Atlanta Braves Pitching Review | Touch’em All 2012

We continue our off-season review of each organization by wrapping up the Atlanta Braves.  We brought the hitters to you last time and now we switch gears and look at what happened with the pitchers.  Julio Teheran, despite an off season leads the way for the Braves.  Sean Gilmartin may not be flashy, but he gets the job done and 2012 draft picks Lucas Sims and Alex Wood gives the Braves some hope for the future.

AAA Gwinnett Braves

Julio Teheran, RHP – Age 21 – The 2007 signee from Colombia went 7-9 with a 5.08 ERA and had a 97/43 K/BB ratio over 131 innings at AAA in 2012.  Teheran made a spot start in JUne and then was recalled after the minor league season was over.  He went 0-0 with a 5.68 ERA to go with a 5/1 K/BB ratio over 6.1 innings in 2 games.  His K rate has taken a nose dive over the past 2 season, but despite his struggles he remains one the top pitching prospects in  baseball.

Sean Gilmartin, LHP – Age 22 – The 28th overall pick from the 2011 draft went 6-10 with a 3.84 ERA to go with a 111/39 K/BB ratio over 157 innings on the season.  He spent 119.1 of those innings at AA before being promoted to AAA on July 30th.  Gilmartin doesn’t have over powering stuff, but he throws strikes and uses his pitches effectively, especially his change-up.  He should be in Atlanta some time in 2013.

Yohan Flande, LHP – Age 26 – Flande was signed out the Dominican Republic back in 2004 by the Phillies.  He seemingly cruised through each level until he got to AA and really struggled.  The Braves picked him up in 2010 as a free agent, and while he hasn’t been awful, he’s made no real strides forward.  He went 6-11 with a 4.21 ERA to go with a 106/55 K/BB ratio over 147.2 innings in his 2nd straight season in the International League.  At this point it’s questionable if he will ever get a shot at the show.


AA Mississippi Braves

 Zeke Spruill, RHP – Age 23 – Spruill has made a slow, but steady climb through the Braves organization since becoming a 2nd round pick in 2008.  His 2012 season may be his best effort yet as he went 9-11 with a 3.67 ERA to go with a 106/46 K/BB ratio over 161.2 innings.  There’s still major league starter potential there, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he became a long reliever either.

David Hale, RHP – Age 25 – Armed with a good slider, the 2009 3rd round draft pick went 8-4 with a 3.77 ERA and had a 124/67 K/BB ratio over 145.2 innings on the season.  While the progress has been steady for Hale, it’s coming along too slow.  He will need to cut the walk rate at AAA in 2013 if he wants a shot at being a major league starter.

Luis Avilan, LHP – Age 23 – Avilan signed with the Braves in 2005 out of Venezuela.  He went 3-6 with a 3.23 ERA and had a 55/31 K/BB ratio over 61.1 innings at AA.  He made his major league debut in early July and stuck in the Braves bullpen by going 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA and had a 33/10 K/BB ratio over 36 innings in the majors.  He should be a major part of the Braves bullpen in 2013.

J.R. Graham, RHP – Age 22 – After going 9-1 with a 2.63 ERA to go with a 68/17 K/BB ratio over 102.2 innings at High-A, the 2011 4th round pick went 3-1 with a 3.18 ERA to go with a 42/17 K/BB ratio over 45.1 innings at AA on the 2012 season.  He’s just 6’0″, but he has great arm strength and has been clocked in the mid 90’s at point s this season.  There’s a good chance he will end up as a reliever, but he will continue to be pushed as a starter, and likely at AA for the 2013 season.

Billy Bullock, RHP – Age 24 – The 2009 2nd round draft pick went 1-2 with a 3.89 ERA to go with a 41/33 K/BB ratio over 39.1 innings at AA.  He also went 0-0 with a 11.07 ERA to go with a 26/23 K/BB ratio over 20.1 innings at AAA.  The promotion to AAA would later result in his return to AA due to being so erratic.  Bullock has great stuff, but will need to harness it if he’s to make it at the next level as a power arm out of the bullpen.

High-A Lynchburg Hillcats

Gus Schlosser, RHP – Age 23 – The 2011 17th round draft pick went 13-7 with a 3.38 ERA and had a 139/33 K/BB ratio over 165.1 innings in his 1st full season of professional baseball.  As with most late round college draft picks, he started behind the curve in regards to his age and level placement.  He should start the 2013 season at AA, but the clock will be ticking on the soon to be 24-year-old.

Aaron Northcraft, RHP – Age 22 – The 2009 10th round draft pick went 10-11 with a 3.98 ERA and had a 160/53 K/BB ratio over 151.2 innings.  Truly, his down fall this season came from big innings.  He has decent stuff and if he can work out of a jam more effectively, he could be one to watch out for in 2013.

Dimasther Delgado, LHP – Age 23 – As I mentioned in my last article, the Braves like to drink the Kool-Aid from Panama.  Delgado is no exception.  He went 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA and had a 80/39 K/BB ratio over 128.2 innings.  He’s been fairly effective in his 6 season, however his continued K rate decline is cause for concern.  He should be put to the test in 2013 at AA.

Cody Martin, RHP – Age 23 – The 2011 7th round draft pick was excellent in his 2011 debut.  The Braves bumped him up to High-A for the 2012 and he went 12-7 with a 2.93 ERA to go with a 123/34 K/BB ratio over 107.1 innings.  He will be 23 for the entire 2013 season and we look forward to seeing what he can do at AA.

