Following the 2010 season, one man stood above all others as an infielder to watch in the Atlanta Braves' farm system. His name wasn't Simmons, or Pastornicky, or even Terdoslavich.
Second baseman-shortstop Elmer Reyes, by virtue of hitting a combined .301 for the braves' two short-season league, was named an organizational all-star for that season. But 2011 was a dismal ..215 for the year, including a 64-game stint at Rome where he seemed lost at the plate.
Flash forward ahead of the 2013 and Elmer Reyes, who stuck around when it would have been easy to pack it up and go away when he was floundering, has finally broken out of the low minors.
In fact, at Advanced Class A Lynchburg, Reyes is enjoying his best streak since 2010, hitting .357 for May and .406 (13-for-32) in his last nine games. The Nicaragua native is being very productive as well, hitting .410 with runners in scoring position.
In a league where pitching often dominates, his .307 averages ranks sixth in the league, second on the Hillcats to league No. 5 hitter David Rohm at .323.
Evidence as to how much the landscape has changed since Reyes had his big 2010 season, here is top evaluator John Sickels' list for the Braves minor league prospects in 2011 as released in December of 2010:
1) Julio Teheran, 2) Freddie Freeman, 3) Mike Minor, 4) Randall Delgado, 5) Arodys Vizcaino, 6) Craig Kimbrel, 7) Matt Lipka, 8) Carlos Perez, 9) Brandon Beachy, 10) J.J. Hoover, 11) Andrelton Simmons.
Yes, the Braves were loaded in the winter of 2010. Of that top 11, all but Lipka and Pores have pitched in the majors (both are still active. Five (soon to be six) are on their 25-man roster. Three (Delgado, Vizcaino, Hoover) were in trades that brought them Justin Upton, Paul Maholm and Juan Encarnacion, respectively.
Delgado, at Reno (Arizona's AAA) is only 0-3 with an 9.09 ERA. Hoover, in the Reds; bullpen, is second in saves to Aroldys Chapman. Vizcaino has not pitched since 2011, but remains in the Cubs' system.
Gwinnett (15-26) 6, Pawtucket 4
SP: Corcoran 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. WP: Loe (2-0) 2.1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K. Rasmus (Save, 6) 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K.
Terdoslavich 3-3, R, RBI (.333); Heyward 1-3, R, BB; Mejia 2-4, 2B, HR (10th), 4 RBI.
Mississippi (25-14) 6, Huntsville 2
WP: Schlosser (5-1) 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Salcedo 1-4, HR (3rd), RBI; Martinez 1-4, 2 R, HR (1st), RBI; Gosselin 1-5, 2B, RBI.
ADVANCED CLASS A
Lynchburg (21-16) 3, Frederick 2
WP: Holland 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. WP: Rivera (3-0) 0.1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K. Lipka 2-4, 2B, RBI; Kubitza 2-4, HR (1st), 2 RBI; Rohm 1-4, 2B, R.
Asheville 5, Rome (20-17) 4
SP: Cabrera 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. LP: Jadofsky (1-1) 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Peraza 3-4, HR (1st), 2 RBI; Hyams 2-4, R; Brown 1-3, 2B, R, RBI.