Sunday, April 5, 2015

Random Prospect Sunday: Rundown

Once again this season, each Sunday (probably), I will look at a random prospect from the Braves system. A few will be stars, some will be journeymen, others will be organizational filler. The basics of the series is simple. Using Baseball-Reference's list of minor league players and Random.org's number generator, I alternate position players and pitchers to find a player to write about. Sometimes, especially if there's little available information, I'll skip the player, but mostly, I go with what I'm given. It's a fun series that gives a little attention to guys who probably are rarely written about outside of game recaps. Let's see who I've written about before and if I know, where are they now?

2012

Catcher Braeden Schlehuber - Profile
...an organizational guy, Schlehuber can't seem to leave Mississippi. He's spent the greater part of the last three years there and he might be headed back for all I know (though recent transactions may get him to Gwinnett finally). Appeared in eleven games with the big league club this spring.

Pitcher Luis Avilan - Profile
...no one received a bigger Walk Off Walk bump than Avilan, who made his debut in the majors less than a month after I profiled him as the second player in the Random Prospect series. Avilan has spent most of the last two-and-a-half years in the majors, but struggled last year. He was good enough this spring (and the others sucked enough) so Avilan is back in the majors. He's still never thanked me.

Catcher Matt Kennelly - Profile
...a fairly common addition to this series is organizational catchers. Kennelly, like Schlehuber, has seen a lot of Mississippi, but unlike Schlehuber, the Aussie has played in Gwinnett and even spent some time in the Reds organization. He returned in 2014 and saw some action this spring with the Braves.

Pitcher Matt Talley - Profile
...Talley was a 28th rounder out of The Citadel in 2011, but his time with the Braves ended about a week after I profiled him. I guess he got the complete opposite of the bump I gave Avilan. After finishing 2012 with the White Sox, his career was over. He's not a "transmission engineer."

Third Baseman Joe Leonard - Profile
...I've never seen such a big guy show so little power. Leonard was a bust out of Pitt who was all-glove and could never really hit. In five years, the 6'5", 220 pound imposing monster hit 23 homers. He was cut in January.

Pitcher Ian Marshall - Profile
...the success rate of a guy drafted out of the 40th round is pretty low and Marshall hasn't been able to help it go higher. In three years, including one robbed by injury, Marshall struggled with homers and missing enough bats. After the Braves cut him, he's spent the last two years with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, though he's not on their roster right now.

2013

Second Baseman Ross Heffley - Profile
...there was a time where Heffley was getting some Marcus Giles-like love. An 18th rounder out of Western Carolina, Heffley made a successful jump from college to Rome in 2012, but as if someone flipped a switch, he forgot how to hit. He was cut after 2013 and hasn't played since.

Pitcher Ryan Buchter - Profile
...my second major league lefty who got to the majors after I profiled him, Buchter's success in the majors has been pretty short so far. He appeared in one game on June 20th, pitching a quiet 12th inning against the Nats. After Atlanta scored twice, Buchter got the win and soon was returned to the minors. Atlanta outrighted him after the season and he has since signed with the Dodgers, but didn't make their opening day roster.

Shortstop Jose Peraza - Profile
...yes, it is possible for this series to profile real prospects and Peraza was really the first one I had. Of course, we all know the story at this point. He was optioned to Gwinnett a couple of weeks ago after an underwhelming camp, but he will be back and maybe even this summer.

Pitcher J.R. Graham - Profile
...it was a little surprising who was kept on the 40-man roster this offseason over protecting Graham, who naturally was picked by the Twins. He's a former Top 100 prospect, but at the same time, he has hit a wall in both terms of a dropping velocity and staying healthy. He has made the Twins roster, though he was hardly impressive this spring.

