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Talking Chop's Top 25 Braves Prospects, No. 16-20

This installment begins to show the depth that the Braves have in terms of middle infield prospects as well as highlights two pitchers who both have been recently promoted after very strong showings in the first part of 2015

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Just to recap the list thus far, we have revealed the following players:

21.) Mike Soroka

22.) Wes Parsons

23.) Tanner Murphy

24.) Connor Lien

25.) Kyle Kinman

Lets get back to it, starting with No. 20....

No. 20 - Daniel Castro

At No. 20 is Mexican born shortstop Daniel Castro. He has flown under the radar in his Braves career due to the presence of top prospect Jose Peraza, but has put together a solid professional career for the Braves. He has a solid line drive swing from the right side of the plate, and has put up a .299 batting average since his rookie ball days. He doesn't draw a lot of walks-career 5.4% BB rate, but he does a very good job of putting the ball in play, having only struck out in 9.7 percent of his plate appearances. He doesn't generate much home run power, but has enough gap power to hit 20 or so doubles a season. He has average speed, and relies on his great defensive instincts and his first step to make plays in the field. He hasn't put up double digit steal totals yet in his minor league career, so he will need to put the ball in the outfield to get on base. He is an above average defender at shortstop despite his speed, and has an above average arm that will allow him to stick there permanently.

His 2015 season has been his best average-wise, posting a .313 average between AA and AAA. He was difficult to get out at Mississippi and was promoted early in the season after hitting .389/.411/.444. He has had almost 0 power this year with a .034 ISO, which is by far a career low. He has yet to hit a home run or triple, and has only managed 10 doubles. He has been much better on defense though and has a .981 fielding percentage, which is right in line with his .980 career fielding percentage. He has a solid future as a backup shortstop in the major leagues, though that is his realistic ceiling. If he can find a bit more of a power stroke or improve his walk rate he could be a starter, but his lack of foot speed limits his value in the majors. His defense has carried him to this point and will likely have to continue to carry him. He has already made a brief appearance with Atlanta this year, and will likely be on the roster in September. It would not surprise me to see him break camp as a bench infielder next season, but it also wouldn't surprise me to see him traded to a very needy team or put back in Gwinnett to give him some extra time to develop.

No. 19 - Johan Camargo

Coming in at No. 19, SS Johan Camargo is often overlooked with all of the middle infield talent in the Braves' system, but he has quietly been excellent at multiple levels for the Braves. An international signee out of Panama, Camargo is a switch-hitter with a good eye and consistently puts the ball in play. He drives the ball to all fields and while he hasn't hit for any power in the minors as of yet, he does seem to have the strength and swing that should lead to some semblance of power. Camargo should develop in to a good defender as well with the ability to play second and the occasional third base. He is a very instinctual defender which can lead to great plays, but can also lead to bad jumps on grounders and getting a little over eager on throws. Looking at the entirety of his minors career, his splits are very similar from both sides of the plate. One thing that does hold him back a bit is that he isn't particularly speedy, but he will steal an occasional base and he always hustles which does mitigate that. His performance during the first half led to him being selected for Carolina League All-Star game and despite a recent slump he is still slashing .275/.333/.356 for the year.

Camargo is, unfortunately, playing at a position of depth within the Braves' system. Given that his ceiling is probably a bench infielder on a good team, thats a bit problematic when there is so much talent at SS and 2B with the Braves. He is held back a bit by the fact that he is basically a good contact or bust sort of hitter. He isn't really fast enough to beat out a lot of grounders or sustain an above average BABIP against MLB-level competition and he certainly isn't going to be one of those middle of the order infielders either. However, assuming he can cut down on the errors in the field and continue to drive the ball from both sides of the plate, he should ultimately be ready for the majors by 2018 at the earliest. He also seems to be a prime candidate to be traded to a team in need given that it seems as though Johan probably isn't in the Braves' short or long term plans at this point given the presence of Albies, Peraza, Peterson, and even Daniel Castro.

No. 18 - Sean Godfrey

The No. 18 prospect on our list is versatile outfielder Sean Godfrey. Godfrey was drafted in the 22nd round in 2014 after graduating from Ball State. That has turned out to be a valuable pick as he has had an extremely productive start to his professional career, advancing all the way to AA Mississippi in just over a year. While not blessed with outstanding tools, Godfrey is an intelligent, high effort player who has found a way to make the most of his talent. His early career has shown a better than expected hit tool, which should be average to just above average at maturity. While he doesn't have much power, he has a slender frame that could develop some. He should be a 10-15 home run hitter at the next level, with a lot of doubles and triples. The only real knock on his bat is his lack of plate discipline, as he has posted a career walk rate around 3 percent. This will prevent him from ever being a high OBP top-of-the-order batter, but he could be very valuable as a 7th or 8th place hitter. His speed projects as above average, and he should be a 15-20 stolen base player, and he has used his speed well in his professional career. His biggest asset is his versatile defensive ability that will allow him to play all 3 outfield positions. He combines his above average speed with plus defensive instincts, and he does a good job of closing on tough fly balls. He has more than enough arm to play anywhere in the outfield, and that projects as another above average tool. He has a high makeup and should be a good guy to have in the locker room.

