Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 16
So that this stock watch can stay current, we’ll reorder our top 10 prospects to reflect the new rankings.
No. 5 prospect Braxton Davidson will be removed from the watch list because he’s at complex ball in Orlando, where stats don’t really mean that much.
No. 2 prospect Christian Bethancourt is still in the majors, but with the expected return of Evan Gattis this week, Bethancourt won’t be absent from our watch list for long.
No. 10 prospect Wes Parsons was placed on the disabled list last week with right-bicep tendinitis, after leaving in the middle of a start two weeks ago. I automatically fear the worst, as that injury description can often be code for something far worse.
We’ll add a couple of extra prospects to make up for these guys, who don’t have any stats for us to track this week.
To view last week’s prospect stock watch, click here.
No. 12 Prospect: SP Aaron Northcraft
Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: 0-1 in 1 start, 5.1 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Overview: It’s still rough sledding at Triple-A for Northcarft, with another start this week where he was too hittable. He’s had one good start out of four at Triple-A, but in those other three starts he’s given up at least five runs in each game.
This week’s bad start was versus the same team against which his only good start came.
2014 Stats: 7-6 in 18 starts, 4.07 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 3.30 FIP, .263 BAA
No. 11 Prospect: RP Juan Jaime
Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: 1 G, 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K
Overview: We may be able to infer why the Braves didn’t recall Jaime when they sent down Luis Avilan this week. In his past three appearances, Jaime has posted this unfortunate combined line: 2.1 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 6 BB, 4 K.
This is the worst Jaime has pitched all season (great time to add him to our watch list, eh?). While this could just be a mechanical problem, let’s hope it’s not a potential arm problem.
2014 Stats: 1-0, 14 Saves, 4.18 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 3.59 FIP, .200 BAA
No 9. Prospect: SP Jason Hursh
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 1-0 in 1 start, 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HBP
Overview: Hursh pitched around a lot of traffic this week, as he allowed 12 baserunners, and another got on because of an error. The opposing team seemed to have a game plan against Hursh, as six of the nine hits he allowed were ground balls up the middle to center field.
These types of games are the kind that have plagued Hursh this season, who has a pitch-to-contact profile. Though it’s good to see that only one hit went for extra bases, it was a triple in his final inning of work.
2014 Stats: 7-6 in 19 starts, 3.90 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 3.63 FIP, .272 BAA
No. 8 Prospect: C/3B Victor Caratini
Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome: 3-for-10 (.300), 1 2B, 4 BB, 1 K
Overview: Caratini got a few extra days off this week, and he posted some good numbers. I especially liked seeing the high number of walks and the low strikeout total. He needs to keep posting weeks like this, and his prospect stock will continue to rise.
2014 Stats: .280/.352/.402, .333 BABIP, 17.1 K%, 9.0 BB%
No. 7 Prospect: 3B Kyle Kubitza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 6-for-19 (.316), 2 2B, 1 3B, 6 BB, 6 K
Overview: The biggest gainer in our prospect re-ranking is Kubitza, who moves from No. 12 up to No. 7.
He acknowledged that jump with another great week at the plate. It was also a very Kubitza week, as he struck out six times but also walked six times.
The Braves have a spot open at third base in Triple-A, as the prospect who was holding down that position (Edward Salcedo) has now been moved to right field. I’ve got to believe that it’s only a matter of time before Kubitza gets the call to the next level.
2014 Stats: .307/.411/.479, .417 BABIP, 24.6 K%, 14.1 BB%
No. 6 Prospect: SP J.R. Graham
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 0-1 in 1 start, 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Overview: The good news is that Graham returned to the mound this week, after he missed some time with a right forearm strain.
The bad news is that he got knocked around a bit in his inning of work. That continues a bad trend that has plagued him all year.
At this point, I just want to see Graham toe the rubber every fifth day and stay healthy. Hopefully, in the process of doing that the results will start to look better and better.
2014 Stats: 1-4 in 16 starts, 5.40 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, .267 BAA
Stock: Good news, bad news
No. 4 Prospect: SP Mauricio Cabrera
Last Week’s Stats High-A Lynchburg: 1 G, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
Overview: This was a slow week for Cabrera, who only made it into one game in relief. The Braves are no doubt still being very cautious with their young international pitching star as he continues his comeback from a forearm injury earlier in the season.
It certainly seems that the Braves will keep him in the bullpen for the rest of the year, using that to limit his innings.
2014 Stats: 8 Games, 1.62 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.96 FIP, .211 BAA
No. 3 Prospect: 2B Jose Peraza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 5-for-20 (.250), 2 K, 2 SB, 1 CS
Overview: It was a slow week back at the plate for the speedy Peraza. His week started last Sunday with a successful 1-for-2 performance in the 2014 All-Star Futures Game.
This slow week for Jose also highlights one of the biggest holes in his game—his lack of walks. Yes, he only struck out twice, and he’s a good contact-hitter, but he profiles as a future leadoff man in every way except for his well-below-average on-base ability.
2014 Stats: .342/.366/.450, .374 BABIP, 9.9 K%, 3.4 BB%
No. 1 Prospect: SP Lucas Sims
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: No decision in 1 start, 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K
Overview: It was another good week for Sims. The two starts he made immediately after his no-hitter at the end of June were not good ones, but his last two starts have been much better. He’s finally starting to show that he can be a dominant top-of-the-rotation starter by limiting hits and racking up strikeouts.
2014 Stats: 6-8 in 20 starts, 4.90 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 4.98 FIP, .244 BAA
Stock: Slowly rising