Tag Archives: A. J. Minter

Could The Braves Be Competitive In 2017 And 2018 WITHOUT Giving Up Core Pieces?

Just doing a little daydreaming on the eve of Hot Stove season, and expanding on some minor moves suggested by the guys on XM’s Inside Pitch (Casey Stern and Brad Lidge) this afternoon. After they both pushed the long-rumored trade for Brian McCann, they went on to say that they thought signing Justin Turner would be a great move (even though he was given a Qualifying Offer by the Dodgers today). After pondering the fact that the Braves’ first round pick next summer is protected and dreaming on how much those moves would further improve Atlanta’s offense, I can’t say that I’d disagree.

Of course if John Coppolella & Company would consider giving up a draft pick and something of value to add that kind of offense, you have to imagine that they’d go even further and try to put a truly competitive team on the field to open Suntrust Park next spring, so they’d have to go even further – but could that be done without mortgaging the future???

I think it could, and here’s how…

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Braves’ Top 30 Prospects – Postseason 2016

 

Boy, oh boy – what a difference a year makes!!!

Here’s When Sid Slid’s take on the Braves’ top prospects at the end of the 2016 season with their projected 2017 placements (with ages during 2017) as well as projected ETAs for arrival at SunTrust Park.

Also keep your eyes peeled for a soon-to-come interview with Braves’ Director Of Scouting Brian Bridges where he’ll get to share his thoughts on where so many couch-evaluators (like yours truly and the rest of us) go wrong as well as his great insight about other topics we will all be on the edge of our seats to hear!!!

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Braves’ Organizational Depth Chart – Pre-Trade Deadline 2016

 

Here’s a quick look at where the organization stands prior to what could be a busy week during the rebuild. Even if the Braves aren’t particularly active on the trade market, we could be getting closer to some veterans being released to provide opportunities for some of the youngsters to get their feet wet at the MLB level with an eye towards Opening Day 2017 at SunTrust Park. This is not a reflection of our Midseason Top 30 Prospects which will be unveiled following the deadline.

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Prospect Hot Sheet – Week Ending 5/22/2016

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   1.) Shae Simmons – RHRP – Rome Braves

He’s baaaaaack – and he promises to be back with the big club soon. The Braves have been exercising caution with one of their prized pen arms, working Simmons back from Tommy John surgery slowly – exactly as they should in this lost season. He returned to game action last week, and it looks like there’s little chance they’ll be able to keep him down long following three appearances with Gwinnett and Rome. His line in his first three appearances? 3 IP, 2 hits allowed, 0 ER, 7 Ks, 3 BBs. He may get a few more appearances before being activated since the organization will want to see him work on back-to-back days at least once, but he’s well on his way to becoming an important piece of the Braves’ pen in late-game situations.

 

   2.) Dansby Swanson – SS – Mississippi Braves

He’s adjusting to a higher level of competition – and quickly. The first real challenge was his AA promotion, and this week saw him post a slash line of .375/.429/.625/1.054 with 1 3B, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs, 9 runs scored, and 1 SB. His overall line is now .309/.408/.502/.910 with 23 2Bs, 5 3Bs, 5 HRs, 35 RBIs, and 49 runs scored,  PLUS a 36/39 K/BB Ratio in his first 249 minor league ABs. He’s also been successful in 10 of his 12 SB attempts. There’s little doubt we’ll see Dansby in Atlanta in 2016 – the question is when?

 

   3.) Max Povse – RHSP – Carolina Mudcats

Povse continues his climb up the Braves’ prospect rankings, and it shouldn’t be much longer before he starts to draw attention from the more well-known media outlets. Max notched his third win of the season yesterday when he beat Wilmington (Royals), delivering 5 shutout innings while allowing 5 hits, no walks, and 6 Ks. His season line is now 3-2 with a 2.66 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, .216 BAA, while allowing only 1 HR (38 total hits) in 47.1 IP with a 47/9 K/BB Ratio.

 

   4.) A. J. Minter – LHRP – Carolina Mudcats

The Braves snagged Minter with the #75 pick in last year’s draft when he slid after having Tommy John surgery in March. After his long rehab process, the big lefty’s showing why he was climbing draft boards before his injury. Following 5 dominant outings in Rome, Minter was promoted to Carolina where he continues to mow opposing hitters down. His season line following 2 appearances in High-A is 8.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.35 WHIP, .071 BAA,  only 2 hits allowed, and a 10/1 K/BB Ratio. If A. J. remains a reliever, he could be fast-tracked and could team with Arodys Vizcaino and Shae Simmons as a dominant trio late in games as early as sometime in 2017.

