Braves Crop Report: Who’s Hot in the Minors

 

This is the first of what we hope to be a weekly look at the players that are making the waves in the Braves minor leagues, from the Gulf Coast rookie league to AAA Gwinnett.  So let’s get to it:

FOR THE SEASON

Joey Terdoslavich has made the most of his second attempt at AAA.  He’s hitting .324 with 24 doubles, 17 homers, and 56 RBI over 77 games.   As I mentioned last week, now the trick will be “where can he play?”  Third base did not go so well.  He’s currently playing in the outfield on most days.  Two more complications:  though a switch hitter, he is much better as a righty… and frankly, if that was reversed, he’d probably be in the majors right now.  Joe is almost 25, so it’s about time for the Braves to figure out what they’d like to do with him… a quandry at least happily made more difficult by the fact that he’s totally raking.

Alden Carrithers and Joe Leonard have split time at third base this year.  If these two were to somehow merge, we’d have the perfect third baseman – Carrithers can hit; Leonard brings the glove.  Carrithers is hitting .321 in 42 games with a .405 OBP.  As a singles hitter, he’d be a nice leadoff guy… except you’d like a better base-stealer, and he has just 5 swipes.  Leonard? .235/.281/.325, but just 1 error.

Tyler Pastornicky was also hitting a ton before his call-up (and hasn’t done badly so far with Atlanta, either):  .309/.351 with 4 homers of pop as well in 57 games, playing mostly second base.

Todd Cunningham has been very good as well:  now .294/.379 AVG/OBA… and he does have 11 steals in 16 attempts over 74 games with a very hit BB/K ratio (31/40).  He will make somebody a possible CF trade candidate… since he’s now 24 and he’s probably the third CF on the Atlanta depth chart for a while.

Starting Pitchers this season:  Omar Poveda, Sean Gilmartin (DL), Yohan Flande, Tim Corcoran, Daniel Rodriguez, Dale Hale, and now add Cody Martin.

Poveda and Corcoran have done reasonably well – posting ERAs close to 3.00… Poveda up to 96 innings with 31 BB and 69 K.  Corcoran is trying a comeback of sorts – he’s 35 years old and was in the Mexican league last year.  But he’s been in a bunch of AAA organizations since 2006.

The numbers that jump off this chart, though, are for newly-promoted Cody Martin.  In his first two AAA starts, he’s 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA in 14 innings… One a “complete game” on one end of a (seven inning) DH.  8 hits allowed – total – with 2 walks and 13 strikeouts.  Let’s watch him.

Relievers:

Cory Rasmus was great before his callup – 1.44 ERA and 7 saves.

Luis Ayala has started pitching again – and has given up nothing.  5 total innings at Gwinnett (2 this past week):  3 hits, 1 BB, nothing else.  Excellent.

 

Not-So-Hot-List

Jose Constanza (LF):  54 games, .260/.301.  He will turn 30 later in September.

Ernesto Mejia (1B):  His bat was the big attraction, but even that has not worked as well this year:  76 games, .251 avg, though .866 OPS.  11 errors at 1B.  27 years old.

Paul Janish:  slow start due to his September shoulder injury.  Before his call-up, had been in 41 games with a .207.  7 errors, which is a bit high for him.  Still some value in his glove, but likely will return to Gwinnett once Pena is healthy.

Matt Pagnozzi.  .193 for 50 games.  Jose Yepez is at .241 for 32 games (7 errors).  Now we know why Gattis is so valuable.

Jordan Parraz:  you may recall this name from the Spring… he was released by the Braves in May and is now in the Twins organization (AA).  Still not hitting (.205).

 

FOR THE WEEK

Cody Martin is the pitching star, as noted above.  Luis Ayala‘s comeback is going well, too.

Joe Terdoslavish has actually raised his average from .310 to .324 in a single week.  I guess a 10-for-11 series will help.  Wow!

 

Hitters

Tommy LaStella (2B) is now on the disabled list, but before that, he was tearing up two different leagues. At Lynchburg (7 games), he went .550/.690/.750/1.440.  Those cideo-game numbers are not typos.  11-20 with 7 runs scored, a double and a homer…. and 8 walks besides.  Okay… how about AA ball?  .330/.375/.467/.842 in 30 games.  A lot more modest, but still pretty stout.

