Tag Archives: Rio Ruiz

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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Are The Braves “Playing Possum”???

So we’ve now heard Coppy vent a little after Ken Rosenthal’s sources set the baseball world on it’s ear by telling him that Freddie Freeman’s not only NOT “untouchable”, but the fact that he was imminently “available” and which prospects he would cost had been the talk of the Arizona Fall League scouts lately. Coppy has now told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale in no uncertain terms that not only is that strictly Hot Stove talk, but going so far as to say…

“I cannot make it any more clear: We are not trading Freddie Freeman. We are not. I’d give my right arm before we trade Freddie Freeman. It is not happening.”

There are still plenty of doubters – even segments of Braves’ Nation, and that’s understandable given the purge of players over the last 12 months as the front office goes about rebuilding the pipeline in an effort to set the franchise up for another extended run of success. While he could stand to polish up his interview protocol, it’s tough to blame him (or any of the other members of the front office for that matter) for being a bit frustrated with the way things have gone so far this offseason.

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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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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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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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