Juan Jaime, RHP – Age 25 – The 6’1″ 230 pound Dominican went 1-3 with a 3.16 ERA and had a 73/33 K/BB ratio along with 18 saves over 51.1 innings with his near triple digit stuff.  This is very significant due to the fact he missed all of 2010 and 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Sure, he’s behind the curve, but the Braves have got to be thrilled with the performance of this future back of a major league bullpen pitcher.

Low-A Rome Braves

Alex Wood, LHP – Age 21 – The 2012 2nd round draft pick out of Georgia jumped right into full season play after being drafted.  He went 4-3 with a 2.22 ERA and had a 52/14 K/BB ratio over 52.2 innings.  He’s got a mid 90’s fastball to go with a decent curve, and a developing change-up.  He had Tommy John surgery a couple of years ago and seems to be a better pitcher for it.  He’s a guy to keep an eye on.

Navery Moore, RHP – Age 22 – The 2011 14th round draft pick made his professional debut in 2012 and went 8-3 with a 3.86 ERA to go with a 84/45 K/BB ratio over 102.2 innings.  Though he’s likely to pick up some more starts along the way, Moore and his dominating fastball should be groomed for a power reliever in soon.  If he can improve his slider, he should be a useful addition to the Braves bullpen before long.

Greg Ross, RHP – Age 23 – The 2011 18th round draft pick went 7-9 with a 4.60 ERA to go with a 106/40 K/BB ratio over 131 innings in his attempt at full season ball.  He will likely start 2013 at High-A.

David Starn, LHP – Age 22 – The 2012 7th round draft pick went 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA along with a 28/20 K/BB ratio over 34.1 innings in his pro debut. Rome is his likely starting point in 2013.

David Peterson, RHP – Age 22 – The 2012 8th round draft pick went 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA to go with 23/11 K/BB ratio over 28 innings out the bullpen in his professional debut.  After 3 years as a starter at the College of Charleston, Peterson was the closer his senior year and improved his draft stock.  He’s likely to start the season at High-A in 2013.

Nathan Hyatt, RHP – Age 22 – The 2012 13th round draft pick went 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA to go with a 37/8 K/BB ratio over 24.2 innings between the APPY and the Sally in his 2012 pro debut.

Rookie-A Danville Braves

Lucas Sims, RHP – Age 18 – The Georgia native was taken with the 21st pick in the 2012 draft and began his pro career in the GCL.  He wouldn’t stay there long, 7 innings total, before being sent to the APPY.  He went 2-4 with a 3.71 ERA to go with a 39/13 K/BB ratio over 34 innings.  It will be interesting to see what the Braves do with Sims in 2013.  He could start out with Danville again as it serves as their Short Season club, as well as a rookie level.  However, it wouldn’t surprise us to see him at Low-A Rome either.

Mauricio Cabrera, RHP – Age 19 – The young Dominican went 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA to go with a 48/23 K/BB ratio over 57.2 innings in his debut state side.  He should be a member of the Rome Braves pitching staff in 2013.

Carlos Perez, LHP – Age 20 – The hard throwing Dominican  start the season in Rome, where he had spent the entire 2011 season.  However, after a disastrous start, he was sent to the APPY to join the Danville bullpen and did an excellent job in short stints.  He went 3-2 with a 2.05 ERA and had a 50/15 K/BB ratio over 30.2 innings.  Look for another shot at Sally in 2013, but it looks as if his starting days are over.

Rookie-A GCL Braves

Andry Ubiera, RHP – Age 19 – The 6’0″ 170 pound Dominican went 2-2 with a 4.04 ERA to go with a 48/17 K/BB ratio over 49 innings in his state-side debut.

Abraham Espinosa, RHP – Age 19 – The 6’1″ 175 pound Panamanian went 3-6 with a 3.80 ERA to go with a 37/15 K/BB ratio over 47.1 innings in the GCL after spending 2 seasons in the DSL.

Luis Merejo, LHP – Age 17 – Interestingly enough, the 6’0″ 175 pound Dominican made his professional debut in the GCL in 2012.  He went 0-5 with a 4.61 ERA to go with a 53/9 K/BB ratio.  It’s unclear as to why he didn’t start out in the DSL.

Rookie-A DSL Braves

Michael Flores, LHP – Age 20 – Dominican Republic – Went 5-3 with a 1.71 ERA and had a 67/23 K/BB ratio over 63 innings in his 2nd season in the DSL.

Jose Rosario, RHP – Age 18 – Dominican Republic – Went 6-3 with a 2.25 ERA to go with a 40/20 K/BB ratio over 56 innings in his 2nd season in the DSL.

Francisco Gonzalez, RHP – Age 18 – Venezuela – Went 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA and had a 32/29 K/BB ratio over 47.2 innings in his pro debut.

Jorge Zavala, RHP – Age 18 – Honduras –  Went 2-1 with a 3.07 ERA and posted a 38/17 K/BB ratio over 41 innings in a wide variety of roles in his pro debut.

Jesus Jones, RHP – Age 17 – Dominican Republic – Went 1-3 with a 5.68 ERA and had a 20/28 K/BB ratio over 38 innings in his pro debut.

Nelson Leon, LHP – Age 17 – Venezuela – Went 1-3 with a 4.29 ERA to go with a 35/15 K/BB ratio over 35.2 innings in his pro debut.

Adrian Rivero, LHP – Age 21 – Cuba – He went 0-1 with a 3.58 ERA and had a 26/14 K/BB ratio over 27.2 innings in his pro debut.

That wraps up our off-season review of the Atlanta Braves organizational pitching.  We’ll be back at it soon, bringing to you the next club on our list, so check back soon.

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