Tag Archives: Andrelton Simmons

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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Prospect Hot Sheet – Week Ending 5/15/2016

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   1.) Adonis Garcia – LF – Gwinnett Braves

Garcia’s bat warmed up last week after being sent to work on his defense and routes in LF. Adonis slashed .310/.394/.621/1.015 with 3 HRs, 9 RBIs, and 7 runs scored.

 

   2.) Chris Ellis – RHSP – Mississippi Braves

The “other guy” in the deal for Andrelton Simmons turned in two quality starts (and wins) against Mobile (Diamondbacks) and Pensacola (Reds). His outing against Mobile was a gem – 7 IP, 3 hits allowed, 0 ER, with 5 Ks and only 1 BB.

 

   3.) Max Povse – RHSP – Carolina Mudcats

The 2014 Third Round pick from UNC Greensboro continues to mow High-A hitters down. In two starts (both no-decisions) against Potomac (Nationals) and Lynchburg (Indians), Max gave up 4 ER and 13 hits in 12 IP while striking out 15 against only 1 BB.

 

   4.) Mike Soroka – RHSP – Rome Braves

Soroka rebounded following a rough start against a tough Hickory (Rangers) lineup to hold them scoreless the second time he saw them in a week. Over 5.2 scoreless IP, Mike only allowed 1 hit with 5 strikeouts against 2 BBs while picking up his first win. The outing dropped his season ERA back under 2 (1.96), and he’s striking out roughly 1 batter per inning (37 Ks in 36.2 IP).

 

   5.) Ricardo Sanchez – LHSP – Rome Braves

The young lefty turned in a solid start against the same tough Hickory lineup Sunday, holding the Crawdads to 1 unearned run over 5 innings of Rome’s marathon 9-2 19 inning victory. Ricardo allowed 3 hits, walking 2 hitters while striking out 6.

 

   6.) Luke Dykstra – 2B – Rome Braves

The Braves’ 2014 7th Round pick had 9 hits for the week, slashing .360/.414/.440/.854 with 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, 2 runs scored, and 3 steals.

Just How Competitive Do The 2016 (Or 2017) Braves Want To Be?

New years always seem to lead to new ideas and new hope. While the clock was counting down on 2015, it suddenly occurred to me that the Braves could very quietly sneak in and top off their winter by adding a seemingly forgotten player that could not only inexpensively bolster the team’s offense over the next couple of seasons while also bridging the gap to the future with a move I hadn’t yet considered. The addition of new CF Ender Inciarte (coming over from Arizona in the Shelby Miller trade) should help, but he doesn’t bring the skillset to generate lots of runs on his own.

There’s little doubt the team needs to improve substantially on the offensive side of the game if it hopes to keep from flirting with a 100-loss 2016 campaign. The most obvious “hole” the team has is a 20-25 HR power source (preferably right-handed) to slot behind Freddie Freeman in the lineup. The 2015 Braves finished 30th in runs per game (3.54 – .24/game less than the Marlins), 30th in runs (573 – 40 fewer than the Marlins), and 30th in HRs (100 – 20 less than the Marlins). While the obvious “quick fix” is still available on the free-agent market in the form of a Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes, those players will require substantial long-term commitments in both years (5+) and dollars (likely in excess of $100 million).

Since the organization doesn’t appear to be keen on the idea of bringing someone in at those levels, here’s one option that I feel could help quite a bit without being a power guy…

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“Topping Off” The System

Now that the rush of the Winter Meetings has passed, we’ll turn our focus to other potential moves that could be forthcoming as “The Johns” continue their quest to transform the organization’s system into the best in the game. The question recently being asked by many in the industry has been “Why not go ‘all the way’ while you’re at it?” In other words, now that you’ve “mailed it in” in 2016 – and potentially 2017 as well – why not go ahead and gut the big club’s roster and add even more prospects to the impressive pile you’ve already built? While it would sting for a little bit, I’ve been in the minority who have thought that should be the goal for some time now. For the record, I’ve been in favor of beginning a rebuild for a few years – while the team was exciting to watch with the Uptons, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis in the lineup, I also felt that it just didn’t have that “it” that it was going to take to get over the hump and win another Championship, and the window that it had with those guys was rapidly closing if payroll couldn’t be increased.

There are compelling arguments that can be made for either stance as the answer to that question. It’s completely understandable for younger Braves fans to be impatient – 2015 was the worst season they’d experienced in their lives. That said, the older generation saw much worse in the dark days (the late 70s through the beginning of “The Run” with the exception of Dale Murphy’s  two MVP seasons). That crowd tends to feel that sacrificing a couple seasons is more than OK with them as long as they don’t have to go through that again.

Since I’ve already tipped my hand about my view, I’ll explain the reasoning a bit and take a look at what doing so could mean moving forward…

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HOME RUN!!!

The news about the trade Braves’ Nation has been waiting for since word first began to leak out last winter that the organization was considering a retooling/reloading/rebuilding period began to circulate around 8:15 eastern Tuesday night. Speculation about whether the Braves would trade Shelby Miller has been all over the place for the last 10 days or so, and grew louder and louder once teams began to see what the going rate for higher-end Pitchers was on the free-agent market following the David Price, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmerman, and Jeff Samardzija signings.

Ken Rosenthal broke the news that Atlanta had agreed to send Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB Tonight telecast on the MLB Network moments after news that the Cubs had agreed to terms with another of the most sought-after players known to be available in Nashville this week – super-utility whiz and 2015 World Series hero Ben Zobrist – but his sources had not yet confirmed the pieces the Braves would be getting in return. Soon after, analysts and pundits alike were stunned to find out exactly how much some clubs value what I’ve been talking about since the rebuild began – young, high-end, controllable starting pitching.

While one can argue that the deal made sense for an Arizona club that appears to be “all-in” for the next couple of seasons, it’s hard not to look at the return as a HUGE win in the long run for the Braves…

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Everybody Loves A “Blockbuster”

So the Cubs are currently doing background work on a handful of Pitchers to add to their rotation, presumably including Shelby Miller and Julio Teheran. They’ve also been linked to the “Aces” at the top of the market (David Price and Zack Greinke), as well as free-agents on the next tier (Jeff Samardzija and John Lackey) in an effort to build enough pitching depth to get them by the teams in their division and the pitching-rich Mets for the next several years while they have their young offensive stars under control cheaply and trying to finally end the most well-known stretch of futility in professional sports. Theo and Jed don’t strike ANYONE as a front office tandem that will act out of any feeling of desperation now that they’ve overseen Chicago’s return to relevance, but do want to be the ones to finally give Cubs fans at least ONE Championship.

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Closing Strong – The Good And The Bad

OK – the Braves’ finish upset some fans since they not only didn’t secure the #1 pick in the 2016 Draft (and additional signing bonus and international signing flexibility that would’ve provided), but back away from the ledge glass half-full fans – there are several really good things to get excited about.

The team closed with series against the Phillies, at the Mets, at the Marlins, against the Nationals, and against the Cardinals, finishing 10-5 while winning 4 of those 5 series. I know, I know – the naysayers will say that taking 2 of 3 from Philadelphia is no big deal since they finished with the worst record in MLB and that getting swept by the Marlins looked bad, but the Cardinals were the best team in baseball in 2015, the Mets won the NL East, and the Nationals were almost everyone’s preseason favorites to win it all.

While keeping those things in mind to create context, here are several things that happened that SHOULD give Braves fans reason for hope following a lost season…

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