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Atlanta Braves Top 20 Prospects in Review

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This list was originally posted on November 16, 2007. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1) Jason Heyward, OF, Grade B+
     .324/.387/.473 with 15 steals in 16 attempts for Rome in the Sally League. Meeting/exceeding expectations, Heyward has established himself firmly as an elite prospect.
2) Jordan Schafer, OF, Grade B+
     .218/.354/.371 at Double-A Mississippi since coming off the 50-game suspension for HGH. One really has to wonder about him at this point. Was last year a fluke or an HGH-boosted result?
3) Brandon Jones, OF, Grade B+
     .257/.331/.382 for Triple-A Richmond, has actually been a bit better in the majors at .278/.316/.463. I probably overrated him by a notch but he should still be a useful player.
4) Tommy Hanson, RHP, Grade B+
      0.90 ERA with 49/11 K/BB in the Carolina League, followed by 4.08 ERA with 63/27 K/BB in 64 innings in Double-A, including a no-hitter. Somewhat erratic, but a fine prospect moving up the charts.
5) Joey Devine, RHP, Grade B
     Traded to Oakland, 1.23 ERA with 28/7 K/BB in 22 innings in the majors.
6) Brent Lillibridge, SS, Grade B
      .212/.276/.288 in Triple-A, .208/.236/.358 in the majors. Really struggling with the strike zone this year, despite doing well in Triple-A last year. Perhaps he is frustrated.
7) Gorkys Hernandez, OF, Grade B
      .287/.368/.434 with 11 steals for Class A Myrtle Beach. Not exactly dominating and I would like to see more pop, but he's doing ok.
8) Jair Jurrjens, RHP, Grade B 
      9-5, 3.22 ERA with 86/42 K/BB in 117 innings for the Braves. Has exceeded my expectations.
9) Cole Rohrbough, LHP, Grade B
      6.05 EA with 49/22 K/BB in 39 innings for Rome, 43 hits allowed. Obviously unimpressive in many ways, though the K/IP remains quite strong.
10) Brandon Hicks, SS, Grade B
      .240/.336/.483 with 15 homers and 12 steals for Myrtle Beach. Interesting power/speed production, but very high strikeout rate is worrisome.
11) Jeff Locke, LHP, Grade B-
      4.23 ERA with 93/32 K/BB in 117 innings for Rome, 129 hits allowed. Still a projectable strike-thrower.
12) Steve Evarts, LHP, Grade C+
      Made three starts for Rome then went on the DL.
13) Jamie Richmond, RHP, Grade C+
       Traded to Oakland. 4.60 ERA with 72/19 K/BB in 115 innings, 120 hits for Kane County. Good command but not dominant.
14) Jose Ortegano, LHP, Grade C+
       4.18 ERA with 78/22 K/BB in 80 innings, 82 hits allowed for Rome. Decent components, gets grounders, just one homer given up.
15) Kris Medlen, RHP, Grade C+
       3.75 ERA with 84/20 K/BB in 84 innings, 83 hits allowed for Double-A Mississippi. Like the K/BB and K/IP.
16) Julio Teheran, RHP, Grade C+
       Just 7 innings pitched at Danville in the Appy League, 6/2 K/BB, 3 runs allowed. Sample too small to mean much, still hype and scouting reports to go on.
17) Tyler Flowers, C-1B, Grade C+
        .278/.419/.461 for Myrtle Beach, 74 walks and 12 homers. An intruiging power/patience bat.
18) Chad Rodgers, LHP, Grade C+
        4.36 ERA with 68/27 K/BB in 85 innings, 87 hits allowed for Rome. Good control, other numbers not overly impressive.
19) Jose Ascanio, RHP, Grade C+
        Traded to Cubs, 4.23 ERA with 37/18 K/BB in 38 innings for Triple-A Iowa, 11 saves. Looks like a back-end bullpen guy.
20) Cody Johnson, 1B, Grade C+ 
        .248/.304/.443 with 16 homers for Rome....with 146 strikeouts in 359 at-bats. I try not to be paranoid about strikeouts but that's ridiculous.

Heyward looks great but I'm concerned about Schafer. The gaggle of projectable lefties at the lower levels is still working itself out. The Braves had had more depth in the past but there are still things to be happy about here.