Something I’m going to start doing for all the Braves Country readers out there is a once-a-month farm system update on all of the prospects that the fans constantly hear about as the team falls farther and farther off the Washington Nationals pace.
MLBpipeline.com’s Top 30 prospects:*
|1. Ozzie Albeis, 2B/SS (7)||6. Ian Anderson, RHP (78)||11. Touki Toussaint, RHP||16. Kyle Muller, LHP||21. A.J. Minter, LHP||26. Akeel Morris, RHP|
|2. Kevin Maitan, SS (27)||7. Ronald Acuna, OF (92)||12. Austin Riley, 3B||17. Dustin Pederson, OF||22. Rio Ruiz, 3B||27. Braxton Davidson, OF|
|3. Kolby Allard, LHP (47)||8. Max Fried, LHP (95)||13. Joey Wentz, LHP||18. Lucas Sims, RHP||23. Alex Jackson, C||28. Lucas Herbert, C|
|4. Mike Soroka, RHP (69)||9. Travis Demeritte, 2B||14. Christian Pache, OF||19. Ricardo Sanchez LHP||24. Bryse Wilson, RHP||29. Brett Cumberland, C|
|5. Sean Newcomb, LHP (72)||10. Luis Gohara, LHP||15. Patrick Weigel, RHP||20. Derian Cruz, SS||25. Drew Harrington, LHP||30. Anfernee Seymour, OF|
*(#) is overall Top 100 number, if ranked
In last week’s article on the Braves’ bullpen we talked about who the likely candidates from AAA and AA are capable of getting the big league call. The most likely names you’ll see on a major league bump were Sean Newcomb and Lucas Sims, who are both in AAA. The pair of former first rounders should get some major league reps at the end of the season.
As for the other pitching prospects, the Braves last two groups of drafted pitching prospects are hurling their way up the pipeline big boards with outstanding performances.
Kolby Allard: 4-2, 1.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, .215 OPP AVG, 46 Ks
The former 14th overall pick began his career with a back injury that delayed his initial start, but since recovering and pitching full time he’s beginning to develop into a future staff ace. Making the jump from Rome to Mississippi this year, Allard continues mow down the competition. In his strongest and longest outing of the season (six innings), the lefty struck out 11 batters. He’s only averaging 6.1 innings pitched in his 10 starts, mostly due to the fact that the Braves want to make sure their biggest 2015 investment stays healthy. But the training wheels might soon come off and we could start to see Allard go deeper into games as well as possibly up to Gwinnett by the end of the season if he shows no signs of fatigue.
Mike Soroka: 5-3, 2.96 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, .194 OPP AVG, 51 Ks
Drafted just behind Allard in 2015 at 28th overall and also following Allard in the Mississippi rotation, Soroka has impressed with his consistency. The Canadian compensatory pick doesn’t overwhelm batters with ‘stuff,’ but rather works around them with location down in the zone and multiple looks on his fastball. His smooth delivery and calculated throws bode well to develop into middle of the rotation man in the future.
Patrick Weigel: 4-1, 4.11 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .271 OPP AVG, 50 Ks
Started in AA Mississippi this season after a 3-0 start with 2.89 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and .234 OPP AVG. Promoted to AAA Gwinnett on May 9th, and has since struggled with the adjustment with a 1-1 record and 6.41 ERA.
Ian Anderson: 2-4, 3.73 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, .233 OPP AVG, 59 Ks
In low-A Rome this season, Anderson opened the season with a rough first four starts, but in his fifth went six scoreless, in large part due to 11 strikeouts. Anderson’s start was enough to earn the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week Award. Anderson’s ability to miss bats has been his biggest asset this season, and is what he will rely on. What he needs to work on is his consistency and needs to build on his momentum going forward. The third overall pick in last year’s draft is averaging close to 14 Ks per nine innings.
Joey Wentz: 1-3, 3.18 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .285 OPP AVG, 42 Ks
Recently returning from the disabled list, Wentz returned to form in his most recent outing Monday. Even though it was a short 4.0 innings, he kept his pitches down in the zone to only let up one run to cross on two hits and one walk. His velocity has declined since high school, so Wentz will have to figure out new ways to get batters out going forward to keep moving through the system.
Bryse Wilson: 3-1, 1.90, 1.08 WHIP, .217 OPP AVG, 47 Ks
The “third wheel” in Rome is outperforming the other two starters that were taken before him. The fourth rounder is aggressive on the mound that likes to pound the strike zone, which is how he’s kept his walk total down to only 13. This type of approach suit him better for the bullpen, which might be the only spot remaining with all of the starters ahead of him.
Thursday’s Farm System update will focus on the notable position players.