Braves Farm System Could Be Key

atlanta braves news,braves blogThe Atlanta Braves farm system has done a great job over the years of producing high-quality major league players. In recent years the system has produced Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons, Evan Gattis, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen and Craig Kimbrel.  Many other Braves players that have provided significant contributions were developed on  Braves minor league teams.

With starters Kris Medlen and Mike Minor most likely out for the season, the Braves farm system may be the key to a successful 2014 season.  Alex Wood and David Hale, two home-grown starters, will be counted on to produce big  in 2014, and with the Braves spending $14.1 million on starter Ervin Santana, there may be other minor league starters that will be called on this season.

I’ll tell you right up front that I’m concerned about Gavin Floyd‘s health.  After what has happened to Medlen and Beachy’s surgically repaired elbows, maybe I am just a little shell-shocked.  But still…

I think the Braves number one minor league pitching prospect, starter Lucas Sims, will figure into this season in a major way.  If the injury bug keeps biting, Jason Hursh may be needed, too.

With the track record the Braves minor league has established, I’m confident if starters are needed, the farm system will produce.

About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

Comments

  1. There’s no way that Lucas reaches the majors this year. If anything, he will progressing well to get called up to double A. Only way he figures in is if there’s a mid season trade. Very clear that your next starter up would be Schlosser given the recent comments from Wrenn. Get Minor back and you have a solid top four with Wood, Tehran and Santana. Some combination of Hale, Floyd and Garcia in the five spot.

    • You guaranteeing there won’t be anymore injuries? I don’t think you go the whole season with zero injuries, rarely do you see a starting five go the whole season. Wood has never pitched more than 140 innings in a season, Floyd is coming off surgery and Garcia is almost as old as I am. Hope you are right, but I think the chances are slim there won’t be some more arms needed at the major league level.

  2. Mike Minor out for the season??

    • No, but he’s out for a couple weeks to start the season. Hope that is all but lately injuries have been worse than originally projected lets hope that Minor is only out until mid April.

      • Wayne Canon says:

        Jim,
        I thought it was just me noticing how unreliable the initial prognosis has been on our players. I know it’s hard if not impossible to make an accurate snap diagnosis unless a pitchers arm seems to be jointed in three places, but if they don’t have any semi-reliable info and are just guessing like we are, they ought to just say something like “We won’t know the extent of the injury until it is examined by the doctors. We hope to have additional information tomorrow.”

        A good example is how they handled the injury to Doumit. I was listening to the game and the announcers made it sound like they were going to have to re-attach some fingers to his hand. Less than an hour later they gave the update about the x-rays being negative for breaks and they would send him to the doctor. In Beachy’s case we went to tightness in his biceps to having TJ surgery.

        The Braves pitchers sure are racking up a lot of Frequent Flier miles back and fourth to Dr. Andrews.

        IMHO, they ought to have fewer spring training games and more spring training camp. Not a longer spring training, just a lower percentage of days they play spring training games

        • Wayne, I read somewhere that it is hard for them to diagnose elbow damage after a pitcher has already had surgery due to the MRI showing up “cloud.” So I guess that explains some of the confusion on those injuries. I was listening when Doumit got hurt… Powell seems to get a little carried away. I agree with you on the number of spring games, they don’t need that many.

  3. Robert Joseph Cerasuolo says:

    With Lucas Sims can’t we get a prove pitcher with him like maybe a package around him and Bethancourt and Edward Salecdo for either Price or someone?

    • Robert, the Braves haven’t dealt top prospects in quite some time. I think they would have to get a lopsided trade to make a deal like that. Price would be very expensive, I’d be surprised if they would pony up all those assets to bring him. Plus, they got burned by dealing Wainwright and all those prospects to get Texeira. That Texeira deal took the organization four years to recover from. That said, who knows? It looks like they are poised to go for it this season and are doing everything they can to make a run.

  4. Wayne Canon says:

    Jim,
    The Braves have a superior farm system. I’m sure they will deliver excellent pitchers. The questions is when.
    Remember that Glavine and Maddux went 7-17 and 6-14 respectively in their first full season. As good as they are, none of our farm hands are a Glavine and Maddux.
    I think the Braves will patch something together and have a good season. I also think the season will be more interesting than most watching Freddi ‘Mix ‘n Match’ throughout the season.

    • Wayne, that is true about Glavine and Maddux taking time to develop. But look at what Alex Wood did last season. I don’t see why Sims and maybe Hursh can’t do the same as Wood. I think Roger McDowell is great at developing young pitching talent.

      • Wayne Canon says:

        Agreed.
        Doing some research on Santana, I think that is going to end up being an great pick-up. (When I first read the headlines “Braves Sign Santana”, my initial thought was “Geeze, isn’t Carlos Santana a little old to be playing baseball.) Coming from the AL, I didn’t know anything about him…but now I realize that he can give the Braves what they need most: Innings.

        • LOL about Carlos Santana. My two concerns about Ervin Santana are that he is coming from the other league and and that he had one of his better seasons last year. The good thing is that he’s on a one-year deal so he will be hungry.

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