For their last year in Richmond, the R-Braves looks like they will have a good team. I don’t believe the roster has been completely set yet, but the rotation will consist of Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, Buddy Carlyle, Ryan Drese, and will likely be joined later by Chuck James.
Clint Sammons will get bumped up to triple-A as their catcher, and Brent Lillibridge and Brandon Jones will anchor the offense. Scott Thorman, Josh Anderson, and Joe Borchard will be readily available backups in case of major league injuries rounding out the roster.
The biggest name at Mississippi will be the organization’s top prospect, Jordan Schafer. Joining him will be the newest addition to the organization, pitcher Todd Redmond, who was recently acquired from the Pirates in exchange for Tyler Yates.
Mississippi will get a bunch of players they are familiar with as 15 players return from last year. Among the notables who are returning are Kala Ka’aihue, Van Pope, Diory Hernandez, Carl Loadenthal, James Parr, and Michael Nix. Some of the brightest relief talent will also reside in Pearle, with closer Sung Ki Jung being backed up by Kris Medlen.
The reason for all the returning players seems to be due in part to many poor performances from several guys last year, but it probably also has a lot to do with the glut of talent and major league backups that is sitting at triple-A.
A link to the PDF with all the roster information can be found here.
Myrtle Beach (Hi-A)
Moving down the organizational ladder to hi-A Myrtle Beach finds even more talent taking the field. The starting staff will be highlighted by Tommy Hanson; perhaps the organization’s top pitching prospect.
High draft picks from last year, Travis Jones and Brandon Hicks, will help make up the Pelican’s infield along with spring standout Tyler Flowers. The outfield will have speedsters Gorkys Hernandez and Quentin Davis, as well as the power of Jon Mark Owings -- one of the nicest guys in the organization.
The deepest talent pool of the Braves minor league system will likely reside at Rome. We’ll get to see how real the top pitching talent in the organization is as top prospects Jeff Locke, Steve Evarts, Chad Rodgers, Jose Ortegano, and Edgar Osuna make up the rotation. Eric Barrett will also be interesting to watch as will Benino Pruneda who can throw 100 mph.
On the offensive side of the ball some of the brightest power hitting prospects in the organization will fill out the middle of the Rome lineup. The Braves top draft picks the last two years, Jason Heyward and Cody Johnson, will patrol the corner outfield positions, and Freddie Freeman will hold down first base with Adam Coe across the diamond at third base. I’m already thinking about which weekends I want to head up to Rome to watch these kids play.
Some notables who were left off of any roster are Julio Teheran, Cory Gearrin, Josh Morris, Steve Kent, Cory Rasmus, Jon Gilmore, and Cole Rohrbough. I’m a little surprised about Rohrbough being left off of any roster -- makes me think that either they haven’t made a decision about him yet or he’s injured. Most of the other guys are rehabbing from injuries or will stay in the instructional league until short season ball starts later this summer.