Talking Chop hands out Minor League superlatives
So, it's Minor League Awards season here at Talking Chop,a nd we've got you covered from wall to wall. If you want to get an idea of who was excelling down on the farm this past season (and also see why everybody is so excited about the Braves' farm system), then check out the links below:
We weren't the only ones who decided to take time out to give the kids on the farm a shoutout. Baseball America did so as well, as multiple Braves prospects in the GCL and Appalachian League were given recognition as being top prospects in those leagues. Austin Riley, Mike Soroka, and Ronald Acuna were recognized in the Appalachian League, and both Riley and Soroka also received recognition for what they did in the GCL. For more on this, I'd suggest reading Tomahawk Take's piece on the matter.
Jace Peterson came flying out of the gates after he parlayed an impressive Spring Training campaign into a starting role on the team. Unfortunately, things tapered off for Peterson as the season progressed, and it seemed as if Peterson was stuck in a long-term rut. Fortunately, he's started to turn it around, and as usual, Kevin Seitzer is getting the credit for a Braves hitter making improvements. He may not be a lock for being the Braves' second baseman of the future, but he's at least proving that he can hang at the Major League level.
The progress began after he and Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer watched highlights of Peterson from a productive 50-game stretch that immediately preceded the three-month struggle. In those 50 games from April 26 through June 21, Peterson hit .309 with 16 extra-base hits (two homers), 29 RBIs, a .389 OBP and .426 slugging percentage.
"He and Seitz got in the film room and brought up some old video," Peterson said. "I feel a lot better my last few games or however many at-bats. For me it’s when I stay back and let my hands work hard, that’s when I go (well). I think I’m getting a feel for it. Unfortunately the year’s about to end. I’m going to take the positives out of this year. I learned a lot."
As you all know, the Braves are getting pretty serious about their plans to move their Spring Training home to St. Petersburg, Florida. That particular town is currently the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, who don't have the most ideal stadium situation right now. The Rays and the city of St. Petersburg have been in a bit of a deadlock when it comes to pursuing other options for a potential stadium. Could the Braves' arrival in town spur both parties into acting? I sure hope so, because seeing that team play in a glorified Wal-Mart is kind of sad, if we're being totally honest here.
This has been an inevitability for a couple of months now, but it's finally happened and it's still impressive nonetheless: The defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals are the 2015 AL Central Champions, and they're also the first team to clinch a spot in the Postseason proper (meaning that they won't have to go through the awful rigor of a Wild Card game). Again, this has been coming for a long time now, as the Royals have clearly been the best team in the AL in 2015, and they've proven that they're definitely up for the challenge of defending their pennant. We'll see if they can actually do it next month.
<iframe src='http://m.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=500309583&topic_id=6479266&width=400&height=224&property=mlb' width='400' height='224' frameborder='0'>Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe>
Meanwhile in the NL Central, the Cubs are poised to become the third team from that division to clinch at least a spot in the Wild Card. The Padres beat the Giants in walk-off fashion last night, which means that the Cubs' magic number is now down to just one. That means that with a win today against the Pirates could put them in the Postseason, and it could also be a preview of this season's NL Wild Card game. So yeah, you should probably try to watch, listen to, or at least keep an eye on the only day game today.