62 thoughts on “This is just to say”

  1. 3 more in Law’s 21-40 rankings:
    #26 Ozzie Albies
    #32 Kolby Allard
    #36 Ronald Acuna

    Obviously Dansby is in the top-20 but the other is just a pure head-scratcher. Soroka doesn’t seem like the kind of guy Law would put a ton of stock in. Touki’s placment there after having the same control issues plague him doesn’t seem to fit either. The only thing that I can guess is he’s going all in on Weigel, a guy that sits in mid-90s but can pump it to 100 and found command in ’16.

  2. WELP. Keith just told me on Twitter that there’s only one Braves prospect in the top 20. So, he misstated things when he said Anderson couldn’t crack the org’s top six.

  3. There is no reason for the Braves to again explore employing Jeff Francoeur. Try Mel Rojas, Jr. Try something.

  4. I guess it’d be nice if KLaw liked more of our guys and put them in the top 100, but at the end of the day, Soroka and Touki haven’t pitched above low-A. Soroka is a very stable pitcher, sure, but he lacks those eye-popping tools and numbers. 3.02 ERA last year, less than a K per inning, etc. Really not dominant. Touki has better stuff, but he still walked almost 5BB/9 for the entire year, regardless of how good his second half was. Regardless of what Law says, I still think there are going to be 9-10 extremely impressive starting pitchers lighting up their new levels in 2017, 3-4 of which will make things interesting for the big league staff. There’s not much more you can ask for.

    Ryan C mentioned that our farm system is reminiscent of the 2010 system that featured Heyward, Freeman, Teheran, Delgado, Vizcaino, Kimbrel, Minor, and Mike Dunn. You could make the case that Swanson and Albies could be as collectively valuable as Heyward/Freeman (not as valuable as Freeman, more valuable than Heyward), and there will be a frontline starter (Teheran), a disappointment (Delgado), a flame-throwing reliever (Kimbrel), an enigmatic reliever (Vizcaino), a steady SP (Minor), and a decent middle reliever (Dunn). Based on our modern day system, you could expect quite a few players to become the frontline starter (with some having a higher ceiling than Teheran), still quite a few to become disappointments, a dominant reliever (Minter), an enigmatic reliever (a failed starter like Lucas Sims), steady SP (Soroka, Blair, Wisler), and decent middle reliever (Morris, Jackson, failed SP). But then… even more. Sickels only had 8 B- or higher players from the 2010 system, but he graded all 20 of our guys B- or higher.

    If some of these guys arrive early, this could be a magical season. Ah, the hope of spring.

  5. The Braves have a lot of talent in their minor league system right now. These annual list of ‘best prospects’ are nothing more than page-click trolling. The difference between the #12, the #22 and the #52 prospects on these lists are minimal, and it’s nigh impossible to predict which one of them will be an impact player in the Majors.

  6. The Braves saved $100K or more and added some outfield power in the Gosewich/Walker swap. Marginal stuff, obviously, but I like it.

  7. @12

    Agreed. At the end of the day, lots of the prospect guys like our prospects, and the Braves like our prospects, so I like our prospects. But they are prospects. But we do seem to have enough good prospects.

  8. That kind of stinks about Gosewisch. Not that he was any good, he stinks, but his name is really fun to say. So long Tuffy.

  9. It’s interesting that they cut their 4th catcher off the 40-man to still keep a spot free on the 40-man. You know whose spot that belongs to? AJ Minter. Oh yeah. 8-man pen. He’ll be the second lefty. Ease him into the big leagues in April and May with lots of off days by bringing him in to punch out lefties. The guy had 31 K’s in 18 1/3 IP at AA. If the guy comes to ST, gets some innings, and keeps up his dominance in professional baseball, I really think they’ll break camp with him.

  10. I’m very (very!) bullish on Minter, but I don’t think they have him slated for Atlanta just yet. Lindgren will be on the 60-day DL, so that’s one opening on the 40-man, but they have at least two non-roster guys (Bonifacio and at least one of the Boyer/Walden/Danks trio) for whom they’ll likely need to make room by opening day, so at least one more trade or DFA (d’Arnaud?) is coming.

  11. Why do teams sign guys like Gosewisch and Walker and get rid of them before they ever play an inning? Are they just hedging their bets until someone better comes along or do they do further evaluation and decide they can’t play? I could have told you that someone better than Tuffy wouldn’t be hard to find. Walker being on his 4th team since the end of the year is even stranger.

  12. Alright folks, I have a tough decision. I’m going to pick up a t-shirt jersey for opening night. I’m thinking either Swanson or Freeman. Who should I pick and why?

  13. @24 — The first one. Waiver claims are almost never high-impact players, and they don’t cost anything, so there’s not much downside from the team’s perspective to shuffling them around for a slightly higher-impact player or one who fits the team’s construction better. These guys are pretty much the definition of freely-available talent — the Braves didn’t lose anything from having Gosewich around for a couple of months while they were searching for a catcher and they didn’t lose anything by ditching him for a higher-upside player once they’d found one, so there wasn’t really any reason not to do it.

  14. When I open a bar, the bouncers are going to be named Biff, Tuffy, Pudge and, on ladies’ night, Corky.

  15. There are times when I wish this site had a “like” button. Alex, when you open that bar let me know.

  16. Francouer/Kelly Johnson: “Why do we keep bringing back these washed up former Braves who clearly have nothing to add to a rebuilding team?!”


  17. I’d love to see KJ back on the team. He’s great.
    I’d love to see Frenchy not back on the team. He’s not great.
    I’m glad the Braves have signed Medlen to a minor-league deal. Maybe he’ll show something in the spring or at Gwinnett and help the major league club. Who knows? I like the guy.

