Will it be Minor or White?

When I called B.B. Abbott this morning, I jokingly asked him if his Draft party was going to be similar to the ones that Drew Rosenhaus throws for his top prospective NFL clients.

Before he could even provide an answer, he received another call from a scout and provided every indication that he’s among the many agents, who are going to be swamped today while fielding calls from clubs that are investigating the signability of the players they’re advising. 

Based on what I’ve seen from the video that MLB.com has provided, it’s a shame that the Braves likely won’t have the opportunity to grab Zach Wheeler, the lanky right-hander from suburban Atlanta’s East Paulding High School. 

Instead while serving as Wheeler’s advisor, Abbott is likely to find himself negotiating a bonus with either the Orioles or Giants, who are selecting directly in front of the Braves, who will be making the seventh overall pick tonight. 

If Wheeler is gone, the Braves could grab the University of North Carolina’s Alex White, a 6-foot-4 right-hander who some consider to be the second-best collegiate pitching prospect behind Stephen Strasburg.

But within his final Mock Draft, MLB.com’s Draft guru, Jonathan Mayo predicts that Braves director of scouting Roy Clark will pass on taking a fellow Tar Heel and instead grab Mike Minor, a left-hander from Vanderbilt University.

Take a look at these videos to make your own comparisons between Minor and White.

I’m going with what Mayo projects because as Clark said yesterday, “Jonathan really knows his stuff.”

While heading the Braves scouting department since 2000, Clark has gained a strong reputation as being one of the game’s top talent evaluators. 

With his contract expiring at the end of this year, the Braves will need to do whatever possibile to keep him and consequently prolong the link to Paul Snyder, the great scout who was instrumental to the rebirth of their organization during the late 1980s.

While doing some research on Garret Anderson last week, I learned that that Angels took him with the 125th overall selection in the 1990 First-Year Player Draft.  With their fourth-round selection coming 22 picks earlier, the Braves grabbed an outfielder named Johnny Walker. 

This leads me to wonder if Clark and his staff started sipping some Johnnie Walker after grabbing Chipper Jones with the first overall pick that year. 

Speaking of Jones, the dude is currently on fire.  When he singled in the fifth inning last night, it marked the eighth consecutive plate appearance during which he reached safely.  It also made him 6-for-6 since encountering that dizzy spell on Saturday night.

Last week, Jones said that the summer would make Turner Field more suitable to the Braves offense and once again his words have proven prophetic.  Since totaling eight homers during their first 22 home games, the Braves have hit 10 homers during their past seven game at The Ted. 

It was encouraging  to see Kris Medlen allow just one hit over three scoreless innings and notch the win last night.  It seems like the rookie hurler has overcome those nerves that marred his first two career starts and he now finds himself in a position where he could prove to be a key reliever during the rest of this season.

When we’ve talked about making trades that take advantage of a particular area of strength, we’ve been referencing moves like the Pirates made last week when they dealt Nate McClouth to the Braves with the confidence that Andrew McCutchen would be capable of handling their center field duties.

While recording two triples and finishing about 15 feet short of the homer he needed to record a cycle during Monday four-hit performance, McCutchen certainly had to calm the emotions of those Pirates fans who were furious last week when they learned that McLouth had been dealt.  

With his talent, McCutchen isn’t going to be one of those speed demons like Emilio Bonifacio, who energized the Marlins lineup for about a week before falling victim to Major League scouting reports.

Those same reports, which also played a part in Jordan Schafer’s struggles,  will soon start to affect McCutchen. But from what I saw last night and during Spring Training, my dad and friends might want to stop bashing the trade and simply enjoy the fact that they’ve still got a potential superstar in center field.     

Speaking of Schafer, he felt some discomfort in his left wrist during a swing on Friday night and was evaluated by a doctor on Monday.  I should have some more information tonight, when the Braves may also reveal the results of the MRI exam Brandon Jones underwent with the hope of finding out what is causing his left knee discomfort.   


I blame the fact that we can’t get Wheeler on the 2008 Braves. Damn you Bobby for not having Mike Hampton pitching every other game. From the two videos, I think White looks better, But I know absolutely NOTHING about scouting, so take it with a grain of (somthing smaller than salt)

I want Wheeler. If I can’t get Wheeler, I want Minor, because White is overrated. And there has been speculation that the Braves might pick Purke, but I hope not, it seems like he only throws fastballs.

Francoeur is out of tonight’s lineup and Greg Norton is getting his first start of the season. Norton is playing first base in place of Martin Prado, whose groin was obviously bothering him while he ran to first base after delivering a clutch hit during last night’s 15th inning.

While throwing 18 pitches last night, Jeff Karstens basically just performed a bullpen session. The Pirates still plan to start him on Wednesday. Thus you won’t be seeing Charlie Morton facing the Braves tomorrow. That would have definitely been interesting.

McCutcheon was clearly the best player on the field when Indy came through Gwinnett last homestand. He’s got some serious pop for gap shots as well. he went deep while in town.

