Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 14
It was a bad week for Atlanta Braves pitching prospects, as pretty much every one of them on our watch list got shelled.
The batters fared better, and one of them even got promoted to the majors. Catcher Christian Bethancourt was called up to fill in for the injured Evan Gattis. Bethancourt is only expected to stay up while Gattis is on the disabled list, so we’ll keep him on our watch list for now.
No. 6 prospect Braxton Davidson is in complex ball (low-level rookie ball), and with stats there being unreliable, we’ll keep him off the list of prospects we track.
No. 3 prospect J.R. Graham is still day-to-day with what we hope is a minor injury, so we’ll remove him from the list this week.
No 12 Prospect: 3B Kyle Kubitza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 8-for-18 (.444), 2 2B, 3 3B, BB, 7 K, SB
Overview: Kubby is absolutely raking at Mississippi, and I’ve got to believe that the Braves will promote him to Triple-A soon.
While he doesn’t offer much home run power (career high of 12 HR last season), Kubitza hits a lot of doubles and has already set a career high in triples this season with seven.
To read more about Kubitza, click here for a scouting report I wrote on him this week.
2014 Stats: .312/.405/.487, .415 BABIP, 23.7 K%, 13 BB%
No. 11 Prospect: Outfielder Victor Reyes
Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome: 3-for-16 (.188), 4 BB, 2 K, SB
Overview: It was an off week hitting-wise for Reyes, but he managed to walk four times. I like seeing that, as it contributes to his overall game. Now he just needs to start showing some power, and his prospect stock will soar.
2014 Stats: .271/.325/.316, .324 BABIP, 15.5 K%, 7.4 BB%
No. 10 Prospect: SP Aaron Northcraft
Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: 0-1 in 2 starts, 8.2 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 6 BB, 7 K
Overview: Northcraft’s first week in Triple-A was rough. It reminded me of the struggles he had last year in the Arizona Fall League. There, Northcraft went 1-5 in seven starts with an 8.00 ERA.
In Triple-A so far, as in Arizona, Northcraft’s opponents' BABIP was elevated, indicating some bad luck in a small sample size. Of course, he didn’t help his own cause with elevated walk rates.
This is only week No. 1 of Triple-A, so we’ll give Northcraft some time to adjust before we push the panic button.
2014 Stats (at Double-A and Triple-A): 7-4 in 15 starts, 3.32 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .242 BAA
No. 9 Prospect: SP Wes Parsons
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: 0-2 in 2 starts, 9 IP, 14 H, 15 R, 12 ER, 5 BB, 9 K, 2 HBP, 3 WP
Overview: Parsons was not on his game this week. In his second start of the week, he surrendered single-game career highs in runs (9) and home runs (2).
As you can see from the stat line above, Parsons was wild (2 hit batters and 3 wild pitches), and he got hit hard. Let’s hope this is just a hiccup in his otherwise solid season.
2014 Stats: 4-5 in 16 starts, 4.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.89 FIP, .259 BAA
No. 8 Prospect: RHP Mauricio Cabrera
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: No decision in 1 start, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K
Overview: Cabrera returned this week from his rehab assignment in Orlando. The Braves will slowly increase his pitch count, and we’ll start to see his innings total go up. A return to the Lynchburg rotation should occur in a few weeks.
2014 Stats: No record in 3 starts (4 games), 2.38 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.34 FIP, .220 BAA
No. 7 Prospect: C/3B Victor Caratini
Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome: 5-for-18 (.278), 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 BB, 5 K
Overview: While his batting average doesn’t look stellar this week, all of his hits went for extra bases, and he walked three times. The extra-base hits are especially encouraging, as that was the area of Caratini’s game that needed the most improvement.
2014 Stats: .279/.342/.401, .332 BABIP, 17.7 K%, 7.7 BB%
No. 5 Prospect: 2B Jose Peraza
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: 4-for-22 (.182), 2 2B, BB, 3 K, 2-for-3 SB
Overview: Peraza’s hot start in Double-A cooled down a bit this week. He still managed to build upon his organizational stolen-base lead, swiping two bags to bring his season total to 41 steals in 51 attempts.
Peraza should get back to terrorizing Southern League pitching next week.
2014 Stats (at High-A and Double-A): .341/.368/.457, .374 BABIP, 10.2 K%, 3.8 BB%
No 4. Prospect: SP Jason Hursh
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 0-1 in 2 starts, 12.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
Overview: His first start was a bad one, with five runs allowed in 5.1 innings, but he got a no-decision. His second start was a good one, as he went seven innings, while only allowing four hits, but took a tough-luck loss.
More ups and downs from Hursh. We're still looking for consistency.
2014 Stats: 6-6 in 17 starts, 4.08 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.66 FIP, .271 BAA
No. 2 Prospect: C Christian Bethancourt
Last Week’s Stats for Atlanta Braves: 5-for-16 (.313), 2B, 4 K
Overview: Bethancourt’s first week of being a major league starter was a good one. He contributed to the Braves' nine-game winning streak with several key hits.
He will likely return to Triple-A once Evan Gattis comes off the disabled list after the All-Star break, but in the meantime he’s making believers out of a lot of people with his solid work both at and behind the plate.
2014 Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: .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: 0-1 in 1 start, 4 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 4 BB, 5 K
Overview: After a week in which Sims pitched seven innings of a combined no-hitter, his start this week was a big letdown. Over the past month, this has been the pattern for Sims: good start followed by bad start, and so on.
The flashes of brilliance he’s shown are enough to be encouraging, but his challenge for the rest of the season will be to post good numbers from one start to the next.
2014 Stats: 6-6 in 17 starts, 5.22 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 5.15 FIP, .244 BAA