It was another fun day at the Braves Minor League camp here in Orlando, Florida. The players are still doing a bunch of drills in the early morning, but they start throwing off the mound and taking BP by 11 or so, and that is a bit more exciting. I spent a lot of time talking with TC reader rbravesfan. She's a good source of info for many of the players who pass through Rome.
I got several more interviews today including Todd Redmond, a great one with Adam Milligan (who is super-cool, and country), Mike Minor, Cole Roghrbough (some interesting info here), Mycal Jones, and Robby Hefflinger. Speaking of Robby Hefflinger, the big Talking Chop news is that it looks like he's going to be joining the Talking Chop team this season, keeping a weekly diary about his experiences in the Minor Leagues. We may be adding another player also, so I'll keep you updated on that development. As it stands, I'm super-excited to have Robby on board, sharing his Minor League experiences with you.
I have to say that the group that was at Danville last year and who will be at Rome this year seem like a great group of kids. After drafting players in years past with some questionable personalities, the Braves seem to be focusing as much on talent as on positive baseball personalities the last couple of years. Guys like Mycal Jones and Hefflinger are very approachable and seem to love to play the game. They hang out with a bunch of players from last year's draft that include Matt Weaver, Jordan Kreke, Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg, Kyle Rose, and Jace Whitmer. I've never seen a group of young players bond so quickly, and that's just the hitters.
By the way, Jace Whitmer is huge. He's every bit of the 6'4" he's listed at. If he can adjust to the wooden bat and improve his catching, he might be a big power hitter in a few years. As tall as Whitmer is, Hefflinger is taller and more imposing. Ty'Relle Harris also impressed me, and impressed Kurt Kemp as well, during his mound session. He looks smaller and leaner and more of a physical specimen than I remember him being last year. He's also another tall one, and he could be a nice sleeper relief candidate this year.
I've already said that everything Edward Salcedo does is impressive. He's also a super-friendly kid, and he already seems to fit in well here at Braves camp with all the other players. Arodys Vizcaino and Julio Teheran seem to be joined at the hip.
Tom Glavine has been around the Minor League camp for the past two days while the big club has been in Jupiter. He's mainly been watching from behind the batting cage on the field or standing in the corner watching the pitchers throw. He seems to have been keeping a low profile.
That's all for now. Tomorrow's my last day at spring training when the Braves face Detroit here at Disney. Hopefully I'll get to talk to a few more players and I'll have those interviews for you in the coming days and weeks.