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2018 Braves Minor Leagues and Prospects Thread

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Keith Law's Top 100 list concluded today. Overall there were 10 Braves listed, but he did not include LHP Kolby Allard or 3B Austin Riley.

1. Ronald Acuna
26. Kyle Wright
48. Ian Anderson
50. Luiz Gohara
57. Cristian Pache
60. Mike Soroka
68. Bryse Wilson
77. Max Fried
90. Touki Toussaint
96. Joey Wentz

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On 1/23/2018 at 9:49 AM, K26dp said:

Keith Law's Top 100 list concluded today. Overall there were 10 Braves listed, but he did not include LHP Kolby Allard or 3B Austin Riley.

1. Ronald Acuna
26. Kyle Wright
48. Ian Anderson
50. Luiz Gohara
57. Cristian Pache
60. Mike Soroka
68. Bryse Wilson
77. Max Fried
90. Touki Toussaint
96. Joey Wentz

I am really surprised at the cooling on Allard. I am not a prospect guru by any stretch, but I simply feel of all the pitchers, he has the highest chance of having a long productive career. Maybe he doesn't have the highest ceiling or it factor, but I sincerely think he could pitch 10-12 years at a good level. 

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4 hours ago, Dawggone said:

I am really surprised at the cooling on Allard. I am not a prospect guru by any stretch, but I simply feel of all the pitchers, he has the highest chance of having a long productive career. Maybe he doesn't have the highest ceiling or it factor, but I sincerely think he could pitch 10-12 years at a good level. 

I'm with you. I think he's got the highest floor of any of the top pitching prospects aside from Gohara. 

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6 minutes ago, K26dp said:

I'm with you. I think he's got the highest floor of any of the top pitching prospects aside from Gohara. 

Yes, the highest floor, that is the term I was searching for. 

Speaking of Gohara, has anyone seen him pitch in person? If so, is his fastball truly as billed?

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1 minute ago, Dawggone said:

Yes, the highest floor, that is the term I was searching for. 

Speaking of Gohara, has anyone seen him pitch in person? If so, is his fastball truly as billed?

He had the highest average velocity of any left-handed pitcher in the majors last year. He can throw it to either side of the plate, up or down, and usually knows where it's going. His FB/Slider combo is crazy good.

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1 hour ago, K26dp said:

I'm with you. I think he's got the highest floor of any of the top pitching prospects aside from Gohara. 

I'm on Kyle Wright as highest floor. I absolutely believe Gohara can bust. Guys who don't have great work ethics are problematic. And Allard's back remains a concern. I'm tempted to say Soroka, but I need to see that he can get major league hitters out first.

Do we all agree that Allard has the highest ceiling or will Touki get some votes?

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25 minutes ago, jidady said:

I'm on Kyle Wright as highest floor. I absolutely believe Gohara can bust. Guys who don't have great work ethics are problematic. And Allard's back remains a concern. I'm tempted to say Soroka, but I need to see that he can get major league hitters out first.

Do we all agree that Allard has the highest ceiling or will Touki get some votes?

I do believe Allard has a nice, high ceiling. But also the highest floor, which for me almost makes him a can't miss type guy as long as his back is as sound as I have read it is. 

It sure sounds like Gohara has an amazing ceiling. Imagine if he did develop another pitch to go with what K26dp has already described above. 

 

But hey, I thought Chuck James was a high floor guy too, so.

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9 hours ago, jidady said:

I'm on Kyle Wright as highest floor. I absolutely believe Gohara can bust. Guys who don't have great work ethics are problematic. And Allard's back remains a concern. I'm tempted to say Soroka, but I need to see that he can get major league hitters out first.

Do we all agree that Allard has the highest ceiling or will Touki get some votes?

Anyone can bust. Gohara's floor is A.J. Minter without the injury history. Gohara's "work ethic" issues were alcohol related, which he sought help for. 

Why do you need to see if Soroka can get out major league hitters? This is projecting, it's about looking ahead. The only prospects we've seen get out major league hitting are Gohara and Fried. 

I don't agree at all that Allard has the highest ceiling. I would go: Anderson, Gohara, Touki, Fried, Wright, Soroka, Allard, Wilson, Wentz.

For floor I would go: Allard, Soroka, Gohara, Wright, Anderson, Touki, Wentz, Fried, Wilson.

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5 hours ago, K26dp said:

Anyone can bust. Gohara's floor is A.J. Minter without the injury history. Gohara's "work ethic" issues were alcohol related, which he sought help for. 

Why do you need to see if Soroka can get out major league hitters? This is projecting, it's about looking ahead. The only prospects we've seen get out major league hitting are Gohara and Fried. 

I don't agree at all that Allard has the highest ceiling. I would go: Anderson, Gohara, Touki, Fried, Wright, Soroka, Allard, Wilson, Wentz.

For floor I would go: Allard, Soroka, Gohara, Wright, Anderson, Touki, Wentz, Fried, Wilson.

1) His body type indicates that his work ethic is more than a drinking issue. I know that you like him, but you also have to be realistic about how well a person takes care of their body. It's indicative of where they're at in terms of discipline. I understand why scouts love him just as I understand why a team would get frustrated and trade him.

2) Because he's a special case. His minor league performance isn't in line with what scouts have said of his stuff. As you know, I love him. I don't randomly dismiss this many scouting reports that indicate he has questionable stuff, though. Hopefully, he's Tom Glavine.

