This offseason, the Braves have added two starting pitchers so old that one of them (42-year-old R.A. Dickey) can’t believe the team also acquired an even older hurler in 43-year-old Bartolo Colon, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. “Coppy [Braves GM John Coppolella] said to me, we’re going after Colon, and I said, whatever; he’s never leaving New York because he’s had a great run there, why would he leave there?” Dickey says. “So I automatically thought that I was going to be the oldest player on the team.”
Dickey and Colon certainly look like different sorts of pitchers than those the Braves used last year, when they got 126 starts from pitchers in their age-25 season or younger. But the Braves say the team’s signings of two veteran starters doesn’t mark a significant change in the organization’s recent plan of building with youth, O’Brien writes.
“A lot of our pitchers are at the A-level, the high-A level, the Double-A level. We were sort of forced to giving some starts [last season] – Matt Wisler did a terrific job up and down, Aaron Blair showed a little bit towards the end,” says president of baseball operations John Hart. “That next wave is at least a year away, and I think as we viewed this, going into this new ballpark, with the club that we had and giving this club and our fans an opportunity to compete, without standing in the way of some of these young pitchers.”
Hart says that, even with Dickey and Colon in the fold, younger pitchers will still have plenty of opportunities to start. (Wisler, Blair, Tyrell Jenkins, Williams Perez, Rob Whalen and John Gant would appear to be among those who could receive chances next season.) The organization is still waiting for many of its best young talents, several of whom are still deep in the minors. Nine of the players on MLB.com’s list of the top 15 Braves prospects are pitchers, but only two of those — Sean Newcomb and Lucas Sims — have significant experience at Double-A or higher.
“We’re certainly going to have at least one, maybe two youngsters in this rotation as we go forward,” says Hart. “It’s a long season, a lot of things happen, and a big part of what John and I are going to be focused on certainly is what’s going on at the major league club, but we pay attention to what’s happening down below. We’re going to be following the progress of the Sean Newcombs and the Max Frieds and the Mike Sorokas and Kolby Allards and all these youngers that we really like. But these kids, they’re still in the bus leagues (low minors), a lot of these guys.”
Ive enjoyed Dickey in his 4yrs as a bluejay.. Always gave the team a chance to win, on average 4 or under runs given up per game… And the knuckleball can throw opponents hitting off when the next pitcher starts ahead of him.. (A theory anyways)… And hes never been injured in 4yrs..
Colon a great pickup too. .
I don’t think anyone expected that the pitchers the Braves would add would be a 42 year old knuckleballer and a 43 year old. Colon still was an all star though.
The Braves basically have 3-4 more waves of younger pitchers coming up through their system.
Last year’s “wave” of talent was made up of Wisler, Foltynewicz, Blair, Gant, and Jenkins.
The next wave of younger starting pitchers that should reach the majors will be headlined by Sean Newcomb. After Newk, you have Rob Whalen, Lucas Sims, and Chris Ellis.
Shortly behind those guys, you have a couple of interesting, fairly under the radar talents in Max Fried, Patrick Weigel, and Max Povse.
Then, the next big wave should come up for the Braves. That wave of talent will include the likes of Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, Touki Toussaint, and Ricardo Sanchez.
Following maybe a year or so behind those guys will be last year’s HS draft additions in Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, and Bryce Wilson…
Obviously, not all of these pitchers will pan out, and even some that do, there is no guarantee that they will be pitching for the Braves…Even so, I am definitely very interested in seeing what the future holds for Weigel, Newk, Allard, Fried, Toussaint, and Soroka..
I still have high hopes for Wes Parsons even though he has fell out of the braves top prospects list, I see a late bloomer he was focused on being a golfer for a while hes learning fast though, and I think the Braves have done a great job bringing him along slowly, he has a fastball that can reach mid 90’s and great control once he gets his feel pitches down he could really click and still surprise people.
