#172: Alex Jackson – Catcher

by Gil Elliott

 

 

 

In 2014, the Seattle Mariners in the first round and with the 6th over-all pick in the Amateur Draft chose Alex Jackson. Jackson, a kid who had been a catcher his entire amateur baseball career was immediately assigned to the Mariners rookie affiliate in Arizona and move to the outfield to learn that position. The Mariners, who had been impressed by Jackson’s hitting prowess, wanted to move him to a position where his bat could play every day. Needless to say, the experiment was an abysmal failure as Alex’s hitting suffered from the pressure of trying to learn a new position.

In 2014, at rookie league Arizona, Jackson hit a respectable .280 in 23 games and 82 at bats. In addition, his slash line was .344 OBP, .476 slugging and .820 OPS while racking up 23 hits, 6 were doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs.

 

In 2015, Jackson only hit .207 in 76 games between class A Clinton Iowa of the Midwest League and short season class A Everett Washington in the Northwest League. In the two minor league stops he hit a total of 56 hits 271 at bats. His slash line was .207BA/.318OBP/.365Slug/.683OPS. In his 56 hits, 17 were doubles, 1 triple and 8 home runs. He had 21 walks and 61 strike outs between the two minor league teams.

Aug 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; American catcher Alex Jackson (10) rounds second base during the 2013 Under Armour All-American Baseball game at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

To say the least, these were not the kind of numbers expected for a first round draft pick who had signed for a tidy $4.2MM dollars. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for right handed pitchers Max Povse and Rob Whalen in November of 2016. The Atlanta Braves acquired Jackson plus a player to be named from the Mariners for two pitchers whom the Braves felt were no longer part of their long range plans.

While not the most polished of catching prospect, Jackson never the less was assigned to the Braves’ Advanced A affiliate, the Florida Fire Frogs as a catcher. It was a position where the Braves felt he had the most potential and the Braves had the greatest need. With the Fire Frogs, Alex played in 66 games, amassing 70 hits in 257 at-bats. Of those 70 hits, 17 were doubles and 14 home runs. He also drew 13 walks and struck out 74 times. He had a .272 batting average and an OBP of .333, a .502 slugging percentage and an OPS of .835.

In July of 2017 he was promoted to AA Mississippi where he appeared in 30 games. In 110 at bats he posted a .255 batting average and delivered 28 hits, 4 doubles and 5 home runs. His on base percentage was .317, a .427 slugging percentage and a .744 OPS. As I stated earlier, he is not the most polished defensive catcher and in the minors, his fielding percentage is .979 with 7 passed balls and 16 caught stealing to go with 61 stolen bases against. These are not stellar stats but he is only 21 years old and a work in progress.

This fall, the Braves assigned Jackson to the Peoria Javalinas in the Arizona Fall League to play against some of the best minor league talent in the game. He put up good numbers in the AFL batting .263 in 20 games with 80 at bats. Among his 21 hits were 2 doubles and 5 home runs to go along with 23 strike outs. This translated to a .813 slugging percentage and a OPS of .826. These numbers were pretty much in line with his 2017 minor league stats of a .267 BA.

One of the things I have noticed about Jackson is the consistent numbers he has put up in all of his stops along the way. Those being strikeouts equal to the number of games he has played in and decent OPS numbers. He does draw his walks but his strike out totals are high but not unreasonable for a slugging catcher.

Alex Jackson still has work to do before he can be considered a major league catcher. His defense is a concerned but it is likely that it will be his bat that will get him to the Show. While he may not be considered spectacular prospect as a catcher, he is a very solid player. He is one of many young prospective catchers now working their way through the Braves minor league system. I expect for him to be assigned to AA Mississippi to begin the 2018 season but if his success continues at that level, look for him to be promoted to Triple A Gwinnett by the All-star break.

 

 

 

[Editor’s Note:  my car is a year older than Jackson is. :/ ]

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107 Responses to “#172: Alex Jackson – Catcher”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady December 17, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Great job, Gil! All of us appreciate your work for us. (Check for this is in the mail.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2 JoAnn Brooks Elliott December 17, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Merry Christmas everyone, and Happy New year 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  3. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    So, upon further consideration of the recent trade of big contracts between the Dodgers and the Braves, an opine of how things came down.

    Thoppy had inside information on just what the Dodgers were thinking. They wanted to be rid of 2 pitchers who they did not feel merited the money they were being paid plus a first baseman, who while no means was washed up, still was no longer needed with the emergence of Cody Bellinger. The luxury tax being assess at 50% was also a bit of an albatross hanging around the Dodger’s neck, not that the Dodgers couldn’t afford to pay it, they just did not want to.

    So, knowing this plus after consultations with the coaches and managers and other assorted brain trust folks with the Braves, he also knew that Matt Kemp had fallen out of favor, particularly with his weight gain in the 2017 season. It does not take an analytical expert to see that Kemp was no longer productive in the role the Braves had acquired him for. His huge contract was weighing down the Braves too but only because the Bravos were trying to wipe the taste of an ill timed trade with LA for over hyped and over paid Hector Olivera.