First Baseman William Beckwith - Profile
...here's a lesson for you. Don't get into legal trouble if you are a non-prospect. That's what happened with Beckwith, who was solid with Rome in 2012, but was arrested for a DUI with Lynchburg the following year. A suspension followed and the organization released Beckwith soon after. He caught on with Washington, but not the Nationals. The Washington Wild Things, whose pitching coach last year was Kevin Gryboski. I only know that because Grysboski was a member of my other random series. Beckwith's not on their roster next year.

Pitcher Alex Wilson - Profile
...quick question: who led Braves minor leaguers in saves last season? Juan Jaime. Who was second? My boy, Wilson. A 15th rounder in 2012, Wilson has steadily moved up the ladder with impeccable control and enough K's to get consideration as a borderline prospect. He's a guy to keep an eye on with Mississippi.

First Baseman Casey Kalenkosky - Profile
...Ory had some promise, but his lack of power was killing his chances to stick at first. Atlanta saw that and tried Ory at catcher during 2013, but apparently was not impressed enough to bring him back last year. He has also worked at the Bowie Baseball Academy with former Brave, Micah Bowie.

Pitcher Carlos Perez - Profile
...I really wanted Perez to develop into the pitcher he seemed capable of becoming, but injuries are difficult enough to deal with when you can locate your pitches, which Perez too often could not. He was recently cut by the Braves.

Shortstop Elmer Reyes - Profile
...it kind of amazes me that a middle infielder without any power can have a BB/K output like 12/93 as Reyes had last year. A thoroughly unexciting prospect, I wonder if Reyes will be desiginated for assignment today as the Braves look for room on their 40-man. He's got a decent stick, but no power and no discipline combined with little speed makes for a guy who needs a perfect set of circumstances to get to the bigs.

Pitcher Omar Poveda - Profile
...for a day, I really wanted to see Poveda in the majors. But it didn't happen and he moved on to the Nationals organization (via a trade with the White Sox), where he would struggle. Not sure where he landed this offseason.

2014

Utility Player Philip Gosselin - Profile
...Goose became my first player to have already played in the majors to make this series. He also would soon get back to the majors after I profiled him and received a decent amount of playing time for the Braves. He followed that up by making the roster this spring. You're welcome, Phil.

Pitcher Andry Ubiera - Profile
...a late international signing in 2010, Ubiera struggled in his efforts with Rome last year and received a demotion to Danville to finish the year. Still a raw pitcher, Ubiera's time is now if he's going to make any kind of difference.

Outfielder Kyle Wren - Profile
...a speedy 4th outfielder type, Wren was doomed by the firing of his father. He didn't receive much of a look with the Brewers this spring, but could get to the majors at some point even if it's just a cup of coffee.

Pitcher Jarrett Miller - Profile
...with almost 300 innings in the book in the Carolina League, Miller has shown that there is little that sets him apart from being durable. The Braves concurred and recently released Miller.

Outfielder David Nick - Profile
...picked up for depth last season, Nick gave Lynchburg a boost with his .294 average, but as the Diamondbacks had done before, Nick was released last December among a bunch of cuts.

Pitcher Nate Hyatt - Profile
...I rather liked Hyatt's potential, especially with tempting K/9's above 10, but that tends to also attract attention. He was part of the January trade to acquire Ricardo Sanchez, but most focused on Kyle Kubitza.

First Baseman/Outfielder Joey Terdoslavich - Profile
...armed with a tremendous nickname, we have seen both the good and bat out of Terdo. He came onto the scene with a wonderful 2012 in the Carolina League, fell to pieces with an ill-advised attempted move to third in 2013, and started poorly before a strong finish in 2014. He looked like he was a shoe-in for the opening day roster this year, but a wrist injury torpedo'd his chances.

Pitcher Andy Otero - Profile
...our final Random Prospect is an iffy reliever who was a bit too hittable last year with Rome. Still, he is on Carolina's roster right now so it looks like the Braves still have some hope in him. And since the majority of the 2014 Random Prospect class has moved on, I'll take solace in at least Otero remaining to help the 2015 class get acclimated. Yeah, I don't know what that meant, either.

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