Atlanta Braves' 5 Best Prospects Who Won't Be Called Up This September
As we near the end of August, division and wild-card races are ratcheting up for the final month.
It also means that rosters will soon be expanding September 1.
Last season, the Braves added Jose Constanza, Freddy Garcia and Kameron Loe.
Both Constanza and Garcia had a major impact on the team down the stretch and even in the 2013 playoffs for the Braves.
Look for the Braves to focus on outfielders and bullpen depth this year.
With that said, let's look at the top five prospects that Braves fans will have to continue to wait to see in Atlanta.
5. Mauricio Cabrera
MLB.com Ranking: 6
Mauricio Cabrera kicks off this list as the No. 5 prospect thanks to his electric arm.
The 20-year-old right-hander throws in the mid-90s and also mixes in a slider and a changeup. As with most 20-year-olds, the secondary stuff still needs refining.
The major concern with Cabrera is the command.
He sports a minor league career 1.37 WHIP, which has contributed to a less than stellar 4.07 career ERA.
In 2014, he has posted a 1.36 WHIP and a 5.18 ERA with Single-A Lynchburg and the rookie-level GCL Braves.
He still has time to develop and improve his command to become an effective MLB starter in the future.
However, it's clear that Cabrera isn't ready for a promotion in September.
4. Jason Hursh
MLB.com Ranking: 5
Another right-handed starter, Jason Hursh looks much closer to reaching the bigs than Cabrera.
The Braves selected Hursh with their first-round choice in 2013, and he has not disappointed in the minors.
Hursh was coming off Tommy John surgery when the Braves selected him, but he has regained velocity with a mid-90s fastball that has good sinking action.
Like Cabrera, he also features a slider and a changeup for his secondary pitches.
Unlike Cabrera, Hursh has proven more effective in getting minor league hitters out with a 3.23 ERA this season for Double-A Mississippi.
In his last 10 starts, Hursh has a 5-1 record with a 1.80 ERA.
There's a small chance the 22-year-old could get a look in September, but look toward 2015 as the year he starts to make noise in Atlanta.
3. Braxton Davidson
MLB.com Ranking: 4
The first-round choice of the Atlanta Braves in the 2014 draft jumped to No. 4 in the organizational rankings.
Obviously, the 18-year-old right out of high school isn't a candidate for the big league team, but there is reason for excitement.
Braxton Davidson projects to be a power-hitting corner outfielder in his career.
Many have compared the left-hander to Freddie Freeman in that he has a controlled approach at the plate and will utilize all parts of the field.
While Davidson doesn't possess blazing speed, he has a plus-arm that should allow him to find a home in a corner outfield spot.
In his young minor league career, Davidson has a .224 average but a .380 OBP.
Fans should continue to monitor his development over the next few seasons.
2. Lucas Sims
MLB.com Ranking: 2 (No. 66 overall)
The theme of first-round choices continue with right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims.
The 20-year-old and 2012 first-round selection of the Braves has excited fans with his potential to be a top-end starter.
Sims has a lively fastball that hits the mid-90s. He also has a sharp curveball and is working on a changeup as his third pitch.
His stuff, along with a projectable 6'2", 195-pound frame, gives him the look of a future ace.
Sims stood out in 2013 with a 12-4 record and 10.3 K/9 rate for Single-A Rome.
Sims has spent the entire 2014 season with High-A Lynchburg and has posted a 4.24 ERA.
Perhaps we will see Mr. Sims in Atlanta in 2016 if he continues to develop.
1. Jose Peraza
MLB.com Ranking: 1 (No. 55 overall)
Unfortunately, Jose Peraza was recently placed on the disabled list with a groin strain.
If not, the 20-year-old second baseman could have made a push to see some time on the MLB roster this September.
Peraza has skyrocketed through the minors and has really emerged this season as a highly regarded prospect.
For two teams (Lynchburg, Mississippi), Peraza has a .341/.366/.445 slash line with 60 steals.
Peraza looks to be a future prototypical leadoff hitter at the MLB level with that blazing speed and minimal power (two home runs this season).
Don't expect Peraza to get the call this September, but look for him to make a real push for a starting job in the 2015 season.
Prospect rankings via MLB.com.
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