Braves Final Report





Best Player: The Braves realized Andrelton Simmons' strengths when they drafted him in the second round last year out of Western Oklahoma State JC. A pure defensive shortstop with excellent range and soft hands, the Curacao native also possesses one of the strongest infield arms in the game, as evidenced by his fastball touching 98 mph in junior college.

What most scouts did not expect were Simmons' offensive contributions. Many observers thought he would get the bat knocked out of his hands in pro ball, but the 22-year-old shortstop proved himself by winning the high Class A Carolina League batting title with a .311 average, the only player on the loop to hit .300 or better. He also ranked second with 35 doubles and fourth with 211 total bases.

Best Pitcher: In many organizations, Julio Teheran would not qualify for recognition because he would have been pitching in the major leagues. Spending most of the season instead with Triple-A Gwinnett, Teheran tied for second in the minors with 15 wins while ranking second in the International League with a 2.55 ERA and .232 opponent average.

The IL's rookie of the year and most valuable pitcher, the 20-year-old Teheran matured on the mound. After averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings in 2010, the righthander did a better job of retiring batters with fewer pitches. The consistency of his curveball also improved while he discovered the nuances involved in getting outs against more experienced hitters.

Keep An Eye On: Joey Terdoslavich entered his first full pro season with two home runs in 70 games last year at Rookie-level Danville. A sixth-round pick out of Long Beach State last June, he must have been saving his energy for this summer.

Terdoslavich broke a 65-year-old Carolina League mark with 52 doubles this season. The switch-hitter ranked third with a .286 average while tying for third with 20 home runs and 138 hits. The knock on Terdoslavich was his defense, but he made a relatively smooth transition from third base to first. The Braves plan to work him in left field during instructional league.

Wigwam Wisps

• The Braves will send catcher Christian Bethancourt, second baseman Phil Gosselin and outfielder Todd Cunningham to the Arizona Fall League. Also headed west are pitchers Billy Bullock, Erik Cordier, J.J. Hoover and 2011 first-round pick Sean Gilmartin.

• Shortstop Tyler Pastornicky led the organization's full-season players with a .314 average. He hit .365 after a mid-July promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett despite battling a nagging ankle injury.