Wow, a Wes Parsons reference. I love it!! lol
The Braves have handled him pretty carefully. He definitely suprised me early on, after he was signed, and like you I do see a bright future for him.
He really showed some quality stuff in 2 out of his last 3 starts last season. Overall, he pitched to a line of 15 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 12 K, and a .52 WHIP. Not to mention also in his last 10 outtings, he did not give up a HR.
He has had some bumps in the road during his Advanced A assignment, but he did start off his stint at AA with 4 shutouts innings.
Also, just some interesting trends and notes thus far. He has yet to allow a solo-homerun, and so far he has pitched much better during the second half of each season than during the first half. During the second half of the season, he has almost a full run and a half difference in his ERA, for whatever that is worth..lol
But I do hope the Braves continue to take their time with him, and hopefully he can continue to find the success he had during rookie ball and class A.
Is Fried really an “under-the-radar” prospect?
Well, yes and no…lol I mean, I was moreso referring the first part to Fried and the latter to Weigel and Povse..Meaning Fried was interesting and the other two were fairly under the radar.
I know that’s kind of a cop-out reference, but I do think Fried is flying a little under the radar. Most people were not really sure how Fried would bounce back after his injuries, and he did, for the most part, have a fairly quiet and ho-hum type of season. That is, up until the end of the year, and especially during the playoffs, I think that is when he truly re-established himself as a once again talented prospect pitcher.
So, most people do know the name, but he has had to work really hard to not only get back on the mound, but moreso to fully regain his status as a talented “prospect.”…
Jenkins and Blair were not last years wave they got rushed because we had nobody else to pitch they will be in the minors this year until at least mid season if not September and Ellis is a huge gamble prospect his control is horrendous at best he will probably end up in the pen. At this point it’s almost safe to say Simms will be in the bullpen too and Newcomb is there precious gem he won’t be rushed he’ll be in the minors all this season as well until he harnesses his control more.
Whalen was definitely rushed…Although, I’m not so sure I agree with your assessment of Jenkins and Blair. I think both pitchers were definitely more than capable to be ready by mid-season last year.
I think the reason you may feel as if they were rushed has more to do with the fact they initially struggled.
But when the Braves received Blair back in the Miller trade, he was already being talked about as a near ready ML pitcher.
I wouldn’t call Ellis’ control as horrendous; however, I do think he might end up in the pen if he cannot right the ship.
I think Sims needs some more time at the AAA level to truly see if he will be able to stick as a starter. If he cannot stick as a starter, then I think he very well could become a very successful set-up man.
You’re right about Jenkins and Blair. They didn’t do well, they weren’t rushed. Hopefully they figure it out
The braves are a struggling organization. The two players they signed are both struggling. That is why the braves keep on loosing. C’mon braves go sign someone good
Yeah, they’re struggling alright…it’s not like they have plenty of prospects to trade or use in their majors or plenty of money to spend to fill their needs.
They’re fine. They’re in great shape now, they’ll be in better shape 2 years from now.
Great shape? They’re a terrible MLB team who has made some questionable moves and staked their rebuild on the most volatile type of player.
But they staked it all on the most demanded kind of player giving them more stock then a one sided player. If it’s so volatile why would they be ranked as the best or second best farm depending on the source if it’s such a questionable call to build with pitchers instead of hitters. No logic chesteraarthur you troll every page go home and get a life. Learn something before you talk about it.
Do you know what volatile means? You can have a great farm system, guess what? Pitchers get hurt. A lot. Rankings of a farm system aren’t taking into account the insane attrition rate of pitching prospects. Especially those of high school pitching prospects.
Yes, I’m trolling because using facts (it is a fact that pitching and especially HS pitching is the most volatile) that don’t fit your, “the braves are awesome, everything is great” narrative shakes your little world.
It is absolutely hilarious to see you tell other people to learn anything when you are so clearly just a blatant braves homer.
