March 4, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky (1) fields a ground ball in the game against the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE
Prospect of the Day: Tyler Pastornicky, SS, Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves open the 2012 season with rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky holding the key position up the middle. Let's take a look at his past, present, and future.
Pastornicky is a 5-11, 170 pound right-handed hitter and thrower, born December 13, 1989. He is the son of former major leaguer Cliff Pastornicky, and his baseball family background shows up in his instincts and feeling for the game. Scouts rate his range and hands as above-average for shortstop. His arm is average, but accurate. On offense, Pastornicky is adept at making contact and doesn't strike out much, but doesn't draw a huge number of walks, lacks distance power, and isn't going to be a slugger. His improved numbers last year could have been a result of a lucky BABIP (batting average on balls in play).
The Braves will be happy if Pastornicky can hit .250 with 15-20 steals and solid defense. At age 22, he is young enough to improve considerably, but expectations for 2012 should be kept reasonable.