Charlie will be in the Pirate rotation long before he would have been in ours. I’m going to say within the month.

Hey Mark, does that mean Diaz is in right tonight?

Pirates took Tony Sanchez.

I thought the Draft started at 6:00?

It does but they agreed to a deal with him

“The Demise at the Center of the D”

As I sat, along the third base side of Atlanta Fulton County stadium on that Wednesday evening, in early April, back in 1991, I almost cried as I noticed something for the first time in my life. That being, the reality of change of a grander scale. Change, something that many people struggle to adapt and accept, rightfully so. Sid Bream, Rafael Belliard, and Terry Pendleton. I asked really? Who? This is the answer? Clearly, interesting at best. I liked Ken Oberkfell, I liked Andres Thomas, well only one year I might add. I liked Rafael Ramirez, and I certainly liked Chris Chambliss. Although I have to admit, that his fist pumping homerun against the Royals in that playoff game, in late October, wearing that Yankee uniform, is my most notable memory of him. Bottom line, is I liked them. Looking out on to the field, for the first time since I started going to what would be mine and my fathers favorite past time and lasting memory, there it was, Opening Day. Starring right at me and piercing through my soul and heart like Robinson Crusoes fate at the Island of Despair. Change on the grandest scale. It became real, it became obvious, it became a defining moment in my young life. Realizing that change is way more than a different pair of shoes, another grade of school, a different type of cereal or sausage instead of pepperoni. No, you see, this was, to me, a much more bitter taste of reality. The Atlanta Braves, season after season, losers of 100 games, more than once. To me, the Braves were life, they were the World they were the way, and they certainly were every bit of that in my life. Life, as I knew it, only evolved around them, and when September came around and as the late Skip used to say, so long everybody, we’ll see you next year, never saying what I wanted so badly to hear him say, we’ll see you in October baby.&n bsp;Life existed only April-September. There I sat, for the first time in my life, with a feeling of true fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the new, fear of change. Change was a coming and I didn’t like it. I hated it, but like with any time of change, it’s almost strangely forced. Forced as I was about change, I almost wanted the new comers to fail. Odd that the only thing of the Atlanta Braves I knew was true and utter failure. See a strange resemblance here? I do, no doubt. Had I become complacent with failure, was failure the only thing I knew? There, right in the center of the D, the demise of true failure, sat an opportunity for change and I hated every bit of it. Well, any Braves fan knows how that change turned out. An extra inning loss in game 7 of the World Series, not too bad. Next April, I hope I sit in that same spot, on the third base side, only this time at the Ted, just a few feet away and hope, just hope, I feel that same sense of change on the grandest stage.

that’s a great piece but didn’t you post that a couple of days ago?

Not sure if I stopped that last post soon enough, but I meant to write, I’m getting an even better sense the Braves will go with Minor…It seems like Wheeler with go sixth to the Giants.

If they go with Minor,what do you think the odds are he makes a September call up to the bullpen?
I might be getting ahead of myself but just a thought…

I was hoping to see Wheeler fall to the Braves! Darn!
Bravos on the clock now!

I changed my mind, I wanted Grant Green, because of there lack of decent SS’s left in the minors.

Minor was 6-6 with a 3.30 ERA for Vandy. They say to throw out all numbers… but they have to mean something right?

Yes Joe Joe the braves have no SS prospects in the Minors, they just drafted a kid with a senior college record of 6-6. This is all part of FW’s master plan. Decimate the minors so that no credible GM will want the job. Look for continued brilliance from Wren in future decisions.

The frustration is mounting to the point that fans are near the”give up” area.
Francoeur has been a 2 year bust. He claims he is “aggressive.” He is not. He is just impatient. He does not recognize pitches and simply cannot square up the ball consistently. Too many of his hits are bloopers, infield dribblers, flares, etc. His impatient attitude always leaves him in a 0-1 count. He cannot advance a runner from second with no outs. Frankly, his time here is limited.
Kelley Johnson has suddenly become pull happy. You cannot pull an outside pitch, but he tries it. Welcome to the bolow 250 average Kelley.
Escobar has so many gaffes in his play…running the bases, failing to check a runner, failing to handle a routine ball, etc. He is a kid that needs to be in the minors, until he can learn the discipline to be more consistent in the field and on the bases. Unfortunately, he is the only bright spot with runners in scoring position, so we have to suffer with his other play.
Garrett Anderson has proved he cannot play defense and he is, now, at best, a 250 hitter with very little power. We still have the weakest power positions for any team…and that is why we will not contend, pitching at a level where we should not withstanding.
If you play the worst teams and cannot beat them, there is no way to contend in this division over a season.
Too bad, but it looks like Chipper and McCann are relagated to play for several years with no real hope.
How about selling Francoeur, bringing up Freeman to play first and our young right fielder prospect and at least let them develop.
By the way, the “gold glove” centerfielder is only a 270 hitter in his “all star year” and a 260 lifetime hitter…not the savoiur that was advertised. I hope he does well and adds the base stealing we need, but I do not expect him to be a star slugger.

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