set to reveal latest list of Top 50 prospects

Before getting into a discussion about top prospects, let’s just verify that the Braves aren’t interested in Jim Edmonds.  In related news, they also aren’t pursuing Garret Anderson or  B.J. Surhoff to fill a roster spot.

OK, now that he’s spent the past couple weeks and months talking to scouts, scouting directors and other talent evaluators, Jonathan Mayo is ready to reveal’s 2010 Top 50 prospect list.

When this year’s list is revealed tonight (Wednesday) at 8 p.m. ET on and MLB Network, you’ll see Mayo’s shiny dome and gain a better sense about how stressful this selection process can be.

Seriously though, these lists stand as just another entertaining highlight to promote the future of the game.  Of course right now in Atlanta the future seems to be quite bright. 

When Mayo made his midseason selections on July 31 last year, he had Jason Heyward at the top of his list.  There’s no doubt the big outfielder will once again be at the top of these rankings.

But we’ll have to wait until tonight to see if still considers Heyward to be the game’s top prospect.  Last year, the 20-year-old outfielder ranked third on this list and some kid named Tommy Hanson ranked 24th.

Because he has expired his rookie-eligible status, Hanson wasn’t eligible to be listed among this year’s top prospects. 

It will also be interesting to see if this Top 50 list includes Julio Teheran and Arodys Vizcaino, who will likely stand as the key return in the December trade that sent Javy Vazquez to the Yankees. 

Some scouts say that Teheran is the better prospect and others think Vizcaino has the greater upside. Regardless of where you might rank them, you can’t argue that the Braves are in pretty good position to have a pair of 19-year-old hurlers with this kind of talent.

ESPN’s Keith Law ranks the Braves farm system as the game’s fifth-best in his just-released organizational rankings.  He mentions that the ranking would have been higher if not for the results of this past summer’s Draft.

It’s interesting to go back to some of these prospects list to see how the guys fared.  Here is a selection of previous lists:  2009 ,   20082007 and 2006.

You’ll be able to find plenty of selections that make you, “what ever happened to that guy.”  Just to give you one example that will make you laugh, look at the 2006 list and see that the terribly over-hyped Andy Marte ranked four spots ahead of Prince Fielder and 14 spots ahead of Hanley Ramirez.

This is just the nature of these kinds of selections.   I had to laugh earlier this week when I looked back at Baseball America’s list of prospects at the end of the 2007 season.  They had Tommy Hanson ranked as the ninth-best prospect in the Braves system.

Here are the guys who ranked ahead of him:

1. Jordan Schafer — potentially bright future
2. Heyward —  bright future
3. Jurrjens —  on his way toward stardom
4. Brandon Jones — claimed by Pirates off waivers
5. Gorkys Hernandez  — traded to Pirates
6. Brent Lillibridge — traded to White Sox
7.Cole Rohrbough  — no longer considered a top prospect
8. Jeff Locke  — traded to Pirates

BA’s list of the organization’s top prospects heading into the 2007 season provides an even greater feeling of nostalgia.  It could also be confused as a list of young Rangers players.

1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia  — traded to Rangers
2. Elvis Andrus —  traded to Rangers
3. Matt Harrison — traded to Rangers
4. Brandon Jones — Pirates
5. Van Pope —  no longer considered a prospect
6. Eric Campbell — makes you wonder if Pete Babcock made this draft selection
7. Scott Thorman —  Brewers Minor Leaguer
8. Jo-Jo Reyes —  hanging on in the Braves system
9. Joey Devine —  the reason you still recognize Chris Burke’s name.
10. Yunel Escobar —   Hey one out of 10 isn’t bad.

Before sending this into cyberspace, I will tell you that I had lunch with Pete Van Wieren last week.  The Professor’s book, which should be a very interesting read, will go on sale on April 1.     


Too bad, we could have moved Edmonds to left and then used the rest of the money saved when he gets free coffee at Hardee’s for being a senior citizen and picked up Kenny Lofton to play center. You know we need a leadoff hitter…
…and it isn’t even April 1st yet…
To quote Lloyd Bridges, “Looks like I picked the wrong day to stop sniffing glue.” Roundup’s official “jump the shark” moment has arrived.

If that guy is raw, Mike Minor just got drafted and he was in the top 60 as was Freddie Freman. We got sold a bill of goods. Vizcaino must be fading fast in the broader scouts opinion. You really don’t think Cashman got snookered by the illustrious Frank Wren, do you?

Jim, I thought about throwing something in there to make sure you realized it wasn’t an April Fools joke.

About Teheran, I asked Mayo why he would rank him 34th and not include Vizcaino among the Top 50. He told me a few few scouts told him they preferred Vizcaino.

