Minors : : General
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

BP Top Prospects: Atlanta Braves

Jason Parks        
Photo: Perfect Game

Listed below are the top 5 prospects in the Atlanta Braves organization as ranked by Jason Parks and Baseball Prospectus. To view the full feature, please visit this link.

Prospect rankings primer
Last year's Braves list

The Top Ten

  1. RHP Lucas Sims
  2. Christian Bethancourt
  3. RHP Mauricio Cabrera
  4. RHP J.R. Graham
  5. SS Jose Peraza
  6. 2B Tommy La Stella
  7. RHP Wes Parsons
  8. 3B Victor Caratini
  9. RHP Jason Hursh
  10. OF Victor Reyes


1. Lucas Sims

Position: RHP
DOB: 05/10/1994
Height/Weight: 6’2” 195 lbs
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1
st round, 2012 draft, Brookwood HS (Snellville, GA)
Previous Ranking: #3 (Org)
2013 Stats: 2.62 ERA (116.2 IP, 83 H, 134 K, 46 BB) at Low-A Rome
The Tools: 6+ FB; 6 CB; 6 potential CH

What Happened in 2013: In his full-season debut, Sims established himself as one of the better young arms in the minors, missing plenty of bats and barrels, allowing 84 hits in 116 innings while striking out 134.

Strengths: Very athletic; smooth/easy mechanics; repeats well; fastball works 90-95; touches 96; pitch shows late wiggle; curveball plays above average at present; true hammer in the upper 70s; bat-missing pitch with big vertical depth; 82-86 mph changeup with late sink; pitchability and good command projection; competitor.

Weaknesses: Needs to add strength/stamina; fastball command needs refinement; curveball can get slurvy when he doesn’t stay over it; changeup can get a little firm in the 86 range and lose action.

Overall Future Potential: High 6; no. 2 starter

Realistic Role: High 5; no. 3 starter

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate risk; limited professional experience; yet to achieve Double-A level

Bret Sayre’s Fantasy Take: As the lone representative of the Braves on the Fantasy 101, Sims has impressive stuff across the board, which at peak could lead to strong numbers across the board—including 180-plus strikeouts. The questions with Sims from a fantasy standpoint are more about his ability to provide the quantity required of a frontline fantasy starter than the quality portion of the equation

The Year Ahead: Sims draws scouting comps to a young Matt Cain; an athletic strike-thrower who can take the ball every fifth day and beat you with his entire arsenal. He still has some rough edges, but this is a safer prospect than the resume suggests. Sims can work the fastball in the low-to-mid 90s, back it up with a very impressive upper-70s curve with depth, and show feel for a future above-average changeup. Add to the profile an athletic and clean delivery and good pitchability and you have the making of a very solid major-league starter, with a ceiling of a number two but a high floor in the middle of a rotation. He’s likely to shove it at the High-A level, and could emerge as a top 20 prospect in the game by the end of the season. Underrated prospect.

Major league ETA: 2016

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