Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 12
Stats will be a little lean this week due to the minor league All-Star break, which affected A-ball and Double-A.
No. 8 prospect Mauricio Cabrera is on the comeback trail, after he spent most of the past two months on the disabled list. He’s currently rehabbing at complex ball in Orlando. So once he joins a regular team we’ll add him back to our list.
No. 6 prospect Braxton Davidson should start appearing in games this week.
No. 12 Prospect: 3B Kyle Kubitza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 6-for-15 (.400), with a double, a walk and 2 Ks.
Overview: Look at that on-base percentage. Say it out loud, four-o-three. Kubitza is adept at getting on base, something the club in Atlanta needs. Too bad he’s blocked by Chris Johnson at third base.
2014 Stats: .299/.403/.443, .394 BABIP, 22.8 K%, 14.4 BB%
No. 11 Prospect: Outfielder Victor Reyes
Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome: 1-for-14 (.071), with a double, 2 walks and 3 Ks.
Overview: ‘Struggle city’ continues for Reyes, who has gone hitless in three post-All-Star break games. He’s seen his average drop from .308 at the beginning of the month to its current .272. That’s due to a pretty rough stretch where he’s gone 10-for-61 (.164).
Whatever is wrong with him at the plate, let’s hope he figures it out soon.
2014 Stats: .272/.322/.313, .328 BABIP, 16.4 K%, 6.7 BB%
No. 10 Prospect: SP Aaron Northcraft
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: No decision in 2 starts, 8.2IP, 9H, 3R, 3BB, 6K.
Overview: Decent work again this week from Northcraft. He left his start on Friday after just three innings, having thrown 45 pitches. This could be precautionary, or it could be a sign that the Braves might be resting him to start a game of the double-header in Philly next weekend. Northcraft has certainly pitched well enough this season to warrant a Major League look.
2014 Stats: 7-3 in 12 starts, 2.88 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 2.95 FIP, .226 BAA
No. 9 Prospect: SP Wes Parsons
Last Week’s Stats High-A Lynchburg: No decision in 1 start, 5IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 3BB, 4K.
Overview: I continue to be amazed at how similar many of Parsons’ stats are this season to the stats he put up in his pro-debut season at Low-A last year. Most every rate stat is the same, with only his ERA varying drastically, jumping from 2.63 to 3.75.
That rise in ERA can be attributed to a little bit of bad luck, as his BABIP has gone from .280 to .312. He’s also walking slightly more batters, increasing his BB/9 from 1.72 to 2.13.
2014 Stats: 4-3 in 13 starts, 3.75 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 3.28 FIP, .241 BAA
No. 7 Prospect: C/3B Victor Caratini
Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome: 2-for-13 (.154), with 0BB, 2K.
Overview: Caratini has been in a slump recently. This could be due to the rigors of catching every day. Keep in mind that he played third base last season. The Braves seem to be taking note and have put him at designated hitter quite a bit the last couple of weeks.
2014 Stats: .281/.339/.386, .333 BABIP, 17.5 K%, 7.1 BB%
No. 5 Prospect: 2B Jose Peraza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 5-for-12 (.417), with a triple, 1K, 2SB.
Overview: Our speedy little second baseman got promoted last week, from High-A Lynchburg to Double-A Mississippi, and he didn’t lose a step. He’s now the second-youngest player in the (Double-A) Southern League.
We now have to seriously entertain the possibility that we could see Peraza in Atlanta at some point this season. In many ways he’s exactly what the Atlanta lineup is missing. He’s a right-handed leadoff man, and a legit stolen base threat.
He would give the Braves the leadoff man they currently lack, and he would allow them to spread the lefties in the lineup (Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman) out early in the lineup, with right-handers Justin Upton or Evan Gattis hitting third.
Now that Tommy La Stella is starting to struggle, the Braves may be desperate enough for offense to push Peraza to the majors this season.
2014 Stats (from High-A Lynchburg): .342/.365/.454, .376 BABIP, 10.5 K%, 3.3 BB%
Stock: UP! Big-time UP!
No 4. Prospect: SP Jason Hursh
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 1-0 in 1 start, 7IP, 7H, 3R, 1BB, 2K
Overview: It was another solid start this week for Hursh. His starts are workmanlike in their averageness. He’s not wowing anyone, but he’s not getting blown away either. There’s a place for a pitcher like that, but I continue to see him more as a mid-to-back of the rotation starter, than the mid-to-top of the rotation guy I thought the Braves were drafting last year in the first round.
2014 Stats: 6-4 in 14 starts, 3.48 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 3.69 FIP, .272 BAA
No. 3 Prospect: SP J.R. Graham
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A All-Star game: 0.2IP, 2H, 1R, 0BB, 0K, 1HR, 1WP
Overview: The good news is that Graham was selected to the Southern League All-Star team. The bad news is that he coughed up a solo home run in his only inning of work.
On the season, he’s coming off two pretty good starts in a row. So we’ll see if his second half can get started on a positive note.
2014 Stats: 1-3 in 14 starts, 4.61 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.42 FIP, .264 BAA
No. 2 Prospect: C Christian Bethancourt
Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: 3-for-17 (.176), with a solo HR(3) and 2K.
Overview: It was a bit of an off week for Bethancourt after several good weeks of hitting. Those good weeks had Mark Bowman of MLB.com reporting that the Braves were considering bringing Bethancourt up to the majors.
That report seems a bit premature, as Bethancourt hasn’t displayed much consistent hitting, and he still can't get on base. Everything I’ve seen from Bethancourt tells me that he still needs a full year at Triple-A.
2014 Stats: .266/.292/.369, .305 BABIP, 16.4 K%, 3.5 BB%
No 1. Prospect: SP Lucas Sims
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: 0-1 in 1 start, 5IP, 6H, 4R, 2BB, 2K.
Overview: Another week, another ‘meh’ start for Sims. He faced a team he had faced four times already this season and hadn’t had much luck with. That trend continued, as he was jumped for three runs in the first inning.
I had hoped that the second half of the season might bring better results for Sims, but so far it seems to be more of the same.
2014 Stats: 5-5 in 15 starts, 5.14 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 5.29 FIP, .247 BAA