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Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 11

Gavin AndrewsCorrespondent IINovember 19, 2016

Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 11

1 of 11

    For those of you unaware, the half-smiling man with the slight cock to his head is center fielder Todd Cunningham, and he has been on an absolute tear for the past month.

    In fact, pretty much all of the Braves farm hands have been on the up and up lately.

    For Atlanta's top 10 prospects, this past week saw strong performances, promotions and, in the case of Alex Wood, a first-career major league start.

    Let's get down to business—here's last week in the careers of Atlanta's top prospects.

    Prospect rankings courtesy of MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.

10. Cody Martin

2 of 11

    Level: AAA (Gwinnett)

    Position: Starting Pitcher

    Throws: Right-handed

    Season Stats: 3-3, 2.82 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 67.0 IP, 63 H, 27 BB, 71 K (AA)

    2-0, 0.64 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 18 H, 2 BB, 13 K (AAA)

    Last Week's Stats: 2-0, 14.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 13 K

     

    Analysis

    Like his fellow former staff mate, Alex Wood, Cody Martin's dominance in Mississippi earned him a promotion to Gwinnett, where an injury is all that keeps the Gonzaga righty from a one-way ticket to Atlanta. 

    Martin's success gives the Braves a lot of flexibility—the possibility of moving Paul Maholm becomes an option again, if Martin pitches well at this level. Martin can also come out of the bullpen, with his cutter being a plus pitch and control being a strength.

    Stock: Up

9. Juan Jaime

3 of 11

    Level: AA (Mississippi)

    Position: Reliever

    Throws: Right-handed

    Season Stats: 2-1, 1.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 12 H, 12 BB, 35 K

    Last Week's Stats: 0-0, 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 8 K

     

    Analysis

    Although Cody Martin is only one step away from the big leagues, Juan Jaime is the one more likely to see extended time in the Braves bullpen down the stretch. 

    The righty with the 100 mph heater has always had control issues, but his ability to simply overpower hitters and miss bats will continually allow him to sustain his success in the upper-minor leagues.

    Last week was a microcosm of what Jaime gives the Braves—lots of strikeouts and lots of walks.

    Stock: Up

8. Todd Cunningham

4 of 11

    Level: AAA (Gwinnett)

    Position: Outfield

    Throws/Bats: R/S

    Season Stats: .295/.380/.387, 43 R, 12 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 31 BB, 40 K, 11 SB

    Last Week's Stats: .367/.424/.467, 8 R, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB

     

    Analysis

    It's really a shame that Todd Cunningham has put up a slash line of .369/.444/.486 since May 21, according to Baseball-Reference, and has nothing close to a path to playing time in Atlanta, with the resurgence of one Jordan Schafer.

    Regardless, Cunningham's tear has surely not gone unnoticed by the Braves brass. But without any true power to speak of, his ceiling remains limited.

    Stock: Up

7. Matt Lipka

5 of 11

    Level: High-A (Lynchburg)

    Position: Outfield

    Throws/Bats: R/R

    Season Stats: .279/.322/.409, 40 R, 18 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 30 RBI, 15 BB, 51 K, 17 SB

    Last Week's Stats: .182/.182/.273, 3 K

     

    Analysis

    After hitting so well for so long, it was just a matter of time until Matt Lipka suffered a bad week at the plate. Fortunately, he only garnered 11 at-bats, so there's no cause for alarm just yet.

    Lipka is going to need to begin taking more walks before the Braves can decide to promote him to Mississippi, though. Expect Lipka to spend much of this season at High-A.

    Stock: Even

6. Mauricio Cabrera

6 of 11

    Level: Low-A (Rome)

    Position: Starting Pitcher

    Throws: Right-handed

    Season Stats: 1-4, 5.04 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 64.1 IP, 62 H, 37 BB, 52 K

    Last Week's Stats: No action seen.

     

    Analysis

    As quickly as he was demoted to Danville, Mauricio Cabrera was promoted back to Rome. 

    However, he still didn't see any action, so it's yet to be seen whether or not he will bounce back from his string of unfortunate starts.

    Stock: Even

5. Alex Wood

7 of 11

    Level: MLB

    Position: Starting Pitcher

    Throws: Left-handed

    Season Stats: 4-2, 1.26 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 57.0 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 57 K (AA)

    0-1, 2.84 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 7 BB, 18 K (Atlanta)

    Last Week's Stats: 0-1, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 9 K

     

    Analysis

    Alex Wood made the first start of his major league career last week, but after 73 pitches spanning 3.0 innings, results were inconclusive. 

    However, Wood remains a serious weapon in the bullpen and looks to remain with the big league club for the rest of the season in one capacity or another. 

    Stock: Up

4. Sean Gilmartin

8 of 11

    Level: AAA (Gwinnett)

    Position: Starting Pitcher

    Throws: Left-handed

    Season Stats: 3-7, 5.83 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 71.0 IP, 89 H, 30 BB, 47 K 

    Last Week's Stats: No action seen.

     

    Analysis

    With less than half of a season at Triple-A, both Alex Wood and Cody Martin have leapfrogged Sean Gilmartin in the pecking order of prospective Braves starters.

    After a stretch of poor starts, Gilmartin will get the opportunity to regain good standing in the Atlanta system soon, but saw no action last week.

    Stock: Even

3. Lucas Sims

9 of 11

    Level: Low-A (Rome)

    Position: Starting Pitcher

    Throws: Right-handed

    Season Stats: 2-2, 2.87 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 47.0 IP, 32 H, 17 BB, 53 K

    Last Week's Stats: No action seen.

     

    Analysis

    While the young career of Lucas Sims has looked incredibly bright in the early goings of the 2013 season, he also has not seen any action since the latest stock update. 

    However, look for him to be at the very top of the Atlanta prospects list at the end of the season, in spite of his low-minors status.

    Stock: Even

2. Christian Bethancourt

10 of 11

    Level: AA (Mississippi)

    Position: Catcher

    Throws/Bats: R/R

    Season Stats: .258/.276/.362, 15 R, 8 2B, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 4 BB, 35 K, 7 SB

    Last Week's Stats: .400/.500/.700, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K

     

    Analysis

    Christian Bethancourt only stepped to the plate 13 times this week, but he certainly made the most of them with his impressive slash line. The two walks were also a nice touch.

    Everyone knows his prowess behind the plate; it's his production at it that matters, though. Last week was a welcome sight for the Braves, as Bethancourt might finally be taking strides offensively.

    Stock: Up

1. J.R. Graham

11 of 11

    Level: AA (Mississippi)

    Position: Starting Pitcher

    Throws: Right-handed

    Season Stats: 1-3, 4.04 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 35.2 IP, 39 H, 10 BB, 28 SO

    Last Week's Stats: Seven-day disabled list; no action seen.

     

    Analysis

    Still rehabbing from a shoulder injury, J.R. Graham is taking his time to ensure that he returns fully ready to unleash his upper-90s sinking fastball on poor Double-A hitters. 

    With Alex Wood and Cody Martin promoted ahead of him and Lucas Sims breathing down his neck for top-prospect status, the next chapter of Graham's journey is bound to be interesting.

    Stock: Even

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