    So, it was a match made in bean counter heaven, the Dodgers got rid of three players that no longer figure in their plans plus got them below the luxury tax cap (saving them $30MM in the process) and the Braves picked up four players and cash to even out the trade financial obligations.

    Now one of the highest profile players, Adrian Gonzalez will be granted his release in exchange for ceding the no trade clause of his contract, he will still get his $21.5MM for 2017 but can sign with any club who wants him for MLB minimum. A sweet deal for any AL club looking for a left handed DH who can play a decent first base. Astros anyone?

    Kazmir and McCarthy are also owed big money but Thoppy is only counting on McCarty to provide innings for 2018, if Kazmir were to return, it would be a bonus, I’m curious as to whether or not Kazmir’s salary is still covered by insurance. I have not found an answer yet.

    The extra piece in all this was a player who obviously improves the line up for the Braves, utility man Charlie Culberson. Atlanta GM, Alex Anthopoulos, said Culberson plays a Gold Glove caliber defense at short stop and AA should know.

    the fate of Matt Kemp’s career is still murky. He could be traded or released, it is still spent money as far as the Dodgers are concerned but just like a Clinton Foundation contribution, it is kept in a different ledger. Nothing like creative financing to balance out your ledger.

    So what’s next, AA has said he want to improve the Braves defensively, check those boxes, he has sad he wanted to clear space for Braves wonderkin Ronald Acuna, done and he wanted a veteran pitcher to stabilize the staff. I’m pretty sure McCarthy does that.

    It also clears salary space for 2019 when the Braves should be ready to actually compete again. Sorry Braves fans, 2018 should be better than 2017 but still not going to bump off the gNats from their perch atop the NL East.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville December 17, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    (Check for this is in the mail.) Ho Ho Ho

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 6 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 7:28 am

    No doubt Alex Jackson is right in the cross-hairs of the Braves plans. The former administration thought enough about him to only lock up their current catching tandem for 1 year. I think it’s safe to say that the current administration is not necessarily walking in lock step with the former, but Jackson has shown enough promise to still be a bona fide ML prospect. The only question I have is to how the new sheriff views his timeline.

    No questions about his bat, and only typical questions about his defense. I think it’s a fair comparison to throw the name “Javy Lopez” out there. Javy was never a gold glove receiver, but he was good enough for Glavine and Smoltz and a host of other pitchers. (Fair enough, Greg Maddux preferred his own catcher. But Greg Maddux didn’t require Javy’s bat to win a game, either.)

    At any rate, I expect to see AJax in sometime in 2019. I think he’s the next rookie in line after Acuna.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 7 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Now.. the Braves/Dodgers swap, and I’ll try to keep my comments succinct and on point…

    First, it was a true win/win deal from a financial standpoint. It was truly creative and brilliant. In a nutshell, it packaged an equal amount of contract obligations from each team, and compacted them into 2018 for the Braves, but spread them out over 2018-2019 for the Dodgers. And in doing so, it not only brought the Dodgers under the $197M luxury tax threshold, but it prevented them from also hitting certain tax accelerators that would have kicked in from them being above the threshold for 3 years in a row. Net savings to them from the taxes will be between $30M and $50M, depending on whom is reporting.

    Second, it removes from each team a high priced distraction and makes room for the future. For the Dodgers, it removes Adrian Gonzalez, who was not exactly the best teammate the Dodgers ever had. When he was left off the World Series roster, he chose to vacation in Europe rather than stay with his teammates. What a guy. And Cody Bellinger was ROY at 1B. AGon was never going to win that job back. For the Braves, Thoppy had already thrown down the gauntlet of improving the defense, and Ronald Acuna was forcing the team to make room for him with his potential to be ROY. Matt Kemp was never going to play LF regularly for the Braves again. Each needed to go. And for good measure, neither will play for the teams that just acquired them.

    Third, in the process the Braves received pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Scott Kazmir, as well as IF Charlie Culberson. Will Kazmir even be able to contribute in 2018? Only time will tell that tale, but anything we get out of Kazmir will be gravy. He wasn’t acquired for that purpose. He was acquired for his contract, which expires at the end of 2018.

    As for McCarthy. he is expected to contribute. I need to address one direct concern:

    Well McCarthy threw all of 90 innings last year, (40 the year before, 23 the year before that!)

    McCarthy had TJ surgery early in 2015, wiping out that season. he came back late in 2016, wiping out most of that season. Last year, he injured his non-throwing shoulder in the weight room in May, knocking him out of the rotation for a while. Meanwhile, the Dodgers acquired Yu Darvish to make their post-season run. All that worked to limit his innings last season. But by all accounts, he is fully healthy now.

    So bottom line on McCarthy is this… he should be able to step into the middle of the rotation and provide both innings and veteran leadership. He’s the “veteran on a 1-year deal” that Thoppy alluded to, and he got him in this creative deal.