Of the rest, Jose Martinez (RF) is hitting .298/.360/.382/.742 with 3 homers and 27 RBI in 68 games.

The bat of Edward Salcedo (3B) is coming around:  .274/.338/.452/.790, though the 15 errors in 72 games is still scary.

Jaime Pedroza (SS) has been good this year:  .287/.350 with 7 2B, 1 3B and 2 HR.  8 errors in 65 games is acceptable.

Christian Bethancourt (C) had a good week:  raised his average 13 points to .257, hitting a homer in the process.  Alas, he still only has 17 RBI over 43 games and a .641 OPS.

I would not be terribly surprised to see OF Mycal Jones released before the end of the year… he’s 26 and hitting .216.  Just no offensive progression at all.

Pitchers:

I dunno:  should Alex Wood open his own branch of the ‘Pearl’ Vision Center?  Just asking…

Before his call-up to rescue the Atlanta bullpen, Alex Wood was on fire:  1.26 ERA starting 10 games, 57 innings, 57 K, 15 BB, 0.98 WHIP.  It would be nice to get some more bullpen help so that he can go back and re-capture that starting magic.

But this AA club is still pretty loaded with pitching:

Gus Schlosser:  5-2, 2.35 in 84 innings.  65K/25BB, 1.15 WHIP.

Cody Martin was on a 3-3, 2.82 run over 67 innings before he went to Gwinnett, starting brilliantly there.

J.R. Graham started fine, but shoulder trouble has sidelined him… and perhaps the 4.04 ERA is related (35.2 innings).  Still on the DL.

Andrew Russell:  4-1, 3.04, 23.2 innings, 16K, 9 BB.  That earned him a call-up… but not as good so far at AAA, but his clock is ticking (29 years old).

Pat Egan:  2-1. 2.05. 22 innings.  20K/6BB.  He’s tall.  He’s also 29.

Juan Jaime:  2-1, 1.23 in 22 innings.  39 strikeouts, 13 walks.  He’s almost 26, but can hit 100 on the gun, I’m told.  In the absence of an Atlanta trade, he could be worthy of a call-up.

Interestingly enough, the pitcher with the worst stats at Pearl for the year?  Brandon Beachy!

 

Hitters

Confession time:  I have not seen Trenton Moses‘ name before.  Given that he’s already 24, that could be why.  But I can tell you that I will be paying attention.  Trenton (1B) just got called up to Lynchburg this week, and this slash line from his work at Rome will tell you why:   .364/.447/.523/.971 over 33 games, 107 AB.  This includes 11 2B and 2 HR.  He’s got a few K’s there (26), but also 13 BB.  His first game with Lynchburg?  1 for 3, 2 runs scored, 1 BB, 1 RBI.  … the only bad part being that he matched his error total (2) with Rome in that first game.  Nonetheless, congratulations, Trenton!

Nobody else is really tearing it up here, though several players are hitting in the .280-.300 range.  These include SS Elmer Reyes, RF David Rohm, LF Robby Hefflinger, 3B Kyle Kubitza, CF Matt Lipka.  All of these have played 60+ games for Lynchburg and performed solidly, albeit with a bunch of errors on the left side of the infield.

That noted, Hefflinger with his 20 (twenty, that is) homers are certainly notable (.920 OPS).  He with Kubitzka (8 HR), and Will Skinner (13 HR) provide a lot of power for this squad.

Pitchers

On the other hand, pitching has been difficult for this team.  Ronan Pacheo has a 1.82 ERA over 34.2 innings in 24 games; Wilson Rivera 2.14 in 33.2 (23 games).  Those, with David Peterson‘s 2.89 (18.2 innings) are the only ERAs under 3.40.  Alas, Peterson is out for the year (now shown on the Danville roster, 60-day DL).  Meanwhile, the starters are getting hit pretty hard, including prospect Navery Moore.  Honestly not a lot of great news to report here.

 

Hitters

See above about Trenton Moses.  Otherwise, there’s only a couple of guys really hitting so far at this level:

Josh Elander (OF):  .320/.383/.546/.929 (72 games).   11 HR, 22 2B.  Yeah, you just keep doing that right there, Josh.  22 years old.

