A number of players in the Atlanta Braves organization are participating in Winter League baseball currently, so it’s good to check up on how they are doing, along with a few other players who might be of interest to Braves fans. Also, be sure to check out where the prospects land in our Talking Chop top 30 prospect list that is rolling out this week.
Before we get into the numbers, it’s important to remember that this is all small sample size theater and that the numbers shouldn’t be taken very seriously when it comes to where a player is at in their development. It’s also worth mentioning that some of these leagues have numbers that are heavily skewed towards offense or pitching.
Current prospects and members of the 40-Man roster
Pache is Atlanta’s top position-player prospect and one of the top prospects in baseball. He hasn’t played much, participating in only nine games while logging 25 at-bats, and he is slashing .120/.241/.160 with four walks and six strikeouts. Obviously the sample is miniscule, so we shouldn’t really read into the numbers. Pache is expected to come into spring training as possibly the front-runner for the starting job in centerfield for Atlanta, after he played well in relief of an injured Adam Duvall in the playoffs.
Hernandez is a relief prospect who has been in the Braves’ system for a while now. He has done reasonably well in the Mexican League, pitching 8.1 innings, giving up only three earned runs, with eight strikeouts and three walks. He has given up two home runs among the seven total hits he has allowed.
As some of you may have missed, Atlanta signed this 31 year old outfielder to a non-guaranteed major league contract in October. Since this is a major league deal, he is on the 40-Man roster for now. Almonte is on the same team as Jasseel De La Cruz, Yasiel Puig, and Peter O’Brien, the Toros del Este. He has taken 34 at-bats and has eight walks and an ugly slash line of .088/.118/.262. Almonte is expected to compete for a bench spot in spring training.
Jasseel De La Cruz
De La Cruz is one of the bigger prospects from Atlanta’s organization to be playing winter ball this year. He’s only pitched in one game for 2.0 innings, but the results were solid, allowing no runs, one hit, and one walk. De La Cruz is on the 40-Man roster, so he could make an appearance for the big league club in 2021 if there are some injuries to the pitching staff.
Camargo has been anywhere from a regular starter at third base to a utility infielder on the fringe of the roster for Atlanta in his career. He is closer to the fringe of the roster at this moment, so it will be good for him to get reps in during winter ball to show his best self at spring training, where he is not be guaranteed a roster spot. Camargo has taken 52 at-bats with seven walks, good for a slash line of .212/.311/.231. The numbers aren’t great, but hopefully playing will help Johan stay sharp and in shape over the offseason.
The former Braves spring training great Peter O’Brien is participating in the Dominican League this winter, and has taken a fairly large number of plate appearances by the standards of this league. He has 89 at-bats good for a slash line of .213/.297/.404. This doesn’t look good, but O’Brien is actually producing right about in the middle of the pack among qualified hitters in this league.
The energetic free agent outfielder that was briefly set to be a Brave in 2020 is playing winter ball this year as he hopes to find a new team. Puig has only played in five games and taken 13 at-bats, but he has seven walks and a slash line of .231/.308/.500 over this tiny sample. These numbers probably won’t move the needle for considering signing him, but they certainly won’t hurt.
Bethancourt was a top prospect for Atlanta a long time ago, but was never able to really break out. He has played a decent amount in the Dominican League this season, with 68 at-bats. He has a slash line .162/.186/.250 with two walks so far. Bethancourt recently signed a minor league deal with the Phillies that included an invite to big league Spring Training.
Maitan is the most high profile prospect stripped from the Braves in the league’s punishment for the breach of international free agent rules a few years ago. His prospect star has fallen quite a bit since he was made a free agent again and signed with the Angels. He is still only 20, but he has fallen to 23rd on MLB Pipeline’s Angel’s top 30 prospect list in what is a fairly unimpressive farm system. Maitan is slashing .222/.250/.222 over 27 at bats with only two walks in the Venezuelan league.