Monday, August 9, 2010

Top Braves prospects...

With Mike Minor now in the big leagues, it is time for the 3rd annual ranking of the top 10 Braves prospects currently in the minor leagues. Here is a quick link to the last 2 rankings, where Jason Heyward came in at #1 in 2009 and Jordan Schafer took the top spot in 2008.

1) Freddie Freeman - It's become very apparent that Freddie is ready to step in next season and hit somewhere in the 5-7 range and play every day at first base. Through Sunday, Freddie is .306-15-71 and should have instant success in Atlanta.

2) Julio Teheran - Julio still needs another year and change before he is ready, but he looks every bit the part of a front-line starter. He is 7-7 with a 2.76 ERA in 2010 with 138 K's in 119 innings.

3) Craig Kimbrel - Craig has spent some time in the big leagues this year and looked pretty good. He projects as a closer with his mid-to-upper 90's fastball. Should compete for the 8th or 9th inning guy in 2011.

4) Arodys Vizcaino - Out with an injury since late June, Arodys was dominant the 1st half of the season. Before the injury, he was 9-3 with a 2.34 ERA in Rome.

5) Randall Delgado - Another top-notch pitching prospect, Randall has a 2.95 ERA and 136 K's so far this year in 23 starts for Myrtle Beach and Mississippi. There is a good chance Randall is used as trade bait in the off-season as he is about ready but the big league club doesn't have room for him.

6) Christian Bethancourt - The big catcher from Rome looks like a future big leaguer. He has shown power and is excellent behind the plate. At only 19 years of age, he could be the heir to Brian McCann.

7) Brett DeVall - Brett was a high pick out of high school and has established himself as a strong prospect while pitching in Rome this year. He is 7-8 with a 4.28 ERA in 18 starts so far in 2010.

8) Adam Milligan - After a huge finish to 2009 (.344-13-49), Adam has struggled a bit, but has only played 21 games so far. Once he gets back in a groove, he should move up the ladder rather quickly.

9) Zeke Spruill - Zeke looked real good his last start in Myrtle Beach and still possesses a live arm and excellent stuff.

10) Matt Lipka - I put Matt, the Braves 2010 top pick from Texas, on here due to his strong performance in the Gulf Coast League. When drafted, Frank Wren talked about how the organization needed more athleticism and speed. Matt has given the Braves this and has hit .310 with 15 stolen bases in his first 35 minor league games.

You may notice that last years #3 prospect, Cody Johnson is no longer on this list. Cody has seen his average and power slip and struggled to get to .200 in Myrtle Beach. C0le Rohrbough is also off the list after posting a 12+ ERA in his 4 appearances so far in 2010.

Just like last year, there is still a lack of hitters in the system. Fortunately, arguably the Braves do have one of the best groups of starting pitching prospects. After having a long line of shortstops, the system doesn't have much between Alex Gonzalez and the 19 year old Lipka. Look for 2011 to be a draft where more hitters are taken early once again with just as much emphasis on speed and athleticism at 2010.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

More predictions..

Four weeks from today, the college football season will be in full swing. Back in June, I did a RSM pre-season top 25 poll. I wish I had some sort of jaw-dropping prediction for Georgia or Georgia Tech, but I think both teams are what most people predict, 7-9 win teams.

Lets go through the schedule and get a little more in depth...


Their offense should be similar to next year, they just need to stay healthy on defense and improve in certain areas. The d-line is a big concern, switching to the 3-4 with 6 freshman in the mix at these spots. The linebackers are experienced but not overly talented, and the secondary has some good pieces.

SC St - W (41-10)
@ Kansas W (27-21)
@ UNC L (14-20)
NCSU W (29-262
@ Wake W (35-24)
UVA W (40-17)
MTSU W (38-17)
@ Clemson L (27-30)
@ VT L (21-33)
Miami W (34-27)
Duke W (47-27)
@ UGA L (28-38)

This would be three straight solid seasons under PJ and another decent bowl game.


L-Laf W (31-14)
@ USC L (17-20)
Arkansas W (28-24)
@ Miss St W (27-20)
@ Colorado W (21-12)
Tennessee W (24-14)
Vanderbilt W (27-10)
@ Kentucky W (30-24)
Florida L (24-31)
Idaho St W (44-7)
@ Auburn L (20-28)
Georgia Tech W (38-28)

That's 9-3 for UGA and a solid stepping stone for 2011 where they will have an experienced quarterback and a full season in their new defense.

These results, believe it or not, could result in UGA winning the SEC East. Georgia finishing 6-2 in conference could be enough, even with losses to USC and UF. Unlikely, but both those teams play Alabama and UF also has LSU. USC could lose 3 with Florida, Arkansas, and Bama and UF could have losses to LSU, Bama, and USC.

Just sayin...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

This is why I started a blog..

So I could write stuff like this and later say, "I told you so."

For the record, Beckham is currently hitting .250 in single A.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just because I'm bored...

If you break down MLB players by the state they played high school ball, here is the Georgia team.

C - Brian McCann
1B - Russell Branyan
2B - Brandon Phillips
SS - Stephen Drew
3B - Gordon Beckham
OF - Marlon Byrd
OF - Nick Markakis
OF - Colby Rasmus
OF - Dexter Fowler
OF - JD Drew
OF - Jason Heyward
OF - Mike Cameron
IF - Stephen Drew
IF - Adam Everett
C - Buster Posey

SP - Adam Wainwright
SP - Tim Hudson
SP - Edwin Jackson
SP - Jake Westbrook
SP - Micah Owings

RP - Jonathan Broxton
RP - Matt Capps
RP - Kyle Farsnworth
RP - Mitchell Boggs
RP - Jason Bulger

Obviously a strong rotation, and here is how I would do the order:

CF - Fowler
RF - Markakis
2B - Phillips
C - McCann
LF - Byrd
1B - Posey
DH - Heyward/Rasmus
3B - Beckham
SS - S. Drew

A-Rod prediction...

A few years ago, I thought A-Rod was a shoe-in for 800 home runs. Now, after getting to 600 at age 35, I'm not so sure. It seemed like Bonds went from 500 to 700 in seconds. It has taken A-Rod much, much longer. When he hit 54 in 2007, he was on a solid pace to get to 750 in the 2012 season. Now, he is looking at about 25 for the year in 2010 and 90 away from just getting to 700.

There is a chance A-Rod can reach the 700 mark by the beginning of the 2014 season, but it would be a stretch. At that time, he would be 39 and still 63 away even if he gets to 700. I say he passes Willie rather easily but never reaches Hank.

735 seems like a good number...