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Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 17

Martin GandyCorrespondent IOctober 24, 2016

Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 17

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    As we’ve done previously, 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. 10 prospect Wes Parsons was placed on the disabled list two weeks ago with right bicep tendonitis. I initially feared the worst, but it sounds like my fears where overblown, as he threw two bullpen sessions this week at 100 percent. It sounds like he should return this coming week.

    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

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett 

    0-1 in 1 start, 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

     

    Overview 

    Northcraft turned in his second solid start in five starts since his promotion to Triple-A. He pitched into the sixth inning, facing two batters before an error chased him.

    He might be a full year away from being able to contribute in the majors, but he’s just 24, which is still pretty young for Triple-A.

     

    2014 Stats 

    7-7 in 19 starts, 3.94 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 3.23 FIP, .264 BAA

     

    Stock 

    Even

No. 11 Prospect: RP Juan Jaime

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett 

    2 Sv, 3 G, 3.1 IP, 0 H, 3 BB, 7 K

     

    Overview 

    While Jaime had a rocky go of it two weeks ago, he ironed out those problems this week. He walked the bases loaded in his first appearance, but he didn’t allow a baserunner in his next two appearances while picking up saves on back-to-back nights.

    He’s still a great option for the Atlanta bullpen this year; he just has to work on avoiding those minefield innings (where he walks the bases loaded).

     

    2014 Stats 

    16 saves in 37 games, 3.79 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 3.44 FIP, .185 BAA

     

    Stock 

    Even

No. 9 Prospect: SP Jason Hursh

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi 

    2-0 in 2 starts, 12 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 6 K

     

    Overview 

    This week’s good work continues a string of good starts throughout July. In five July starts, Hursh has allowed three or fewer earned runs in all of them.

    With a sinkerballer like Hursh, good starts build confidence, which builds upon itself from one start to the next. He’s rolling with some good confidence lately—notice he gave up only six hits in 12 innings of work.

     

    2014 Stats 

    9-6 in 21 starts, 3.59 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3.63 FIP, .261 BAA

     

    Stock 

    Up

No. 8 Prospect: C Victor Caratini

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    CB Wilkins

    Last Week’s Stats at Low-A Rome

    6-for-19 (.316), HR, 4 BB, 2 K

     

    Overview 

    It was a solid week for Caratini, who slugged his fifth home run of the season. That’s helping his slugging percentage this year (.413) get closer to where it was last year (.430).

    Down the line, I’d like to see more power from the switch-hitting catcher, but he’s only 20 years old, so there’s plenty of time for him to grow into his ultimate power potential.

     

    2014 Stats 

    .283/.357/.413, .331 BABIP, 16.5 K%, 9.5 BB%

     

    Stock 

    Even

No. 7 Prospect: 3B Kyle Kubitza

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    Martin Gandy

    Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi 

    3-for-18 (.167), 3B, 6 BB, 3 K

     

    Overview 

    It was an off week for Kubitza in the hitting department, but he got on base six times (.385 on-base for the week).

    Those walks, and his round-numbered batting average for the season (.300), present a good time to talk about how he adds value to the team by getting on base, even when he’s not getting hits.

    Chris Mitchell at FanGraphs.com used a predictive stat methodology to determine how close Double-A stats might match MLB stats. Kubitza ranked among the best, with his Double-A stats showing a 77 percent probability of MLB production.

     

    2014 Stats 

    .300/.409/.468, .402 BABIP, 23.7 K%, 14.6 BB%

     

    Stock 

    Even

No. 6 Prospect: SP J.R. Graham

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi 

    1 G, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 0 H, HBP

     

    Overview 

    Graham pitched around a bases-loaded situation in his first inning of work, but he loaded the bases in his second inning of work without getting an out.

    Graham’s stock is falling; there’s no denying that now. Even though he may not be 100 percent, he’s still not controlling his pitches on the mound, and at some point he has to show some progress.

     

    2014 Stats 

    1-5 in 17 starts, 5.61 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.63 FIP, .271 BAA

     

    Stock 

    Down

No. 4 Prospect: SP Mauricio Cabrera

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    CB Wilkins

    Last Week’s Stats High-A Lynchburg 

    2 G, 3 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K

     

    Overview 

    Cabrera gave up runs in both of his appearances this week. Those were the first runs he’s given up in five games since returning from his midseason DL stint.

    This is likely just a bit of wildness and nothing too much to worry about. We just need to see him stay healthy and keep making appearances.

     

    2014 Stats 

    10 G, 3.66 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.89 FIP, .239 BAA

     

    Stock 

    Even

No. 3 Prospect: 2B Jose Peraza

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi 

    14-for-31 (.452), 2B, 3B, BB, 4 K, 10 SB, 1 CS

     

    Overview 

    What a week for Peraza! Not only did he hit nearly .500 this week, but he stole 10 bases. Certainly, he can’t keep this up, but it sure is fun to watch right now.

    I have to believe that the Braves could be thinking about giving Peraza a call-up to the majors when rosters expand in September, if for no other reason than as a pinch runner who can steal a base. Of course, he’s also hitting .368 at Double-A—that could help the big club too.

     

    2014 Stats 

    .350/.375/.457, .385 BABIP, 10.1 K%, 3.4 BB%

     

    Stock 

    En Fuego

No. 2 Prospect: C Christian Bethancourt

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    Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

    Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett 

    4-for-19 (.211), HR, 0 BB, 5 K

     

    Overview 

    It was a down week for Bethancourt in his return from Atlanta to Gwinnett.

    I also listed his MLB stats below to show how similar they are to his Triple-A numbers. While his major league time was limited, it’s nice to know that his numbers there didn’t differ too much from his line at Gwinnett. That should make his Triple-A numbers a pretty good predictor of what he could do in the majors.

    That said, he still needs to improve his power and on-base ability. But for a toolsy, defense-first catcher, this should be good enough to get him more OJT in Atlanta.

     

    2014 Stats at Triple-A 

    .268/.297/.372, .304 BABIP, 16.1 K%, 4.1 BB%

     

    2014 Stats in MLB 

    .240/.283/.260, .333 BABIP, 26.4 K%, 3.8 BB%

     

    Stock 

    Even

No. 1 Prospect: SP Lucas Sims

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    Dave Tulis/Associated Press

    Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg 

    1-1 in 2 starts, 14 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 13 K

     

    Overview 

    It was a terrific week for Atlanta’s top prospect, who now has four quality starts in a row. He gave up only an unearned run in his first start of the week (in which he took the loss) while striking out nine. His second start of the week was equally impressive, as he scattered five hits over seven innings.

    During this good stretch, he’s brought his ERA down from 5.23 to 4.56.

    He’s had some rough patches this season, but he seems to be ending on a high note. This good end-of-season work should be a springboard to give him confidence as he ascends to Double-A next season.

     

    2014 Stats

    7-9 in 22 starts, 4.56 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 4.77 FIP, .241 BAA

     

    Stock 

    Up

     

    Season stats are courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference.com and accurate as of July 26. Weekly stats run from July 20 through July 26 and are taken from Minor League Central.

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