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Props Slaps
 01-18-2008, 02:54 AM         #621
Jeans&Sneakers 
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$n/a | Props total:  
Escobar, Johnson team to form talented young core

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ATLANTA -- It took Yunel Escobar just four months to gain great appreciation from his teammates and give the Braves the confidence that he was ready to be their starting shortstop. If he continues to make the tremendous strides that were evident in his rookie season, many will come to understand why he's considered one of the best young players in the Majors.

"I've been very impressed with Escobar," Braves first baseman Mark Teixeira said. "He's a great competitor. He loves playing the game and it shows on the field. Edgar Renteria is a great player and an All-Star. But Escobar is going to do a great job of filling those shoes."

When the Braves traded Renteria to the Tigers in late October, they immediately said that Escobar had given them to confidence to make the deal based on the steady offense and defense that he'd provided after getting his first call to the Majors in early June.

"We're excited about the opportunity to see more of Escobar," Braves general manager Frank Wren said after making the Renteria trade. "I think he's only going to get better."

With Escobar replacing Renteria, this marks the second straight year that the Braves will begin a season with a new starting middle infielder. Kelly Johnson made the successful transition from the outfield to second base last year and will back at that same position this year with an enhanced sense of confidence.

"Last year, I was really scared to see what was going to happen," Johnson said. "This year, it's different because I've had the opportunity to do it before."

Unlike Johnson last year, Escobar's first full Major League season as an everyday player won't force him to get comfortable with a new position. He has played shortstop dating back to his youthful days in his native Cuba and always been able to do so with a flair and unique sense of confidence.

"Escobar is special," Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton said. "The kid is a player."

Escobar, acquired by the Braves in the second round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, immediately proved his value while collecting two hits and the game-winning RBI during his June 2 Major League debut at Wrigley Field. Over the course of the next four months, he'd prove versatile, appearing in more than 20 games at second base, third base and shortstop, and clutch, hitting .333 (20-for-60) with runners in scoring position.

Atlanta Braves
• Catchers: Familiar face joins McCann
• Corner IF: Dynamic combo on corners
• Middle IF: Young talent emerges
• Outfielders: Jan. 23
• Starters: Jan. 30
• Bullpen: Feb. 6
• DH/Bench: Feb. 13

By the time his rookie season was complete, Escobar had hit .326 with five homers, a .385 on-base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage. His audition for the starting shortstop position came after Renteria sprained his ankle on Aug. 2 and missed nearly six weeks.

Escobar responded by hitting .352 with a .405 on-base percentage and a .486 slugging percentage in August. While a couple of defensive mental mistakes provided a reminder that he was still young, the 25-year-old shortstop still proved to be a valuable defender, who undoubtedly has better range than Renteria.

In his 53 games as a shortstop, Escobar compiled a .977 fielding percentage, equal to the mark that Renteria posted in 121 games.

Johnson's .978 fielding percentage, which ranked 10th among National League second basemen, was hurt by some late-season errors that he admits might have been a product of fatigue.

Having missed the 2006 season while rehabbing from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, Johnson began learning the second-base position during last year's winter months and compiled countless hours of extra work with Braves first-base coach Glenn Hubbard, who is considered one of the best defensive second basemen to have played in Atlanta.

Johnson began last season as the Braves' leadoff hitter and is a candidate, along with Escobar and Mark Kotsay, to handle that duty again this year. In his 76 games at the leadoff spot last year, he hit .268 with a .372 on-base percentage. Overall, he hit .276 with 16 homers and a .375 on-base percentage.

"I don't care where I hit," Johnson said. "There's opportunities everywhere."

Serving as a backup for both Escobar and Johnson this year will be Omar Infante, who was acquired from the Cubs in December to serve as a utility player. He hit .271 in 66 games with the Tigers last year and should be able to increase his value with many more role-playing opportunities in the NL.

