clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Braves 2011 Top-25 Prospects: 11-15

Displaying his on-field leadership, Mycal Jones (left) helps Julio Teheran (right) get through some trouble on the bases.
Displaying his on-field leadership, Mycal Jones (left) helps Julio Teheran (right) get through some trouble on the bases.

Talking Chop ranks the top-25 Braves prospects for 2011. For an introduction and an explanation of how this list was compiled, go here. Below are top prospects11 through 15. There's a lot of talent and a lot of promise in this group. In many organizations some of these guys would be top-10 prospects, but the Braves are so deep, they end up a bit down the ladder.

11. J.J. Hoover, RHSP
The Skinny: Spent most of 2010 in Myrtle Beach fighting consistency but finishing with strong numbers across the board before being awarded with a promotion to Mississippi that saw a spike in his strike out rate and walk rate.
The Good: When he is at the top of his game he has control of a solid fastball in the low 90s with a plus curve and advanced change up. Has a durable frame that could eat up innings as he moves up the ladder.
The Bad: Experienced a lot of inconsistency in 2010 appearing to lose control of his pitches some games and then dominating the opposition in others. Has very little projection left in his frame so any improvement going forward will come from tightening his mechanics rather than physical maturation.
In a perfect world: He reigns in his inconsistency issues and becomes a reliable number three or four starter at the major league level that eats up 200 innings a year.
ETA: 2012. There are a lot of guys ahead of Hoover, but his polished game could give him the chance to leapfrog someone if they have a hiccup or two.

12. Christian Bethancourt, C
The Skinny: At only 18 years old, the young catcher was a bit overmatched in his first full season at Rome.
The Good: Arm is one of the best in the game at catcher and completely shuts down opposing teams' running games. Massive target behind the plate, which pitchers love. Above average athlete for a catcher. Big, strong frame with plenty of room to add muscle. Solid natural instincts.
The Bad: Had trouble blocking balls, which took away from his overall defensive ability. Showed almost no ability to drive the ball with authority or take a walk in 2010. Swing tends to get long. Will take a while to develop.
In a perfect world: Bethancourt develops into an All-Star catcher, perhaps a better hitting version of Yadier Molina, and allows Brian McCann to shift to a less stressful defensive position.
ETA: Late 2014. He'll return to Rome to start 2011 and will need to take each level a year at a time after that.

13. Mycal Jones, 2B
The Skinny:
Started horribly at the plate for Rome before going on a tear in May and getting promoted to Myrtle Beach, where he played solidly before ending the year with Mississippi.
The Good: Easily the best athlete in the system. Above average speed with good baserunning instincts. Surprisingly good pop in his bat. True leader on the field.
The Bad: Lacks some of the fundamentals of hitting, which leads to stretches of poor contact. Not as adept at getting on base as a top of the order hitter should be. Racked up a ton of errors in 2010, forcing a switch from shortstop to second base for 2011.
In a perfect world: Jones becomes an above average second baseman and top of the order hitter in the mold of Orlando Hudson.
ETA: Late 2011. He'll start the year back with Mississippi and likely earn a promotion to Gwinnett at some point. May stick with Atlanta in 2012 as a utility player, and could work his way into an everyday role the way Martin Prado did.

14. Joe Leonard, 3B
The Skinny:
Drafted out of the University of Pittsburgh. After a huge year there he put together a solid professional debut between Danville and Rome.
The Good: Good bat control allows him to square up the ball and drive it to the gaps. He will stay at third base long term and and should be an asset there with an above average arm and good movement.
The Bad: Showed little patience in professional ball and most scouts don't believe he will develop adequate power for the hot corner because his swing is too level.
In a perfect world: The line drives become home runs and he shows enough power to be a solid starting third baseman in the majors.
ETA: Late 2012 or early 2013. The Braves are short on infielders in the high minors and Leonard could move quickly if he shows the polish expected from college hitters.

15. Brett Oberholtzer, LHSP
The Skinny:
Lefty dominated Rome early in the year before more than holding his own with Myrtle Beach.
The Good: Strong, thick body that allows him to be a workhorse. Low 90s fastball is solid, but breaking pitches are even better, especially 12 to 6 curveball. Mentally tough, bulldog on the mound.
The Bad: Missed time this season with a leg injury, but it shouldn't have any lasting effects. Isn't overly flashy so he has to live on his intelligence and secondary pitches.
In a perfect world: Oberholtzer becomes a solid, middle of the rotation innings eater with stretches of brilliance.
ETA: Mid to late 2012. Will move up to AA in 2011 and make a nice, gradual transition to the Majors. Might break in as a lefty reliever.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Battery Power Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Atlanta Braves news from Battery Power