Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 10
The Braves' prospect stock watch gets somewhat of a new look this week.
After the first two rounds of the draft, we re-ranked the Braves top 10 prospects. RHP Cody Martin was removed, and this year's first-round draft pick OF Braxton Davidson was added as the No. 6 prospect.
As Davidson has not started his pro career yet, we'll keep him off the report until he starts playing in a Braves uniform.
No. 8 prospect RHP Mauricio Cabrera is also still on the disabled list with a forearm injury, so we'll add two additional prospects to our watch list. One of these prospects is new to the list; begin the slideshow to find who it is.
No. 12 Prospect: 3B Kyle Kubitza
Last Week's Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 9-for-23 (.391), 2B, HR (3), 5 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 2 SB
Overview: We picked a good week to add Kubitza to our prospect watch list. He continues the offensive surge he's been on for the last few weeks.
Kubby is an under-the-radar hitter, and probably wouldn't warrant a mention in most organizations, but in the Braves' offense-starved minor league system, he makes the list. He's a patient hitter who has improved in each of the past three years of full-season ball.
He offers good on-base ability and improving power while having the range and arm to stick at third base. Kubitza actually out-hit Tommy La Stella in last year's Arizona Fall League.
2014 Stats: .297/.400/.449, .391 BABIP, 23.2 K%, 14.5 BB%
No. 11 Prospect: LF Victor Reyes
Last Week's Stats at Low-A Rome: 4-for-21 (.190), BB, 3 K
Overview: It was another tough week for Reyes, who has cooled a bit since his torrid start to the season. He's experienced a complete power outage and hasn't had an extra-base hit in 12 games.
Some of his poor numbers lately could be attributed to bad luck. His BABIP over the past 12 games is just .167.
2014 Stats: .296/.344/.340, .347 BABIP, 14.2 K%, 6.6 BB%
No. 10 Prospect: SP Aaron Northcraft
Last Week's Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 1 GS, W, 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Overview: Northcraft gave up only his second home run of the year this week while tying his season-high in runs allowed.
It was a rare blip for Northcraft this season, though he kept his team in the game long enough to pick up the win.
2014 Stats: 7-2, 9 GS, 2.88 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.10 FIP, .214 BAA
No. 9 Prospect: SP Wes Parsons
Last Week's Stats at High-A Lynchburg: 2 GS, W, 14 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 14 K
Overview: Parsons went seven innings in each of his starts this week and actually got the win for the start in which he gave up four earned runs.
On the season, Parsons continues to shine as one of the best starters in the Braves system. Just about all of his numbers are an improvement over his outstanding work last year. The notable exception is his ERA, up almost a run from last year (2.63 to 3.56). That shouldn't be too much of a concern, as his fielding-independent pitching (FIP) is actually down (3.05 to 2.95).
2014 Stats: 11 GS, 4-2, 3.56 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 2.95 FIP, .240 BAA
No. 7 Prospect: C Victor Caratini
Last Week's Stats at Low-A Rome: 8-for-27 (.296), 2 2B, HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, SB
Overview: Caratini had a good week. He hit his average, but he hit for better power than he has all year, collecting two doubles and his second home run of the season.
His walk rate (7.4 BB%) is still down from where it was last year (15.9 BB%). Overall though, his numbers are starting to normalize after a sluggish April.
His slash line since May 1 is .321/.382/.429.
2014 Stats: .301/.360/.404, .361 BABIP, 17.7 K%, 7.4 BB%
No. 5 Prospect: 2B Jose Peraza
Last Week's Stats at High-A Lynchburg: 12-for-28 (.429), 2B, 4 3B, HR, 0 BB, 1 K, 4 SB
Overview: Talk about being on fire: Jose Peraza is sizzling. The speedy middle infielder doubled his triples total this week to eight, which matches his total triples from last season.
He also added to his organizational lead in stolen bases, bringing his season total to 30 of 36 attempts.
If I were to nitpick about his game, it would be in the walks department. I love that he's hitting so well, but I want to see him develop good habits at this stage of his career. With the profile of a future leadoff man in the majors, one of the most important habits he can develop is getting on via the base on balls.
2014 Stats: .331/.358/.450, .363 BABIP, 10.3 K%, 3.7 BB%
No 4. Prospect: SP Jason Hursh
Last Week's Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 1 GS, W, 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Overview: Hursh recorded his second straight start of seven innings. It was also the second start in a row in which he's both walked and struck out only one.
Those last two superb starts brought his ERA down from 4.18 to 3.43. He's still fallen victim to a lot of bad luck this year—his opponents' BABIP is .301. As a sinkerball pitcher, that's going to happen from time to time.
2014 Stats: 12 GS, 5-4, 3.43 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.75 FIP, .271 BAA
No. 3 Prospect: SP J.R. Graham
Last Week's Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 2 GS, 1-1, 9 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 7 K
Overview: Graham got hit hard once again by his nemesis: the Montgomery Biscuits. They're responsible for two of his three losses this season and tagged him for five runs on nine hits in four innings in his first start of the week.
He rallied late in the week, throwing five scoreless innings; inconsistency continues to plague Graham this season, making it tough to get a read on him as a prospect.
2014 Stats: 13 GS, 1-3, 4.72 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, .263 BAA
No. 2 Prospect: C Christian Bethancourt
Last Week's Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: 8-for-23 (.348), 2 2B, 0 BB, 3 K
Overview: It was a good week for Bethancourt in the hit department. He still needs to work on his plate discipline, as he hasn't drawn a walk in his last 13 games.
The hope with Bethancourt is that with more playing time, his natural talent will turn into more production in the batter's box.
If he can add a few more walks and extra-base hits, he could be one of the best all-around catchers in baseball if he can carry that into the major leagues. His defense and throwing arm are game-changers behind the plate.
2014 Stats: .256/.286/.360, .300 BABIP, 17.6 K%, 3.8 BB%
No 1. Prospect: SP Lucas Sims
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: No decision in 2 starts, 9.1IP, 14H, 9R, 6BB, 3K
It was another rough week for Atlanta’s top prospect. His first start was an okay six-plus innings, but his second start lasted only three innings, giving up six runs. It was his worst start as a professional.
I keep telling myself that it’s good for him to experience some adversity at this stage in his career. Now I’d like to see him adjust and improve.
2014 Stats: 5-3 in 13 starts, 4.82 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 5.16 FIP, .243 BAA