Full disclosure: This was written in its entirety by Gaurav, but he was having technical issues, so I am helping to get it posted. - Eric
The day of reckoning is here and boy is it rough. MLB has announced that the Braves will lose 13 prospects as a result of their investigation into the Atlanta Braves signing practices.
MLB announced the Braves have to forfeit 13 international prospects:— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) November 21, 2017
Juan Contreras, Yefri del Rosario, Abrahan Gutierrez, Kevin Maitan, Juan Carlos Negret, Yenci Peña, Yunior Severino, Livan Soto, Guillermo Zuniga, Brandol Mezquita, Angel Rojas, Antonio Sucre and Ji Hwan Bae
Here is a brief rundown of the prospects lost.
The big signing from the star studded 2016 J2 signing period is officially a free agent. The news kept flip flopping on Maitan as one week it was determined he was gone and the next week that he would be staying with the Braves - but it is now official.
Maitan was the second ranked signing of that period with scouts calling him the best international prospects since Miguel Sano. The switch hitter flashed a very good hit tool from both sides of the plate, and while his position was in question, there is no doubting the ceiling that Maitan has despite the rough debut season - after all he is still just 17 years old.
The 25th ranked international prospect, according to pipeline, Gutierrez projected as an everyday catcher with a big arm, and a very nice projectable hit tool with 40 power.
Another switch hitter - Severino was slapped with a 50 hit and 50 power tool at just 18 years of age. Severino projected as a perhaps offensively gifted second baseman with good, but not great defense.
Yet another very projectable infielder - Yenci flashed near elite defense at short, however with the thought that he would be moved to third once his body develops. Pena also was graded with a 55 hit tool and had a very high ceiling.
A $1.2M signing Contreras profiled as having two possible elite pitches with a fastball that hit 95 already, and a dynamite slider. He could project more towards a reliever, given no development in a third pitch, but has a very high ceiling.
Yefri Del Rosario
Blessed with a big arm, Yefri hit the radar gun in the mid 90s at a super young age, and a very promising slider. Much like players his age he has yet to develop a consistent third pitch which may push him towards the bullpen, where he could be absolutely dominating, he will likely stay as a starter as long as possible.
Livan was personally one of my favorites because of his physical frame at the time of his signing, 5’9” ~ 140 pounds, that did not alter scouts perception of him. A very intriguing contact hitter with line drive power, Soto was the one most likely to remain at shortstop where he could have provided very good defensive value.
Not much was known about Zuniga however the Braves thought enough of him to ink him to a $350K deal. Zuniga went 0-3 with a 5.06 ERA and 1.83 WHIP in 8 games in 2017 for the GCL Braves.
Juan Carlos Negret
Negret, signed out of Cuba, put in a solid, but not quite spectacular, rookie season in the DSL where he hit .264/.410/.391 with 23 stolen bases. He played 31 games in center, and 17 games in right, where he had a combined 9 outfield assists and 2 errors.
18 year old out of Venezuela - Sucre hit .237/.333/.333 in 57 games in 2017 for the DSL Braves.
Ji Hwan Bae
The Braves shocked everyone when they announced the signing of Bae, the top rated Korean shortstop. Bae showed great speed and very good ability to handle the bat - often compared to Trae Turner.
We don’t really know much about these last two players, so it is hard to classify them as big losses. That said, they will hit the market now and it will be interesting to see how much interest they garner given the situation.