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2020 Braves Minor Leagues and Prospects Thread


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Hate to hear that about Joey.   Hope he recovers and can have a great career.

It kills me that we had him in the organization and blew it.

Dear Atlanta Braves: I DEMAND that you draft this player:  

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2 hours ago, jidady said:

I suspect he's using (slightly) different criteria for the new site.

I really doubt it. I suspect he purposely leaves some noted guys off to generate controversy. He left out Nick Madrigal too. 

That said, I don't consider him the Kiper of baseball, I do think he's a pretty good evaluator when he actually goes and looks at the players. 

That said, Pache really can be that good. He'd be in my top 10.

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27 minutes ago, K26dp said:

I really doubt it. I suspect he purposely leaves some noted guys off to generate controversy. He left out Nick Madrigal too.

That's certainly possible, but that wasn't my intent. When I write similar stuff for different clients, I intentionally mix things up. I try a different style and compare the articles to verify that I'm not repeating myself. It wouldn't surprise me if Law wanted to use different criteria for his rankings now that he's on his own more. ESPN's editors are notoriously specific. I wouldn't call them rigid, but there's a Disney Way. The Athletic's editors and content VPs are much more, "We trust you to be you."

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I thought we had an especially good OFR Farm Report Podcast this week. We had Kevin Piel, the Florida Fire Frogs play-by-play announcer on as a guest. We talked prospects of course, but also what it was like working for a team that announced it was moving in April and has a third of its games rain delayed, postponed, or cancelled. 

On Apple Podcasts, Android, Google, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, or wherever you go to fill your earholes.

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MLB is tinkering with the rules in the minor leagues again, per Baseball America. A new rule for pick-offs is expected to be implemented for A-ball and lower, and perhaps AA as well though that has not been finalized.

Under the new rule, the pitcher will have to completely step off the rubber in order to throw to a base. This will particularly hit lefties hard as they will no longer be able to bring their front leg up and then step to first to throw over. The rule change is designed to encourage more base-stealing. 

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Kiley's first ESPN Top 100 is live.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/28820713/kiley-mcdaniel-top-100-prospects-2020

I'm going to post all the Braves stuff. Remember that he worked for the organization, which makes his scouting reports on our players as accurate as possible. Even though he wasn't around for a couple of these picks, he's still close friends with the people who chose them.

"17. Cristian Pache, CF, Atlanta Braves
Age: 21 (11/19/98)
Bats: R | Throws: R
6-foot-2 | 185 pounds
Top level: Triple-A

Tools: Hit 40/50, Game Power 35/45, Raw Power 55/55, Speed 65/65, Fielding 70/70, Throw 70/70

Future value: 60

I've always joked that if Pache had been born in America, he would be a wide receiver at LSU. Pache was an 80 runner a few years ago, but his pure speed has regressed a bit as his raw power and bulk have increased. That said, his elite defensive instincts are still present, so you can see why fans want to say Pache will be Andruw Jones; the defensive skill set is pretty similar.

Offensively, scouts have been waiting for the Pache breakout for years. He has made more incremental progress to the point that he is probably still a solid everyday player with no future improvements, but he could be a perennial All-Star if he hits his above-average offensive ceiling.

38. Drew Waters, CF, Atlanta Braves
Age: 21 (12/30/98)
Bats: B | Throws: R
6-foot-2 | 183 pounds
Top level: Triple-A

Future value: 55

Waters is one of the more polarizing prospects on this list, due mostly to varying takes on his pitch selection and makeup. I was working with the Braves the year they drafted Waters and can see why his personality would be a question to outside observers. He's loud and can rub some people the wrong way, and this is especially likely when someone just watched him from the stands for a few games or spent a day or two around him in a clubhouse. Some teams were convinced Javier Baez and Bryce Harper were bad makeup guys in high school and early in their pro careers, and though all of these instances aren't the same, there's a bit of the same thing going on here.