 

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I think Gohara's body type is his body type. He'll obviously have to be aware of it and stay on top of his conditioning. It's why I ranked him behind Soroka on my list. As for Seattle getting frustrated with him, I hope they keep giving us the guys that Jerry DiPoto get frustrated with.

As for Allard, I can't ignore that his fastball command backed up last year (I'm not as worried about the velocity; he was dialing it back in order to stay in games longer). Some of it was fatigue from going through his first full pro season, and he did a nice job battling through it. But it does bring up Law's concerns about his body type as well, which have some foundation. I have Allard behind Soroka, Gohara, and Wright but I still like the lot of them.

 

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I expect the Yankees to struggle a bit this year as young teams with high ambitions tend to do, but they're scarily well positioned for the next few years.

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I was in BAM yesterday killing some time and was flipping through Althon's preview magazine and they had their top 50 propects list and it listed

  • Ronald Acuna
  • Luiz Gohara
  • Mike Soroka
  • Ian Anderson
  • Kyle Wright
  • Austin Riley

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1 hour ago, K26dp said:

Fangraphs has posted the Braves prospect list I've most been waiting for this offseason. 

Good stuff. I noticed a mistake on Max Fried, it's got his highest level being rookie ball instead of MLB.

BTW, I know you're a minor league guru and all and this question isn't particular about the Braves. But I saw an ESPN Insider piece (couldn't read it of course) where they were talking about Auburn pitcher Casey Mize potentially being the #1 overall pick in the draft in June. If that happens he would be Auburn's first ever #1 pick in baseball. I had no idea he was that highly thought of. I was just wondering if you had any thoughts about him.

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There's lots of 1-1 possibilities right now, but Mize is definitely one of them. The guy completely changed his body between his freshman and sophmore years of college. He was kind of tall and lanky, had a decent change-up, but his fastball stayed in the 87-90 range, and not much else. Next offseason he packed ~30 pounds of muscle to help his stamina. He also tacked on about 7 mph to his average fastball and changed his repertoire from curve/change to splitter/slider. The results speak for themselves.

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1 hour ago, K26dp said:

There's lots of 1-1 possibilities right now, but Mize is definitely one of them. The guy completely changed his body between his freshman and sophmore years of college. He was kind of tall and lanky, had a decent change-up, but his fastball stayed in the 87-90 range, and not much else. Next offseason he packed ~30 pounds of muscle to help his stamina. He also tacked on about 7 mph to his average fastball and changed his repertoire from curve/change to splitter/slider. The results speak for themselves.

Yeah, he's pretty awesome.

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It's that sad time of spring training where the team culls minor leaguers to make room for others. Here's the guys that have been cut so far.

LHP Ryan Lawlor - former UGA starter never got on track after being drafted by the Braves in 2015. He started last season in Rome, but didn't pitch after May with an injury.

LHP Tyler Hyssong - drafted as a senior sign out of UNC-Chapel Hill, Hyssong ran up some huge pitch counts in high school and early college. The Braves were hoping that they'd be able to clean up his mechanics, but it didn't happen.

RHP Ryan Schlosser - was a late rounder in 2016 who got hit hard after a promotion to Rome last year.

LHP Jaret Hellinger - Ola, Georgia native and 20th-round pick in 2015. Always a project, his mechanics never really came around like anyone hoped. Hope he catches on somewhere, met his folks last year when I went to watch Danville, they're good people.

OF Matt Gonzalez - the Braves lose a Bulldog and a Yellow Jacket. Gonzalez was a senior sign out of GA Tech in 2016, but his offense has dried up as he's advanced through the system.

RHP Dalton Geekie - another local kid, another TJS guy. 

LHP Kyle Kinman - this one really hurts. He was being looked at for a spot in the Atlanta bullpen back in 2016 ST. He went to Mississippi and blew out his UCL and hasn't made it back. 

 

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More minor league cuts:

OF Leudys Baez - the biggest surprise, Baez came in at #43 on my top 50 prospects list. The physical tools are all there, but he had severe pitch recognition and strike zone judgement issues.

RHP Zach Bercherer - a 15th rounder in the 2016 draft, Bercherer was getting a lot of attention as a helium pre-draft prospect when he blew out his elbow in college. The Braves selected him anyway, but I guess he wasn't progressing like they hoped.

RHP Junior Rincon - minor league free agent signed mid-season last year and re-upped in the offseason. Nothing special.

OF Anthony Concepcion - had a good season as a 20YO in the DSL but couldn't find success stateside. Opened the year as Rome's starting first baseman and was an afterthought within a few weeks.

C/1B Skyler Ewing - taken in the minor league portion of the Rule V draft, Ewing never playing an inning for the organization.

IF Nick King - former UGA Bulldog was an undrafted FA with the Pirates and was cut. Picked up by the Braves this offseason in the wake of the MLB sanctions that zapped our lower minors infield depth, but it looks like he failed to impress.

OF Stephen Gaylor - the second biggest surprise for me, not because he was any kind of prospect but Gaylor seemed to be a classic "org guy". He played up and down the full-season teams, filling in gaps as needed. Gaylor is a Rome, GA native and attended Berry College. He joined the Rome Braves in 2015 when they ran out of outfielders.

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