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Atlanta Braves 2010 Minor League Review
Overall farm rankings via Baseball America (2010)
2010 (13) | 2009 (6) | 2008 (8) | 2007 (16) | 2006 (7) | 2005 (5) | 2004 (4)

Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [91 - 71] NL East
AAA: [72 - 71] International League – Gwinnett
AA: [63 - 74] Southern League – Mississippi
A+: [58 - 82] Carolina League – Myrtle Beach
A: [59 - 80] South Atlantic League – Rome
R: [34 - 34] Appalachian League – Danville
R: [27 -31] Gulf Coast League

The Run Down
The Braves graduated only one player this past year, I think you’ve heard of him – Jason Heyward. With five players in my Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects list (Freeman, Teheran, Kimbrel, Delgado, Beachy, and the overlooked Mike Minor due to a confusion on rookie eligibility), there should be some darkhorse Rookie of the Year candidates down in Atlanta. (If you’re wondering, I would place Minor 5th on the top 50.) There are openings in the Braves bullpen for Craig Kimbrel to take over as closer, an opening for the fifth starter position for Minor or Beachy and the first base position is Freddie Freeman’s for the taking. Their system’s pitching depth is amazing, most notably Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino. Unfortunately, their hitting prospects aren’t great beyond Freeman.  There won’t be an impact bat from their minors unless they make a trade. Here’s to hoping Kimbrel earns the closer job and Freeman provides some value in the later rounds of your fantasy draft.

Arizona Fall League Players Phoenix Desert Dogs
Pitchers: (RHP) Brandon Beachy; (RHP) Michael Broadway; (RHP) Kyle Cofield; (RHP) Erik Cordier
Hitters: #2 (1B) Freddie Freeman; #17 (TOR/ SS) Tyler Pastornicky; (OF) Cory Harrilchak

Graduated Prospects
#1 (RF) Jason Heyward

Players of Interest for 2010
Hitters
#2 Freddie Freeman | 1B | D.o.B: 9-12-89 | Stats (AAA): .319/.378/.521 | 461 XBH | 55 XBH | 18 Hr | .202 ISO | 6/2 SB/CS | 84:43 K:BB | .351 BABIP
According to John Sickels’ 2011 Prospect Handbook, Freeman is “one of the best young hitters.” I ranked him 6th overall in the Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects. Definitely could provide another Jason Heyward type rookie season. See Scouting the Unknown and Grey’s Freddie Freeman, 2011 Fantasy Outlook for further details.

#17 (TOR) Tyler Pastornicky | SS/2B | D.o.B: 12-13-89 | Stats (A+/AA): 421 AB | .257/.343/.373 | 31 XBH | 8 Hr | .126 ISO | 35/9 SB/CS | 71:55 K:BB | .292 BABIP (A+); .290 BABIP (AA)
Received in the Yunel Escobar/Alex Gonzalez trade, Pastornicky’s greatest asset is speed. He can play a sound shortstop or second base. Meaning, he’ll get a chance in the majors eventually due to his defense more than his offense. Brief breakdown, in High-A he had 287 at-bats – all with Toronto – and 160 at bats at Double-A all with Atlanta. Won’t hit for good average or power. Strictly a SAGNOF callout.

Pitchers
#4 Mike Minor | LHP | D.o.B: 12-26-87 | Stats (AA/AAA): 10.9 K/9 | 3.4 BB/9 | 120 1/3 IP | 3.44 ERA | 3.16 FIP (AA); 2.45 FIP (AAA) | 1.16 WHIP | .7 Hr/9 | 7.0 H/9 | .313 BABIP (AA); .234 BABIP (AAA)
The number of days Minor spent in the majors is the key slip-up for not classifying him as a rookie. However, Grey did do this sleeper post.  Essentially, you’re looking at a possible strikeout per nine innings of work (e.g. Jhoulys Chacin circa 2010).