You remember that mets rotation that was supposed to be awesome? That’s what happens when you build around pitching. It is a risky plan which results in an uncertain and possibly very abbreviated window of competition. Perhaps you should take your own advice and learn something before you speak about it.
Yet the braves won 15 straight playoff berths on that exact philosophy…. braves fan or not our record speaks for itself it works that why the braves are a classic team like the Yankees and Red Sox and Rangers and now the Cubs. Value is value you can say someone will get hurt because they fit an age range but it doesn’t take away from the value those prospects have to add to make a competitive team. Now the silence may begin because no team has done what the braves have to create success over nearly 3 decades.
Everybody has an opinion.. but this rebuild has gone extraordinarily well in my opinion. From the outside looking in you may see a few headscratcher moves but the only to date that has made a negative difference was the olivera move, and they have already negated some of that damage by acquiring Kemp… who many would argue is a bad move as well… but you can’t argue with his second half stats, and the stats of Freeman with him batting behind him. What other moves would even be close to questionable? (none) “go sign someone good” -what a great plan. lol
Just commenting on the 15 straight division titles built on pitching. They had two very very good pitchers for a long time and one whom they signed as a free agent. The only consistently quality pitcher to come out of the organization and play for the braves was Kevin millwood. Maybe you can throw is Jason Schmidt and Paul Byrd for other teams, but they didn’t really produce that many pitchers.
As they are even put together right now, they are not considered a terrible team.
They have a top farm system to add talent through grooming their prospects or through trades.
I would say right now they are strictly mediocre at best, but if they finished the 2017 season around .500 it would not be a MAJOR suprise as you’re stating.
You are acting like they are the worst team in baseball with zero assets at the ML level and zero assets in their farm system.
Check their stats for the 2nd half last season, or even after they received Matt Kemp. After they plugged another bat in their line-up, they were pretty good, and that was with a rotating door at just about 3-4 spots in their rotation.
The Braves aren’t staking their future on one or two pitching prospects. That is why Coppy has stock-piled the farm with at-least 2-3 very talented starting pitchers at every level of their minor leagues.
Not to mention the sheer ridiculous amount of bullpen arms they have added through the draft.
But I don’t get why you are acting like us Braves fans think, we are an awesome team and are expecting to compete for a pennant right now??
The true Braves fan understands the process of the rebuild right now. We understand a .500 record would definitely be a solid season next year, and is probably the best possible outcome if everything goes correctly.
Yes, we as Braves fans, are excited about the future, but for good reason. There are some studs coming up like Dansby, AJ Minter as a future closer (and possible Zach Britton clone lol), Albies, Newk (if he gets his control in check), Max Fried, Rob Whalen, Max Povse, Patrick Weigel, Paco Rodriguez (if he returns to his ore-injury form), Shea Simmons, Mauricio Cabrera, Arodys Vizcaino, Foltynewicz, and there is still even some hope for Wisler and Blair to regain their status as once highly thought of pitching prospects…
We do not expect a world series soon, nor even a playoff birth for a couple seasons…Plain and simple, we are hopeful, as Braves fans, but is that something to attack with such negativity??
C’Mon Man, why the negativity…Honestly, it is just uncalled for.
14 str8 in 15 years. One of those years there was no playoff
Tom Glavine was home grown. As was Steve Avery.
Colon was good. Dickey was in the toughest division in baseball…
Your just a dodgers fan that doesn’t pay any attention to anything but the dodgers.
I really don’t think the message I wanted to imply got out.
I’d believe the post but evidently losing and loosing are the same in LA how’s your loosing record? Not enough money In The world can help you from loosing your playoff berths. 15 straight playoff appearances we are one of the top franchises in the game get over yourself.
R.A is going to have a great year this year
Dickey was a good soldier, an innings eater and the statistical definition of an average starting pitcher in Toronto. The downside to Dickey, however is that nobody could catch him but Josh Thole. With Thole, who the Braves may need to sign, you get one of the worst hitters in the league making the bottom of the order atrocious. That being said, I wish R.A, well.