Martin Prado, who finished second in the International League with a .316 batting average last year, will also come to Spring Training with hopes of winning a job as a utility player. He hit .288 in 28 games with Atlanta last year and is capable of playing all of the infield positions, except for shortstop.

 01-18-2008, 02:55 AM         #622
Jeans&Sneakers 
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do the these team threads get reloaded each season?
 10 years ago '05        #623
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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$54,053 | Props total: 6953 6953
^^ what you mean?
 01-31-2008, 09:59 PM         #624
Jeans&Sneakers 
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like this one will get deleated and a new one is made
 10 years ago '05        #625
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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$54,053 | Props total: 6953 6953
nah, it will go until the end of time
 10 years ago '05        #626
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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$54,053 | Props total: 6953 6953
Hampton Ready By Spring Training



we'll see, once again, damn he's a waste of money
 10 years ago '04        #627
CentsCuZ 19 heat pts19
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$11,002 | Props total: 771 771
Braves are going to have a nasty rotation if the pitchers stay healthy.

...And I'm reading some good things about Jair Jurrjens as well.
 02-02-2008, 11:47 PM         #628
Jeans&Sneakers 
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yup Hampton is a waste

Esco is gonna beast this year

does Brandon Jones have a chance to make the opening day roster?


Last edited by Jeans&Sneakers; 02-02-2008 at 11:48 PM..
 10 years ago '05        #629
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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 Jeans&Sneakers said:
yup Hampton is a waste

Esco is gonna beast this year

does Brandon Jones have a chance to make the opening day roster?
Brandon should be platoonin with Diaz in left this year is what i'm hearing
 10 years ago '05        #630
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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$54,053 | Props total: 6953 6953
something on the prospects

Q: For you, why does Jordan Schafer rank higher than Jason Heyward? After all, Schafer wasn't on anyone's list last year.

A: There are a few reasons, but note that both are in the top 40 on my Top 100 prospects, so I really like them both. The first reason is the Schafer has gotten it done, while Heyward certainly should get it done, but is still unproven as a pro. The other big thing for me is position. Schafer is a pure centerfielder, while Heyward profiles for right field, so the offensive expectations change significantly. On average, big league right fielders have an OBP that is 10-20 points higher than a centerfielder, and a slugging that is 20-40 points higher, so Heyward has to be that much of a better hitter to be of the same value offensively. Throw in the fact that Schafer is a fantastic defensive centerfielder and the gap becomes a bit wider even. Also, even though Schafer wasn't on anyone's list last year, that doesn't mean he was totally off the radar. The tools were certainly there. Every team has a handful of these guys - the tools player with tons of potential and little production. Most don't develop, some get better, and every year, a handful of them, like Schafer or Tampa's Desmond Jennings really explode.

Q: After the year that Eric Campbell and Van Pope had in 2007, are they still projectable as prospects? Is 2008 a make or break year for each player?

A: Campbell's power will get him plenty of chances, but he needs to realize that raw talent alone isn't enough. He's got to get healthy and show that he wants it. Turning around makeup is really up to the player - there's little the team can do at this point. Pope might be in a make-or-break situation - he's 24 this year, and last year's Double-A showing was nothing short of miserable.

Q: Does a guy like Charlie Morton, who had a great AFL season, really have a chance to be a major league starter for the Braves?

A: I think the Braves see him as a reliever at this point, but yet, he does have big league potential. The arm strength has always been there, and he has a very good breaking ball - it's the step forward in command that has Braves officials hopeful.

Q: Who is better, or who do you think will be better long term, Julio Teheran or Neftali Feliz?

A: Well, obviously I have Feliz pretty high on my Top 100, and Teheran isn't on it, so I take Feliz, as he's already ha some state-side success and currently throws harder - not to say Teheran won't get there, but Feliz has more 'now' stuff.

Q: Who are the top three prospects the Braves have traded away this past year? Which will come back to haunt the Braves the most?

A: Is Salty still a prospect? If not, I think Feliz has the most upside, while Andrus is probably the safer bet to be a productive big leaguer. I'm not sure if anything is going to be haunting the Braves if they can resign Teixeira though.

