March 3, 2013; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Ernesto Mejia (58) works out prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at ESPN Disney Wide World of Sports complex, Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Ideal 25-Man Roster, Part 2 of 7

Braves’ Ideal 25-Man Roster, Part 2

Part 2 of this 7-part series (part 1 can be found here) takes us into the realm of a guy who never lived up to expectations, another who has tried almost everything possible to make himself more desirable in his role, and lastly, a brute of a man whose favorite song should be this.

These posts analyze what place each player holds on an ideal 25-man roster.  The percent chances give with each player provides my opinion on the chances each player has to make the squad out of spring, not their percent chance of belonging on the 25-man roster.  Let’s start this thing out with a Georgia boy!

 

Atlanta Braves’ Tyler GreeneMLB: Atlanta Braves-Photo Day

3.  Tyler Greene has a 15% chance of making the roster.  Interestingly enough, Tyler Greene was first drafted out of high school by none other than the Atlanta Braves, quite high I might add (2nd round).  The fact that the Braves thought so highly of him to draft him in the 2nd round without knowing for sure whether he’d sign or not speaks volumes to his stock coming out of high school.

Three years later, Greene was taken in the 1st round by the Cardinals and was with their organization until 2012.  He was then shipped to the Astros for next to nothing leaving many Cards’ fans wondering what in the world had happened to him.  After the 2012 season, he was released by the Astros leaving everyone wondering what had happened to him (his release was a bit unfair as he posted a .739 OPS in 2011 and that was better than…well…practically everyone on the Astros team). The Astros picked up Ronny Cedeno and played him at short for 2012 because that’s what the Astros do…nonsensical things.

Tyler’s claim to fame has always been his power, but his inability to make consistent contact is what has kept his game from ever excelling at the big league level.  Unlike the other Tyler (Pastornicky), Greene has shown that he can handle shortstop, albeit slightly below average.  However, he’s going to be 30 this year and what potential he might have had with the bat is probably fading rapidly away.  With the ability to play shortstop and swing for the fences coming off the bench, does Tyler Greene provide value to this team?  My answer: No.

 

Atlanta Braves’ Joey Terdoslavich

4. Joey Terdoslavich has a 50% chance of making the roster.  If it were an “Evil Eye” competition for a bench spot, Terdoslavich would still lose out to Ryan Doumit.  They both have eyes that pierce souls, coagulate blood, and cause babies to wail.  Ehhh… back to baseball.

If Joey’s last few years are any indication of future production, this year could very well be the year that Terdoslavich breaks through.  In 2012, after struggling mightily at AAA (remember, he skipped AA in a rush to get him ready to take over for Chipper at 3rd), Joey was sent back to AA and went back to playing first.  He absolutely crushed the competition.

In 2013, Joey started at AAA and had a triple slash line of .318/.359/.567 with 18 home runs and 24 doubles in half a season.  He was then called up to the big leagues where he struggled.  Aside from keeping a healthy walk rate, there was nothing positive about his production.  Being a pinch hitter isn’t an easy task for a rookie to take on, and that’s likely all Terdoslavich will ever be as a Brave.  His one real chance to start was at 3rd base but that experiment went horribly.

This year, the Braves are trying to increase his value to the club by adding catching to his repertoire.  He was drafted as a catcher so the move isn’t similar to the move to 3rd base, but an actual transition that might go ok. However, Joey’s one skill is his stick,  isolated a bit more, his stick from the left side of the plate.  And it’s a very good stick, only from the left side.  With the additions of playing both corner outfield positions last year to go along with the ability to play 1st base, if Joey can show a glimpse of that power this spring and add catching to his resume, does Joey provide value to this team?  My answer: Yes.

 

Atlanta Braves’ Ernesto Mejia

5. Ernesto Mejia has a 5% chance of making the roster. I’m fairly certain Mejia and Albert Pujols are long lost brothers.  Their body build and facial features are nearly identical.  Unfortunately for Mejia, that’s where it ends as he neither has the talent or the money of his older brother.

For years, I’ve wondered why Mejia has never received a callup from the organization.  The only thing I can guess is that the organization knows something I do not. Mejia can hit a ton, has a decent walk rate, and, like most power hitters, strikes out quite a bit (26% of his plate appearances).  He’s completely one-dimensional and provides no defensive value whatsoever, but did I mention he looks like Pujols?  In all seriousness, there have been numerous times over the last 2-3 years where I thought for sure that Mejia would receive a callup but there always seems to be a player the organization, or outside the organization, the Braves value more.

