As part of a brand new feature here at Talking Chop we're going to increase our already internet-best coverage of the Braves Minor League system by giving you monthly updates on how the team's top prospects are performing. Players who have graduated to the Major Leagues, such as number one prospect Jason Heyward, won't be discussed.
2. Freddie Freeman, Gwinnett - .257 AVG, .729 OPS, 8 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI - Freeman missed some games late in the month with a leg injury and while his overall numbers haven't been that spectacular, it must be repeated, he's only 20 years old playing in AAA. His OBP for May was just .297 and it's only .309 for the season, a huge change a guy who usually gets on at a pace over .350.
3. Julio Teheran, Rome, Myrtle Beach - 3-0, 0.79 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, 11.3 K/9, 8.6 K/BB - After 2 great starts for Rome early in the month, Teheran stayed hot after a promotion to Myrtle Beach. He dominated over 5 starts, striking out 43 and walking just 5. He's making himself into one of the elite prospects in the game.
4. Arodys Vizcaino, Rome - 5-1, 1.60 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 0.5 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 18.5 K/BB - The Javy Vazquez trade looks worse and worse for the Yankees as Vizcaino continues to prove himself as an elite talent. More than anything he's been successful by limiting his walks, averaging one every 18 innings. His 18.5 strikeouts per walk is the kind of insane stat that seems more likely in a small sample size, not in nearly 40 innings.
5. Edward Salcedo, DSL Braves - 1-3, R, 1 BB - After leaving the US to be with his family in the Dominican, Salcedo has had trouble getting back into the country. Until his Visa issues can be resolved he's going to play for the Dominican Summer League Braves.
6. Mike Minor, Mississippi - 1-2, 3.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 13.2 K/9, 4.9 K/BB After having some struggles with control in April, Minor was much better in May, knocking his WHIP down from 1.56 to 1.00. Few considered him to be a strikeout pitcher coming out of college, but he's maintained a high rate of whifs over the first 2 months, actually raking them up at a higher pace in May.
7. Craig Kimbrel, Gwinnett - 1-0, 2 SV, 1.08 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 17.3 K/9, 5.3 K/9 - Kimbrel spent a part of the month in Atlanta's bullpen, collecting a 2.70 ERA and 2.40 WHIP in 3.1 innings over 4 games. The walks have remained a problem for the little righty, but when you're striking out nearly 2 batters an inning you're more likely to get away with the free passes.
8. Christian Bethancourt, Rome - .200 AVG, .507 OPS, 2 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 15 K, 1 SB - Bethancourt is the youngest everyday player in the Braves' system, and May was a good example of how even a very talented player can be overmatched. He's shown little ability to take a walk this year, with a .271 overall OBP and a .244 OBP in the month of May.
9. Randall Delgado, Myrtle Beach - 2-2, 1.96 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, 10.6 K/9, 7.2 K/BB - Delgado has been getting national attention for his work with the Pelicans. He's shown the whole arsenal of pitches and a great ability to both strike batters out and keep them from reaching on walks. Opposing batters hit just .201 off him in May.
10. Zeke Spruill, Myrtle Beach - Spruill didn't play at all in May after breaking his hand in April.
The rest of the list after the jump:11. Cody Johnson, Mississippi - .220 AVG, .797 OPS, 2 2B, 6 HR, 16 RBI, 4 SB, 36 K - He found his power stroke a little this month, but Johnson still didn't make enough consistent contact. Strikeouts continue to plague him as he fanned in 44% of his at-bats in May. Still, as with some of the Braves other struggling prospects, the 21 year old is very young to be playing in AA.
12. JJ Hoover, Myrtle Beach - 2-2, 2.86 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, 3.9 K/BB - After struggling with his mechanics in April and early May, Hoover turned things around, allowing just 2 earned runs in his last 27 May innings. He isn't striking out as many as he did last year, but he's still keeping his walks down.
13. Adam Milligan, Myrtle Beach -1-9, 2 BB, 1 SB, 3 K - Milligan injured his shoulder in the second week of the season and attempted to play through the pain. Just 2 games into May it was determined that rest would be the only remedy and he hasn't played since.
14. Brett DeVall, Rome -2-2, 3.81 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 2.7 K/9 - After missing most of last season with a shoulder injury, DeVall was held out of the first month of 2010. He made his debut May 7th and has pitched solidly in his 5 starts.
15. Dimasther Delgado, Rome -Delgado broke his leg in an off-season car accident and will miss all of 2010.
16. Jose Ortegano, Myrtle Beach, Gwinnett -3-2, 2.75 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 3.9 K/9, 1.6 K/9 - After missing most of Spring Training with a nagging arm injury, likely caused by playing Winter Ball in his native Venezuela, the Braves sent Ortegano to Myrlte Beach to start the year, using a level he'd already mastered as a makeshift Spring. He's been much better after moving up to AAA, with a 2-0 record, a 2.08 ERA, and a 1.04 WHIP.
17. Cory Gerrin, Gwinnett -0-2, 5.65 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, 4.4 K/9, 1.0 K/BB - The sidearming Gearrin lost his control this month which lead to some rough times. He walked as many as he struck out, which isn't good whether you're a starter or a reliever.
18. Cole Rohrbough, Myrtle Beach -Rohrbough didn't pitch in the month of May as he is trying to both rehab a nagging arm injury and re-work his pitching mechanics.
19. Brandon Hicks, Gwinnett -.237 AVG, .684 OPS, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 SB, 13 K - After Yunel Escobar was placed on the DL, Hicks spent 2 weeks with Atlanta, striking out in his only at bat. His May AAA numbers don't look great, but he hit 68 points higher in May than in April and OPSed 203 points higher.
20. Jacob Thompson, Mississippi -1-1, 6.59 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 6.3 K/9, 2.5 K/BB - Thompson has been far too hittable, allowing a .308 average against for the month of May. His numbers weren't that great in April, and they were slightly worse in May.
21. Brett Oberholtzer, Myrtle Beach -1-3, 5.79 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 2.25 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 2.4 K/BB - After breezing through the Sally Leauge, Oberholtzer had a rough adjustment period to the Carolina League, allowing a .350 average against in May. He seems to be figuring things out though, as he's pitched well in his last 3 starts.
22. David Hale, Rome -0-2, 5.50 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 3 BB/9, 8 K/9, 2.7 K/BB - As bad as his May numbers look, every one of them is an improvement over his April numbers. A move to the bullpen this month seemed to help, as he threw 7 scoreless innings in his first 2 relief appearances, striking out 11 and walking 2, but he followed that up by allowing 5 earned runs in 3 innings in his next appearance.
23. Robinson Lopez, Rome -1-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.4 BB/9, 10.3 K/9, 3 K/BB - The 19 year old Lopez is doing very well in limited innings as a starter and reliever. He's shown an ability to strike guys out and limit base hits, just a .224 average against this month.
24. Scott Diamond, Mississippi -2-2, 4.24 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.8 K/9, 3.9 K/BB - Diamond had a helter-skelter May; in 3 of his starts he was 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 0.77 WHIP, with 24 strikeouts and 4 walks in 22 innings, but in his other 3 starts he was 0-2 with a 6.62 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 17.2 innings.
25. Tyler Stovall, Danville - Stovall has yet to play in an official Minor League game this season. He has been in Extended Spring Training in Orlando.