  18. It looks like the Braves aren’t expecting too much out of him, because his minor league deal doesn’t include a ST invite. Still, Medlen’s made his whole career out of defying the odds.

  19. Alex @ 33,

    I had a similar experience, but it involved a wine list. About 20 years ago now my wife and I did a weekend at Henderson Village (just south of Perry). It was developed by a German billionaire to model after the European Gentlemen’s retreats that frequently operate from a chateaux or manor house. When eating supper in the restaurant, I perused the wine list. It was about 12 pages with 20 entries or so per page. On about page 9, it said “the following wines may not be available in case sized lots.” I asked the chef if that meant the other 8 pages were all at least a case. he said “yes, our inventory at wholesale is over $750,000.00.”

  20. @38, this is only the first time we’ve brought him back. And I’ve never actually objected to us bringing back Kelly, either. I have complete confidence that if Medlen can’t play, the Braves will drop him instantly and unceremoniously, because that’s what they did before. I have very little confidence that the Braves would do the same with Francoeur, because getting rid of him is like pulling teeth every damn time.

    @41, that sounds like the kind of place that would give you a wonderful evening and a headsplitting morning. I hope you loved it! The Porter in Little 5 has a beer list just like that.

  21. I hope the Braves do bring back KJ. He’d definitely be better than Boner Face, which is who is being talked up for the last bench spot right now.

  22. We’ve traded him mid season twice now. this is just 2007 trauma that you won’t let go.

  23. We traded him in 2016 after he amassed 276 plate appearances in 99 games, batting .249/.290/.381. We traded him in 2009 after he amassed 324 PA in 82 games, batting .250/.282/.352. Nobody who hits that horrendously and who can’t play shortstop or catcher should get that many chances to prove how awful he is.

    He has gotten far more chances than he should have, and far more than anyone else would have.

  24. Anybody who doesn’t want KJ simply because it would mean we could trade him mid-season a third year in a row obviously doesn’t have the same sense of humor I do.

    Anyway, I do have a personal like for KJ, and on a team that I don’t expect to compete in 2017 that’s worth something. But beyond that, KJ has returned to us John Gant, Robert Whalen and Akeel Morris over the last two years. And we’ve used Gant and Whalen as part of the churn that has turned over Jaime Garcia and Alex Jackson. Thanks, KJ!!

  25. 48 — You’d rather have Bonifacio, who hasn’t hit since 2013? Because that’s who the Braves are talking up now for the last bench spot.

    KJ hit well for the Mets. And we got Akeel Morris back for him. At least sign him to see if we can get something for him yet again at the trade deadline.

  26. Can Bonifacio adequately play the infield? I have to admit that I have a bias towards KJ. KJ gives you a little more power and a little higher batting average. KJ isn’t very good anymore, but I would prefer him over Bonifacio. That isn’t saying much.

  27. I’ve been looking afresh at the prospect rankings this morning. I really like our farm. I think there’s a reasonable chance that many of the kids eventually contribute at the big league level. It extends beyond the top 30, too – there are a lot of names that can’t yet crack that threshold that I feel good about, too. Lots of reason to be optimistic about the future.

  28. 52 – saw a post with the eta of all of those prospects, and literally, there are 2-3 a year for the next 5 years. No, there are no locks in there, at least on the pitching side. but the sheer volume is undeniable, and no one year will wipe the farm so as to leave us back in the dark years. unless coppy goes full wren at some point, and the evidence suggests that is not likely

  29. I’m not sure I agree with some of the ETAs, but you’re right that we will continue to have waves for the next several years. But even with all of that, I hope we avoid making a 4/5-for-1 trade at just about any time. I may not feel that way when we’re short a bat and could have a WS contender, but to see what is going on with Boston is a good example. They had a top 10 farm this past season, being as high as 5-6 in some rankings, but it looks like they’ll slip to a bottom half farm for this year. They’ll be fine, of course, but the Braves won’t be able to empty the cupboard considering what the deals for Sale and Eaton looked like. The Angels, D-Backs, and Royals all did not have a player in the Pipeline top 100, so Arizona could be a great example of depleting the farm for a short window at glory. And gosh, wouldn’t you hate to be the Angels?

    And additionally, I just don’t see us trading a Callaspo/Uribe/KJ/Cervenka/Alvarez/Harrell mid-season once we start contending which means that players like Anfernee Seymour, Kade Scivicque, Demeritte, Gant, and Whalen won’t be entering our system regularly. A lot of the success for our farm has come from being willing to trade anyone not named Freeman or Teheran, and we won’t have that luxury going forward. And potentially as early as this year, where an 80-win season would have us drafting in the 14-18 range, we won’t be getting the prime picks in the draft.

    All of that to say that I think our glut of prospects will be great for a few years, but it could dry up compared to how it is now. Coppy will have to be really careful to not overpay in the FA market, continue to be creative in drafting and scouting, and we’ll need a lot of these players to hit really big.

  30. Anybody else catch MLB Network’s Top 100 Prospect show last night? In case you missed it Braves tied for the most players in Top 100 with Yankees (7).
    Swanson #4
    Albies #11
    Maitan #32
    Allard #53
    Soroka #78
    Newcomb #80
    Anderson #86

  31. I saw it. One of the analysts was really heavy with the Swanson / Jeter comparison. Billy Ripken also thinks Dansby and Albies will be a great DP combo for a long while.

  32. And Fried and Acuna, according to Callis, narrowly missed the top 100, and he said they were somewhere between “101 and 110”.

  33. sounds like his wife is in fair condition, 2 kids, serious but stable. crazy world. thoughts and prayers.

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