Atlanta Braves Top 100 Prospects: A Review Of Last Year’s 100

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Sep 3, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Mauricio Cabrera (62) throws a pitch during the tenth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Braves defeated the Phillies, 6-4 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Review: 51-75


75. Dian Toscano – Part of the Bud Norris deal with Los Angeles after flashing some skills in AA Mississippi, but also showing incredible rust coming from Cuba.
74. Trevor Belicek – Lefty reliever was enjoying a very good season before the Braves leveraged it in trade to the Orioles for a competitive balance pick.
73. Elias Arias – Bumped up to Danville, but now 22 and running out of time to make an impression. Still shows lots of tools, but little refinement.
72. Patrick Weigel – Ace of the Rome staff before getting a late-season promotion to Mississippi, where he didn’t look out of place at all. Huge velocity and very good breaking stuff should allow him continued success on the mound along with a nice fallback repertoire out of the bullpen as a fall back.
71. Jose Morel – One of the last cuts in spring training after hitting .313/.372/.390 in Danville in 2015.
 
70. Caleb Beech – Rubber-armed righty showed flexibility throwing out of the bullpen before getting hurt in late-April and then immediately joining the rotation in Carolina when he came back from the DL.
69. Sean Godfrey – 4th outfielder skill set that only was able to accumulate 95 at bats across 3 levels in 2016 due to injury, but is going to be 25 on opening day 2017 with just a hair over 200 AB at AA under his belt.
68. Carlos Lopez – Long, lanky righty from Mexico repeated the DSL and had lesser results, showing a 14/14 BB/K ratio and general wildness. ERA looks good due to 5 of 8 runs allowed being unearned.
67. Kyle Kinman – Having a solid season for Mississippi before injury ended his season effectively in mid-May.
66. Jaret Hellinger – Lefty from Georgia HS in 2015 was bumped up to Danville in 2016, and the results weren’t as great as he would have liked, but there were definitely flashes of something very solid out of Hellinger in those starts.
 
65. Alejandro Salazar – Salazar is a defensive whiz at shortstop and has shown he has the ability to make solid contact as well with a career .287 batting average. Just turned 20 in early October.
64. Anthony Concepcion – After being “oldish” out of Venezuela in 2015, Concepcion was the leader of the GCL offense in 2016. Will be 22 at the onset of the 2017 season, so his ascension up the system needs to happen soon.
63. Kurt Hoekstra – College pick out of Western Michigan in 2015 with high baseball intelligence was hurt for most of 2016, only collecting 11 at bats.
62. Joseph Odom – Busted out with Carolina offensively before being promoted to Mississippi and getting inconsistent playing time there where his bat leveled off. Excellent defender behind the plate.
61. Bradley Keller – Very toolsy outfielder that couldn’t turn the tools into production in low-A Rome, so he was sent back to Danville, but still never found his footing.
 
60. Carlos Castro – Flipped the switch on his hitting this season, turning his high-contact bat into a power source, finishing second in the system in home runs.
59. Jason Hursh – Pitched a full season as a reliever this season, and his sinker/slider combo really played up more this season in that role.
58. Chris O’Dowd – The Braves had started his move out from behind the plate in 2015, but after being suspended for PEDs in 2015, he didn’t make the team out of spring training, being cut March 31st. O’Dowd caught on with the White Sox, flashing solid on base skills, but nearly nothing else.
57. Ricardo Rodriguez – Acquired as part of the Christian Bethancourt deal with St. Louis, Rodriguez had high pedigree out of Venezuela, but the bat never followed in 2016.
56. Mauricio Cabrera – My reliever bias showed here to some degree, but I’m still not sold that Cabrera isn’t headed for a very, very bad ending. I just hope it’s not in a closing situation when the bad ending kicks in.
 
55. Tanner Murphy – Solid defender, but bat took off in second half, making him look like an excellent all-around catching option.
54. Omar Obregon – Solid defender played alongside Albies in Rome in 2015 then alongside Swanson in Carolina to start 2015.
53. Ryan Clark – Big expectations to be a consistent starter, but he took the ball every 5 days – otherwise nothing else worked consistently as he ended the year with a 5.75 ERA.
52. Collin Yelich – While brother Christian was having a very good season in the big leagues, Collin spent the season between GCL and Danville, only tallying 45 at bats.
51. Carlos Franco – Had a very pedestrian year before he got to the playoffs, when his bat really came alive. Likely org filler at this point.

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