Stock Up, Stock Down for Atlanta Braves' Top 10 Prospects for Week 2
The Atlanta Braves have jumped out to a surprising 8-4 start in what is being considered a rebuilding season.
The Braves altered the makeup of their roster in the offseason to focus on restocking the farm system to build toward the future.
Time will tell whether or not the trades work out for the Braves.
However, there is no denying that John Hart seriously upgraded the minor league talent in the Braves farm system.
Let's take a look at the top 10 prospects in the Braves organization and see how they've started the 2015 season.
10. Manny Banuelos
Manny Banuelos entered spring training with a chance at a starting spot in the rotation to begin the 2015 season.
However, after some inconsistent performances this spring, the Braves chose to have him begin the season in Triple-A Gwinnett.
Banuelos struggled some in his first outing but bounced back with a nice performance in his second start.
Over five innings, he scattered four hits and issued two walks while allowing one run and striking out seven batters (85 pitches).
The left-hander could still factor in the Braves pitching staff at some point in 2015.
2015 Season: 0-0, 2.08 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 8.2 IP
9. Tyrell Jenkins
Tyrell Jenkins has the tools but needs a healthy 2015 season to truly develop as a starter.
The former prospect of the St. Louis Cardinals has begun the season at Double-A Mississippi with some mixed results.
While he has allowed 10 runs in just 7.2 innings on the season, he's dealt with poor defense behind him as just two of those runs have been earned.
In his last start, Jenkins allowed five runs (two earned) and two home runs in six innings while picking up the loss against the Jackson Generals.
Perhaps a bit more disturbing is the fact Jenkins has struck out just one hitter so far on the season.
2015 Season: 0-1, 2.35 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 7.2 IP
8. Ricardo Sanchez
Unlike Banuelos and Jenkins, Ricardo Sanchez is still a few years away from making the jump to the big leagues.
The Braves acquired the talented 18-year-old from the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason.
The left-hander is with Single-A Rome and has endured some predictable growing pains in his first two starts.
He went 2.2 innings in his latest start, allowing two earned runs off two hits and two walks.
The good news was he showcased his talent stuff by striking out five hitters.
Sanchez is young, so he will go through a lot of ups and downs this season in the minors.
2015 Season: 0-1, 6.75 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 6.2 IP
7. Braxton Davidson
It hasn't been the best week for last year's first-round pick of the Braves.
Braxton Davidson went 0-for-9 in four games for Single-A Rome this past week.
The 18-year-old is off to a slow start overall on the season with just a .100 average and .357 OBP.
If you're looking for some positives, Davidson struck out just twice while drawing four walks this past week.
It's obviously a long season, but it is not the start to the year that Davidson or the Braves were hoping for.
2015 Season: .100/.357/.250, 1 HR, 1 RBI
6. Ozhaino Albies
Ozhaino Albies is the third straight 18-year-old on our list, who is a few years from getting a look at the MLB level.
The young shortstop shot up the Braves rankings after a great season in the minors in 2014.
Albies is coming off an average week in which he went 3-for-15 at the plate (all singles) with a stolen base and RBI.
Albies is expected to be the table-setter for the Rome Braves (Single-A) with his excellent speed and contact hitting.
I'd expect him to start getting on base at a higher rate as the season goes on.
2015 Season: .200/.294/.200, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 SB
5. Rio Ruiz
Rio Ruiz is a talented hitter and could be the Braves' starting third baseman in the near future.
The Braves acquired Ruiz in the offseason in the Evan Gattis trade that sent him to Houston.
The 20-year-old went 4-for-12 this past week with a double and two RBI for Double-A Mississippi.
The left-handed hitter has a smooth swing that projects to the MLB level and should allow him to be a consistent hitter this season.
Keep an eye on Ruiz for the Mississippi Braves.
2015 Season: .286/.375/.393, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 2B
4. Lucas Sims
Lucas Sims spent the majority of the 2014 season as either the No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in the organization, which speaks to the strides made in the offseason.
Sims was the Braves' first-round pick in 2012, and he has shown flashes of why they took him so high.
As well as he pitched in his first start, he pitched just as poorly in his second.
The 20-year-old allowed five earned runs off five hits and three walks in just 2.2 innings.
He struggled with his command for the Carolina Mudcats (Advanced Single-A), which has given him trouble in the past.
2015 Season: 1-1, 7.56 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 8.1 IP
3. Mike Foltynewicz
Mike Foltynewicz narrowly missed out on starting the season in the starting rotation as Eric Stults got the nod.
The decision gave Foltynewicz a chance to work on the command of his pitches and further develop his off-speed pitches in Triple-A Gwinnett.
So far, the 23-year-old hasn't been efficient, but he has been effective.
In his last start, the right-hander allowed just one earned run. However, he lasted just 4.2 innings (94 pitches) as he issued four walks.
To be a full-time starter, Foltynewicz will need to gain better control of his pitches as he has the stuff to be electric.
Otherwise, he could end up in the bullpen.
2015 Season: 0-1, 2.08 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 8.2 IP
2. Matt Wisler
Matt Wisler represents the newest member from the Braves organization on this list as he was acquired the day before Opening Day in the Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton trade.
He also now represents the top pitcher in the farm system and will likely be in Atlanta in the near future.
Wisler is not a flamethrower like Foltynewicz but still hits mid-90s and has more sink on his fastball.
The 22-year-old was excellent in his first start but struggled in his second.
Wisler allowed six runs (four earned) and 10 hits in 4.2 innings while picking up the loss.
He still managed to strike out five batters while issuing just one walk.
2015 Season: 0-1, 3.72 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 9.2 IP
1. Jose Peraza
Braves fans are excited about Jose Peraza and the potential of him batting leadoff in Atlanta for many years.
The 20-year-old got his first taste of MLB pitching this spring training but struggled, which seemed to carry some into the season.
However, this past week went much better for Peraza, as he notched six hits (including a triple) in 26 at-bats.
The struggles seem to be related to pressing from this spring training while also getting used to pitching at the Triple-A level.
It's easy to forget he's still just 20 years old, so he's got time to find a rhythm this season.
2015 Season: .195/.250/.268, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SB