 

   5.) Tyrell Jenkins – RHSP – Gwinnett Braves

Jenkins continues to fly a bit under-the-radar in the mainstream media, but he’s likely going to get his shot at a rotation spot in Atlanta sooner rather than later. The 23 year old “afterthought” in the Jason Heyward-Shelby Miller deal continues to impress following his 4th win of the season against Durham (Rays). His 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 hits, 1 K, 3 BB performance against them Wednesday brings his season line to 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, .284 BAA, with a 27/19 K/BB Ratio. He’s still around the plate a little too much (although he’s only allowed 2 HRs) and needs to cut down on the free passes a bit, but he’s showing that he knows how to pitch rather than throw. If the schedule would’ve lined up better, we’d likely have seen him called up to start yesterday instead of Casey Kelly. There will be some point this season that he’ll be needed, and he’s definitely someone to keep an eye on.

 

   6.) Luke Dykstra – 2B – Rome Braves

Another week goes by, and Dykstra just keeps hitting. With only one hitless game this week (Saturday), the youngest Dykstra slashed .300/.429/.433/.862 with 3 2Bs and 3 runs scored. While he’s not as flashy as some of the Braves’ middle infield prospects, he’s quietly been very good, and his season slash line now stands at .313/.358/.381/.739 over 141 ABs with 10 2Bs, 22 RBIs, 16 runs scored, and 5 SBs. Expect to see him challenged at a higher level later this season as the promotions at the higher levels start.

Projected 2016 Braves’ Pitching Chart – Starting Pitchers

Chomping at the bit to find out where you’ll have to go to see the Braves’ impressive collection of “Young Guns” early on in 2016??? Here’s When Sid Slid’s pre-camp best guess about where they’ll be to start this year’s campaign.

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Organizational Depth Chart – Starting Rotation

As we work our way towards the non-tender date (5 days after the World Series ends), the GM Meetings (November 9th-12th in Boca Raton),  and the Winter Meetings (December 6th-10th at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville), we’re going to work our way through the organization position-by-position – noting not only the players within the organization and where they rank and their potential, but also potential free-agent or trade options that “The Johns” might consider (from our point of view, of course).

Our first installment will begin with a look at the Braves’ starting Pitchers…

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Braves’ Top 30 Prospects – Midseason 2015

A Midseason Top 30 List in August, you ask? Absolutely. I’ve always preferred to wait until after the signing deadline for players selected in the Rule IV Draft and the non-waiver trading deadline to pass before trying to race everyone else to get my rankings out there. Everyone else typically has to make multiple changes to amend their lists when the handful of draftees that don’t sign show up on campus somewhere or following the non-waiver trading deadline when someone makes a big “win now” deal.  I’d rather take my time reading as many reports about newly drafted and traded prospects as I can so I’ll hopefully have a better feel for who and what some of these kids are.  A couple of other differences you’ll likely notice in our rankings are:

 

1.) Our Midseason Top 30 excludes ANY players already promoted, regardless of whether they’ve reached AB or IP limits or not. The main reason for that is that the Braves have historically been an organization that doesn’t “rush” prospects they feel aren’t ready unless absolutely necessary. There are always exceptions, but the organization usually doesn’t like to shuttle players up-and-down if they don’t absolutely have to – SPs in particular. Recently promoted players like Williams Perez, Mike Foltynewicz,  Matt Wisler, Manny Banuelos, and Arodys Vizcaino aren’t likely returning to the farm unless they struggle mightily or John Hart & Company decide to change their roles moving forward (which could conceivably happen if they decide to try to transform Foltynewicz into a late-inning weapon), so they don’t qualify for When Sid Slid’s summer list.

2.) I also tend to be more aggressive when it comes to ranking younger players who are further away from making an impact on the team’s MLB roster than many others. Ceiling is usually the main fallback criteria for this list. You’ll see names here you might not have heard much (or anything) about when comparing this list to others you’ll see elsewhere. This is (of course) a bit of a double-edged sword – I may hit on some fast-risers you don’t see chatted up in other places, but I’ll also miss more often since some of these players don’t have much of a track-record at the professional level. It’s always much safer to talk about players that have more experience because you can always use the crutch that those players can still be useful pieces as utility players, 4th or 5th OFs, and bullpen swingmen or middle relievers. I’ll never say that that type of player isn’t important to winning organizations, but I will say that those players develop when they show that they’re not quite good enough to be everyday players, high-leverage RPs, or have enough of an arsenal to stick in a MLB rotation.

 

Neither of those points make this list “better” or “worse” than other lists you’ll see elsewhere – just different.  You’ve likely read a bit about many players on our list already, so our more-detailed capsules aren’t published until the offseason, but there may be bits of information here about some of the players you haven’t heard much about as yet.

So now, here’s When Sid Slid’s Atlanta Braves’ Top 30 Prospects – Midseason 2015…

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