, 12 K, 0 SB, 1 R, 0 HR


Weekly Recap:
Odom started one game for Peoria last week, and it was probably his best of the fall. His contributed on offense with a hit in 3 at bats and was good on defense. He didn't allow a passed ball or a stolen base in the game, and threw out an attempted base stealer. He ended the season with a hit in each of the last 2 games, but went the entire fall without drawing a walk. That is not a nice stat.

SS Johan Camargo-Peoria Javelinas

Season To Date
16 G, .206/.265/.220, 13-63, 5 BB, 3 RBI, 6 K, 0 SB, 5 R, 0 HR


Weekly Recap:
Camargo was limited in his playing time during the final week, and only got 1 hit in 8 at bats. He did walk in his 1st game of the week, which was his 5th. His stat line was uninspiring, but he did a great job of putting the ball in play. His 8.7% strikeout rate was the best rate, and only single digit rate, amongst players with more than 36 plate appearances. 36 plate appearance isn't a lot, but when backed up with Camargo getting 69 that's a pretty impressive stat. Among the top 10 lowest rates of players with more than 60 PA he was also the second youngest player. He also had the misfortune of having the 4th lowest BABIP among players with more than 60 at bats.

OF Connor Lien-Peoria Javelinas

Season To Date
18 G, .182/.239/.227, 12-66, 4 BB, 3 RBI, 28 K, 4 SB, 7 R, 1 HR


Weekly Recap:
Lien had another really bad week, and struck out 7 times in 11 at bats. He did have a hit in his final game -- a double that was his second extra base hit of the fall. There is really no positive way to spin Lien's performance this fall, as pretty much any stat shows that he was just plain bad. He tied for the league lead in strikeouts, but had 4 fewer plate appearances to have the highest strikeout rate among all players with more than 18 at bats. For the Braves to have the guy with the most strikeouts in the league and the least strikeouts on the same team is actually pretty impressive when you think about it.

Venezuelan Winter League

SS Emerson Landoni-Caribes de Anzoategui

Season To Date
33 G, .268/.299/.286, 30-112, 4 BB, 6 RBI, 19 K, 0 SB, 7 R, 0 HR, 2 2B


Weekly Recap:
Landoni started out on fire this winter, but has fallen on hard times lately. This last week he went just 1-7 in 3 games with 2 strikeouts. He was removed from Wednesday's game against Adonis Garcia's Navegantes, and made just 1 pinch hit appearance for the rest of the week. This is likely due to the Caribes signing of Orlando Arcia who has been starting at shortstop. With this, Landoni may not get much playing time for the rest of the winter.

OF Adonis Garcia-Navegantes de Magallanes

Season To Date
12 G, .326/.392/.522, 15-46, 3 BB, 9 RBI, 4 K, 2 SB, 6 R, 2 HR


Weekly Recap:
Adonis Garcia is making his case to start at third base for Atlanta next year. He started this week out on a 3-game multi-hit streak, and added another hit in his final game to go 7-16 on the week. He had 2 doubles, 3 RBI, and a walk while only striking out once. He even stole a base, and he has yet to be caught stealing this year. He's been playing outfield this winter, and will continue to get a lot of playing time especially if he hits like this.

Mexican Pacific League

OF/1B Joey Meneses-Tomateros de Culiacan

Season To Date
37 G, .301/.361/.398, 40-133, 10 BB, 17 RBI, 30 K, 2 SB, 18 R, 2 HR, 7 2B


Weekly Recap:
Meneses snapped his 12 game hitting streak, but finished out the week strong with a hit in each of his last 2 games. He has been pretty good for the Tomateros (which literally translates to Tomato Growers in case you were wondering), and last week was no exception as he went 6-18 with 2 walks and a double in 5 games. He also scored 5 runs and knocked in 2 more. His power production has been fairly minimal, but to get this kind of hitting out of Meneses is a nice step forward.

C Alejandro Flores-Naranjeros de Hermosillo

Season To Date
3 G, .182/.182/.182, 2-11, 0 BB, 0 RBI, 1 K, 0 SB, 0 R, 0 HR


Weekly Recap:
Did not participate in any games this week

SS Daniel Castro-Yaquis de Obregon

Season To Date
11 G, .140/.229/.186, 6-43, 5 BB, 1 RBI, 9 K, 0 SB, 6 R, 0 HR


Weekly Recap:
Castro has not had the best run of luck in the Mexican Pacific League. After 3 hits in his first 2 games he has had just 3 in his last 9. This week he went 2-19, though with a walk each in his final 2 games he has a 4 game on base streak. He has struggled to get anything going but he should have plenty of chances this winter.