But at the end of his analysis, he determined that Teheran had drawn much wider attention from the talent evaluators that he polled..

I asked him where he would place Vizcaino and he told me he’d likely fall among the Top 75.

In Mayo’s story, he had Minor (58) and Freeman (59). That’s a pretty lofty standing for Minor. We’ll get a better chance to see what this kid is all about this year.

Geez Mark, I must be channeling you

Oh and you put Teheran where you should have said Vizcaino

mine too, these time stamps are set to spaz

Wow, Pete’s got a book coming out? Now this I have to get. I wish Skip had one come out before he died.

—–Wait a sec…April 1st? Is this an elaborately planned April Fools’ Joke? If it isn’t, I’m definetly planning on buying it.

I saw Julio listed 34th on the top prospect list but that guy we traded Vazquez for wasn’t even listed. Is he just so raw that the scouts figured “eh, we can pick better” or do we Braves Fans have another reason to pick up the “FIRE FRANK WREN” signs? I haven’t been one of that crowd for his tenure so far as GM, but after the Vazquez trade I felt ready to join the picket line shouting “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!?”. But I felt better when I learned that Wren was basically doing what Bobby Cox did when he was a GM that made him hated in ATL before he went to Toronto since he traded a bunch of mainstays in ATL to restock the farm system. Then Bobby came back when all those seeds he planted joined the majors and we had our 91 dream season. Wait a sec….Wren isn’t angling to become the new manager once Bobby steps down is he? This is starting to sound familiar….

Obviously my response to Jim should have shown up after his post about Van Wieren’s book and Teheran.

Oh well. Jim Edmonds signed with the Brewers, so the Braves have missed that opportunity.

Looks like Smoltzie is gonna be Metropolitan.

Man, this time stamp sure is going completely wonky the last couple days hasn’t it? Mark, what is the title of Pete’s book going to be anyway? Did he announce it? Just wondering.

I hope Smoltz doesn’t follow Glavine’s example and join the Mets. For the longest time, my entire family hated the Dodgers since they were our rivals back when we competed in the National League West but I’d rather see Smoltz as a Dodger than a Met. Or just about anything other than a divison rival.

You know that if we had signed Edmonds, he probably would have just looked exactly like Garret Anderson in a Braves uniform patrolling left field. Im really glad the Braves took one look at him and said, Nahhhh.

On a side note, how bummed do you think that Damon is that Edmonds (a guy who sat last year out) found a job before him? Bet he threw a bat at his tv…lol.

Smoltz and the Mets are finalizing a contract.

Smoltzie as a Met, . . . . think i just vomitted a bit in my mouth….

I was looking at the spring training schedule and remembered a question that i’ve had for a while. Do split squads have predetermined rosters (barring injuries, etc) or is it just decided a day or two before travel? If there is anyone whole can help on this one i would be appreciative.

Yeah, the split-squad rosters are usually finalized a day or two before the game is played. Pitchers are given a little more advance to know where they’ll be doing their scheduled work. Usually, veterans like Chipper and Mac will be assigned to the home game, or the one located closest to Disney.

March 14 is the only date when the Braves will play a split-squad game this year. There are a number of instances where they are scheduled to play clubs that will be utilizing a split squad. But they will split their squad just that one day.

Thanks for the information, Mark. This will be useful information while trying to plan which games to attend during spring training. I have to catch a glimpse of Heyward before the season starts.

i wanna see the braves either do 2 things that is either trade for a speedster or a power bat. either going after a-gon or elsbury. or in a three team the braves send schafer canizares van pope and conrad for a-gon then the braves send a-gon and mclouth to the red soxs for elsbury jed lowrie and Tazawa and send tazawa to the padres to complete the deal

ncbravefan82, I can’t quite get a feel for whether that comment was a joke. If so, props. If not, $10 fine.

ahhh, ncbravefan.. the rodney dangerfield of the bowman blog.

someone tell me whats wrong with the trade idea or tell me how to fix it

Well, the whole idea behind a trade is to get greater or equal value for a player, unless you are dumping salary. To describe it mathematically.. say, in a scoring system of 1-10, A Gon is a 10. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you can trade five 2s for him. So you think the San Diego will accept Schafer (who hit .200 last year), Canizares (who is not even on the Braves’ top 15 prospects), Van Pope (who isn’t even considered a prospect anymore), Conrad (will never be better than a utility bench guy), and Tazawa (had an ERA over 7 last year). Maybe the deal would work if Schafer hit .300 with 20 HRs last year. A Gon puts up Tex type numbers and look what we gave up for him. Basically our 5 best prospects. In this case five 2s certainly do not equal an A Gon 10.

ok fine here a re-do

the braves send mcclouth freeman and diory hernzadez to the padres for a-gon then send a-gon medlen jesse chavez and scafer to the red soxs for elsbury and sean danielson

Two strikes.

