Freddie: B. Rebounded from a horrible start to post an .836 OPS, in line with his career numbers.
Nick Markakis: C-minus. Coppy should’ve traded him when he had the chance.Not sure any team’s going to be interested in paying Ken Oberkfell 2.0 the $22 million he’s due the next two years.
A.J. Pierzynski: F. Paul Bako at the plate, Dale Murphy behind it.
Ender Inciarte: C. A marvelous defender, but yet to make any impact on the bases or with the bat. Still, he’s only played 19 games.
Tyler Flowers: C-plus. He makes the pitchers better. A 260 pound singles hitter otherwise.
Erick Aybar: F. One of the 20 worst Braves ever.
Mallex Smith: C-plus. Has all the makings of an impact player but very raw. Already been caught stealing 6 times.
Hector Olivera: F. Coppy’s biggest blunder. Hope to never see him in a Braves uni again.
Gordon Beckham: B. The Williams Perez of everyday players. A pleasant surprise, but it won’t last.
Jeff Francoeur: C-minus. Yeah, but he’s great in the clubhouse.
Kelly Johnson: D. Zero impact thus far.
Daniel Castro: D. The answer to the question, Whatever happened to Jesse Garcia?
Based on performance (and one quarter of a season is admittedly a small sample size), the next wave of pitchers, at least those closest to the majors, have yet to live up to the hype.
Sean Newcomb, acquired in the Andrelton deal, has actually taken a step backward, walking 29 in 46 IP with a 4.11 ERA. Chris Ellis has been much better (2.89 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) but profiles more as a back-end starter.
Command has also been an issue for Lucas Sims, who’s averaging nearly five walks per 9 IP since his promotion to Gwinnett (5.46 ERA in 6 starts). Tyrell Jenkins continues to allow a lot of men on base (1.44 WHIP) despite an ERA that’s hovered around three. He’s still not missing many bats though did strike out 9 in his most recent start. Aaron Blair. meanwhile, has dominated at Gwinnett but as we saw he’s not yet ready for prime time.
Max Povse, one of the least heralded pitching prospects in the organization, has pitched better than most of his counterparts at Carolina, striking out 47 and walking just 9 in 47-1/3 IP (2.66 ERA). Mike Soroka, drafted last year, has been every bit as good, with a 2.37 ERA and 0.999 WHIP while averaging a strikeout per inning. His Rome rotation mates, Touki Toussaint and Max Fried have struggled, however, with each averaging more than four walks per 9 IP.
Austin Riley, another 2015 draftee, has stumbled badly after an impressive debut. He’s struck out 58 times in 41 games with just 11 walks. Riley has only three homers and has also struggled with the glove.
Speaking of underachieving third baseman, don’t believe Coppy’s hype about Rio Ruiz. He’s been awful since a hot start and is now hitting .260 with zero pop (2 homers, six doubles) and a too many Ks.
Thank God for Dansby, who’s been everything a top pick should be. He has walked more than he’s struck out, hit 16 doubles, four homers and 10 steals while maintaining an OPS above .900. Ozzie Albies was dynamite at Mississippi but I worry the Braves may be rushing the 19-year-old, who’s hitting .220 with a .260 OBP in 24 games with Gwinnett.
Plenty of talent, but not much in the way results yet for the Baby Braves: B-minus.