frosgrim

if you aren't watching, you ain't seeing

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I know the board is consumed with the NBA draft, but if you haven't been paying attention the Braves, you really need to.  They are good, and appear to be getting better. 

Some interesting stats for the team

2nd in the NL in run differential

1st in runs scored from inning 7 on

1st in late game BA

1st in late game hits 

The pitching is starting to round out. Newcomb has simply been sensational and Folty is coming into his own.  In fact, Folty has out dueled Chris Sale and Strausberg in consecutive games, and has a .55 ERA since having his 6 run meltdown against SF. 

The real question, for me, is what do they do to keep it going? Do you add a top line pitcher (Bumgardner? Archer? Other?) or get into the Manny Machado sweepstakes? Or, do you stand pat and let the kids come up and keep the eye on 2019 as the emergent year? if you wait a year, you can still go after Machado or Harper in FA to fill out the lineup and add that needed big HR guy in the middle. 

 

Bottom line for me, this team is really fun to watch. 

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This team is impressive right now!  The young pitching has been outstanding.  Folty and Newk have been outstanding, pretty much all year but they both were dominant in May.  We also just got a taste of what Mike Soroka can do before his shoulder got tight on him.  I anxious to see him when he returns, particularly since I just picked him up on my keeper league fantasy team.  I'm still very high on Luiz Gohara as well.  He's been through a lot this year, so we may not see him come around as a starter till later on this season or next season, but that guy looks like CC Sabathia out there when he's on his game.  

Also, Brian Snitker has been much maligned by fans on many of the Braves sites I have visited in the past, but he's done an excellent job of creating an environment where these young players can flourish.  I've always said how a manager handles the clubhouse is the most important aspect of managing in baseball.  I also think Eric Young has really helped upgrade the Braves base running, Ron Washington is an excellent defensive fundamentals coach, and Walt Weiss has done a great job as the bench coach.  

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Mike Foltynewicz's last 10 games: 2.15 ERA, 58.2 IP, 65 SO, 27 BB, 1.16 WHIP, .193 BAA

Sean Newcomb's last 10 games: 2.16 ERA, 58.1 IP, 58 SO, 26 BB, 1.15 WHIP, .197 BAA

That's just filthy from both of these guys!!

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@KB21

Couldn't agree more about Snitker and his managing this year. What I especially like is the aggressive nature of all aspects of the game. They steal bases, go after first pitches, and try to take the extra base. The pitchers seem to be also getting the message and are getting better at pounding the strike zone. Still some improvement needed there. 

Also agree about Folty and Newk- those dudes are starting to deal.  You have to wonder do we need that ace guy at the top of the rotation with the way they are pitching. the thought of adding Machado to the lineup is scary, in a good way. 

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As an aside, I was one of the team doctors for Austin Riley's high school team the year he was drafted.  I was doing sports medicine at the time, and I was working for an orthopaedic surgeon who had a clinic in Olive Branch, MS.  Desoto Central High School is in Olive Branch, and when I worked at that clinic in Olive Branch, I covered that high school.  

Austin was a Mississippi State signee, and that's my alma mater.  So, it was bittersweet when Atlanta drafted him.  Atlanta is looking at a couple of Mississippi State commitments this year in Carter Stewart and Cole Winn.  

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Straight up though, Brian Bridges is an incredible scouting director.  Baseball is a very hard sport to scout talent in, and when the Braves replaced Jeff Wren with Brian Bridges, that's when they started adding serious talent through the draft.  Brian's first draft as scouting director was in 2015, and that draft produced Kolby Allard, Mike Soroka, Austin Riley, AJ Minter, and a kid named Patrick Weigel who is recovering from Tommy John surgery but was racing through the system as a starting pitcher before his injury.   Evan Phillips was a 17th round pick that year and is the closer in AAA right now.  

His second draft produced top prospects Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Mueller, and Bryce Wilson, all of whom are at High A or AA ball now.  

His 2017 draft is looking promising now as well.  Kyle Wright is at Pearl in AA ball.  Drew Waters has been a monster at Rome so far this year.  Freddy Tarnok looks promising.  Bruce Zimmerman might be the best pitcher in the SALLY right now.

Bridges is so good at his job that I don't even doubt what the Braves will do in the draft.

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@KB21

Very cool on the Riley work. My youngest is super interested in sports medicine as her professional field, but she's just entering high school, so its a ways away. 

I agree on the Braves scouting department is definitely doing their job in finding young kids to bring through the system. Its almost 70-80s Dodgers like these days. Draft them together, bring them up together, and have them play at MLB level together. 

Just watched some video on Riley, and he seems to have a good swing. I wonder a little about his bat speed, but the videos were shot from some angles that I'm not used to looking at, so maybe its fine. What I do like is that his stance is balanced and he loads for the pitch well. I've never been a fine of lifting the front foot, but all the current prospects seem to be doing this, so it must be something the Braves are teaching. Probably to keep timing in place, esp with guys with the super bat speed (Albies and Acuna,). 

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Great info on the farm system.  

I was expecting Teheran to falter in his first start back.  I’ve never been a fan of the guy but going hitless through 5 was impressive.  Had the slider working with 90+ on his fastball.  Being the highest paid pitcher on the staff with the weakest velocity just isn’t a good look though.

Never was a fan of Dansby but he’s balling.

I dont know much about Machado’s intangibles but I want no parts of Bryce Harper.  God no.  That anonymous GM, although less than honorable, was absolutely right.  Doesn’t do anything great except hit for power.  Paying these kings ransoms for mainly power hitters is crazy.  We have multiple tool players on sweet deals already, that’s how you cash in the ‘ship.  Damn near everybody hitting over .250. with Inciarte closing in.  I don’t mind Camargo’s low average with his power and arm.

This team is so good now though.  All they’re missing is maybe a couple veteran arms but with each start from Kuroka and Sanchez the notion fades a little more.  I’ll be damned if those Giants and Royals team that recently won the World Series are better top to bottom than this Braves edition.  If Markakis isn’t an AS I’m boycotting.  Kurt deserves an iron man award for the beating he takes and still rakes.  Freddy has cemented himself as a historic hitter.  Snitty and the staff (especially Ron) doing an outstanding job. 

If Anthopolous and the crew decide to make a move I’m confident it’ll be the right one.  Dude’s been lights out in his short tenure so far.   

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While the BP has blown a couple of games in recent days, AA really did some work to improve the back end of the pen by getting Johnny Venters and Brad Bach without giving up anyone who was considered a top 20 prospect in the system.

They are still a couple of moves away from really locking this thing down.  I'd like to see another left handed bat for the bench, and another bullpen piece.  They also have to make a decision on whether to keep Dansby in the line up knowing that he's hurting the team, last seven days notwithstanding.

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Much better after the Rockies left.  Braves go on the road and win! 

:biggrin:

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Magic number to win division is now 2 and Braves can get that today with a victory over the Phillies.  If not, then maybe tomorrow!

Looking pretty good right now!

:approved:

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