Q: After Schafer, Heyward, Lillibridge, and Jones, is Gorkys Hernandez really the best bat in the organization? What makes him a four-star prospect?

A: He has game-changing speed, he's an outstanding centerfielder, and he's got very good bat speed. He needs to add power and/or patience to his game, but even if he doesn't, he'll still be in the big leagues. He's a very exciting guy to watch.

Q: Who will be better long term and why, Michael Fisher, Brandon Hicks, or Travis Jones?

A: Well, all three are college infielders from big programs, but honestly, just look at the money. Hicks cost $283,500. Fisher cost $125,000 and Jones signed for $107,200. Now if one guy cost as much as the other two combined, that's the best guy right? Certainly for now it is. Trust the scouts, here. Hicks is the best athlete of the three, and the best defender. His speed is a tick below Fisher, but he's the better hitter as well, not that any of them are great with the bat. I don't think any are future stars, but I could see Hicks turning into a solid shortstop.

Q: Do either Brandon Jones or Brent Lillibridge have a chance to be the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year? Which one will be the best major leaguer in 2008?

A: I don't think either will be there. There are going to be some excellent rookies in the NL like Jay Bruce, and other guys who are technically rookies like Fukudome with the Cubs. I think Jones will be better in '08, just because it looks like he has a much easier shot at significant playing time.

Q: If you had to fill out the Braves major league pitching rotation, who would you choose, Jo-Jo Reyes or Jair Jurrjens, and why?

A: Jurrjens. He throws strikes. Reyes' raw stuff might grade out a tick better, but Jurrjens has a big advantage in command and control and is a better pitcher.

Q: What is the biggest strength of the Braves minor league system? The biggest weakness?

A: Strengths: Projectable young arms, athletic outfielders.
Weaknesses: Infielders, pure power prospects.
 10 years ago '07        #631
timdog 920 heat pts920
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$30,461 | Props total: 14898 14898
Braves>>>>>>>>>>>
 02-18-2008, 06:12 AM         #632
Jeans&Sneakers 
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 timdog said:
Braves>>>>>>>>>>>


can't wait, we play the first MLB game right?
 10 years ago '05        #633
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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$54,053 | Props total: 6953 6953
wierd not seeing Andruw in a Braves uni


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Last edited by Junior G; 02-28-2008 at 09:39 PM..
 10 years ago '04        #634
lilsnatch770|M 101 heat pts101
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$31,888 | Props total: 2000 2000
 Junior G said:
wierd not seeing Andruw in a Braves uni


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:cash::cash:
 10 years ago '05        #635
booker20 
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$10,293 | Props total: 0 0
Javy went deep today.... :applause::applause::applause: he use to be that dude back in the day....
 10 years ago '05        #636
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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$54,053 | Props total: 6953 6953
some Spring Training pics from B-N

Jair


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Diaz


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<TABLE class=ysptblclbg3 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=10 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>
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Esco


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ESPN


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Francoeur


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Diaz, Kotsay, Hubbard


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Brandon Jones
 10 years ago '05        #637
Junior G 114 heat pts114
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$54,053 | Props total: 6953 6953
Braves won again today ------ 7-5

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I see that clown Santana got rocked in a spring game
 10 years ago '06        #638
SHootar 48 heat pts48
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$22,362 | Props total: 1784 1784
 Junior G said:
Braves won again today ------ 7-5

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I see that clown Santana got rocked in a spring game
check ur PM
 10 years ago '12        #639
DoMieD 5 heat pts
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$46,982 | Props total: 1244 1244
Braves all day...


We will regain the division this year.


Can't wait till we get to rock the overated, overpaid Santana too.
 03-03-2008, 05:32 AM         #640
Jeans&Sneakers 
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 MonkTaker said:
Braves all day...


We will regain the division this year.


Can't wait till we get to rock the overated, overpaid Santana too.
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