Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 13
It was a good week for Braves prospects. There was good hitting, good pitching, a couple of promotions and even a no-hitter.
There are still two prospects whom I’m going to leave off this list for now. No. 6 prospect Braxton Davidson and No. 8 prospect Mauricio Cabrera are both at “complex ball” in Orlando. While that is technically a rookie league, it is pretty informal, and stats there are not worth reading too much into. Davidson will likely be there all season as a high school pitcher who just turned pro, and Cabrera is rehabbing from injury.
Click here for last week's Braves' Prospect Stock Watch.
No. 12 Prospect: 3B Kyle Kubitza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 9-for-26 (.346), 2 2B, 3B, HR (4), 2 BB, 7 K, 2 SB
Overview: It was a great week for Kubitza, especially in the power department. He also stole his 15th base in 16 attempts. That’s a 93.8 stolen-base percentage, and he’s never had a stolen-base percentage in any season over 75 percent.
It certainly looks like he’s turning into a prospect that can offer good hitting for average, power and a little bit of speed.
2014 Stats: .304/.403/.462, .397 BABIP, 22.9 K%, 13.7 BB%
No. 11 Prospect: Outfielder Victor Reyes
Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome: 4-for-19 (.211), 2 2B, 0 BB, 3 K
Overview: Reyes got off the schnide this week, collecting two doubles. He had previously only had one extra-base hit all month. He's still a work in progress, but he's coming along.
2014 Stats: .275/.321/.323, .330 BABIP, 16.1 K%, 6.2 BB%
No. 10 Prospect: SP Aaron Northcraft
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: Did not start
Overview: Northcraft didn’t make it into a game this week for Double-A Mississippi. That’s because he was busy packing his bags on his way up to Triple-A Gwinnett. The Braves have been promoting a lot of prospects the past two weeks, and Northcraft is one of the bigger ones. He will now slot into the rotation at Triple-A and set himself up for a possible end-of-season promotion.
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: 0-1 in one start, 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Overview: It was another good week for Parsons. He didn’t get the win, but he pitched pretty well. This is what we've come to expect from Parsons. He's consistently better than average.
2014 Stats: 4-4 in 14 starts, 3.65 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 3.38 FIP, .247 BAA
No. 7 Prospect: C/3B Victor Caratini
Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome: 6-for-19 (.326), HR (4), 2 BB, 3 K
Overview: Caratini needed a good week at the plate, and he had one. He clubbed another home run and walked a couple of times.
He’s had an up-and-down year. His April was mediocre, with a .700 OPS. His OPS was .811 in May, but it’s back down to .697 in June. We’ll have to keep watching to find out which version Caratini will ultimately be. Hopefully it’s the May version.
2014 Stats: .283/.344/.393, .333 BABIP, 17.2 K%, 7.3 BB%
No. 5 Prospect: 2B Jose Peraza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 12-for-28 (.429), 2B, HR, 3 BB, 2 K, 2-for-4 SB
Overview: If there were any doubts that Peraza was ready for his promotion to Double-A last week, they were completely erased by his assault on Southern League pitching.
Peraza should be fun to watch this season, as his prospect stock should soar into the top 100 among all minor leaguers.
2014 Stats: .352/.378/.469, .385 BABIP, 10.1 K%, 3.7 BB%
No 4. Prospect: SP Jason Hursh
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 0-1 in one start, 7 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 4 K
Overview: I was actually at Hursh’s start this week in Birmingham. He got knocked around pretty good, as his line shows, but many of the hits were seeing-eye singles or infield hits in the hole. These are the hits that a sinkerballer like Hursh must learn to overcome.
I also got a chance to talk with him this week, and it’s clear that he’s still a young pitcher without a lot of innings under his belt who is trying to figure out the best way(s) that he can get batters out.
2014 Stats: 6-5 in 15 starts, 3.83 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 3.70 FIP, .278 BAA
No. 3 Prospect: SP J.R. Graham
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: No-decision in one start, 4.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 K
Overview: Graham’s line from this week looks bad, but five of those six runs came in his last inning of work. He was dinked and dunked, and let some walks get him into trouble, then his relief gave up a home run to clear the bases.
Graham was scratched from his second start this week, though no reason was given for it, and according to M-Braves broadcaster Kyle Tait, he will apparently only miss one start.
The Braves have been very careful with Graham this season, after he missed most of last season with shoulder soreness. They will continue to limit his innings and skip him when they feel he needs a rest.
2014 Stats: 1-3 in 15 starts, 5.18 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3.42 FIP, .261 BAA
No. 2 Prospect: C Christian Bethancourt
Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: 6-for-17 (.353), 2B, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Overview: It was a big week for Bethancourt, who was recalled to Atlanta to catch the second game of a doubleheader. He collected his first hit in the major leagues, an infield single to the hole between third base and shortstop.
Bethancourt also did a great job of handling the Braves pitching staff, which combined to pitch six-hit, one-run ball.
He also did good work at the plate in the minors prior to his call-up. Bethancourt walked three times, bringing his season total to 11, which equals his 2012 walk total.
According to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves are apparently going to keep Bethancourt on the big league club for the next few days while they wait to see how starting catcher Evan Gattis responds after a minor back injury.
2014 Stats: .273/.304/.372, .309 BABIP, 15.4 K%, 4.5 BB%
No. 1 Prospect: SP Lucas Sims
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: 1-0 in one start, 7 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
Overview: The Braves' top prospect pitched like it this week, combining with reliever Alex Wilson on a no-hitter. As good as Sims was, there might have been something in the water, because his Lynchburg team tossed another no-hitter the next day.
The important part is that Sims started it all and set the no-hit tone for the team. Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come.
2014 Stats: 6-5 in 16 starts, 4.71 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 5.16 FIP, .231 BAA