Waters is definitely a hitter who likes to swing and is prone to chase, with bat control that has bailed him out until the upper levels of the minors. Sometimes this is Lewis Brinson, Josh Vitters, Delmon Young or Jeff Francoeur, and sometimes it's Starling Marte or even Ronald Acuna Jr. It's an issue with a number of players high on this list, including Luis Robert, CJ Abrams and Oneil Cruz. Pitch selection can be improved, but often not dramatically, and there are different flavors within that narrow definition. What it normally comes down to is makeup, which becomes a proxy for being able to make adjustments, and bat control, which is the ability to hit pitches that aren't center cut (think Vlad Guerrero Sr. or Ichiro as examples of 80 bat control). I think Waters is above average in both regards.

49. Ian Anderson, RHP, Atlanta Braves
Age: 21 (5/2/98)
Bats: R | Throws: R
6-foot-3 | 170 pounds
Top level: Triple-A

Future value: 50

Anderson's stuff has changed a bit since his high school days. His curveball was above average to plus at times when he was an amateur but has settled as an average pitch now. Anderson's changeup was a third pitch that wasn't used much and flashed potential -- even above average at times -- but is now consistently plus. The rest of the profile that led to Anderson going No. 3 overall in 2016 is essentially the same: a near ideal frame, arm action and delivery, throwing fastballs into the mid-90s that work best at the top of the strike zone, with above-average command projection.

83. Shea Langeliers, C, Atlanta Braves
Age: 22 (11/18/97)
Bats: R | Throws: R
6-foot | 190 pounds
Top level: Low-A

Future value: 50

Langeliers bounced back quickly from a broken hamate bone during his draft spring and already appears to have added more power to his game. There was no question at draft time about his above-average defense and plus arm, along with above-average raw power and some feel for contact at the plate, but the overall offensive package was still just solid. I heard about some offseason swing adjustments that were adding raw power, and a source mentioned that Langeliers' spring training exit velocity so far has been much better than it was in 2019.

98. Braden Shewmake, SS, Atlanta Braves

Age: 22 (11/19/97)
Bats: L | Throws: R
6-foot-4 | 180 pounds
Top level: Double-A

Future value: 50

Shewmake was a somewhat boring 2019 draft prospect at first glance, as a lanky infielder who made lots of contact but without much pop or lift and didn't seem to have enough range to stay at shortstop. Some teams, including the Braves, looked deeper and saw a deceptively rangy shortstop with at least above-average speed and latent power that might be unlocked soon. Shewmake had a very loud debut and might be another large-framed everyday MLB shortstop in short order, though he won't have the power of Seager or Correa."

 

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MLB Pipeline finally posted their Braves list.

1.    Cristian Pache, OF
2.    Drew Waters, OF
3.    Ian Anderson, RHP
4.    Kyle Wright, RHP
5.    Shea Langeliers, C
6.    Bryse Wilson, RHP
7.    Braden Shewmake, SS
8.    Kyle Muller, LHP
9.    William Contreras, C
10.    Huascar Ynoa, RHP
11.    Tucker Davidson, LHP
12.    Jasseel De La Cruz, RHP
13.    Freddy Tarnok, RHP
14.    Michael Harris, OF
15.    Trey Harris, OF
16.    Patrick Weigel, RHP
17.    Daysbel Hernandez, RHP
18.    Victor Vodnik, RHP
19.    C.J. Alexander, 3B
20.    Greyson Jenista, OF
21.    Bryce Ball, 1B
22.    Alex Jackson, C
23.    Vaughn Grissom, SS
24.    A.J. Graffanino, SS
25.    Tyler Owens, RHP
26.    Thomas Burrows, LHP
27.    Jeremy Walker, RHP
28.    Phil Pfeifer, LHP
29.    Trey Riley, RHP
30.    Logan Brown, C
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Tigers just announced that LHP Joey Wentz just underwent successful Tommy John surgery. 

Wentz of course is a former 1st-round pick by Atlanta in 2016. He was traded in July along with OF Travis Demeritte for RHP Shane Greene.

 

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  • 1 month later...

On this week's OFR Farm Report we interviewed Braves RH pitching prospect Matt Hartman. Hartman is an interesting young man -- we talk about his rise from a small California high school to Division 1 baseball to transferring to an NAIA school to tearing his UCL to coaching high school, fighting wildfires and mudslides to signing with the Braves to his evolution as a pitcher. 