    As for Culberson, all reports say he’s a defensive whiz even if he’s a light bat. And by light bat, I mean less than consistent, because he had some pretty big hits, including a couple of game winning HR’s, for the boys in blue. Thoppy said he wanted a defensive utility IF and he got one. And in the process, he more or less got his 3B too since Culberson’s presence allows John Camargo to play everyday.

    So let’s do a short summary:

    Moved Matt Kemp out of Atlanta: check
    Acquired veteran starter: check
    Acquired utility IF: check
    By proxy found 3B starter: check
    Cleared a massive amount of payroll for 2019: big ol’ honkin’ check

    Yep, by compacting the money owed to Kemp into all of 2018, the Braves will clear between $35-$40M from the books in 2019. And that only counts the Kemp commitment. Don’t forget that Kakes, Flow and Zuk all come off the books as well. While the Braves are currently committed to about $118M in total payroll for 2018, their committed for 2019 is currently only $26.4M.

    And 2019 will have an unbelievable FA class, with Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson leading the way. Just sayin’.

    Like

  7. 8 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 8:16 am

    their committed for 2019 is currently only $26.4M.

    Typo, folks… that number is $36.4M</b.. heck of a place for a typo, but there it was. Spellcheck is worthless on numbers.

    Like

  8. 9 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 8:17 am

    And then a formatting error…

    I need coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Astute observations all Vee, I made the comment yesterday somewhere that Culberson is a version of Rafael Belliard with power.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 11 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Out of all the conversation about what this may or may not do for the Braves, I think clearing all of that money off the books for 2019, when the team might actually be ready to contend for the playoffs, is the biggest part. And it’s the part nobody seems to be talking about. Can you imagine the Braves going out and signing a top FA OF to replace Markakis? Can you imagine Marwin Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon or Andrew McCutchen or AJ Pollock or Adam Jones or heaven forbid Bryce Harper here in 2019? That is now a real possibility.

    Like

  11. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I would just as soon have Yelich, but that’s just me…

    Liked by 3 people

  12. 13 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I would just as soon have Yelich, but that’s just me…

    Me too, Gil. Me too.

    Like

  13. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Now, if you want to open the bank vault, Machado is a good candidate.

    Harper will never play for Atlanta, just my opine but Bryce wants to shine under a big city spotlight so pick between New York, Chicago or LA…. Just saying…

    I think this season could be the telling point on the Braves young pitchers. No, I don’t think we will see the return of a Greg Maddux, he was a once in a lifetime type player but I do see the possibility of a Smoltz( Gohara) or Glavin (Fried) or an Avery (Allard) … hey, it could happen.. 🙂

    Like

  14. 15 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

    And that is why they are all gone now. All of them. And if Hart was “the boss”, why didn’t he be one? Oh, that’s right. He was “detached”…

    Thank you Liberty for fresh starts. I’m very happy with the buck stopping with Thoppy. One man; one voice; one authority.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. 16 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 9:38 am

    but I do see the possibility of a Smoltz( Gohara) or Glavin (Fried) or an Avery (Allard) … hey, it could happen

    Fair comparisons, especially Fried and Allard. Call me crazy, but Gohara might just become our ace before 2018 ends. I think he’s got that potential. CC Sabathia 2.0.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. 17 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Yes, I think realistically, the Braves, the Braves should be about five or six games better than than last season, that should position them to be a 90 win team in 2019, young pitchers can be real spotty in their performance but who knows, no one saw the Braves breaking out in 1991 nor the Twins last season.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 18 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 10:42 am

    How about a little wild speculation then..?

    As we noted earlier, the Braves 2018 payroll now sits in the area of $118M, and the roster is full, depending on how you look at it.

    The rotation is now flush with potential starters, the everyday lineup is pretty much fleshed out, the bullpen has a plethora of arms to compete for their 8 spots, and the bench is… well, currently all 4 potential bench players are RH hitters, including Adonis Garcia. That needs to be fixed. (We’ll address that later.)

    And somewhere in the last 2 weeks, I’ve read that the Braves payroll “allowance” could be as high as $125-$130M depending on opportunity.

    OK… I’m not a math major (although I was almost a math teacher once), but even I can see that there is still a little room to grow the payroll if the right opportunity unfolds.

    So something still stands out to me that I know to be fact. Thoppy said that improved defense is a priority for 2018. Thus Matt Kemp is gone from LF. Simple. But what about RF? While Markakis wasn’t exactly Matt Adams out there, he has lost a step and his arm isn’t feared like it once was. There has been much speculation that Snit would move the older and lesser Kakes to LF and insert the former CF and athletically gifted Ronald Acuna in RF. But is was noted yesterday that Acuna played most of his innings in ARI this fall in LF, on purpose. Now, as we have repeatedly stated… that was the old regime. There is a new sheriff in town, so that might not matter. Still…

    If defense is the mantra for the new guard, is Nick Markakis still in the plans for 2018?

    Bear with me here…

    We have added more arms to an already crowded race for rotation spots, and we all know that as promising as the youngsters coming up appear to be, there are even more behind them. So we do have “capital” if we need it.

