Tag Archives: Arodys Vizcaino

Braves’ Prospect Hot Sheet – Week Ending 4/21/2017

Our first Hot Sheet of the 2017 season will encompass the system’s hottest players over the first couple of weeks of the campaign. Going forward, you’ll be able to check back here for the hottest players of each week as usual. As always, this isn’t a “re-ranking” of When Sid Slid’s Top 30, simply the hottest players in the system in any given week during the season.

As is often typical early in the season, the Pitchers tend to be a bit ahead of the hitters – and that’s certainly the case with the game’s most loaded group of hurlers. The arms, they are a coming!!!

So, away we go…

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Don’t Get In Too Big A Hurry

This time of year, it’s pretty common to hear pundits and fans discussing the fact that MLB teams look to maximize their investments by trading assets at their “peak value”. While that’s typically a good business approach, you have to be extremely careful when investigating the market to find out just what that is.

Here’s a quick economics lesson to illustrate why the Braves shouldn’t trade the young pitching they’ve acquired unless it’s for a serious return that they believe will help the organization over the long-haul. Most of the notable arms they’ve stockpiled over the last 2 years haven’t come remotely close to reaching that peak value (for various reasons) and include…

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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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Could Trading Shelby Miller Actually Make The Braves Competitive Quicker?

The games have begun, and we now wait to see who blinks first. Several confirmed reports say the Braves and Cubs had been talking about a trade centered around Shelby Miller and Jorge Soler (before the announcement that Chicago had agreed to a 2 year/$32 million deal with John Lackey last night), and Jerry Crasnick has reported that the Braves may just hold onto Miller for now to see what happens as the market unfolds. We’ve seen this time and time again – teams seem to line up pretty well, but one or the other pulls back for a little bit to see if they can squeeze just a little bit more value for their guy since the other team needs him more. Many of the “experts” felt that Jorge Soler alone probably wasn’t quite enough alone to merit trading Miller from the Braves’ perspective (and I have to agree with them – of course I’m also a Braves fan) – Atlanta controls Miller for three more seasons, and interest in him has never been higher – but also needs controllable impact bats to help complete their rebuild. Soler definitely fits that profile, but also comes with question marks as well – specifically a high (25+%) K-Rate and marginal defensive value. That said, there’s another powerful right-handed power bat out there (who’s widely speculated to be “unavailable” – as if there was such a thing) who just so happens to belong to a team desperately looking to add to its rotation but really only shopping for 0-3 SPs. That player of course is Aaron Judge, and his team is the New York Yankees.

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Santa, Are You Listening???

So here we are on the last Saturday of November, recovered (or recovering) from our turkey comas and hoping we can find SOME way to eventually pay off the credit card bills that we (and/or our significant others) ran up Thursday evening and yesterday on Black Friday (while also still trying to figure out what the name for Thursday’s portion of that will be referred to as one day). Like millions of folks this time of year, I began compiling my Christmas wish list yesterday. I only made it to number one before my head began to spin as much as my stomach after jotting down the same item that always seems to top the list – another Braves’ Championship. Taking the afternoon off may or may not have been such a good idea since it gave me time to think about how to make that wish come true, sooner rather than later – and WITHOUT compromising the organization’s rebuilding/reloading/restocking process.

When taking into account the most recent rumors making the rounds as well as trying to line things up with the organization’s stated goal of becoming competitive again by the time 2017 rolls around, it’s tough to see that happening without another drastic trade or two given the current group of players available via free-agency and the one presumably available next winter. Braves’ Chairman Terry McGuirk has been recently quoted as saying that payroll will increase substantially beginning in January of 2017, but unless several prospects’ timelines move up quite a bit (threatening to hurt their development), there will still be holes that can’t be filled simply by “buying” players. So…

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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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The Case For Ryan Braun

 

As the 2015 season winds down after the trading deadlines have passed, more and more of us begin looking at potential offseason moves we’d like to see happen. Here’s a look at one that seems to make sense for John Hart to consider as he and his staff continue to find ways to very quickly return the Braves to relevance before the team moves into SunTrust Park at the beginning of the 2017 season.

Hart & Company have achieved the vast majority of their goals thus far, having completely rebuilt the farm system in almost no time, and (almost as amazingly) created plenty of financial flexibility to add important players that are better fits through several shrewd trades. Now it’s time to finish the job and go get those final important pieces to make the franchise a contender and complete one of the most impressive “makeovers” in recent memory.

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