Full Scouting Report for Top Atlanta Braves' Prospects at Spring Training

Gavin Andrews@@gavin_andrewsCorrespondent IIFebruary 28, 2013

Full Scouting Report for Top Atlanta Braves' Prospects at Spring Training

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    In the Atlanta camp there is no Wil Myers. Nor is there Dylan Bundy, Jurickson Profar, Oscar Taveras, Taijuan Walker, or Zack Wheeler.

    There are however, nine prospects that will be making their mark on the big league Braves sooner or later. 

    Some prospects are sure to latch onto the club right out of spring training. Others are battling for a spot, and still others are a year or two away.

    Here's a quick rundown of the prospect crew making its mark Kissimmee, Florida.

Sean Gilmartin

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    Position: Starting LHP

    DOB: 5/8/1990 

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/190 lbs

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    ETA: Late 2013

    Stuff: Gilmartin possesses average stuff: a fastball in the upper 80s/lower 90s, above-average slider and changeup, and a curveball that's clearly his fourth option. However, it is Gilmartin's advanced approach and great control that serve as his calling card.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Profiles as a rock solid No. 4 or 5 starter—a spot he'll be able to earn and keep very soon. If he develops into an attacking command lefty (a la Tom Glavine), his ceiling would be lifted to that of a No. 3.

    2013: Fredi Gonzalez is instituting a position battle for the role of No. 5 starter between Gilmartin and fellow prospect Julio Teheran, but Teheran figures to win out and take hold of the role. Should he falter, Gilmartin will be waiting at Triple-A ready to pounce.

Alex Wood

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    Position: Starting LHP

    DOB: 1/12/1991

    Height/Weight: 6'4"/215 lbs

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    ETA: Late 2014/Early 2015

    Stuff: Like Gilmartin, Wood may be a fellow southpaw relying on command also drafted out of the college ranks, but the comparisons end there. Wood's fastball touches the mid-90s while his changeup is above average and his curve is average. His stuff is better than Gilmartin's, but he lacks Gilmartin's poise.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: With an unusual delivery and Tommy John surgery in his past, Wood's projection can range anywhere from No. 5 starter to No. 3 starter, due to his ability to strike hitters out on a more regular basis than Gilmartin. However, with the rotation stacked, Wood may find his place in the big leagues as a reliever.

    2013: Wood's only stop in 2012 was a nearly 53 inning breezy stroll through Class-A Rome. An advanced pitcher, Wood should spend much of the year at Double-A and possibly hit Triple-A by the season's end.

J.R. Graham

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    Position: Starting RHP

    DOB: 1/14/1990

    Height/Weight: 6'0"/185 lbs

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    ETA: Late 2013/Early 2014

    Stuff: Graham's fastball is very explosive, as he can run it up to 97 mph with a heavy sink on it. This sink produces many ground balls, giving Graham the option to either blow away hitters or get them to roll over one. HIs tight slider is above average and his changeup is still a work in progress, but will be crucial to whether or not Graham stays a starter.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Graham's uncanny ability to produce the ground ball paired with his impressive fastball profiles him as a No. 3 starter, but with refinement of his changeup, Graham could become a No. 2. He could also however, end up in the bullpen should Craig Kimbrel become too expensive. His fastball/slider combination would fit quite well in the closer role.

    2013: Graham will probably start the year in Double-A, but he should be in Triple-A in no time, knocking on Atlanta's door during the second half of the season.

Julio Teheran

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    Position: Starting RHP

    DOB: 1/27/1991

    Height/Weight: 6'0"/185 lbs

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    ETA: Now

    Stuff: While there is no argument that Teheran had a poor 2012, his stuff has not regressed any. In fact, Teheran righted the ship in the Winter League and reminded the Braves why they were once so high on his live arm.

    Teheran's fastball runs up to the mid 90s and is coupled with a good (potentially great) changeup. If he can find the leash on his curveball, Teheran has the potential to have three plus pitches.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Teheran comfortably profiles on the border of a No. 2/3, but should he regain his swagger, further develop his secondary pitches, and improve his control, he should be an undisputed No. 2.

    2013: Expect Teheran to take control of the No. 5 spot in the rotation and run with it. He will be brilliant at times, and there will be games in which he gives up four home runs, but it will be part of the growing process. The Braves will see how Teheran responds to the responsibility of the rotation and re-evaluate when Brandon Beachy returns from injury.