    Adding Charlie Culberson certainly answers the utility IF need. It also allows Johan Camargo to man 3B full time. But is that wise? After all, his best quality is his extreme versatility. Do you take away one of his strengths if you plant him at 3B every day? Maybe the better question is: do you expose him if you play him every day? And what happens to him in 2019 when the much heralded Austin Riley could be ready?

    As Gil still trumpets, I think a deal for Christian Yelich still makes sense for both MIA and for ATL. You can now more easily expand it to take Martin Prado off their hands for 2018 to help facilitate the money, too. If you simply swap contracts for Markakis and Prado, you can fill positional needs for both teams for 2018 and only add $2.5M to our $118M payroll to do it. Then of course, you add Sean Newcomb, Touki Toussaint, the suddenly expendable Johan Camargo and toss in Matt Wisler so that they’ll have someone to throw pitches in spring training. We get Yelich. Deal becomes Markakis, Newcomb, Toussaint, Camargo, Wisler for Prado and Yelich. They get young affordable pitching, a young affordable 3B/SS, and a veteran OF and save $$ on Prado while shedding the long-term commitment to Yelich. We get a dream OF and add Yelich’s total obligation, but just $7M of it for 2018… to keep our total payroll somewhere around $127.5M, right in the middle of the $125-$130M range.

    It’ll never happen, but it did distract me from my job for a half hour. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  18. 19 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Crikey. He is their one real “building block”, unless Yelich decides he wants to stick around. Bad year to be a fish.

    Like

  19. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    I’m waiting for Johnny Baseball to request a trade out of Miami….

    Like

  20. 21 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Now, if you want to open the bank vault, Machado is a good candidate.

    NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    I might have to stop being a braves fan…I hate the big eared idiot….
    https://nesn.com/2014/06/as-derek-norris-manny-machados-actions-a-disgrace-to-baseball/

    Like

  21. 22 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Not that I am an advocate to bring Machado to ATL, but that was a long time ago when he was a dumb kid. Perhaps he has matured since then, eh?

    Like

  22. 23 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    3 years ago, when he was an adult. Bleep him. Seriously…Unless I hear that he has since become a born again Christian, then … ____ him.
    some things just make me despise someone, his basically giving a catcher a concussion, twice….on purpose…..I’d rather have a guy repeatedly busted for using steroids….
    don’t like dumbo a bit….and to think he may get 40 mil a year (A guy who hit .259, .310) hope he can’t take the pressure of a contract year, and hits .222

    I’m not sure if I’m been clear about the fact that I’m not a fan of his….but not a fan of his….

    Like

  23. 24 berigan2electricboogaloo December 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    anyways…very nice lead Gil!
    It will be very interesting to see what Alex Jackson becomes….
    IF he turns into a really solid catcher/hitter, plus Gohara turns into an ace, Marlins fans will truly HATE the braves! :mrgreen:

    Like

  24. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Yeah Vee, not like he’s running for the Senate or something… 🙂

    Still, other than being one of the best third basemen in baseball, I know little about him.

    On Markakis, I am not so blind to how baseball trades work to think Nick the Braves would be able to move him without eating a good size portion of the $12MM still owed for this season. More realisticly, he would be included with some prospects, the better the prospects, the less money the Braves would eat. The way teams throw bonus money at 18 year olds, getting another team to pay the full price on a veteran when packaged with a good prospect is not unrealistic.

    Like

  25. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    IF he (Jackson) turns into a really solid catcher/hitter, plus Gohara turns into an ace, Marlins fans will truly HATE the braves!

    More likely it would be the Mariners but I get your drift…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 27 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    Ber, I’m pretty sure all that would be taken into account which is why I would be satisfied seeing Camargo manning the hot corner this season, at least for the first couple of months. He is not a home run hitter but he does have some serious pop in his bat and if he can make us cringe a lot less when balls are hit down the left field line, well, I’m okay with that.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. 28 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    On Markakis, I am not so blind to how baseball trades work to think Nick the Braves would be able to move him without eating a good size portion of the $12MM still owed for this season.

    That is unless the Braves take back the $13.5M (2018) and $15M (2019) owed to Martin Prado.

    Like

  28. 29 Vox O'Reason December 18, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    … which I’m good with if Christian Yelich comes with it. 😀

    Like

  29. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    There are several young catchers I am going to write about. Even if only makes it, it will be viewed as a win…

    Like

  30. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    should read… only if only one makes it

    Liked by 2 people

  31. 33 berigan2electricboogaloo December 19, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    More likely it would be the Mariners but I get your drift…

    good grief…what can I say, I’m old 😛
    No fan of the Marlins, not that I ever was, but to spend 1.2 Billion (at least that’s what they said was the cost, though why a team that doesn’t draw fans would be worth that, and why Jeter , with the least moola paid out , is the CEO) then tear apart a YOUNG team…makes no sense. whatever….hope Yelich, their catcher, and Justin Bour all get to play on teams that want to win , sometime before they retire…

    Like

  32. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Yes Ber, I have the same hope for Freddie Freeman.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. 35 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

    hope Yelich, their catcher, and Justin Bour all get to play on teams that want to win

    Sure… in the AL. 😀

    (Except for Yelich. He can come to ATL.)

