Hello again everyone from America’s Winter Wonderland, Southeast Michigan, where it got in the 30′s last night. Yep; the 30′s. I personally think it’s happening because, when I told my friends before the season started that the Braves and the Tigers were both going to be in the playoffs, they started talking about hell freezing over first, and since things are getting really cold here….
Anyway, back to baseball, a day off gave me some time to peruse the ‘Net for some prospect info. Fred beat me to posting the Braves awards — I had to erase half this post and change its title LOL — so I thought I’d point you guys towards a couple of really nice articles on two Braves farmhands. One is a familiar name by now, as he’s really become a big part of the major league team, and the other is a guy who has flown under the radar despite putting up really good numbers.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, the first player is Arodys Vizcaino. It seems to me that the guys over at our sister site that focuses on emerging farm talent, Seedlings To Stars, have become fans of The Dominican Republic’s newest hit series, “Everybody Loves Arodys”. Seriously, Nathaniel Stoltz, in this article at “Seedlings To Stars”, uses Fan Graphs data to pretty much back up what are eyes have told us: Arodys has the stuff to be a stud. He also wonders whether Arodys’ future is in the pen or in the starting rotation. Obviously, the Braves seem to have an impending log-jam of quality starters, as we’ve all discussed here. Having seen him pitch a little more often than Nathaniel, I’ll weigh in and say that I think Arodys’ change-up has enough separation from his fastball to be an effective third pitch. I just don’t see him staying in the pen beyond 2012, and maybe not even then if Derek Lowe is traded.
The second article that I alluded to earlier, also over at “Seedlings To Stars”, basically came at my request. I asked for the take of Nathaniel and Wally Fish on late-blooming Braves prospect (or should I say suspect?) Mauro Gomez. As some of you may know, Gomez is the successor to Freddie Freeman at first base for Gwinnett. Already 27 years old and a bit of a reclamation project for the Braves, having been signed by the Braves after being released from the Rangers organization after the 2009 season, Gomez has always had power but with the power have come gobs of strikeouts. Think almost Mark Reynolds quantity of strikeouts.
I asked the “S2S” guys to see if they saw potential in Gomez. The short answer is “not too much”, as they don’t think he’ll succeed in maintaining the somewhat improved discipline he exhibited in the second half of the year. They even drew comparisons to Barbaro Canizarez, another Gwinnett first baseman/DH who was released by the Braves this spring after leading the AAA International League in batting average in 2010. Of course, Barbaro had literally hands-of-stone on defense and had never shown any power before 2010, but I digress.
Anyway, if you read the whole article and the comments here, you’ll see that I don’t totally share their opinion, and ask them to remember the other late-blooming first baseman of recent memory who strikes out a lot, Ryan Howard.
That’s it for now for me. As always, feel free to weigh in; we love comments!