First off the Padres wouldn’t want freeman they have blanks and wouldn’t want Mclouths salary. Sean Danielson is another 4th outfielder or AAAA player, not really a need of ours. Elsbury would fit at the top of the line up and left field.

Red Sox would like this deal, padres not so much and braves would be filling one big hole while creating more smaller holes elsewhere.

ok here we go third time is a charm. the braves send mike dunn melky and conrad to the padres for a-gone tony gwynn jr and ryan webb the braves send mclouth kris medlen and a-gon to the red soxs for elsbury and buchhlotz then the braves send buchholtz to the padres.

Strike three bro. BoSox ain’t gunna take Conrad, he’s a bench player. With Schafer, Heyward, and Young all in our system we don’t need a scrub like Gywnn. Not to mention Troy Glaus is under contract for this year, and next year A-Gon is a FA, and we plan on having Freeman at first. Why would we trade Dunn? The whole point of the Vazquez trade was to get Vizcaino and Dunn. Melky was a cherry on top.

uhh.. not to mention the fact that SD would never trade one of the best 1Bs in baseball and the face of their franchise for a middle relief pitcher, a bench utility guy, and our fourth outfielder. Something like Freeman, Vizcaino, Teheran, and Schafer would probably be enough to get him. But the Braves and the Padres would be idiots to go through with it. Bottom line is we’re NOT getting A Gon. Never. Ever. So just forget it.

ok fine the braves send teheran melky diaz and van pope for a-gone everth cabrera then send a-gone and mclouth to boston for elsbury and jed lowrie

ok let me redo that the braves send teheran and melky cabrera to the padres for a-gone and tony gywnn jr then the braves send mclouth vizcaino and a-gone to the red soxs for beckett and elsbury. now if that dont make some pple happy i dont know wat would.

I really can’t describe to you how many times I have facepalmed while reading ncbraves ideas for a “trade”….

Question for you Ncbravefan, Why in the world should we break the farm (again) for A-Gon? we broke the farm for Texieria and look how that turned out. You did watch the Braves in during the end of ’07 and beginning of ’08 didn’t you? That big bat did nothing but cost us 4 of our top prospects and while we strengthend the Rangers lineup, ours became pretty weak after that trade. After all, Tex wasn’t here for very long and if we got A-Gon, he’s going to want the same kind of money Tex got with his deal with the Yankees. Do you think the higher ups will pay that much for him with Freddie Freeman getting ready to come up to the Major League level? He’s been projected to be a 25-30 hr year guy. So we can get the same kind of production from an in-house candidate, for a FRACTION, FRACTION of the price it would take to sign A. Gonzalez and we wouldnt have to send our new 4 top prospects to them. Nor would we create any holes in our lineup by trading away anyone. After all, in your scenerio, what would the Braves do should Diaz hurt his knee again? What if Heyward really isn’t ready to be in the Majors at the beginning of the year? What if McLouth pulls his hamstring again and has to sit? Thats 3 potential problems with sending any of our outfielders to the Padres, plus with no prospects left in our farm system, who’s going to be the late season savior callups? I don’t understand your obsession with obtaining someone who would be with the Braves for less time than Texieria was and would cost us more in the long run than its really worth. You do watch the Braves, right? And the Red Sox wouldn’t trade Beckett for anything less than the Padres would take for A-Gonzalez. I could see the Red Sox doing a deal to get A- Gonzalez and just skip us as we would really do nothing for either team except by doing them the really big favor of making ourselves weaker. Is that what your hoping for? If so, perhaps you should start watching the Padres on an Ipad or the offer so you can follow Gonzalez more. Any kind of deal for Gonzalez has been discussed, rejected, rebooted, re-rejected, filed in a manilla envelope, tossed in the fire, burned to ash, poured into a deep dark well, and then cemented over with a 500 ton weight sitting on top of it (you know, the kind that used to hit Wiley Coyote on the head in a lot of Looney Tunes cartoons). It won’t happen. It will never happen. It may work on the video game version of MLB 2k9 or 2k10, or the Show 09, 10 but not in real life.

On a side note,

Can you imagine if we hadn’t traded for Tex that its very possible right now that Elvis Andrus would probably be Chipper’s replacement next year should he retire? Now that would be cool.

3B Andrus
SS Escobar
2B Prado
1B Freeman
RF Heyward
CF McLouth
LF Schafer
C McCann

and have those new pitching prospects coming up? Wow, the Braves would absolutely destroy the NL East.

Here’s a thought, we don’t trade anybody.