    Liked by 3 people

  34. 36 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Preston Tucker, huh? A LH hitting OF, huh? Perhaps a prelude to Nick being traded elsewhere?

    Like

  35. 37 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Like

  36. 38 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    More likely, though, we simply needed a LH bat for our bench in a bad way.

    Like

  37. 39 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Like

  38. 40 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Bowman calls it a move for the bench… well, at least competing for a spot on the bench. Given that all the projected PH’s were RH, we need someone from the other side.

    Like

  39. 41 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    I still can’t help wondering how Adonis keeps hanging onto his roster spot…

    Like

  40. 42 Vox O'Reason December 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Nats and Matt Adams are deep in talks. I hope he does well against every team but ATL. If I’m Snit, he sees a steady diet of AJ Minter and Sam Freeman from me, and never ever sniffs a RH pitcher under any circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    A left handed triple AAA outfielder? for a player to be named later? DNF Luke Jackson… Hummm, I doubt he will make it to the triple A roster.

    I think this is a move to preclude another move.

    Like

  42. 44 Gil in Mechanicsville December 20, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Okie Dokie then….

    Like

  43. 45 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Gil, I believe the move for Preston Tucker was specifically to add a LH bat candidate for the bench. Before yesterday, the closest thing we had to that was AAA OF Jared James (Who? Exactly.) and Rio Ruiz.

    Like

  44. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2017 at 9:38 am

    It may just be me but Rio methinks is a bit too young to be a bench player, he needs to play everyday somewhere, it is the only way he gets better. I know the rage is to have some 20 year old lead your club but it is a rare thing for a kid so young to survive the inevitable slumps and pit falls along the way.

    I think Jason Heyward is a prime example.

    Any hoo…

    You just never know with these analytic guys, they move in a strange and different world like, ” he hits .450 on any Sunday afternoon when the wind is blowing from the southeast and the sun is at it’s 3/4 azimuth and facing a right hander who has a boil on his a$$…” You know, stuff like that… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  45. 47 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    It may just be me but Rio methinks is a bit too young to be a bench player

    Yep, which is exactly why AA went out and brought in Preston Tucker.

    Like

  46. 48 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Good!

    Liked by 3 people

  47. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2017 at 5:53 am

    I concur Vee, I’m still waiting to see where Jace ends up.

    Like

  48. 50 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2017 at 7:15 am

    Now we have another real bench contender. Danny’s a SH too. The more competition the better. I’m glad he’s back.

    There is some speculation among national media types that the Braves are acquiring OF options to keep the corner warm until June, waiting to promote Acuna to save that additional year of control.

    IMO that won’t be a consideration. I believe that for a couple of reasons. First, if Acuna clearly wins he job in spring and doesn’t make the club, the fans – with the bad taste of Coppy-gate still lingering in our collective mouths – would revolt. And the front office knows it. Second, if Acuna is everything he is said to be, that extra year of control won’t really matter. The team would lock him up to a multi-year deal before he gets too expensive in arb anyway.

    Like

  49. 51 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2017 at 7:16 am

    I read somewhere last week that TP is supposed to meet with AA sometime after the holidays to talk about a position in the organization. I haven’t heard anything about Eddie.

    Like

  50. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I find it strange that both Eddie and Terry were cast aside after so long a tenure with the Braves. I cannot recall a single rumbling about either.

    Liked by 2 people

  51. 53 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Prior regime. Hopefully AA recognizes their longtime ties.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 54 berigan2electricboogaloo December 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Preston Tucker may be like Lane Adams, a really athletic guy that just didn’t get a 2nd change to show they are ML caliber . Preston Tucker I think hit .250 with 24 HR’s and 96 RBI’s last year (I looked it up a few days ago, too lazy now) but no way to break into Astro’s lineup. Well, there would be this year with Beltran retiring, but I guess they have other ideas….

    Like

  53. 55 berigan2electricboogaloo December 22, 2017 at 2:16 pm
  54. 56 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for that link Ber, I have saved it in my vault for future reference…

    Liked by 2 people

  55. 57 Gil in Mechanicsville December 25, 2017 at 8:14 am

    MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  56. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville December 25, 2017 at 11:14 am

    https://t.co/4UhbiNcX1b

    While the Braves may or may not be in the market, I think they would owe it to themselves to at least kick the tires on this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  57. 60 berigan2electricboogaloo December 25, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Merry Christmas Everyone! 🙂 (I thought I just wrote this, so if it shows up later, don’t blame me 😉 )

    Liked by 3 people

  58. 61 Carolina Lady December 25, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    A Merry and blessed Christmas to all here! Love you guys!

    Liked by 3 people

  59. 62 Carolina Lady December 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Kelly & I lost our most beloved Littlejohn this morning. We were blessed to have had his lively personality and happy demeanor for more than 15 years. It is so painful to have the house feel so terribly empty. Beautiful, loving kitty, we’ll miss you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for loving us.

