2010 Top 20 Atlanta Braves Prospects in Review
Here is a review of the 2010 Braves prospect list, originally published October 25, 2009. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND PRE-SEASON GRADES. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST. The 2011 list with new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.
1) Jason Heyward, OF, Grade A: .268/.382/.452 with 11 homers, 53 walks, 83 strikeouts in 321 at-bats for the Braves. Very successful and he's still just 20.
2) Freddie Freeman ,1B, Grade B+: .292/.357/.489 for Triple-A Gwinnet, 14 homers. He's a month younger than Heyward, has been extremely hot last two months.
3) Julio Teheran, RHP, Grade B: 2.47 ERA in 19 starts between Low-A Rome, High-A Myrtle Beach, Double-A Mississippi, with a 131/32 K/BB in 113 innings, 85 hits allowed. Definitely living up to the hype now, an elite prospect.
4) Randall Delgado, RHP, Grade B: 2.76 ERA with 120/32 K/BB in 117 innings for Myrtle Beach, just promoted to Double-A, has fanned 11 in nine innings so far but with six runs. Has taken a big step forward.
5) Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Grade B: 2.71 ERA in 15 starts between Rome and Myrtle Beach, 77/12 K/BB in 83 innings, 76 hits. Went on the DL in late June with elbow injury. Breakout was in progress before he got hurt.
6) Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Grade B: 15 saves, 1.76 ERA, 59/27 K/BB in 41 innings for Gwinnett. Has walked 10 in eight major league innings but with 15 strikeouts. He'll be very good if he throws strikes.
7) Mike Minor, LHP, Grade B-: 3.49 ERA with 144/44 K/BB in 119 innings for Mississippi and Gwinnett, 92 hits allowed. ERA in Triple-A is 1.99 in five starts with 35/10 K/BB and just 18 hits in 32 innings. Stock has gone way up.
8) Christian Bethancourt, C, Grade B-: .257/.285/.346 for Rome. Not much power, has drawn just 11 walks. Not liking the bat at this point but he's only 18, still has time to grow, and his strikeout rate is low.
9) Zeke Spruill, RHP, Grade B-: Has pitched just 29 innings this year between Myrtle Beach and GCL rehab, 5.65 ERA, 17/4 K/BB, 37 hits. Control looks sharp but lack of dominance ability stands out. Still young at 20.
10) J.J. Hoover, RHP, Grade C+: 3.35 ERA with 97/30 K/BB in 116 innings for MB, 110 hits. Up-and-down season, was mediocre in April, strong in May, weakish in June, then excellent in July.
11) David Hale, RHP, Grade C+: 4.57 ERA with 50/31 K/BB in 69 innings for Rome, 79 hits. Disappointing ratios across the board.
12) Mycal Jones, SS, Grade C+: .272/.323/.408 in 97 games between Rome and MB, 16 steals in 22 attempts. Walk rate is low, fair season overall.
13) Brett DeVall, LHP, Grade C+: 3.62 ERA with 64/24 K/BB in 97 innings for Rome, 114 hits. Throwing strikes nicely, but hittable and strikeout rate is low. Still just 20.
14) Cody Gearrin, RHP, Grade C+: 3.92 ERA with 51/28 K/BB in 60 innings for Gwinnett, 50 hits, 2.60 GO/AO ratio. Love the grounders, want to see better control.
15) Adam Milligan, OF, Grade C+: .200/.277/.376 in 21 games for MB, went on DL in May, had rotator cuff surgery.
16) Michael Dunn, LHP, Grade C+: 1.05 ERA, 56/22 K/BB in 43 innings for Gwinnett, 26 hits. Has pitched 4.1 scoreless major league innings. Looks like he'll be a nice bullpen contributor though walk rate remains troublesome.
17) Jose Ortegano, LHP, Grade C+: Fugly numbers, 6.14 ERA with 75/35 K/BB, 125 hits allowed in 97 innings between MB and Gwinnett. Scouting reports no better than the stats.
18) Robinson Lopez, RHP, Grade C+: 4.38 ERA, 67/37 K/BB in 88 innings for Rome, 80 hits. Not great, not awful, just 19 years old.
19) Cody Johnson, OF, Grade C+: .207/.276/.384, 12 homers, 22 walks, 113 strikeouts in 237 at-bats between Mississippi and GCL rehab. I should NEVER have let Braves fans talk me into the "+". My initial analysis that the strikeouts would eat him alive against advanced pitching was correct. Sometimes I am too open-minded.
20) Luis Valdez, RHP, Grade C+: Seems to have vanished, last word was that he was having "visa problems."
21) Scott Diamond, LHP, Grade C: 3.57 ERA, 98/43 K/BB in 118 innings between Mississippi and Gwinnett, 131 hits, 1.91 GO/AO. Not terrific, but not bad either. Could still be a contributor.
22) Dimaster Delgado, LHP, Grade C: Injured in car accident.
Some good news in this system, with a successful rookie season from Heyward, strong performance from Freeman in Triple-A, and big steps forward for Minor, Teheran, and Randall Delgado. I like the pitching in the system, but the A-ball levels are almost devoid of hitting talent.