Two years ago, John Coppolella and John Hart looked at one of the worst farm systems in the MLB and decided the team was going to be terrible in the future if they didn’t do something about it. Through trading names like Andrelton Simmons, Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis, Craig Kimbrel, and Justin Upton, the Braves have turned their farm system from the worst in the MLB to the best. Coppolella and Hart have built a dynamic farm system which includes 8 of their prospects in the MLB’s top 100. Braves country has started to see the results of those trades in Dansby Swanson (Shelby Miller trade), Sean Newcomb (Andrelton Simmons trade), and Mike Foltynewicz and Rio Ruiz (Evan Gattis trade).
Though the Braves have seen some great results out of their prospects in the MLB level, many of the Braves’ prospects are carving up Double-A and Triple-A and are knocking at the door of the big-league level, but the Braves haven’t opened the door yet. After tonight’s 5-0 loss versus Miami, it’s clear that the Braves need to give these prospects playing time. Tonight’s loss drops the Braves to 29-37, and 11.5 games behind the Washington Nationals. Unless a historic comeback happens, the Braves will not be competitive in September. These minor-league prospects are going to need seasoning in the MLB, so why give them a shot now? If the Braves keep failing, Braves fans would at least rather see the top prospects do the failing than 44-year-old Bartolo Colon (injured with a 19.64 ERA in June) and 42-year-old R.A. Dickey (5.30 ERA). With the way prospects in the farm system are doing, there’s no way that the veterans on this team should still be a Brave come July.
In Triple-A, Ozzie Albies has been waiting patiently for his call to the bigs with current second basemen Brandon Phillips blocking him. Hart and Coppelella should start really listening for teams in need of bats at the trade deadline, for since coming on the DL four days ago, Albies has 2 doubles, 2 triples, and a home run. Albies is a switch hitter and is an extreme talent, and the Braves need to call him up sooner rather than later. On the pitching side, pitcher Lucas Sims, a 1st round pick in 2012, has put together some incredible performances in Gwinnett, as he has pitched to a 5-3 record. Sims had an incredible performance on June 10th, where he pitched 8 scoreless innings, only 3 three hits allowed, and 7 strikeouts against Yoan Moncada’s Charlotte Knights. Patrick Weigel, another pitcher in Gwinnett, is also having himself a season. Weigel is pitching to a 2.89 ERA and has only given up 1 ER in his last 15 innings. With Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, and potentially Brandon Phillips’ departures inevitable, Albies, Sims, and Weigel might be the next Braves to make their MLB debuts. Let’s hope it’s sooner than later.
With those call-ups, many Double-A players including Mike Soroka (22 consecutive scoreless innings), Kolby Allard (2.88 ERA), and Travis Demeritte (28 HR last year, 10 HR in 64 games this year) should be one step closer to making their MLB debuts.
Braves fans are starting to get impatient with the length of this rebuild, so some summer call-ups from Gwinnett would be beneficial for the fans the team, and it would certainly make the Braves one step closer to being a winner once again.