Mar 16, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Tommy La Stella (84) hits an RBI double during the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Braves’ Off Day, Open-thread…Minor League Player Discussion

Off-day discussion, Minor League Players

The Braves are off to a 2-1 start on the season and we at Tomahawk Take are very excited about our team getting off to a good start on the road!  While the lineup hasn’t provided much firepower, our pitching has once again shown to be the asset that will continue to carry the Braves’ success!

For our Open-thread today, we are going to take our focus away from the big-league club and discuss our Minor League system, of which was ranked 24th out of 30 by Baseball Prospectus.  While this is a discouraging ranking, there are still individual players that are still worth being excited about.  Who’s the player in the Braves’ Minor League system that you’re most excited about this year?  Let us know and let’s have a discussion!

Here is a list of the Top-10 prospects in the Braves’ farm system.

Baseball Prospectus Top 10 Minor League Players, Atlanta Braves

The Top Ten

  1. RHP Lucas Sims
  2. Christian Bethancourt
  3. RHP Mauricio Cabrera
  4. RHP J.R. Graham
  5. SS Jose Peraza
  6. 2B Tommy La Stella
  7. RHP Wes Parsons
  8. 3B Victor Caratini
  9. RHP Jason Hursh
  10. OF Victor Reyes

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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

    I’m here, sort of Ryan. Busy, busy, busy. I’ll start this thread by talking some about Ben’s recent post on watching the Braves and their minor league affiliates if you live outside the SE. Well I don’t, but I’m considering a subscription to MiLB.tv to watch some of these minor league games. I go to local Birmingham Barons games often (AA ball), and make it a point to be there locally when MS. visits. I’ve seen TLS and a number of other of our top prospects live at those games.

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

      I went on a tangent, and went ahead and subscribed to MiLB.tv, on a monthly basis to first see how well the new service works. I noted that Gwinnett plays the Durham Bulls tonight at 6:05. With an off day for the big club, I’m hoping to tune in and watch some of our prospects.

  • Ryan Cothran

    Aside from La Stella, my pick to watch this year is actually from a position of need (unless B.J. turns the corner, of which I have no hope): Kyle Wren.

    It sounds from the scouts that Kyle can play an exceptional defensive CF has great instincts on the basepaths and can hit for average. Many thought that Kyle was going to take the path of prior GM/current president John Schuerholz’s son, also named John Schuerholz (like Kyle, also drafted in the 8th round but many years earlier), play mediocre in the minors for a few years then hang up the spikes to purse a job within the organization. As of now, the Braves can be pleasantly surprised with the play of Kyle.

    Last year, Kyle stole 35 of 42 bases, and 83% success rate in 53 games. Needless to say, I’d like to see that speed continue and see Kyle break 100 this year. He also put the ball in play pretty regularly by keeping his k-rate down around 10%, showed more power than advertised, and had a healthy OBP. As all college players are, he was old for A-ball and this year will be more telling as he’ll need to develop some more power otherwise Major League pitchers will knock the bat right out of his hand. However, I’d love nothing more than to see Frank’s son leading off for the Braves sometime in the future.

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

      Make no mistake about it, KW has the chops to do that very thing. I have been pleasantly surprised by the reports of how well this kid is playing. He’s turning heads, moving fast, and we could see him much sooner than anticipated if he stays on track.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ Julien Benjamin

      watched him in person last year when KSU played Tech, he definitely can run with the best of them. While I’m not a huge fan of bunts, he’s the type of guy where I’d want him to lay it down 2-3 times a week and attempt to run that out.

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

    I’m keeping my eye on our number 1 prospect this year, RHP Lucas Sims. I like that the Braves seem to be developing Sims carefully, as he is arguably the #1 prospect for a reason. Playing for Rome in 2013, Sims pitched 116 innings, striking out 134 while walking just 46 batters. Ending up with a .262 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP, he is still working on picking the correct pitches to batters, but he induces a decent amount of groundballs, and is slowly coming into his own.

    • Ryan Cothran

      Yes, the K-rate above 10 while starting at Rome makes me salivate!

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      Sims starts for Lynchburg tonight.

  • Gary

    Anxious to watch Victor / Victor in Rome. I think both have potential for good seasons.
    How did Caratini not end up in Hillcat country…???

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

      With Caratini, I think scouts are impressed with his bat, and how he squares up on plane and is aggressive. Little argument with his capabilities there. As primarily a 3B, who also catches, I think there’s some concern about where he’ll best fit in the long run, and I think scouts want to see some improvement defensively (in general). He has great potential.