I just hope Coppy does not trade 5 of our pitching prospects for Sale. I liked his earlier comment that you don’t sign elite pitchers you develop them
You don’t have to worry about that, there is no way the white sox would take a package of all pitching prospects for sale.
With regard to developing pitching, at some point the braves may want to take a look at how some of their pitching prospects are not developing as planned.
Or they are in the lower minors our high minor league players got rushed the last two years with no vets on the starting staff they weren’t ready plain and simple but when you have no other options your hand get played. And if they weren’t developing as planned why would teams want to trade for them like many are? Read the article before commenting tool he states prospects got rushed 126 starts of 25 or younger pitchers that’s unheard of. Grow up dude
Calling someone a tool then telling them to grow up…oh the irony.
Perhaps learn your own teams’ farm system and how it is pretty well documented that members of it have failed to take the steps forward that management was expecting/looking for. For example, look no further than Sean Newcomb and his *still* unacceptable walk rate. Players don’t need to be in the upper minors in order to take steps forward. In fact, most players don’t get to the upper minors UNTIL they take steps forward.
Feel free to continue to act like a clown. The majority of the Braves fans on here do it too.
Look at the stats your wrong Newcomb lowered his walk rate granted not by a ton he increased his strikeout rate and had a sub 3 era. Dont question my knowledge of my team Newcomb did progress and will start in AAA next season otherwise your only argument out of the top 20 prospects with no improvement is Simms. Your argument is null. Go find a different team to troll hopefully you can get your facts right there. Go braves! Top 5 franchise is baseball. Move on child troll elsewhere
They both win 15 games .
Stay the course. Grow your own.
If the Braves keep putting all their eggs in “our next wave will be here soon” basket, they will be in for a long ride. Championship teams are built through minor leagues, quality trades, and key free agent acquisitions. If the Braves were happy with their pitching system, why did they fire their ML pitching coach (who was out of a job for about a month), bring back Wallace and hire Chiti?
The major league arms were breaking too fast lol roger is a good coach but he ran the guys arms off and didn’t help the young guys just intimidated them. But I do agree with most of your statement
They are happy with their prospects, as a whole. The reason McDowell got fired was because he seemingly had trouble relating and coaching up the younger pitchers.
McDowell had worked wonders for veterans helping revitalize their careers. He worked his magic on countless guys helping them, but he simply could not help the younger guys reach their ceilings.
I do agree, that they cannot continue to say we’ll hopefully the next wave will be better, but most people forget, this was really just their 2nd full season of the rebuild.
The only guys that they’ve acquired in the past couple seasons, that made it to the majors, was Wisler, Jenkins, Blair, and Foltynewicz…
None of those starters were really even projected to be top of the rotation pitchers, even at the time they were acquired.
The Braves have put their stock in being able to truly compete by the 2018 season. I think, so far, things are going right according to their initial plan.
Back to your point though, about the changes made. Like I stated earlier, McDowell, allegedly, just had trouble working with the younger guys. His pitching philosophies were not changing with the times, and he was seemingly stuck in his ways. The Braves simply felt a new voice for the major league level was needed, and they felt they needed a bridge to that new voice from the minor league levels.
Again, I think by bringing in a new coordinating staff to oversee the minor leagues, the Braves management is really just trying to make sure they have a more unified and collective voice from the top level of their organization all the way down to the rookie and complex ball levels.
This way, they can make sure that all of their pitching coaches are on the same page, and that they can work better collectively as a unit as these pitchers work their way through the system.
Yes, the Braves have put in alot of stock into their younger pitchers , but I think so far they are making all the correct moves to put these guys in the best position to succeed.
Will that promise success for alot of these guys, of course not…Pitching prospects more often flame out than pan out, that’s just the cold hard facts of the matter, but by adding quality AND quantity the Braves are setting themselves up to have quite a few strong assets in their near future.
Max Fried ha why wouldn’t I be surprised if he turns out good
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