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Premium Content Atlanta Braves Top-15 Prospects of 2010, No’s 1 – 5

January 21, 2010 BY ALEX EISENBERG No Comments Yet

Braves Prospects, No’s 1 – 5

    1. Jason Heyward | RF | Age – 20 | Grade – A
    2. Julio Teheran | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B+
    3. Arodys Vizcaino | RHP | Age – 19 | Grade – B
    4. Freddie Freeman | 1b | Age – 20 | Grade – B
    5. Craig Kimbrel | RHP | Age – 21 | Grade – B

For the full prospect listing, please click here

Key Links
› Prospect Primer (Grading Criteria Explained)
› Team Page Listings
› Index of 2010 Top Prospect Lists
› Index of Last Year’s Top Prospect Lists
Braves Links
› Braves Team Page
› Braves Farm System Overview

ALSO SEEAtlanta Braves Top Prospects , No’s 6 – 15

Grades are based on a prospect’s projected value over the course of his career and how likely it is that prospect will fulfill his projected value. Various factors are accounted for including upside, red flags, actual performance, and closeness to the majors. See the 2010 Prospect Primer for more information as it relates to prospect grading and philosophy.

Hitters must have 100 or fewer Major League ABs to qualify for this list. Starting pitchers must have 50 or fewer Major League innings to qualify for this list. Relief pitchers must have 25 or fewer Major League innings to qualify for this list. Ages are listed as of May 1st, 2010. Levels are based on the highest level in which a prospect played in 2009. All grades are subject to change based on any new information I receive before the season starts.

If you need to reach me in any way, please contact me via e-mail or post a comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. The first two prospects are available for everybody to read.

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1. Jason Heyward | RF | B – L | Age – 20
Triple-A Gwinnett | Drafted – Round 1 (14), 2007

Player Grades
Contact – 55 Now | 65 Future
Power – 55 | 65
Discipline – 50 | 65
Speed – 50 | 45
Defense – 50 | 55/60
Arm – 60 | 60
Instincts – 60 | 65
ETA – 2010
Final Grade – A

I did an extensive scouting report on Jason Heyward back in late July, pitting him up against Marlins top prospect Mike Stanton.

Since that time, Heyward has done nothing but rake and has only nailed down his ranking as the top position prospect — and perhaps best overall prospect — in baseball.

Promoted from A+ Myrtle Beach, Heyward literally destroyed Double-A pitching. He hit .352 with an ISO-power of .259 and came away with more walks than strikeouts.

He’s really the complete package as a hitter, with his only limitations being his speed, but even in that category he only grades out as slightly below average.

Best Case Outcome – Hall-of-Fame talent

More Likely Outcome – Future All Star

2. Julio Teheran | RHP | Age – 19
Single-A Rome | Signed – Columbia, 2007

Player Grades
Fastball – 55 Now | 60/65 Future
Curveball – 50 | 60
Change-Up – 60 | 70
Control – 45 | 60
Command – 40 | 60
Pitchability – 50 | 60
ETA – Late 2012
Final Grade – B+

Body Type – He’s got a lean frame


Fastball – Sits between 92 – 95 with late life…he’s able to retain his velocity late in games

Curveball – Tightly spun pitch comes out of his hand looking like a fastball though he can be prone to hanging it

Change-Up – A true plus pitch with tail and some fading action…has the potential to be plus-plus

Scouting Report

Julio Teheran got some valuable time in full season ball at the extremely young age 18 and more than held his own.

What makes Teheran stand out is that he commands good quality stuff. He can throw all his pitches for strikes. If anything, he hangs around the plate too often and simply needs to do better job of locating his pitches inside the strike zone.

There are many questions about Teheran’s mechanics and while there some worrisome points, he also does a lot that I like.

*Credit to ScoutingTheSally

To start, he moves quickly through his wind-up, with a tempo coming out around 21 frames. He leads with his hips, generating momentum early in the process.

He puts himself in an athletic and compact position, which makes it easier for him to repeat his mechanics.

He then employs what I’ve called a kick-out, which is something I’ve noticed a lot of high velocity pitchers do. But what the kick-out also does is give his lower body a very active appearance. So hitters will end up compensating for that active lower body by gearing up for something hard only to find Teheran dropping in a curveball or change-up.

I will say his arm action is indeed a little funky. He breaks his hands early, stabs down and then loads his arm. It’s an extremely deceptive arm action because he hides the ball so well. A negative in my mind is that he doesn’t seem to pronate that well. Pronation protects the elbow and occurs when the forearm turns over after release. It should happen naturally, but Teheran doesn’t seem to do it all that well. However, I’d need to see him with higher speed video before making that conclusion.

Front side mechanics are OK, but could use a little cleaning up.

I do think the Braves should monitor Teheran’s pitch counts and work loads because he does have a slight frame and he endured some shoulder issues last season.

Teheran could start as high as A+ Myrtle Beach in 2010.

Best Case Outcome – No. 1 starter…just needs to stay healthy

More Likely Outcome – Probably too soon to say as I’d like to get some more data from him

Brief Notes on Prospects 3 – 5

3. Arodys Vizcaino | RHP | Grade – B – Similar to Teheran in that he has good stuff that he commands well with the difference being that Vizcaino doesn’t have the change-up that Teheran has

4. Freddie Freeman | 1b | Grade – B – Lefty with good power and an advanced approach…as a first baseman, he’s going to have to rake though

5. Craig Kimbrel | RHP | Grade – B – Reliever with electric stuff needs to improve his command

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UP NEXTAtlanta Braves Top Prospects, No’s 6 – 15

Other References and Resources Used for This ArticleFirst Inning and Minor League Splits

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