Steamer Projects: Atlanta Braves Prospects

Earlier today, polite and Canadian and polite Marc Hulet published his 2014 organizational prospect list for the Atlanta Braves.

It goes without saying that, in composing such a list, Hulet has considered the overall future value those prospects might be expected to provide either to the Atlantans or whatever other organizations to which they might someday belong.

What this brief post concerns isn’t overall future value, at all, but rather such value as the prospects from Hulet’s list might provide were they to play, more or less, a full major-league season in 2014.

Other prospect projections: Arizona / Baltimore / Chicago AL / Chicago NL / Cincinnati / Cleveland / Colorado / Houston / Kansas City / Los Angeles AL / Miami / Milwaukee / Minnesota / New York AL / New York NL / Philadelphia / St. Louis / San Diego / San Francisco / Seattle / Tampa Bay / Toronto.

Steamer Projections: Atlanta Batting Prospects
Below are the current 2014 projections for select Atlanta batting prospects. All projections have been prorated to 550 plate appearances (and 450 for catchers) for sake of uniformity. Defensive figures (denoted by Def) account both for positional adjustment and UZR, and are presented relative to league average. Note that, in many cases, defensive value has been calculated entirely by positional adjustment based on the relevant player’s minor-league defensive starts in 2013. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age POS PA BB% K% BABIP wRC+ BsR Off Def* WAR
8 Thomas La Stella 25 2B 550 7.7% 10.4% .304 109 0 6 2 2.7
2 Christian Bethancourt 22 C 450 4.0% 16.0% .283 79 0 -11 8 1.3
12 Josh Elander 23 COF 550 5.8% 20.7% .264 67 0 -21 -6 -0.8
3 Jose Peraza 20 SS 550 3.7% 14.8% .256 46 -1 -34 6 -1.0
9 Johan Camargo 20 SS 550 3.5% 14.4% .229 32 0 -42 6 -1.9
7 Victor Caratini 20 3B 550 4.8% 21.2% .217 28 0 -45 2 -2.6
13 Victor Reyes 19 COF 550 4.5% 18.2% .236 38 0 -39 -6 -2.7

Steamer Projections: Atlanta Pitching Prospects
Below are the 2014 projections for select Atlanta pitching prospects. Projections for starting pitchers have been prorated to 150 innings; for relievers, to 50 innings. Prospects are listed in order of projected WAR, which has been calculated by using kwERA — that is, an ERA estimator which utilizes only strikeouts and walks — so as to remove the vagaries of park effects, and probably also because the author has no idea what he’s doing. Listed ages are as of June 30, 2014. The symbol # denotes the relevant prospect’s ranking on Hulet’s list. Figures might diverge slightly (although not signficantly) from those which appear on player pages.

# Name Age Hand IP K% BB% kwERA kwERA- WAR
5 J.R. Graham 24 RHP 150 18.2% 8.4% 4.13 107 1.4
10 Aaron Northcraft 24 RHP 150 18.7% 9.2% 4.17 108 1.3
1 Lucas Sims 20 RHP 100* 23.4% 12.7% 4.03 104 1.1
14 Wesley Parsons 21 RHP 150 16.0% 8.3% 4.39 113 0.9
15 Cody Martin 24 RHP 100* 19.9% 11.2% 4.27 110 0.8
11 Carlos Perez 22 LHP 50 15.8% 11.6% 4.81 124 0.1
4 Mauricio Cabrera 20 RHP 150 12.0% 12.4% 5.36 138 -0.7

• When inspecting the very encouraging projections for Tommy La Stella, the reader should remember that his defensive figures account only for the positional adjustment assessed to second basemen and not any sort of additional runs-saved estimate. It wouldn’t be surprising, given the reports on his defense, to find La Stella record something like -5 runs at second base — i.e. roughly what Dan Uggla has produced over his career. Even with that allowance, however, it would appear as though La Stella’s superior control of the strike zone compensates for his defensive shortcomings and lack of raw power.

• Indeed, it would appear as though the case with Christian Bethancourt is nearly opposite that of La Stella: his defensive reputation suggests that even the generous positional adjustment assessed to catchers might fail to fully represent his receiving skills. Still, the figures presented here do help to provide a framework for how good Bethancourt’s defense would have be in order for him to produce wins at a league-average rate overall — about +7 runs better than league average, is how good, per every 450 plate appearances.

• Likely because they recorded appearances both in a starting and relief capacity in 2013, right-handers Cody Martin and Lucas Sims have each received raw Steamer projections that call for them to make appearances in 2014 both in a starting and a relief capacity. “Shall I demarcate them as starters, then, or relievers?” the author has asked himself, accordingly. “Neither,” is how he’s responded — you know, like a coward. It’s for this reason, then, that both of these pitchers are projected for 100 fake innings.

We hoped you liked reading Steamer Projects: Atlanta Braves Prospects by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Whoa. So Uggla is toast, Bethancourt is a decent backup and Graham, Northcraft and Sims could help in the pen? Cool.