    Liked by 3 people

  60. 63 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Not much news of earth shattering substance, but there is one intriguing report connected to Adonis Garcia. According to Fred Owens at Tomahawk Take, this item popped up in a report in Korean sports media from a source translated as “Sports News Naver” on Monday morning:

    The following is my best attempt to make the Google translation of a quote from the story make sense.

    Emmplus News, LG recently confirmed they reached consensus on a contract with Garcia, “I know that LG recently met with Garcia and negotiations are ongoing. We have already reached an agreement in the terms of the contract. We will see results sooner or later.

    The story suggests that LG Twins past attempts to recruit foreign players in the past were less than successful but that they were sure this deal was done. The Sports News Naver story says Garcia’s agent approached teams in the Asian market looking to get him a full-time job with better pay than appeared possible with Atlanta.

    It’s my understanding that if an agent goes looking for an Asian team, by MLB rules he must first seek permission from the player’s MLB club and receive said permission. So unless the Korean report is false or misleading, it looks like Adonis will depart the Braves for greener pastures overseas. That’s probably a good market for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 64 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    So sorry to hear about your loss, CL and Kelly…

    Liked by 3 people

  62. 65 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Liked by 2 people

  63. 66 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Like

  64. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Yes Margie, it is sad to lose a pet after so many years of companionship. Of course after a proper period of mourning, you have the staff’s permission to seek out a replacement, or one might just walk into your life just like Little John did.

    I saw that piece on Adonis Vee, I was curious as to if the Braves might ask for some type of compensation but opening a slot on the 40 man roster might be a plus in itself. I was surprised he was not DFA prior to the rule 5 draft but I guess it all worked out.

    It is always encouraging to hear of a rookie/prospect doing well in winter ball. while they are not facing major league pitching night after night, it is still baseball and Camargo might just be Atlanta’s third baseman of the future. He still has not completely developed his man weight but he can play an above average defense and he has some pop.

    I had been keeping an eye on Santana too, good to see him playing well. I think he is a good 4th outfielder ans he has some plus speed. I do not know why he had such a drop off between his rookie and sophomore years but it appears he is making strides at regaining his form. Being a switch hitter does not hurt either.

    Liked by 2 people

  65. 68 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Like

  66. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2017 at 11:26 am

    I have been keeping an eye on the Melbourne Aces this winter and the two players on loan from the Braves, Brett Cumberland and Tyler Neslony. My next lede is already done and will be posted after the New Year and features Brett Cumberland but Neslony has been a very pleasant surprize.

    The 23 year old outfielder has been putting up Acuna like numbers in the ABL with a .366/.471/.634/1.105 slash line… It should be interesting to see if his new found success with a bat carries over to his season in AA Mississippi.

    Like

  67. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2017 at 11:33 am

    I still have not been able to find out what kind of deal the Braves made with the KBO & Adonis to allow him to play ball in Korea. Do the Braves still retain Garcia’s MLB rights or was he given his unconditional release by Atlanta. While I don’t think Adonis was any longer considered a top prospect, he did have some pop in his bat and I cannot understand him being retained on the 40 man roster and then simply allowed to walk???

    Any ideas out there?

    Like

  68. 71 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 11:51 am

    I still have not been able to find out what kind of deal the Braves made with the KBO & Adonis to allow him to play ball in Korea.

    In my sanctified imagination, I picture it going something like this:

    Agent: Hi, Anthony. So Adonis really wants to be able to contribute every day in a full time role. I’ve been considering exploring the Asian market if the Braves can’t give him that opportunity.

    AA: Bye. (Picks up phone to secretary.) Hey, you know those those release waivers we set up for Adonis? Yeah, those. Go ahead and file them with the MLB office today and let our scouts know we got that spot on the 40-man roster open now.

    Like

  69. 72 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I cannot understand him being retained on the 40 man roster and then simply allowed to walk??? Any ideas out there?

    Actually, yes. The aforementioned Fred Owens wrote this of Adonis:

    When you hire a man to do a job or assign a task to someone, it’s your responsibility to make sure you pick the right person. All that one can reasonably ask of that person is that he does his very best to carry out the task given. Adonis did that.

    Garcia was never a good third baseman or solid everyday hitter in a good lineup. He did however give the team everything he had in every game he played. In spite of lacking major league talent, Adonis ran out every ground ball and tried to make every play; no one worked harder to improve their play than Adonis.

    That work ethic earned him the respect of teammates and coaches alike. While I said here frequently the Braves could do better than Garcia at third, that was a comment on their roster and the manager’s use of the roster; not the quality of the man.

    So there’s the reason. Adonis earned it the old fashioned way. Owens goes on to say.

    I hope the deal is a big one financially and Adonis is successful in the KBO. I know he’ll work hard to make that happen.

    And I agree with his sentiment 100%.

    Like

  70. 73 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    And of course there’s this…

    Like

  71. 74 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    IMO, if Adonis was a LH hitter, the Braves would have kept him for their bench. But the whole bench is RH, so that was an issue. This does help the chances of the SH Danny Santana making the team out of spring training, but that’s a job that will have to be earned. You can bet the mortgage that AA will bring in more candidates for that spot.

