MLB.com Report: Braves Only Team Without Top 100 Prospect

Minor League Report:: Friday 727

Saturday, July 27, 2013
While some organizations might evaluate their future by primarily focusing on the Minor League level, much of the optimism surrounding the Braves' future is currently being displayed on a daily basis at the Major League level. Four key pieces of Atlanta's everyday lineup -- Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons -- are 25 years old or younger, and Upton is the only member of this group that was not homegrown.

When Alex Wood returned to the Major League level on Thursday, he became the third homegrown member of Atlanta's starting rotation that is 25 or younger.
Earlier this season, the talented left-hander was part of a Braves bullpen, whose top two relievers -- Craig Kimbrel and Luis Avilan -- still have not celebrated their 26th birthdays.

Still, even with this abundance of young talent already at the big league level, the Braves are excited about the plethora of pitching talent in their Minor League system. Eight of the club's top-10 prospects in MLB.com's updated rankings are pitchers. 

The Braves had five players -- Teheran, Bethancourt, Simmons, Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino and ranked among the game's top 100 prospects before the start of the 2012 season. But they now stand as the only Major League club that does not have a player on this list.

With Teheran having graduated from prospect status, J.R. Graham now owns the distinction of being Atlanta's top prospect. The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher, who possesses an electric fastball and a high-energy personality, has gained this honor despite being sidelined since the middle of May with a strained right shoulder. It is still unclear when he might be cleared to begin pitching again.

Right-hander Lucas Sims occupies the next spot on the Braves' list of top prospects. The Braves have not been disappointed by selecting Sims and Wood with their first two selections in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

A couple of recent first-round selections -- Sean Gilmartin and Jason Hursh -- rank fourth and fifth, respectively, among the club's top prospects. Gilmartin was acquired with the 27th overall selection in 2011 and Hursh has made a solid impression since the Braves took him with the 31st overall pick in this year's Draft.

Christian Bethancourt, who will be a candidate to serve as Atlanta's starting catcher next year, ranks third on this updated list. The only other position players ranked among the club's top 10 prospects are outfielders Todd Cunningham and Matt Lipka.

Dropped off

Much of the optimism surrounding Carlos Franco entering this season has evaporated as he has struggled offensively for Class A Rome. The 21-year-old third baseman showed some promise when he produced a .408 on-base percentage for Rookie Level Danville.

After posting a 1.93 ERA in 20 appearances for Rome last year, David Peterson entered this season with the hope that he could continue this success in his second professional season. But injuries have limited 23-year-old right-hander to five appearances with Class A Advanced Lynchburg.

Rising/falling stock

Cody Martin began this season ranked as the club's 18th-best prospect and now ranks seventh. While he is not blessed with incredible stuff or a power arm, he has done nothing but impress while posting a 2.86 ERA in 22 appearances (16 starts) with Double-A Mississippi and Gwinnett.

Juan Jaime's inability to stay healthy has led him to drop from 10th to 17th on the club's prospect list. The hard-throwing right-hander's fastball has topped out at 102 mph. But he has posted a 4.00 ERA while making just 19 appearances so far for Mississippi.
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Braves right-handed pitcher Humberto Carpio and Reds Minor League outfielder Yoel Noel were each handed 50-game suspensions Friday after testing positive for steroids.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Carpio was suspended without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, while Noel tested positive for a metabolite of Nandrolone. Both bans are effective immediately.

Noel, 18, was batting .172 with a homer, four RBIs and a .198 on-base percentage in 26 games this season with the Reds in the Dominican Summer League. Carpio, 19, has yet to appear in a Minor League game.
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FRIDAY'S SCORES

CLASS AAA

Gwinnett (46-61) 4, Charlotte 1 


WP: Hale (5-5) 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.
Rasmus (Save, 14) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.
Mejia 1-4, HR (27th), RBI; Boggs 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Gosselin 1-4, RBI; Leonard 2-4, 2B.

CLASS AA

Pensacola 5, Mississippi (15-16) 3


LP: Lee (5-7) 5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
Marrero 2-3, R; Hefflinger (PH) 0-0, RBI; La Stella 1-4; Brewer 1-3, SB; Martinez 1-4, RBI (.298)..

ADVANCED CLASS A

Potomac 6, Lynchburg (11-20) 1


LP: W. Perez (2-1) 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K.
Jadofsky 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K .
Lipka 1-4, 3B, R; Rohm 2-3, RBI; Elander 1-4, 2B: McGIll 1-3.

CLASS A

Rome (14-19) 7, Asheville 3


WP: Lafreniere (5-9) 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K.
Simmons 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. (1.56)
Peraza 2-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 SB (45); Heffley 2-4, 2B, RBI; Carroll 2-4, R; Tewell 1-4, R, HR (7th, SLAM), 4 RBI.

SHORT-SEASON

Game One
Danville (17-15) 10, Burlington 3 (7)


WP: Ubiera (2-1) 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.
Lien 3-4, 3 R, 2B, SB; Reynolds 4-4, 2 R, 3B, 4 RBI; Piloto 2-3, 2 RBI; Caratini 2-2; Camargo 3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI.

Game Two
Burlington 2, Danville (17-16) 0 (7)


LP: Dettmann (1-2) 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K.
Lien 1-4; Moranda 1-2; Schrader 1-2. 

DSL PIrates 14, DSL Braves (20-24) 9 Miranda blown save in 9th.

SP: Heredia 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 2 K.
LP: Orozco (BS, 0-2) 0.2 IP, 0 H, 3 ER, 3 BB 1 K.
Grullon ('13 FA) 3-3, R, 2 RBIK 2 BB; Chin 2-5, HR (1st) 3 RBI; Flores 1-1, 2B, 2 RBI; Castro 1-5, RBI.

GCL Yankees 10, GCL Braves (11-17) 3

LP: Gonzalez (3-2) 1 IP, 1 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, WP, HBP.
Livesay 3-4, R; Arno 1-4, 2b, R, 2 RBI; V. Reyes 0-1, lelft game.


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Reflections On Billy Graham

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