The Surprise Saguaros offer an interesting mix of high-upside potential stars, excellent prospects, high-reliability guys, and the typical chaffe.
Wil Myers OF (KC): Myers didn’t have the huge year people expected in hitter-friendly NW Arkansas, but he still offers plenty of hope as a still-20-year old in AA. He is an all-around excellent hitter who should see more power when healthy. He’s down here to get a few more at-bats after a somewhat injury-plagued season.
Mikie Mahtook OF (TB): One of the many first round/supplemental picks, Mahtook excelled despite the change in college bats, and he even added some power. He probably won’t play center in Tampa, but he might be able to, though a move to a corner is more likely. A really good all-around player, Mahtook is just getting his introduction to pro ball.
Leonys Martin OF (TEX): Signed out of Cuba, Martin can play center and may next season for Texas, but the jury is out on his bat. He excelled in AA, but his patience and power completely evaporated in AAA. Martin probably won’t be a superstar, but he could be a solid everyday guy. Need those, too. Here to get some extra Abs.
Joe Terdoslavich 1B/OF (ATL): I feel obligated to mention him because he’s gained some hype lately, but Terdoslavich isn’t really a major prospect. He can hit and has some power, but he isn’t really a good offensive prospect when you take his position into account. And his defense isn’t really good enough to help him. And despite the publicity, he has exactly zero home runs in an offensive league. The Braves want to move him to the outfield, but he’s likely to be really bad out there.
Mike Olt 3B (TEX): He had a breakout 2011 in the time he didn’t miss due to injury. Olt has a lot of offensive tools, though nothing really plus, and he’s an excellent defensive third baseman. Getting old at 23 without having played in AA, Olt has time as Beltre isn’t going anywhere soon, and he might be here as a showcase for a pitcher in an off-season trade.
Matt Dominguez 3B (FL): Dominguez is an elite defensive third baseman, but he may end up having Pedro Feliz’s career as he just doesn’t hit much. Being Pedro Feliz isn’t bad, though. Feliz at least had a major-league career and a decently long one. I’m not sure why he’s in Arizona. The Marlins aren’t going to learn anything.
Christian Colon SS (KC): Colon didn’t have the offensive year many expected, but many still see a guy who will be an above-average hitter in either middle infield position, which is good because some scouts don’t think he can stick at SS. That being said, he impressed on defense this season, but no one knows how long he can keep his performance at that level. The Royals sent him here to get him some more ABs to shake off a rough start to his pro career.
Tim Beckham SS (TB): The former number one pick no longer looks like a star, but he rebounded to at least give people hope again. If he can stay in shape and at short, he should still be an above-average shortstop, though not the elite bat he was hoped to be. Defensively, he won’t win any Gold Gloves, but he should stick there for a few years. The Rays would like to know if this season was a sign of things to come, and considering the lack of options in Tampa at short, Beckham might not be too far away.
Christian Bethancourt C (ATL): You can certainly see why many have him pegged for stardom, and you can understand why some want nothing to do with him. Defense is his calling card with at least a 70 arm, but as in many aspects, he gets lackadaisical on the finer things. Offensively, he can hit and has power, but his approach can be awful. He’s only 20 and McCann is there, so he has plenty of time to fix these things. The Braves would like to see him challenged, which is why he’s here.
Kyle Skipworth C (FL): I give up on him. Seen him a few times, and I don’t get what people liked. Then again, I didn’t see him in high school.
Miguel De Los Santos LHP (TEX): With a solid fastball and curve and a plus change, De Los Santos is a real prospect, but he needs more innings, which is why he’s here. He had huge strikeout totals (142 in 94 innings), but we’ll see if those translate as he moves up and against a league the second time through. There’s a lot to like here, though, and he’s another good Rangers prospect.
Sean Gilmartin LHP (ATL): I wasn’t particularly happy with this pick, but I generally favor potential when adding talent. Gilmartin, however, has his advantages as he neither needs much coaching or additional work on his pitches. He won’t need much time in the minors, but when he gets to the majors, he may not be anything more than a back-of-the-rotation guy.
Jeremy Jeffress RHP (KC): Huge fastball that can’t hit target. There’s really nothing else to say about the guy that was part of the Zack Greinke trade. He might be more notable for his off-field use of marijuana that has him one miscue away from a life suspension if caught again while in the minors.
Other Braves (I am a Braves fan)
Navery Moore RHP (ATL): Moore was a real steal for Atlanta as they went over-slot in the 14th round to get the closer from Vandy. He has a big fastball and a nasty slider, and he could be a back-end guy in short order for the Braves.
Billy Bullock RHP (ATL): He also has a huge arm that can’t hit the broadside of a barn, though not as bad as Jeffress. He should see time in Atlanta next season, but if he wants to be anything more than a middle reliever, he needs real help with his control.
Todd Cunningham OF (ATL): He has a nice approach but little else to get me excited. He might end up as a nice bench option down the road.
JJ Hoover RHP (ATL): Hoover actually has everything needed in order to start, but none of his stuff or command is plus. That leaves him on the short end of the pitching wealth in Atlanta, and he might end up in the 'pen. I think he's down here for the same reason Olt is, except Atlanta needs bats.