    And I’m not yet convinced that he’s handing the everyday 3B job to Johan Camargo. I still believe there’s a decent chance he signs or trades for a more prototypical 3B, one that can bat behind Freddie in the lineup.

    Like

  72. 75 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Oh… and there is some speculation that the Braves will use Adonis’ old 40-man spot to add Ronald Acuna, but I don’t see that as a directly tied event, especially right now. There is absolutely no reason for the Braves to add Acuna right now and tie up another spot when they’re still building the 2018 team. In fact, they can choose to wait all the way up to the time they have to set their 25-man roster ahead of Opening Day if they choose to.

    And why wouldn’t they? Waiting gives them maximum flexibility. To do otherwise would actually be a poor administrative position.

    And suppose the Braves choose to wait until June to start Acuna’s MLB clock, thus saving another year of control? It’s not like they’re gonna need his bat to keep from falling out of contention in April or May. They can do that with his bat. 😉 But seriously, waiting to start his clock is a real possibility. I personally don’t think it’s a likely possibility, but it can’t be completely dismissed.

    One thing that continues to bug me a little is that they traded for OF Preston Tucker when Lane Adams was as good a 4th OF last season as you could find. In fact, he played well enough in a reserve role to start on some teams. Why would the Braves see that as a need? Is it specifically because he bats LH, which the bench lacked? They certainly won’t retain both Tucker and Adams – not on a short 4 man bench. Or… could they be planning on using Tucker/Adams in a platoon in LF for the first couple of months of 2018?

    Here is the only thing that I am certain about… there is still 47 days until P&CR (Feb. 13), and thus 47 days to continue building the 2018 roster. There is alot left to be done by a GM who is admittedly slow out of the gate. And there is surely much more to happen before we know what the 2018 edition will look like.

    Like

  73. 76 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Monkey wrench:

    Like

  74. 77 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    Good news IMO.

    Liked by 2 people

  75. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Like I said, I thought it odd the Braves would give up a player without there being some sort of agreement/compensation for said player. We will wait and see.

    As for the 40 man roster, all those players on the DL, recovering for TJ etc. will be allowed to be moved off the roster and thus space added for new players or call ups. Not sure when exactly that kicks in but it is before the rosters are set.

    One has to wonder how Acuna would react to being held back to prevent him from becoming a super two. I’ll not worry about it until it happens however. It is a business after all.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. 79 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    As for the 40 man roster, all those players on the DL, recovering for TJ etc. will be allowed to be moved off the roster and thus space added for new players or call ups. Not sure when exactly that kicks in but it is before the rosters are set.

    Correct, players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster. The DL becomes an option again once Spring Training begins. For the Braves, only be P Grant Dayton, who had TJ surgery this past August, is slated to start on the 60-day DL.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I’m kind of excited to see if Lindgrim (sp) is all he was touted to be when signed for $1 MM even though he did not pitch last year.

    Liked by 1 person

  78. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Liked by 1 person

  79. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Hey, just saying…

    Like

  80. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Brett Cumberland also hit a dinger in that game.

    Like

  81. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2017 at 9:23 am

    A subtle reminder that these kids did not come from posh neighborhoods…

    Liked by 3 people

  82. 85 Vox O'Reason December 29, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Remainder of important offseason dates:

    1/12 – Deadline to exchange salary arbitration figures
    — AA has indicated that the Braves will remain a “file & trial” team.
    1/24 – Hall of Fame ballot results announced
    — Chipper will no doubt be a 1st ballot HOF’er.
    2/13 – P&CR
    — Still 46 long days away.
    2/14 – 1st workout for P&C
    2/18 – Position players report to camp
    2/19 – 1st workout for position players
    2/23 – Spring Training 1st game @ the Mets
    3/29 – Opening Day vs. the Phillies at STP

    (calendar info courtesy of Jeff Schafer, Tomahawk Take)

    Liked by 1 person

  83. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Hard to really think about baseball when it is single digits outside but then again, I can think about warmer climes…

    Put another log on the fire guys… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  84. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    So, Markakis is reportedly considering surgery to repair a bulging disc in his neck, recovery time 12 weeks….

    Yelich just got a lot more attractive if you ask me.

    We all know what happened in Nick’s first year after the same surgery…. no power…

    Like

  85. 88 berigan2electricboogaloo December 31, 2017 at 11:00 am

    wow….Nick M won’t be at all trade-able now…poor guy…so odd how some guys have so much neck trouble (I’ve had it, and blown out 2 discs in my back) you would think it would be the super hard swingers….Nick only hit 8 homers last year so….how much power is there to lose?

    Like

  86. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Of course, the bulging disc in his neck might well be the reason for the lack of power. Agree however, no one will want Nick with only one year left on his contract and a medical issue to boot. Best hope for the Braves is likely that he has some value at the trade deadline as a summer rental and the Braves eat a bunch of his salary. Does anyone know how insurance work in this case? Is it pro rated on a month by month basis? Anyone?