#5 Craig Kimbrel | RHP | D.o.B: 5-28-88 | Stats (AAA): 13.4 K/9 | 5.7 BB/9 | 55 2/3 IP | 1.62 ERA | 3.02 FIP | 1.13 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 4.5 H/9 | .238 BABIP
Sitting at number 16 in Grey’s Closer Report, Kimbrel reminds everyone of an early Carlos Marmol. With a 14.4 K/9 in 151 minor league innings with 51 saves. Don’t ignore his ability to tie you to the whipping post (career 5.7 BB/9).

Brandon Beachy | RHP | D.o.B: 9-3-86 | Stats (AA/AAA): 11.2 K/9 | 2.1 BB/9 | 119 1/3 IP | 1.73 ERA | 2.00 FIP (AA); 2.48 FIP (AAA) | 1.01 WHIP | .4 Hr/9 | 7.0 H/9 | .296 BABIP (AA); .287 BABIP (AAA)
Sickels’ new prospect book calls Beachy a number four or five starter or possibly a “fine reliever. Not bad for a prospect that wasn’t drafted.” Beachy throws a 90 to 92 MPH fastball, a good curve and a decent changeup. The Braves will let him, Mike Minor and a veteran battle for the fifth rotation spot come spring. Listed at number 17 on the Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects list.

#3 Julio Teheran | RHP | D.o.B: 1-27-91 | Stats (A/A+/AA): 10.0 K/9 | 2.5 BB/9 | 142 2/3 IP | 2.59 ERA | 2.39 FIP (A); 2.88 FIP (A+); 3.30 FIP (AA) | 1.04 WHIP | .6 Hr/9 | 6.8 H/9 | .237 BABIP (A); .313 BABIP (A+); .260 BABIP (AA)
Easily the best story of the 2010 minor league year. Teheran throws a 92 to 96 MPH fastball, an above-average changeup, and a more consistent breaking pitch. Mechanically speaking, he has an ugly delivery. With 39 1/3 innings at Low-A, 63 1/3 innings at High-A and 40 innings at Double-A, Teheran put up solid numbers. He put up similar numbers at Low and High-A but Double-A saw a dip in K/9 (8.6) and an increase in BB/9 (3.8). I’ll blame some of that on fatigue. He was quite lucky at Low-A and Double-A but his FIP indicated that he pitched solidly. Teheran is considered a top 5 pitching prospect in the minors, if not top three. Listed at number 19 on the Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects list.

#7 Randall Delgado | RHP | D.o.B: 12-9-90 | Stats (A+/AA): 9.1 K/9 | 2.9BB/9 | 161 IP | 3.30 ERA | 2.93 FIP (A+); 3.38 FIP (AA) | 1.10 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 7.0 H/9 | .271 BABIP (A+); .274 BABIP (AA)
In any other system, Delgado would be their top pitching prospect. With a 96 MPH fastball, a good curveball and a good changeup, he pitched well in 117 1/3 innings at High-A, but struggled during his 43 2/3 innings at Double-A (8.7 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 ). This could potentially be fatigue on a young arm, but he still held his own as indicated by a 3.38 FIP at Double-A. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Delgado before Teheran in the majors. Ceiling is a number two starter. Listed at number 32 on the Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Prospects list.

Todd Redmond | RHP | D.o.B: 5-17-85 | Stats (AAA): 7.9 K/9 | 2.4 BB/9 | 162 2/3 IP | 4.26 ERA | 3.96 FIP | 1.23 WHIP | 1.2 Hr/9 | 8.6 H/9 | .287 BABIP
I’ll let my 2009 report do the talking, “Redmond looks like he’s peaked out, but at Triple-A … Redmond’s 90 MPH sinker and marginal repertoire project for long relief stints more than the middle of the rotation. His sinker didn’t induce many groundballs last year (32.4 GB%) and his home run rate was gross (1.3 Hr/9). Now you know and knowledge is power.”

