Friday, November 03, 2006

2006 Richmond Braves

C- Brayan Pena
Pena started the year slowly but was on fire in the second half. He hit .357 in the second half vs. .271 in the first half. He only hit 1 homer but that is not part of his game. Hopefully he will be Atlanta's backup catcher next year. The Braves don't need to go out and sign another washed up catcher like Todd Pratt. Pena's line in 2006 .302/.342/.372 will hopefully convince Atlanta that this is true.

1B/LF- Scott Thorman
Scott didn't play the entire season in Richmond but he made the most of his time there. He was hitting .298/.360/.508 when he was promoted to Atlanta. He also showed great power with 15 homers and 48 RBI's. His time in Atlanta come with some mixed results but I think that overall he showed a lot good signs including some nice opposite field power.

OF- Gregor Blanco
Blanco split the season between Mississippi and Richmond and performed very well at both stops. He actually played better upon his promotion in the second half to Richmond. Before this year, Blanco was just another good speed, no power, light hitting outfielder. However, Blanco showed something this year as he hit .290 with an OBP of .403. He still didn't show any power with zero home runs but he stole 14 bases and played some great defense.

3B- Wes Timmons
Wes had another solid yet unspectacular year with the bat in 2006. He missed some time with an injury so he only logged 281 at-bats. In those at-bats, Timmons hit .281/.393/.406. He walked 45 times and struck out only 24 times all year. He is definitely the best contact hitter in the organization. His power isn't very good as he only hit 6 homers but it is decent enough for him to be a utility guy in the majors some day. He really handles the stick well and will likely get a look in Atlanta sometime soon especially if Giles is traded.

2B- Martin Prado
Prado played the first half of the year in Mississippi and the second half in Richmond. The thing I like about Prado is he improved upon his promotion to AAA. I always like to see that in a prospect. Overall, Prado hit .281/.321/.360. Prado is a solid middle infielder who hits for decent average but not a lot of power or speed. He will probably get a legitimate shot at winning the starting 2B job if Giles is traded.

SP- Kevin Barry
Kevin Barry had a really solid year in Richmond but his time in the majors proved that he just doesn't have what it takes at that level. He may be a 4-A player. Barry had his ups and downs in Richmond and finished 4-5 with a 3.30 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Barry had a really long scoreless streak in the middle of the season and was Richmond's best starting pitcher for most of the year. He even started out in Atlanta with 11 scoreless inning, but the rest is history I guess. I doubt we'll be seeing much more of him in Atlanta.

RP- Wayne Franklin
Here is another guy who dominated in Richmond but didn't pitch well at all in Atlanta. In Richmond, Franklin struck out 52 guys in 53.1 innings with a 2.36 ERA and 1.05 WHIP out of the bullpen. That is a really excellent year but he couldn't translate it into major league success unfortunately.

RP- Manny Acosta
Acosta is on here because he pitched well in Mississippi before coming to Richmond and saving 17 games. His ERA and WHIP steadily rose throughout the season to 3.63 and 1.57 respectively in Richmond. He struck out 44 in 44.2 innings but walked 32. I am not all that impressed with Acosta but he did improve a lot this year so we'll see what he does next year.

RP- Will Startup
Startup flew through the organization before settling down in Richmond. After some early struggles, Will settled down to a 3.43 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He struck out 38 in 42 innings while walking only 11. Startup is probably going to get a shot at winning a bullpen spot in Atlanta next year. As bad as the other guys have been, I like his chances.

RP- Paul Bush
Paul Bush, 28, is old for a prospect but I think he has what it takes to contribute at the major league level. After being called up to Richmond, Bush recorded a 3.60 ERA and 1.13 WHIP while striking out 36 in 40 innings. Bush has made some great strides over the last couple of years and I hope Atlanta gives him a shot at the bullpen sometime soon. If they don't, he may become the next Kevin Barry.

RP- Phil Stockman
Stockman is up here because he put some ridiculous numbers up in Richmond. In 33.1 innings, Stockman struck out 41 while allowing only 13 hits and 3 runs for a 0.81 ERA and 0.69 WHIP. That is just absolutely dominant. I still think Stockman would have stuck in Atlanta longer if he didn't get hurt shortly after his first callup. However, he is still a journeyman and is unlikely to repeat this performance next year.

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