The Braves have done a great job not getting suckered into bad contracts (except for Dan fricking Uggly), thus they've been able to keep their payroll on the right side of 100MM and keep most of their money tied into players younger than 30. The main reason for this is great scouting.
It's things like this that allow us to take on a Justin and BJ upton salary. HITTING Simmons-SS
- This guy will be a mainstay in the MIF for a long time. He always seems to have a great approach and AB. He is error prone, but his athleticism and arm are top notch and that causes him to try and make every play.(ONLY INCLUDED BECAUSE HE's YOUNG AND DOESN'T HAVE A FULL SEASON YET) La Stella-2B
- A really good shot at succeeding Uggla. He has to prove he can cut his K rate and hit more consistently. But, his bat is still pretty good. A little old though for his level. Cunningham-OF
- No tools really stand out except running. He has hit for average everywhere he's been, but he's mainly a slap hitter. Very little power. Could be a future leadoff if we get lucky, but most likely a 4th OF IMO. it's still great to have a cheap guy off the bench who can field and run though. Bethancourt-C
- Arm is unbelievable behind the plate and his footwork is way above average too. However, his bat is pretty bad and he has very little discipline. He has gap power now instead of HR power, but many scouts think the power could come. At worst, we have a great defensive catcher as a backup. At best, we have Wilin Rosario with a better arm if his power develops. His performance this year will do a lot to determine McCann's future. Gattis-C/OF
- I know people like to put this guy down because of his age, but keep Jose Bautista in mind. I'm not saying he's got that kind of potential, but his bat is certainly nothing to frick around with. Has great power and great the ball just hops off his bat. His other tools are all terrible. If he could catch, I'd say let him prove he can hit and not resign McCann. But, I think the Braves are grooming him for the OF. Unfortunately, there's no spot for him to start there. We could be missing out on a special bat. I'm excited to see what he can do this year. Lipka-OF
-I'm not as high on him as others are, but his run tool is pretty good. I think he's a 4th OF type, but some scouts predict he could be a great future leadoff hitter. He does have a pretty good approach, which is very encouraging. I think his ceiling potential is higher than Cunningham's, but he's a lot more risky. Terdoslavich-OF/1B
- Used to be a 3rd basemen, but his glove couldn't really cut it. Great power potential, though it hasn't really shown up at higher levels yet. His K rate is really that high for the type of hitter he is, but he just doesn't seem to have great potential to hit for average. His jump to AAA was too fast last year IMO. Hopefully he doesn't struggle again. Again, I don't really see a spot on the field for him unless Freeman shits his pants. SUMMARY
-- Alittle thin in high potential hitters, but lots of guys who can contribute IMO. However, I still wish we had a major prospect at 3B, MIF, and C who could hit. It seems all our guys are OF and 1B. There are others like Franco and Peraza, but they haven't played enough to really determine anything about them yet. I am excited about Jose Peraza's potential though moreso than any of the other really young position players. PITCHING Teheran-SP
- Used to be considered a frontline ace, but his command has really sucked recently and made him very hittable. Great FB and changup, but his breaking balls are too inconsistent and hang too much at times. I really hope he turns it around since Beachy is injured. Sims-SP
- Too young to judge, but I thought the Braves should've drafted McCullers here since many think Sims could be destined for the bullpen. Gilmartin-SP
- A typical low ceiling/high floor college guy. Hopefully we won't need him to be anything more than a #4 or #5 guy in our rotation. Just nothing special about him to ever pitch at a sub 4.00 ERA level in the major league level. Wood-RP/SP
- I really liked this pick. He can provide a great LH arm out of the pen at worst. If he can start, durability is a concern of mine. Doesn't have a great breaking ball, but his FB and Change in addition to his command make him intriguing. Graham-SP/RP
- Another guy I'm excited about. Gets a lot of groundball outs and pitches to contact. I think he has a very Hudson like approach, but his FB is freaking amazing. He'd be perfect in the 'pen with his great FB and groundball tendency, but I think he has a chance to be a very good starter. Martin-SP/RP
- Another starter/reliever hybrid. Great control. His stuff is average, and he can get outs using his command and a cutter than can get a lot of groundball outs. However, AA is usually where we find out if a control artist can make it or not. Big year for Martin. At worst, I think he can help out in the bullpen. Northcraft-SP
- I really like his stuff in that he can rally rack up the K's and get good sink action. However, his stuff is not THAT great, so his command becomes important as he moves above A ball. Jaime-RP
- Great Fastball and not much else. Kind of old (26), but somebody who can throw upper 90s out of the pen is always worth a minor league contract. If he can develop just one secondary pitch to be average, he can be a great asset in the pen. SUMMARY
---Lots of great pitchers who can pitch in the pen and lots of hybrid type guys who remind me of Kris Medlen. The braves will have a steady flow of good pitchers coming up. However, the system lacks a Frontline starter type arm, which is what the Braves have been needing for a while. No Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux in this bunch. I just wish we had an ACE. Hopefully, Beachy can get healthy and we have that ACE. Other guys like Cabrera, Merejo, and Peterson are too young to judge yet. Although, none of them are really impact arms at this point. SYSTEM SUMMARY:
Overall, the system has great depth and is good across all levels. I think some of the hitters are severely underrated and will do better than most think. The system is a perfect example of Low ceiling/high floor. WE have lots of guys who can and will play/contribute. But, no real superstars in the system at this point.
tl;dr----frick off to another thread.
This post was edited on 3/11 at 10:20 am