Now that July has come and gone, let’s take a look at some of the Minor League Signings that might have been lost in the shuffle due to the All Star Game and the Wild and Crazy Trade Deadline.
Atlanta Braves Minor League Signings- July
Connor Obrochta- Signed as an undrafted free agent OF, 21 year-old Obrochta played for the University of Tampa and helped lead them to a Division II national championship. Here’s an excerpt from University of Tampa’s website regarding the signing:
“Obrochta, a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans from Gulfport, Fla., served as the team’s starting center fielder the past three years. He finished his UT career with a .324 batting average, 13 home runs and 106 RBI. He ranks in the program’s top-10 in several categories, including games started (4th, 172), runs (9th, 178), hit by pitch (2nd, 48) and sacrifice hits (2nd, 21).”
Obrochta is playing Rookie Ball and has started off well with 3 hits and a walk in 7 plate appearances.
Jan Guerrero- Not much information on him on the World Wide Web, but he’s a 6’3, 18-year old 1st baseman out of the Dominican Republic that bats from the left side of the plate. He was assigned to Danville.
Blair Walters- A LHP that was once considered a decent prospect in the Houston organization (was acquired in a trade that involved Brett Myers). Walters simply lost his way when he came to Houston and regained his form in the Independent Leagues where he was scooped up by the Braves. Keep an eye on this guy. In 2011, Baseball America had this to say about him:
“Works mostly off a low-90s fastball with natural sink…hitters in Rookie ball were baffled by his breaking ball, a combination cutter/slider with late bite…mixes pitches well and rarely makes mistakes up in the zone…limits damage by throwing strikes and not putting men on base”.
He’s been assigned to High-A Lynchburg where he’s continued this season’s success with a 3.38 ERA in 16 innings.
Dustin Emmons- Signed out of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer league, 22 year old Emmons has been clocked at 97 and was the setup man for the Edenton Steamers. Here’s their take on him:
“Emmons came into Edenton this year garnering a few looks, but it was his performance in the Coastal Plain League that ultimately got him the attention to be signed. Emmons was pitching lights out relief for the Steamers in 2014: going 1-0 in 14 appearances and registering two saves. He pitched 15 innings, allowed nine hits, three runs and most impressively held a 27/6 strikeout to walk ratio… Emmons had a fastball that got players and personnel from all across the league to know his name, having been clocked as high as 97 miles per hour. He combined that fastball with an effective slider to keep hitters off balance during his time here in Edenton.”
Emmons has been assigned to the Danville Braves and has continued to pitch well with 6 strikeouts in 6 innings of work and 0 runs allowed.
Rich Poythress- At 26 years of age and limited to 1st base, Poythress is no more than organizational filler, but he did have an extraordinary year in 2010 for Seattle’s High-A club where he mashed 31 HR with a .960 OPS. He’s since fell from grace and has bounced around quite a lot. He’s playing at Mississippi and hitting subpar for a first baseman.
Caleb Beech- Drafted in the 13th round and signed the last day possible, 21-year old Beech was a reliever for Shelton State Community College, and there’s not much out there on him. He’s been assigned to the Rookie League where he’s been hammered in 2 innings.
Cole Brocker- Picked up out of the Frontier league, 24-year old Brocker pitched 4 years in college, 2 of which were very successful, 2 of which were not. As a 24-year old should, Brocker is pitching fairly well for the Braves’ Rookie League with a 3.72 ERA in 9.2 innings of work.
Luis Perez- This one was confusing because I recalled that the Braves signed this guy in Spring Training, then I did some research. This Luis Perez is a 17-year old RHP out of the Dominican Republic, not the 29-year old, former LHP from the Blue Jays. There’s not much out there on him and he’s been playing in the Dominican Summer League where his results are inconclusive.
Blake Austin- Signed as a non-drafted Free Agent, Austin was a catcher for the Auburn Tigers where he had decent offensive numbers but was known for calling a good game. He’s currently playing Rookie League ball where it seems more of the same.
Mitchell Osnowitz- A standout hitter from Lindsey Wilson College of the NAIA, the Braves signed Osnowitz as a pitcher. He’s pitched well down at Rookie Ball in 6 innings of work. Oh yeah, he’s a baseball blogger! Check it out: http://maosnowitz.wordpress.com