Big Moves From the Braves’ Minors


Some big waves were made in the minor leagues the past couple days, and I don’t mean Cody Johnson in the GCL. The top pitching prospect duo of Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado will be doing damage to AA now, while Brandon Beachy will continue his climb at AAA. Also, Jordan Schafer has been demoted to AA.

In his first full season of pro ball, Teheran has made the rise from A- to AA at the age of 19. He ended last season with Rome so it wasn’t a new league to him as he began 2010, but he pitched about the same amount of innings at 39 while recording a 2.67 FIP and 10 walks to 45 strikeouts before getting the quick call up to Myrtle Beach. He saw his FIP rise to 3.07 but maintained the exact same K-rate while walking even fewer, walking 13 and striking out 76 in only 63 innings. Teheran has yet to slow down despite being very young for the leagues and that will only continue as he makes his way to AA. He is no doubt the top prospect in the Braves system and should be top three in all of baseball, if not number one.

Delgado is a year older than Teheran and has seen more time in the leagues he’s been in. He spent all of 2009 in Rome, recording a 3.48 FIP with 49 walks and 141 strikeouts in 124 innings. Despite an ERA of 4.35, the Braves knew Delgado had run into bad luck at Rome and maintained a solid BB/K, so they started him at Myrtle Beach this season. In 117 innings, he has posted a 3.11 FIP with 32 walks and 120 strikeouts. A BABIP of .278 shows that the 2.76 ERA is a little misleading, but even then he pitched a lot better at Myrtle Beach, and the best part is a considerable drop in walks. At 20, Delgado is still young for AA but he has proven himself worthy of pitching above his targeted dates.

Beachy is somebody you just want to root for. He was brought to the Braves system as a nondrafted free agent and is forcing you to pay attention to him. He ended last season with 58 innings at Myrtle Beach, recording a 3.37 FIP and only 15 walks. But 2010 is where Beachy has put his name on the map. In 73 innings at AA, he had a 2.13 FIP with 22 walks and 100 strikeouts. To make the jump to AA in his first full season of pro ball and have numbers like that from a nondrafted free agent is mind-blowing to me. He turns 24 in September but if things go well in AAA, he’s on track to make an impact in Spring Training next season out of the bullpen. You never want to get excited or make predictions about a NDFA, but Beachy makes you want to reconsider.

Schafer has taken a nose-dive. Since returning to AAA, he has hit .199/.242/.251 with one home run and five doubles in 207 plate appearances. The strikeouts aren’t that high at 47, but he has completely forgotten how to take a walk, recording 12 free passes. His power has disappeared and he’s hitting a lot grounders at 57%. All of this is good for a .223 wOBA. He would take that as a batting average at this point. Hopefully a demotion to AA will straighten him out or at least help him focus on taking more walks, but I can’t help but wonder if it will kill any confidence he had left. Only time will tell, but he has lost top prospect status.

Take make room for these moves, other minor things happened. Erik Cordier was placed on the temporarily inactive list at AA. Diory Hernandez was placed on the disabled list at AAA. Cory Rasmus was called up from Rome to Myrtle Beach. Carlos Perez was called up from Danville to Rome. He’s on the radar now.