      • Gary

        thoughts are from here he is going to be at the corner more than behind the plate..
        Attended the futures game and he played 2 or 3 innings behind the plate ant that’s it.
        Then had Joe Odom catch the rest of the way…..I noticed Odom jumped Rome from Danville to Hillcat country……figured it;d be the other way around……..any thoughts on that ?

        • Ryan Cothran

          Not sure… I thought I remembered this offseason that the Braves were going to try to keep Caratini more at catcher this upcoming year, which would make sense out of him staying back in Rome.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ Julien Benjamin

            yeah, Caratini’s the primary C, showed off his skills in the futures game.

          • Gary

            DelaRosa started at catcher and Caratini on the corner last night………..I am sure they will switch off behind the plate, just thought it was interesting opening game had Caratini at 3rd…..only my 2 cents worth, but I think that’s where he wants to be.

    • Ryan Cothran

      I’m excited about both of those guys as well! It’s my best guess that Caratini stayed in Rome because the Braves want to keep him at catcher and felt he needed more seasoning behind the plate before being moved up. Both Reyes and Caratini should add power this year as they mature physically and those doubles will turn into home runs.

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

      Gary, thanks for participating. Appreciate your thoughts. Go Braves!

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

    Ryan, appreciate your working this. Hold down the fort bro. I have to go into work for awhile to do some programming. Not sure if I will return quickly, but since it’s essentially an off-day thread, it can be open all day. Let’s retweet this OFTEN today and try and get more participants.

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ Julien Benjamin

    Sorry I’m late, I guess it didn’t tweet out

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ Julien Benjamin

    I’m really interested in what Carlos Salazar can do this season, was really excited when we drafted him, he has a lot of projection especially in his breaking ball from what I read. Same with Mauricio Cabrera, been waiting a while on him.

    As a KSU student/baseball writer, I’ve been a fan of Stephen Janas, who we got in the 6th round last year, but I remember that he got shut down last season, haven’t heard much about him since. Anyone know anything?

    • Ryan Cothran

      Link for Salazar ( prior to last year’s draft. Touches 97 regularly and said his command was “coming around”.
      *For link, change “dot to .

      http://bleacherreport dot com/articles/1648318-carlos-salazar-prospect-profile-for-atlanta-braves-3rd-round-pick

  • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

    Quick interjection: Ryan Buchter optioned to Gwinnett to make room for Pedro Beato (source: Braves official twitter account)

    • Ryan Cothran

      Would’ve preferred Varvaro to be DFA’d…oh well.

      • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

        Kinda expected him to be DL’d.

  • Gary

    And since I was teeing up catchers, any word on Yenier Bello?
    I haven’t seen his name in any roster spot……..looks like maybe Mississippi ??
    Putting him in Lynchburg gives them 5 catchers….MS seems to only have 2 on roster.
    and Gwinnette has plenty… I haven’t heard anything on him since early March …any news?

    • Ryan Cothran

      My guess would be AA, however I think he’ll report to Orlando first. You’re right though…not a word has been mentioned about him since early March.

      Also, can’t remember who it was, but a scout respected for his knowledge on Cuban-defected players called Bello a “non-prospect”.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      This is a guess, mind you, but I’m thinking that he’s probably in Orlando doing extended Spring Training stuff, getting acclimated to the US, doing language training, etc. Once he’s fully evaluated, then… we’ll see how it goes. But you’re right, seems there’s room at AA for somebody.

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

    Just got back from call-in work, and a late lunch. Good stuff I’m seeing below all. As I noted earlier, Gwinnett is playing the Durham Bulls tonight at 6ish. Going to try and watch it on MiLB.tv.

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

    For notes on the latest for J.R. Graham, our own Ryan Cothran just penned a piece on him here: http://tomahawktake.com/2014/04/03/j-r-graham-return-starting-aa/

  • Ryan Cothran

    A fun, but totally incorrect way of looking at stolen bases..

    I like to pretend there’s a stat out there that adds SLG% points to players by taking the following examples:
    Jose Peraza:
    1. 64 stolen bases
    2. 15 failed attempts.
    3. When calculating SLG%, take difference of the 2 and either add or subtract that number of bases to the slugging percentage: 64-15=49…
    4. New formula…for lack of better term is called SLG+Net Stolen bases.
    93 singles X 1= 93
    18 doubles X 2= 36
    8 triples X 3= 24
    1 HR X 4= 4
    49 Net Stolen Bases X 1= 49
    206/448= .460

    This to me, shows the true value of a real base-stealer. Jose Peraza looks a whole lot more valuable now.