Available on Apple Podcasts, Android, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, et cetera, et cetera.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Reports are that the Braves released 50 minor league players yesterday. The transactions haven't been made public, and I haven't been able to get a complete list yet.

One of those cut was 1B Ray Hernandez, most recently of the Danville Braves. I interviewed him in 2018. 

The Braves made no cuts in spring training (minor leaguers had been in camp for only a week when everything was shut down), and typically 10-15 players are cut then. Another 5-10 are usually cut leading up to the draft, so of the 50 it's possible that 15-25 wouldn't have made it this far into the season anyway. Cutting 50 players however is far outside the norm.

It seems clear that the team is anticipating not having to field minor league teams at all this year, and not having to field a team at Danville's level next year, despite PBA negotiations with MILB still ongoing.

Almost every team made drastic minor league cuts yesterday. The Mariners also reportedly cut 50 minor leaguers, and the Mets cut 38 (their list was leaked out). 

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JJ Cooper has a list of 30 Braves that were released yesterday. The biggest name is former first rounder Braxton Davidson.

DSL:
RHP Shairon Bennett
LHP Nestor Bermudez
SS Nelson Celesten
RF Randi De La Cruz
RHP Luis Diaz
LHP Ramon Linares
3B Yerangel Medina
LHP Orelvis Rijo
C Randy Ruiz
RHP Leonardo Vargas
 

GCL:
C Denzel Bryson
LHP Carlos Caminero
RHP Luis De Jesus
RHP Carlos De La Cruz
RF Joel Reyes
LF Christian Zamora
 

Danville:
RHP Alex Camacho
C Brandon Chapman
1B Ray Hernandez
RHP Greg Leban

Rome:
RHP Jose Olague
RHP Ryan Shetter
1B/3B Brendan Venter

Florida:
1B/C Hagen Owenby
C Zack Soria

Mississippi:
1B Braxton Davidson
RHP Caleb Dirks
LHP Jose Manuel Fernandez

Biggest surprised of this group: RHP Greg Leban, who looked really good when I saw him last year with Danville. Another is OF Christian Zamora, who started his pro career in the GCL at age 16 in 2018 and is still only 18. 

Jose Manuel Fernandez is a major league veteran signed in spring training. 

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2 hours ago, K26dp said:

JJ Cooper has a list of 30 Braves that were released yesterday. The biggest name is former first rounder Braxton Davidson.

DSL:
RHP Shairon Bennett
LHP Nestor Bermudez
SS Nelson Celesten
RF Randi De La Cruz
RHP Luis Diaz
LHP Ramon Linares
3B Yerangel Medina
LHP Orelvis Rijo
C Randy Ruiz
RHP Leonardo Vargas
 

GCL:
C Denzel Bryson
LHP Carlos Caminero
RHP Luis De Jesus
RHP Carlos De La Cruz
RF Joel Reyes
LF Christian Zamora
 

Danville:
RHP Alex Camacho
C Brandon Chapman
1B Ray Hernandez
RHP Greg Leban

Rome:
RHP Jose Olague
RHP Ryan Shetter
1B/3B Brendan Venter

Florida:
1B/C Hagen Owenby
C Zack Soria

Mississippi:
1B Braxton Davidson
RHP Caleb Dirks
LHP Jose Manuel Fernandez

Biggest surprised of this group: RHP Greg Leban, who looked really good when I saw him last year with Danville. Another is OF Christian Zamora, who started his pro career in the GCL at age 16 in 2018 and is still only 18. 

Jose Manuel Fernandez is a major league veteran signed in spring training. 

Disappointed to see Caleb Dirks on this list. Thought he should have gotten a shot in the majors with all the struggles of the bullpen the last couple of years.

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12 minutes ago, jidady said:

 

I totally respect what the Royals have done.

 

Now that being said, the one bright spot, if there is one to the players that have been released, they can now apply for unemployment and have a chance at making more in unemployment for the next few months than they did from not getting to play baseball.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In addition to Shepherd, confirmed UDFA signings so far:

UTL Landon Stephens, Miami (OH)
1B Bryson Horne, Columbus State
RHP Carter Linton, Tusculum
OF Ethan Workinger, San Diego City JC

Linton is the son of former big leaguer Doug Linton. 

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