P Ryne Harper-Caneros de los Mochis

Season To Date
9 G, 1-0, 0.96 ERA, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K


Weekly Recap:
Harper pitched well again in 2 games this past week. He pitched 2 scoreless outings which totaled 2.1 IP, 2 hits allowed, no runs allowed, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts. He has brought his ERA below 1.00 and has been lights out all this winter. Hopefully he should get a chance with Gwinnett this year after 3 tries in AA.

Puerto Rican Winter League

C Jonathan Morales-Criollos de Caguas

Season To Date
3 G, .000/.200/.000, 0-4, 1 BB, 0 RBI, 1 K, 0 SB, 0 R, 0 HR


Weekly Recap:
Did not participate in any games this week

3B Hector Olivera-Criollos de Caguas

Season To Date
15 G, .286/.355/.321, 16-56, 5 BB, 5 RBI, 1 K, 0 SB, 11 R, 0 HR, 2 2B


Weekly Recap:
Olivera was a bit better last week, but has still yet to show much power this winter. Really, he was buoyed by a 4 hit, 1 walk, 2 RBI game on Saturday and didn't record a hit in any of his other games. While I won't hesitate to suggest that winter league numbers are useless, it would be nice for him to show something resembling the power stroke the Braves presumably traded for. Realistically, it's about him staying healthy and getting work in left field (where he has played exclusively), and he has done both so far. He still has just 1 strikeout in 15 games, and while he may not be facing major league pitching, that's pretty impressive.

SS Luis Mateo-Criollos de Caguas

Season To Date
16 G, .208/.250/.226, 11-43, 3 BB, 3 RBI, 8 K, 1 SB, 2 R, 0 HR


Weekly Recap:
Mateo had his most productive week this last week, going 3-13 in 5 games with 2 walks. He scored and knocked in a run in his first game of the week, but was pretty quiet the rest of the way.

Australian Baseball League

OF Keith Curcio-Melbourne Aces

Season To Date
15 G, .217/.258/.250, 13-60, 3 BB, 3 RBI, 3 K, 6 SB, 4 R, 0 HR, 2 2B


Weekly Recap:
Curcio was placed on the Reserve List and did not play this week.

C/1B Matt Kennelly-Perth Heat

Season To Date

20 G, .243/.313/.343, 17-70, 7 BB, 11 RBI, 8 K, 0 SB, 9 R, 1 HR, 4 2B


Weekly Recap:
Kennelly ended his week on a strong note with a 2 hit performance in which he knocked in a run and scored one. He had a hit in 3 of his 4 games this week and went 4-16. The most interesting game for him was the one where he didn't have a hit. Despite having no hits, he managed to drive in 3 runs on 2 run-scoring ground outs and a sacrifice fly. All of that and his team still lost 5-4 with 9 hits. If only the other players were as efficient as Matt.

Weekly MVP-Adonis Garcia

This is a pretty easy pick, Garcia did everything for the Navegantes this week, getting 7 hits and knocking in 3 runs. He stole bases, scored runs, and just contributed in every facet for the team.

Transactions

It wasn't the busiest week for the Braves, but there were a few notable transactions. The most newsworthy is the Braves signing of one time Braves David Carpenter to a minor league contract with a spring training invite. Carpenter was a solid player for the Braves, but was horrible after his trade to the Yankees. The Braves are hoping he can reclaim some of his old performance.

Sugar Ray Marimon has left the Braves and will play in Korea.

The Braves added John Gant and Mallex Smith to the 40 man roster to protect them from the Rule V draft while leaving Johan Camargo unprotected. Gant and Mallex are viewed as prospects who can not only contribute in the near future to the Braves but could be worthy of as selection, so their protection was a no-brainer. It is no surprise to see Camargo unprotected, as his major league prospects aren't all that good and no GM in his right mind would waste a roster spot for a year on a guy who hit .258 in High-A ball.

The Braves released 2 minor leaguers this week. Rome Braves reliever Mitchell Osnowitz was cut, as was Steve Borkowski. Borkowski's was recently busted on a PED suspension, so the Braves were not willing to keep him around.

The last transaction of the week was Andrew Waszak's retirement. This is a bit of a shock for me, as the 2013 22nd rounder had a pretty good season for the Mudcats. He has a degree from Michigan State University, and we wish him the best in his future career choices.