A Minor Review of 2013: Braves

There is always a bit of a lull between the end of the minor league playoffs in September and the start of the annual top prospects lists in early November. Because of that gap, I’m breathing new life into an old feature that I wrote for the site in FanGraphs’ infancy back in 2008 and 2009.

The series ‘A Minor Review of 2013′ will look back on some of the major happenings in each MLB organization since the beginning of April as a primer for the upcoming FanGraphs Top 10+5 prospects lists. This series will run throughout September and October. I hope you enjoy the series and are eagerly anticipating the start of ‘Prospect List Season.’

The player listed in the sleeper section was featured in a pre-season series that looked at one fringe prospect in each organization that was expected to take a big step forward during 2013, chosen by myself, a scout or a front office talent evaluator.

The Graduate: Julio Teheran, RHP: The 22-year-old freshman helped solidify the Braves’ playoff-caliber pitching staff and finished the year with the third most innings pitched on the team. It was an impressive turnaround after a disappointing showing in 2012 and helps to underscore the need to be patient with young players. The emergence of Teheran’s slider gave him a reliable weapon to complement his plus fastball.

The Riser: Cody Martin, RHP: Martin, who made the Braves pre-season Top 15 prospect list at No. 13, doesn’t have a huge ceiling like Lucas Sims but he continued to impress as he conquered both Double-A and Triple-A in 2013. His four-pitch repertoire could eventually help him settle in the No. 4 slot in the Braves rotation, although he also had some success as a reliever in college. Martin, who recently turned 24, should make his MLB debut in 2014.

The Tumbler: Sean Gilmartin, LHP: The 28th overall selection during the 2011 amateur draft, Gilmartin has been a bit of a disappointment to date. After combining for 157 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2012, the southpaw managed just 105 innings in 2013 while dealing with minor injuries and inconsistencies that led to an ERA closing in on 6.00. He doesn’t have the most overpowering stuff but it’s good enough to get big league hitters out if he can improve his fastball command.

The 2013 Draft Pick: Kyle Wren, OF: Adapting to life in pro ball is difficult to begin with but there is even more pressure when your father is the executive vice president and general manager of the big league club. Being under the microscope didn’t faze Wren and he played at three levels during his pro debut. The ninth round draft pick out of Georgia Tech has plus speed and nabbed 35 bases in 53 games.

The Sleeper: Chase Anselment, C: Left-handed hitting catchers are always in demand so the Braves took the opportunity to convert Anselment from the outfield to catcher prior to the 2013 season. Unfortunately, he appeared in only 65 games due to injuries and missed valuable development time. The 2014 season will be key for the 22-year-old prospect’s defensive growth.




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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect and rookie analysis. He also operates AstrosBall.com and can be reached via email at: marchulet@astrosball.com, or follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

11 Responses to “A Minor Review of 2013: Braves”

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  1. Gregory says:

    How high did Bethancourt’s stock rise for you as a result of his 2013 season? Obviously his approach still leaves a lot to be desired, but he did show he can hit at least acceptably.

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    • yaboynate says:

      wat?

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      • Adam says:

        He finished the year on a .300/.339/.521 run (53 games). He was repeating a level, and it’s not like he truly “broke out,” but it was a step in the right direction – especially considering his defensive skill set.

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        • Anon21 says:

          Yeah, I mean the glove probably plays with an 80 wRC+? (Cards were getting less than that from Molina before 2008, and he was their primary catcher.) Prior to this year, it wasn’t clear he could manage an 80 wRC+ at the major-league level, and now there’s more reason to think he can.

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        • Antonio Bananas says:

          He was repeating a level he was rushed to. I think that was widely accepted and now he should be on a more normal path.

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        • Tim says:

          He was still one of the youngest catchers in AA this season..

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    • Frank Wren says:

      We see him as a dynamic, explosive catcher as a cross between Yadier Molina and Buster Posey. That’s why we’re going to let the often-injured, overpaid, over-rated, old “catcher” Brian McCann leave via free agency. We expect about a 6-8 win increase from replacing him with Bethancourt next year.

      -Frank

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  2. Klaw says:

    The only thing I hate more than the Kyle Wren pick are DUI’s and people that insult my beloved Parks & Recreation

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