Chase Anselment (C):  .296/.433/.443/.876 (22 games).  11 2B.  Had six games at Lynchburg, but was unable to repeat that hitting (2-14, .143, but only had a week).

 

Pitchers

Lucas Sims:  16 games (6 starts), 2.98 ERA in 51.1 innings.  60K, 18 walks.

Carlos Perez:  19 games, 2 saves, 2.03 in 31 innings (35 K, 8 BB).  Now on the DL.

Shae Simmons:  26 games, 18 saves, 2.12 in 29.2 innings, 47K/12BB.

Alex Wilson: 14, 2 saves, 2.19 in 24.2 innings, 19K/3BB.

The Rome starters have been working hard (51-70 innings apiece), but other than Sims, they’re getting hit quite a bit (4-7 ERAs).

New arrival Eric Pfisterer:  6.1 innings, 1.42 ERA in 3 games;  10K/zero BB.  Nice start!

 

FOR THE SEASON  FOR THE WEEK  (it’s the same thing).  3 wins, 1 loss so far… good start!

The new kids on the block have started their short-season Appy League play.

Hitters:

Seth Moranda (SS, 3 games):  4-9 (.444) with a 2B and 2 RBI.

Victor Caratini (3B, 4 games):    6-15 (.400) with two 2B, one 3B, and 3 RBI, plus 2 BB, 4 SO.

Kyle Wren (OF, 4 games):  6-17 (.353) with 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, three SB already, plus 2 BB, 3 SO.

Bryan De La Rosa and Johan Camago  (C, 3B respectively) have been in 3 games and are both 4-13 (.308).

 

On the pitching side…

Not a lot to report yet:  Michael Flores and Matt Kimbrel have 9+ scoreless innings between them, giving up only 3 total hits.

Steve Janas, Andrew Waszak, and Ryan Gunther all have had scoreless debut weeks with 2 innings apiece.

Brandon Rohde was credited with 2 of the wins in just 2.2 innings… but with no earned runs yielded.  He had been getting owned at Rome.

 

FOR THE SEASON  FOR THE WEEK  (likewise… just 3 games so far…. 1-2 record).

Hitters

Victor Reyes (OF) has started on a tear:  .429 for the week (6-14) with a 2B and 3B, plus 5 RBI, 2 BB, and just 1 K.

Cody Livesay (CF) is 5-13 (.385) with two 2B.

Reed Harper (SS) 3-8 in 2 games (.375).

Mike Dodig (3B) 3-11 (.273) and 3 RBI… 2 2B.

 

Pitchers

Abraham Espinosa has been in the middle of it all:  2 games, 5.2 innings, 1.59 ERA and credited with a 1-1 record.

Luis Merejo:  4 scoreless innings, 1 hit allowed, 1 BB, 1 K.  Nice work!

Gary Moran: 2 scoreless innings; Andy Otero, Rafael Rodriguez, Johanathan Holmes also have scoreless stints.

Of special note:  Cristhian Martinez began a comeback successfully:  started one of the games with 2 scoreless innings, yielding just one hit and striking out 4.  This is excellent to see.

 

Topics: Christhian Martinez, Cody Martin, Danville Braves, Gwinnett Braves, Joey Terdoslavich, Luis Ayala, Lynchburg Hillcats, Mississippi Braves, Rome Braves

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  • cheadrick

    Going to the local Birmingham Barons game on July 5th, and perhaps other days depending upon my time, and hope to see LaStella play when the Mississippi Braves come to Birmingham. LaStella should be good to play by then based on his injury report. I will try to do a followup report on what I see first hand in that game, not just with LaStella, but the rest of our AA prospects.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Looking forward to it – I get to see them a month from that!

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    NEW INFO:

    David O’Brien
    ‏@ajcbraves 3m
    Double-A Mississippi #Braves announced Cristhian Martinez transferred there to continue his rehab assignment. Getting closer to return.

    • cheadrick

      Great… maybe we’ll see him in the lineup on July 5th in B’ham.

  • fireboss

    It’s Jose Yepez not Lepez… not that it’s a typo many will notice :)

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Doh! Thx – will fix.

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