Honorable Mention
Hitters
#17 Mycal Jones | SS | D.o.B: 5-30-87 | Stats (A/A+/AA): .262/.327/.421 | 504 AB | 48 XBH | 15 Hr | .159 ISO | 22/7 SB/CS | 123:43 K:BB | .309 BABIP (A); .327 BABIP (A+)
Good power; poor defense (43 errors); ability to steal bases; erratic strike zone discipline. The vast majority of the year, Jones played at Low-A or High-A with only 30 at-bats at Double-A. Jones has very intriguing power/speed combo in the wasteland of MI. He has 15/25 upside from the SS position if he could get his head in the game.

Pitchers
#3 (NYY) Arodys Vizcaino | RHP | D.o.B: 11-13-90 | Stats (A): 8.5 K/9 | 1.1 BB/9 | 71 2/3 IP | 2.39 ERA | 1.99 FIP | 1.01 WHIP | .1 Hr/9 | 7.9 H/9 | .294 BABIP
Vizcaino had an elbow injury during the middle of the year. He did not have surgery and is expected to be recovered for the 2011 season. He’ll start back at High-A where he pitched 13 2/3 innings with a 7.2 K/9 and a 2.0 BB/9. He has great upside if healthy. My 2009 Minor League Review of Vizcaino still stands, “Know how Neftali and Elvis Andrus were the gems of the Texiera trade with Texas? Well, Vizcaino is the gem from the Javier Vazquez trade to the Yankees. Throwing a 90 to 94 mph fastball that tops at 96 mph, a sick-nasty curve was said to be second only to A.J. Burnett while still with the Yankees, and a change-up that needs a lot of work, Vizcaino has the potential to be a dominate, top-of-the-rotation, pitchers. His strikeout rates were awesome, his walk rates were average and to think he is only going to be 19. 2010 will be his first full season of baseball, and if all goes well, he’ll develop the same kind of hype that Tommy Hanson and Clayton Kershaw received before they were promoted to the majors.” Temper the expectations a bit. Might be pushed to the bullpen due to frame, injury concerns and durability. Still has long term upside.

#11 J.J. Hoover | RHP | D.o.B: 8-13-87 | Stats (A+): 8.0 K/9 | 2.4 BB/9 | 132 2/3 IP | 3.26 ERA | 3.03 FIP | 1.21 WHIP | .5 Hr/9 | 8.5 H/9 | .299 BABIP
Throws a 90 to 95 MPH fastball with an average at best slider, changeup and curveball. Think number three or four starter that eats innings like Jon Garland or Joe Blanton. Hoover did throw 20 2/3 innings at Double-A in four starts and I fully expect him to start the year in the Double-A rotation.

6 Responses

  1. Professor Chaos says:
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    Stephen: Great work as always. Do you think they move some of their young (or possibly veteran) arms to acquire some more hitting prospects?

  2. Eddy says:
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    Stephen, what’s the best case and worst case scenario for Freeman in 2011?

  3. Tom Thumb says:
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    Great write-up. I love following the Braves farm system. I like Beachy and think that he could be a solid middle reliever with spot starts this year when Jurrgens gets hurt. Any idea why he was undrafted? Is it because he was a position player/crossover at a small school?

  4. Buddo Chezuski says:
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    What % would you put on Minor being in the rotation?

  5. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Professor Chaos: Thank you for the compliment. I could see them moving some, but pitchers injury far easier. Better to have a surplus of pitchers.

    @Eddy: Best: 80/25/90/.300/5 Worst: 50/10/60/.260/1. Using players: Best: Sandoval’s rookie year; Worst: Sandoval’s Sophomore season.

    @Tom Thumb: Beachy went to a small school. I concur about his projected place on the major league squad. Everyone knows Jar-Jar is going down at least once.

  6. Stephen

    Stephen says:
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    @Buddo Chezuski: 70%

Comments are closed.