    So, maybe that is why AA has been stockpiling Quad A outfielders. Maybe we have been paying so much attention to Kemp, we forgot about Markakis… So, regardless, we will have a very different looking outfield in April and May. Who moves to right field? Acuna or Ender? Tought to move a gold glove but it happens. Just maybe not this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 90 Carolina Lady December 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!!

    Liked by 3 people

  88. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    You too Margie, Kelly too… Stay safe and warm.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 93 Carolina Lady December 31, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Have sleet and freezing rain out there now. Light snow forecast for overnight, then below freezing temps for Mon & Tue, more snow on Wednesday, continued below freezing temps until NEXT Sunday when it gets all the way up to 40. Somebody forgot to check their map! This is the SOUTH!

    Liked by 2 people

  90. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Somebody forgot to check their map! This is the SOUTH!
    Yes, but it is not South Florida… 🙂

    I guess Josie and my trip to Myrtle Beach can be put off a while longer… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  91. 95 Carolina Lady December 31, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    Yes, but it is not South Florida…
    and thank the Lord for it! 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  92. 96 Vox O'Reason January 1, 2018 at 1:20 am

    Liked by 2 people

  93. 97 Vox O'Reason January 1, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Like

  94. 98 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Happy very cold New Years everyone!!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  95. 99 berigan2electricboogaloo January 1, 2018 at 11:57 am

    Lorenzo Cain is 31,(32 in April) but the games I have seen him in, I would argue he is about as good a CF’er as you can find. And he’s been on a team that is forever in the playoff hunt….I assume with 15 HR’s and only 49 RBI’s, I guess it’s because he batted leadoff…he’s batted .300 or higher 3 of the last 4 seasons….probably get him on a fairly short deal….you would have arguably best defensive outfield in baseball , no matter what order they were out there….Ender leadoff, Ozzie 2nd, and move Lorenzo down the order?
    Or bat 3rd, FF 4th, and the bases would always be clogged for him….but who bats behind FF???

    Like

  96. 100 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Yes Ber, that is the $64,000 conundrum… Who to bat behind Freeman? I dod not see anyone on the Braves current roster who would really fill that need, not that someone could not bat there, just no Kleskos, Jones or even Kemps in sight. Perhaps that will be the Braves next big move. Unlike the AL, you can’t just plug in a slugger, he has to have a place to play and first base is already occupied.

    So, I don’t think there is anyone in the Braves system who can fill those shoes in the next season or two. No, I think the Braves are going to have to look outside the organization for just such a player. The only question is whether Alex does it this season or next when the Brave will be in more of a position to make a push.

    Like

  97. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Well, it looks like I might have got punked by twitter, maybe what I saw on Markakis was a re-post of the original announcement of when Nick was originally signed to play for the Braves. I hope that is the case because I would hate for anything to reduce Markakis’ trade value.

    Liked by 2 people

  98. 102 Vox O'Reason January 2, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Seemingly random…

    I love when this page first loads in the morning. That picture of Alex Jackson supplied by our fearless leader is just the best. I forces me to start my day with a smile. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  99. 103 Vox O'Reason January 2, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Bwman:

    While Acuna appears to be MLB-ready and could force the Braves to make a tough decision during Spring Training, <b?it seems like the club is leaning toward delaying his service clock by keeping him off the Opening Day roster This might create some disdain among those looking forward to seeing the 20-year-old phenom.

    But by delaying Acuna’s arrival by a few weeks or a couple of months, the Braves would have an opportunity to stall his arbitration eligibility and could gain an additional season of control. If the team was in position to be a postseason threat in 2018, there would seemingly be more reason to anticipate Acuna earning a spot on the Opening Day roster.

    I believe this is what they’ll do. I think the acquisition of Preston Tucker is a clear indication of such.

    The more I consider this, the more I am in agreement. If we are all 100% honest, we know the team won’t be in serious contention in 2018. So why burn a year of team control? We’ve come this far in the rebuild; let’s not blow the finish by being too impatient.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. 104 Vox O'Reason January 2, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Bwman = Bowman 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 105 Vox O'Reason January 2, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Hmmm…

    Liked by 2 people

  102. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Well, I was going to mention Bowman’s opine but Vee beat me to it. Oh well, got side tracked by other stuff.

    There are lots of deals we never hear about until they are done but it is always fun to speculate. I think the Braves making a deal for Yelich is wishful thinking but one that could actually happen. The only question would be at what price?

    On another note: Wow, what an exciting football game(s) last night. UCF upset over Auburn and UGA’s comeback win against OSU. It was not a good night for the defense unless you were a Bama fan. Clemson looked very over matched it that one.

    Like

  103. 107 Carolina Lady January 2, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    GIL’S NEW LEAD IS UP! ANOTHER PROSPECT SCRUTINIZED.

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

Raisins: Mar 13

Berigan: Mar 15

Gil: Apr 15

Salty: Apr 22

FloridaBravesGirl: Jul 8

Skip Caray: Aug 12

Miss Josie: Aug 18

Carolina Lady: Oct 7

BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007

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