Tag Archives: Daniel Winkler

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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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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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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The Case For Yoenis Cespedes

Another great pitching matchup, another brutal loss added to Shelby Miller’s resume – Miller wasn’t as sharp as he’s been at times during what should be deemed his breakout season, but he was once again much better than the results will reflect after Andrelton Simmons (of all unexpected people) put him behind the 8 ball with a couple boots last night. I really do think it’s time to shut him down in an effort to try to preserve some semblance of sanity following what has to rank up there with the unluckiest seasons for a SP of all time, but that’s not why we’re here today.

This column is another in our series looking to consider directions John Hart & Company could go this winter as they begin to step on the gas and return the big club to relevance by the time SunTrust Park opens in 2017. Even with the great strides they’ve taken to revamp the minor league system, the rebuild won’t be truly “complete” until they make the team a contender again. There are always several ways to do that, but to this point we’ve been investigating the trade route to do so and hopefully lessen the chance that the organization picks the wrong guy and is hamstrung by another B. J./Melvin Upton-like BAD free-agent contract. Of course we also all know that throwing money at someone to fill a position of need is also the best route to keep all the potential future valuable pieces they’ve stockpiled thus far, so we’re going to see what doing exactly that might look like this week.

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The Case For Rusney Castillo

Thankfully the team FINALLY gets the medication it needed – cheese steaks and a strong start from one of the kids – and the long losing streak is over. This gives Braves’ Nation a chance to catch its collective breath and back away from the edge – even if only for a day or two. Since we all get a chance to wake up with the sun shining and good thoughts for at least one morning, I thought this might be a good time to kick around another potential offseason fix for John Hart & Company to ponder this winter. Our last look was an approach to “fixing” the OF while adding some offense, and this entry will look to address that situation as well.

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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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