Randall Delgado and Tyler Pastornicky made the big league club, J.J. Hoover got traded to the Reds at the end of spring training and Arodys Vizcaino had Tommy John surgery, leaving No. 1 prospect Julio Teheran and first baseman Joey Terdoslavich as the best players heading to what otherwise would have been a loaded Triple-A Gwinnett club. For those reasons, Double-A Mississippi shapes up as the Braves' most talented farm club, with 2011 first-round lefty Sean Gilmartin, righties Zeke Spruill and David Hale, catcher Christian Bethancourt, a middle infield of Andrelton Simmons at short and Phil Gosselin at second and an outfield of Todd Cunningham and Adam Milligan on the corners and Mycal Jones in center.
Leap Of Faith
The Braves aggressively promoted several players in their system, notably lefty Sean Gilmartin, who follows the Mike Minor template in going from the draft's first round to Double-A for his full-season debut. Atlanta also moved righty J.R. Graham (fourth round, Santa Clara) and shortstop Nick Ahmed (second, Connecticut) straight from Rookie-level Danville last year to high Class A Lynchburg this season. Both are 2011 draft picks. Joey Terdoslavich concluded last season in Lynchburg, where he set a Carolina League record for doubles, but jumped to Triple-A after batting .321/.424/.548 in 84 at-bats in the Arizona Fall League.
Where Is That Guy?
Arodys Vizcaino could have served as the perfect righty complement to the Braves' lefty middle-relief duo of Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty, but he had Tommy John surgery last month and will miss the entire season.
Time Is Running Out
The Braves run a tight ship, so they tend not to carry many underachievers. One player who will attempt to get over the hump this season is 2010 fourth-round righty Dave Filak, a 22-year-old who will attempt the low Class A South Atlantic League again this season after being pummeled there last year with Rome (11 starts, 7.54 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9).
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