Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 18
This week, the Atlanta Braves dealt the No. 8 prospect on our list, catcher Victor Caratini. He was the only player who went to the Chicago Cubs in last Thursday’s deadline trade in which the Braves acquired Emilio Bonifacio and James Russell.
We’ll remove Caratini from our watch list and move everyone below him up a spot.
We’re not watching No. 5 prospect Braxton Davidson, because he’s at complex ball in Orlando.
No. 10 prospect Juan Jaime is currently in the majors with the Braves, so he’s removed from our minor league watch list this week.
To view last week’s prospect stock watch, click here.
No. 9 Prospect: SP Wes Parsons
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: No record in one appearance, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K
Overview: Wes Parsons returned from a short stint on the disabled list this week, and he posted good results. Since the injury was described as a forearm strain, I immediately assumed the worst. It’s good to see him back on the mound so soon.
2014 Stats: 4-5 in 18 starts, 4.60 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.83 FIP, .262 BAA
No 8. Prospect: SP Jason Hursh
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 1-0 in one start, 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Overview: Another solid week for Jason Hursh, who has now posted four quality starts in a row.
After a really rough stretch at the end of June, the good work he’s shown recently is encouraging.
2014 Stats: 10-6 in 22 starts, 3.56 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.60 FIP, .258 BAA
No 7 Prospect: 3B Kyle Kubitza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 4-for-19 (.211), HR, 5 BB, 9 K, 3 SB
Overview: This week was a great example of the value Kyle Kubitza brings to a lineup, even when he’s not hitting for a high average. While he did strike out nine times, he got on base five extra times via the walk and slugged his fifth home run.
Kubitza also set a new career high in stolen bases, with 20, thanks to three swipes this week.
2014 Stats: .294/.410/.462, .398 BABIP, 24.5 K%, 15.2 BB%
Stock: Evenish, with an upward lean
No. 6 Prospect: SP J.R. Graham
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: No record in two appearances, 4 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Overview: This was an absolutely terrific week for J.R. Graham—his best week on this stock watch in months.
The organization is still being cautious and limiting his innings. Now, his innings are starting to be more productive.
His most impressive stat of this week was the absence of any bases on balls. Walks had been a huge problem for Graham since his return from a short stint on the DL a few weeks ago.
2014 Stats: 1-5 in 19 starts, 5.26 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.51 FIP, .261 BAA
No. 4 Prospect: SP Mauricio Cabrera
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: 1-0 in two appearances, 2.2 IP, 0 H, 2 K
Overview: Steady as she goes for Mauricio Cabrera in his long road back from a stint on the DL earlier this season.
It’s pretty clear that the Braves plan to continue using Cabrera as a reliever for the rest of the year. They’re doing that to limit his innings and not put too much stress on his arm.
2014 Stats: 1-0 in 12 games, 3.22 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.81 FIP, .215 BAA
No. 3 Prospect: 2B Jose Peraza
Last Week’s Stats at Double-A Mississippi: 7-for-24 (.292), 1 3B, 0 BB, 1 K, 6 SB
Overview: Jose Peraza "only" hit .292 this week, but he managed to steal six bases.
In a display of how valuable his speed can be, Peraza singled to lead off in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 0-0 tie on Saturday. He then stole second and third and was finally driven in on a walk-off sacrifice fly.
Peraza now has 60 stolen bases this season. I wish he would take a few more walks so he could use his speed on the bases even more. If he did that, he would be the top prospect on this list.
2014 Stats: .347/.370/.453, .380 BABIP, 9.7 K%, 3.2 BB%
Stock: Down week, and it’s still up
No. 2 Prospect: C Christian Bethancourt
Last Week’s Stats at Triple-A Gwinnett: 6-for-21 (.286), 2 2B, HR, BB, 4 K, SB
Overview: It was a solid week for Christian Bethancourt. He smacked his fifth home run of the year and stole his fifth base of the year.
He also walked for the 12th time this season (in 290 plate appearances). He really needs to work on drawing more free passes.
2014 Stats: .269/.298/.384, .304 BABIP, 16.2 K%, 4.1 BB%
No 1. Prospect: SP Lucas Sims
Last Week’s Stats at High-A Lynchburg: No record in one start, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Overview: Lucas Sims is putting together a long stretch of good starts. With his solid start this week, he now has five straight quality starts.
He needs to continue his good work through the end of the season, and he’ll be set up for a big year at Double-A next season. It’s always nice to see a prospect finish a season strong, especially your top prospect.
2014 Stats: 7-9 in 23 starts, 4.42 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.65 FIP, .240 BAA