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Atlanta Braves news and links: Hank Aaron receives high honors from Japan

The legendary Hank Aaron has received a ton of awards during and after his career as a baseball player, and he just received another one, and it's a pretty important one as well -- from Japan, no less.

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images


Who do we have ranked as our top five prospects?

Last week, our minor league crew decided to take a stab at ranking the top 25 prospects in the Braves' farm system. Eric and Garrett had a tough time with this ranking once they got to the top 10, which is a pretty good problem to have and is also indicative of the promise that is budding within the Braves' organization. Also, our readers came up with a prospect ranking of their own, so if you haven't checked it out yet. fire away.

So, who exactly is Jose Ramirez?

Back in early December, the Braves picked up RHP Jose Ramirez in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.  The good folks over at Tomahawk Take decided to take a closer look at one of the many new faces who will be taking the field for the Braves in this upcoming season, so if you're interested in learning more about the former prominent Yankees prospect, then you definitely need to take a look at this.

After waiting for over half a decade for him to move up the system as a starter, the Yankees moved Ramirez to the bullpen in 2014, starting him back in AAA. He wasn’t able to get onto the field until mid-May due to an oblique injury, but his minor league numbers were solid, with 9 appearances and 12 1/3 innings. He sported a 1.46 ERA, but he also had a 1.87 WHIP and a 10/16 BB/K ratio. Ramirez was also called up to the majors, and he pitched in 8 games, throwing 10 innings, accumulating a 5.40 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, and 7/10 BB/K.

In 2015, Ramirez finally was able to stay healthy for a full season of relief, and he started out excellent with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre again, but he was on the train between SWB and the Yankees multiple time in the early season. He threw 32 games for SWB, totaling a 2.90 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 23/56 BB/K over 49 2/3 innings. For the Yankees, he didn’t fare so wall, tallying a 15.00 ERA and 3.33 WHIP over 3 IP with a 4/2 BB/K ratio.

Hank Aaron receives one of Japan's highest awards

The legendary Hank Aaron recently received yet another honor to place on what must be one of the largest lists of achievements a former baseball player could have. In order to commemorate the United States and Japan's connection via the love of baseball, Japan awarded Aaron with The Order of the Rising Sun, which is one of the highest awards that you can receive from Japan. Again, it's yet another honor for one of the greatest living baseball players right now, and it's always nice to pay tribute to Mr. 755 any chance you can get.

The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette was presented during a ceremony and reception at the home of Japan's consul general in Atlanta, Takashi Shinozuka.

"It is an honor for Japan to have such a wonderful friend," Shinozuka said.

The 81-year-old Aaron was singled out for his long relationship with Japan's home run leader, Sadaharu Oh, and their efforts to bring young people together through the World Children Baseball's Fair, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.


Is the DH coming to the National League soon?

We've reached that time of year where conversations about the various rules and quirks of Major League Baseball become big news, and one of those rules and quirks is the use of the Designated Hitter. Ever since baseball decided to go with year-round Interleague play, the clamor for the NL to get with the times and adopt the DH has gotten louder. It's gotten to the point where the Cardinals GM says that there's "more momentum" behind the idea of bringing the DH to the Senior Circuit, and you can see Cubs President Theo Epstein thinks of the idea below:

Theo Epstein noted the impact a DH would have for an offensive-minded player like Kyle Schwarber.

"We have so many good hitters coming that we wouldn't mind the DH," said Epstein, who followed by adding that he didn't think the NL would ever adopt the rule.

The DH rule has existed in the American League since 1973. With 2013's introduction of year-round Interleague Play, questions have arisen as to whether the two leagues should make an attempt to standardize the DH.

The removal of the DH from the AL would appear to be out of the question. It's hard to imagine the Major League Baseball Players Association voting to remove 15 well-paying jobs.

Yoenis Cespedes signing may be imminent

Yoenis Cespedes' long and agonizing wait on the free agent market could be coming to a close pretty soon, as ESPN's Jim Bowden has passed along a rumor that there are a few teams who are now showing serious interest in the Cuban outfielder and we could see a contract signing happen in a few days. Apparently there are 10 clubs who are serious about this, and while things could change depending on what happens with Justin Upton, there's a good chance that we might figure out where Cespedes' next destination is sometime this week.

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