Last year it was Terdoslavich.  Year prior? Overbay. Year Prior to that? A plethora of ne’er-do-wells.  Will 2014 be the year of Pujols squared?  Does Ernesto Mejia provide value to this team?  My answer: No (but it’s more complicated than that of which I’ll talk about in the wrap-up).

 

Part 3 Coming Soon

The next piece will focus on the last 3 position players (Jose ConstanzaTodd CunninghamTommy La Stella) that have a shot at making the club out of the gate, and their chances of making the Ideal 25-man Roster.

Tags: Braves Ernesto Mejia FanSided Featured Joey Terdoslavich Popular Tyler Greene

  • Ryan Cothran

    I’ll share a little bit about my thoughts on Mejia: I think he could be a very valuable RH power bat off the bench. If Terdoslavich, Pena, and Doumit make the team, we have 3 switch hitters who fare far better from the left side than the right That leaves the other RH bench option being Gerald Laird. His .710 career OPS against LHP leaves much to be desired. If used right, I think Mejia could be the pure RH power bat off the bench and could cause some serious damage to fastball-heavy lefties. However, unless the other 4 are extremely flexible in their roles, of which I hope they will be, it’ll be hard to carry Mejia.

    • Lee Trocinski

      The problem with this is the fact that teams carry 12 pitchers basically all the time. Mejia would be the phantom 6th bench player. With Pena as the only viable bench option at SS, 2B, or 3B, I can’t imagine a 3rd poor defensive player as the extra guy. Plus, I’m not sure Mejia would hit much at the majors, due to his K/BB rates. Striking out that much in AAA without big walk totals tends to limit MLB production.

      • Ryan Cothran

        Wrote that rebuttal before doing the math. You’re right. The Braves have made some serious changes to alter what seemed to be a Stone-age mindset, but I don’t see them breaking any ground by carrying more or less pitching than the standard, nor should they. I think Mejia could provide value from the bench, but there’s not really room for him on that bench.

  • fireboss

    Mejia’s timing was bad. he started swing the bat at a high level in 2010. About that time this Freeman guy showed up as well and considering Mejia has a concrete glove that effectively ended his shot. Unfortunately the glove’s shown no discernible improvement. Unfortunately for him the AL has started coming around to the idea that the dufus hitter slot is a way to rest players and keep their bat in the lineup. Last year (and 2012) only 4 teams had a full time DH; Ortiz, V-Mart, Butler, Morales. With the exception of VMart and Ortiz they’ve decided the cost is too much for the value received.
    JT would make a great trade piece if say the Pirates wanted to deal one of their top minor league arms. Failing that he might end up as a corner outfield platoon in 2016.
    Greene looks like a AAAA player at this point, as a utility man his on base has been low and teams prefer to use their prospects and allow them to fill the role rather than pay a guy like Greene. As you say hitting when you play one day a week or less is a hard thing to learn and Greene hasn’t done that

    • Lee Trocinski

      It is hard for DHs to accumulate value. Their baserunning and positional adjustment offset their playing time reward, so as one would expect, all their value comes from their bat. A league-average hitting DH is a replacement level player, and even someone like Ortiz couldn’t reach 4 WAR. With players wanting to cash in on HR and RBI, teams know to avoid DHs unless they are truly star hitters.

      I finally came up with a better, but still not great, comp for JoeyT: John Mabry with more power. Teams don’t line up for average hitters at non-premium positions. I doubt the Pirates would value him highly with Gregory Polanco knocking on the MLB door and Andrew Lambo in line for 1B. Plus, the Braves would have to give up someone like Cabrera and/or Graham, along with another lower player, to get someone like Taillon.

      To continue my fun little game of comparisons, Greene was basically another Kurt Abbott. People thought he could play premium positions, but couldn’t, and their decent pop couldn’t hide his bad plate discipline. I should have done this below, but my best comp for Mejia is Brad Eldred. He could hit a ball to the moon, but his bad BB/K ratio got exploited in the majors.

      It’s always fun to look back on little-remembered players…

      • fireboss

        Another great reason to carry another pitcher and dump the dufus hotter concept; business wise it blows.
        Joey can p,ay first base now and the Pirates need him now. Is he a long term fix; no but I wouldn’t expect a top line prospect for him and I do expect him as a platoon on a corner in 16.
        Greene is just a AAAA player like many

  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    It could be said, and has been, that JoeyT is cursed to be in the Braves’ organization. haha.