Luis Avilan

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    Position: Relieving LHP

    DOB: 7/19/1989

    Height/Weight: 6'2"/220 lbs

    Bats/Throws: L/L

    ETA: Now

    Stuff: Avilan carries an arsenal of four pitches: a fastball and sinker that each hover around 93-94 mph, a curve with above average horizontal movement that sits in the mid 70s, and a low 80s changeup that fades pretty well.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Avilan doesn't have the stuff to be a lights out option in the back of the bullpen, but he projects to be a very valuable middle reliever in Atlanta for not only this year, but years to come.

    2013: Avilan is yet another valuable component to the best bullpen in the majors and he should stick with the club throughout all of 2013. Effective against both lefties and righties, Avilan will function as more than simply a lefty specialist.

Cory Gearrin

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    Position: Relieving RHP

    DOB: 4/14/1986

    Height/Weight: 6'3"/200 lbs

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    ETA: Now

    Stuff: Gearrin does not have outstanding stuff, but as a sidearming righty with a sinker in the upper 80s to lower 90s and a decent slider about 10 mph slower to pair with it, he is pretty lethal against right handed hitters. He also has an average changeup, but doesn't use it with frequency.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Gearrin is what he is: a righty specialist that can rack up the strikeouts. This and his deception will keep him in the big leagues for a long time as a complementary piece in the bullpen.

    2013: 2013 is the year that Gearrin should finally stick with the Braves. He will probably be the least used member of the bullpen, but will undoubtedly be effective when Fredi Gonzalez plugs him in against righties.

Evan Gattis

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    Position: Catcher/Outfielder

    DOB: 8/18/1986

    Height/Weight: 6'4"/230 lbs

    Bats/Throws: R/R

    ETA: 2013

    Tools: Power is Gattis' calling card, and plus power at that, but Oso also has a solid approach and plate discipline that allows him to both take a walk and hit for average. He doesn't collect beaucoups of strikeouts either. He is not the most limber of fellows, but does possess a good arm which aids him behind the plate and in left field. 

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Gattis will hit, and he will hit with power. He grades out to a .260 hitter with 30 homer potential. The only question will be which position he does this from. Atlanta has the outfield taken care of for at least the next three years, but with Brian McCann's contract expiring the catching position could open up for Gattis.

    Oso's defense behind the plate is at least at McCann's level, and with top catching prospect Christian Bethancourt still a couple years away with his bat, the time could be soon for Gattis.

    2013: Barring injury, there isn't a full time gig for Gattis in 2013. However, he is impressing early in spring training and could force the issue and get at bats off the bench. As it stands, Brian McCann is going to miss the first couple weeks so Gerald Laird needs a backup catcher and Freddie Freeman needs a backup first baseman, so Gattis could garner a few starts a week.

Joey Terdoslavich

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    Position: First Base/Third Base/Outfield

    DOB: 9/9/1988

    Height/Weight: 6'4"/230 lbs

    Bats/Throws: S/R

    ETA: 2014

    Tools: Terdoslavich swings a good stick that has led to high minor league batting averages, save for a horrid 215 at bat stretch in Triple-A last season. His power potential is great, but he has yet to tap into it. After a breakout season in 2011 in which he hit 52 doubles and 20 home runs for High-A Lynchburg, his power seemed zapped in 2012. Terdo doesn't really have any other tools besides his bat.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Terdoslavich could potentially be a decent bench bat with his ability to play four positions (albeit not well) and his switch-hitting power stick. He would have to develop significantly to be a full time player (especially with the Braves), but his upside is a .270 hitter with 20 home runs.

    2013: Probably headed back to Double-A to see if his power can return. If so, he could find himself in Triple-A by midseason.

Todd Cunningham

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    Position: Outfield

    DOB: 3/20/1989

    Height/Weight: 6'0"/200 lbs

    Bats/Throws: S/R

    ETA: Late 2013/Early 2014

    Tools: The only below average tool Cunningham possesses is his power. His swing produces a lot of contact, his great speed makes things happen, and he has both a good arm and a great glove. He has a little gap power that allowed him to collect 32 extra base hits at Double-A Mississippi in 2012, and his 6'0", 200 lb. frame should allow for that total to grow.

    Performance: Fangraphs

    Projection: Cunningham has the chance to be an everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter in this league, with his good contact, great speed, and switch hitting stick. At the very least, he is going to be a fantastic fourth outfielder and pinch runner for a contending team.

    2013: Cunningham should start the year in Triple-A and continue to develop his bat. He could be added to the big league roster for a stretch run, and has an outside shot at a playoff roster spot should Jordan Schafer and Jose Constanza falter.