His early career has been wildly successful, as he has posted a .306 average and .428 slugging percentage over four levels. He has struggled at the offset at hitting AA pitching, but is starting to adjust and has hit .312 in July. He has stolen 32 bases in 40 attempts. He has played 138 career games and in that time is a .306/.340/.428 hitter with 8 HR, 30 2B, 6 3B, 32 SB, 87 runs, and 65 RBI. Those are very solid numbers and hopefully some of that success can be translated to the majors. While his realistic ceiling is that of a bench 4th outfielder, some of the skills he has shown point to the possibility that he may be a valuable asset in the future. His solid offense and good defense at all positions could earn him a roster spot as early as 2016. It's reasonable to compare him to Todd Cunningham, though Godfrey possesses a bit more of a bat than Cunningham. Players can pop up out of no where, and the Braves may have found a hidden gem in what typically amounts to a throw away round.

No. 17 - Steve Janas

No. 17 on our list has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the Braves' system this year, RHP pitcher Steve Janas. If he hadn't been injured in the bus crash that injured several Carolina Mudcats (including several members of this list) and had performed at the same level he has almost every time he has been on the mound, its possible that Janas could have joined Ozhaino Albies at the Futures Game. A 6th round pick out of Kennesaw State University in 2013, Janas struggled a bit in rookie ball as well as at Rome (although there were certainly flashes of brilliance in single A) before really breaking out in 2015. His fastball sits generally in the low 90s, although its possible with his 6'6 frame that he could develop a little more power there. He also has a slider that could possibly be a good "out" pitch for him if it continues to improve as well as an average change-up. He throws a lot of strikes and does not seem afraid to pitch to contact given how many groundball outs he generates. He underwent Tommy John surgery while at KSU and each year since, he has gotten better and better before dominating with a 1.70 ERA in limited action.

Janas is, to be blunt, the candidate most likely to make the biggest jump in prospect rankings by year's end. He wasn't ranked by anyone to begin the year, is starting to creep in to the top 25 in some national rankings now, and could be threatening the top 12 or so by the end of the year if he keeps this up. He has given up 10 runs total in nine starts this year, 7 of which came in one start (his second game after being promoted in late June). So in the 8 other starts, he gave a total of 3 runs. Now, his level of dominance isn't sustainable (high-A BABIP against was .178), but he has been largely successful in AA despite a jump in BABIP. We need more data as sample size is definitely an issue Janas' year thus far due to being out with an injury, but "Magic Mustache" (seriously, how is it possible not to like that Super Troopers mustache?) is trending up with a bullet and if he continues to stay healthy, keep the ball on the ground, and develop his slider, he could be in Atlanta in 2017.

No. 16 - Max Povse

At No. 16 we have the big right hander Max Povse. The former UNC-Greensboro starter is an intimidating presence, standing at 6'8" tall. Despite his size he controls his body very well and has a solid delivery. His fastball is his best tool right now, topping out at 97 with a deep downward plane. It shows impressive movement and could gain more velocity as he matures. He is a groundball pitcher with a very high ceiling due to his projectability. His slider and changeup lag behind his fastball, but both project as major league average or better options. He as a repeatable, athletic delivery and throws an effortless fastball that should allow him to remain in the starting rotation. He has good control of his fastball, maintaining a BB/9 below 3, and has shown improvement at a rate even better than was expected.

A DL stint early this year slowed what looked to be a quick progression for Povse, but he came back strong posting a 2.29 ERA between his return from the DL and his promotion to High A Carolina. While his performance for Carolina has been a bit dismal, his last start was impressive, with him going 6 innings and giving up just 1 run. He is a pitch-to-contact player who won't strike out many batters (7.1 K/9) but also doesn't walk many (2.45 BB/9). His size and stuff got him drafted, and thus far in his career has allowed him to advanced at an impressive pace. His heavy fastball will generate a lot of ground balls, and his improving off speed pitches provide good variability. The plethora of starting pitching and his underdeveloped off speed stuff may necessitate a move to the bullpen, but he should be able to adapt well as a long reliever. His ceiling is a mid rotation starter, and he should be a good bet to reach that ceiling. He will likely move through the system, possibly making an appearance in Atlanta as soon as late 2016, though 2017 is a more reasonable expectation. Povse is one of the most intriguing prospects in the system, and it will be very enjoyable to watch his progression through the minor leagues

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