McLouth CF, 20-25 HR
Prado 2B, 15-18 HR
Jones 3B 20-28 HR
Glaus 1B 25-30 HR
McCann C 20-25 HR
Escobar SS 15-18 HR
Heyward RF 20-25 HR
Diaz LF 12-15 HR
Cabrera 4th OF 6-10 HR
Ross 2nd C 5-8 HR
Infante, Util 2-5 HR
Hinske, Schafer, Conrad, Hernandez, etc. 8-10 HR

That’s anywhere from 175-200 + HRs, with good OBP, tons of doubles, low strike outs, and good defense. Why would we screw with that because they don’t stack up in a Fantasy Baseball Pre-Season magazine? Add the pitching staff as it stands and only the Phillies are an issue. Now, remembering that 95% of baseball is idle time, how many teams do you know that sign all of their players to big money long term deals in the off season and get max effort and results coming off of back to back World Series seasons? The drain on their time in Philly is going to be real, the lack of focus is almost guaranteed, Hamels has been extremely pedestrian lately, their relief corps without PEDs seems to be breaking down a lot these days. Halladay literally had no pressure on him in Toronto, that won’t be the case in Philly, ask Santa Claus. He will press. This is going to be an interesting run all summer long. I’m looking forward to it.

And we have already proven that our 5th starter can outduel Halladay too. Wonder when/if that rematch is going to happen.

I was at that Kawakami v. Halladay duel last year. It was AWESOME! I have a feeling KK will surprise a lot of people this season!
Rother – Thanks for bringing the “glass half-full” version of our lineup. There’s a lot of potential there and I completely agree with you. I do wish we had more protection for Chipper and more speed at the top of our lineup… but other than that I like our team right now.

Everyone keeps on talking about who is going to be Chipper’s successor when he retires, which is not going to be after this year as many people have brought up. Couldn’t that person be Yunel Escobar? He was a third baseman in the minors.
Oh and btw, Baseball Prospectus has the Braves winning the NL East with whatever mathematical equations they use to predict those things. Total BS, but worthy of note.

I say we trade Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear(catching prospect) for the Roadrunner(lead off), Tweety Bird(centerfield) and Barney(Power Hitter, you know those dinos can really swat it). I’m in the middle of College football recruiting countdown and thought I’d stop by for a chuckle. I am never disappointed here. Go Bulls, Skip Holtz is king. See ya’ll on the 18th Pitchers and Catchers report. We’re close now.

Rother, I like what you had to say about the lineup, but I don’t completely agree what you said about the pressure on Halladay in Toronto.
I know the Jays never contended while he was there, but the fans and the media put him under a microscope. If he let up 3-4 runs and pitched 7 innings every phone call to the radio station was asking whether or not he was injured. He had tons of pressure and every time he came up against the Yanks, the Sox or any other teams ace he delivered. Halladay will probably win 19-22 games this year. He’s huge.
Being from Toronto I was sad to see him go – especially to the NL East. That said, the biggest difference for Halladay will be not the pressure, but the strategy of NL small ball and the fact that he’ll be taken out earlier in some games because he can’t hit for crap and knows it.


There used to be a guy names PWHjort who came here under a number of different names. It isn’t you is it? Man I really missed your crazy ideas, I am glad your back.

I have a trade idea: Frank Wren to the phillies for a bag of balls. The bag of balls can take over GM duty, and maybe wren will trade away all of the phillies best players. I am not totally low on Wren though, I think he is a big enough asset to demand that the bag of balls be at least half full.

I am sure the bag of balls can work some magic too, Maybe it will engineer picking up Pujols for all the bench junk in our system

I have to admit, i try and try to be an optimist, but Wren still has me scratching my head over the vasquez trade…..

This again? Gimme a break.

Because I am so bored… Mark (or anyone), Heyward was at Spring Training last year, correct? Does anyone remember what his numbers were? Just curious.

PW never used any aliases that I recall. I remember you thinking I was him for months.

has there been any word about Smoltz yet? Hopin he doesn’t sign with either Mets or Nats.


Do you think Sybil knew?

JK. It’s a joke man.

Yeah I know.

ok why not send mclouth medlen and diory hernzdez to Washington for Nyjer Morgan Sean Burnett and Mike Morse.


Heyward batted .300 with an OPS of .839 last spring, couple of dingers in 40 AB

Bill, yeah I thought I remembered him doing very well. I know we’ll have to see how he does again this spring, but unless he hits around 250 with no power, then he’ll be the starting RF. Forget the Super 2 issue, because this guy should be locked up to a long term deal before that’s even an issue. McCann and Heyward are the new Andruw and Chipper. And if McClouth’s hamstring is an issue, I’m excited to see how Schafer rebounds. I don’t think the kid is done and very glad that he wasn’t traded.

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