Hello everyone! As we enjoy the All Star break and get ready to unveil the BGS Top 25 Prospect list, what better way to tide you over than with a new installment of the ladder? Let’s jump right into the top performers in Atlanta’s minor league system for the week of July 6 to July 12.
Christian Bethancourt, Catcher, AAA Gwinnett: 6-20, 2 2B, HR, BB, 3 K, SB
Atlanta’s presumptive catcher of the future no longer looks like such a sure thing after foundering at the major-league level for the better part of half a season. While I’m quite skeptical of his potential to stick in the bigs long-term, he certainly had a nice week in Gwinnett, notching 6 hits with half going for extra bases. Power will be important for Bethancourt if he wants to stick in Atlanta, as he will never have a good hit tool.
Mike Foltynewicz, Starting Pitcher, AAA Gwinnett: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 8 K
Folty’s last start in Gwinnett before his call-up to Atlanta’s bullpen was a typical Folty start. Too many walks, but gobs of strikeouts to make up for it. The story on Folty is still the same, however: he’s got to reign in his control if he wants to be a successful big league starter. If not, he’s almost assuredly ticketed for a bullpen spot.
Tyrell Jenkins, Starting Pitcher, AAA Gwinnett: 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
The “other” pitcher in the Heyward trade, Tyrell Jenkins was promoted to Gwinnett from AA Mississippi last week, and his first start with Atlanta’s AAA affiliate was a dandy. Jenkins tossed 7 innings of shutout baseball with 6 strikeouts and only 1 walk. The K/BB ratio is a great sign, as Jenkins’s mark at AA Mississippi was a wholly uninspiring 59/41 mark.
Connor Lien, Outfielder, A+ Carolina: 9-24, 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 4 K, 5 SB, 2 CS
Lien, a toolsy outfielder with the Mudcats, is the BGS MiLB Player of the Week. Lien had a hell of a week at the plate, smashing 9 hits in 7 games, including a pair of home runs. If that wasn’t enough, he also showed off his eye by drawing 3 walks and his speed by swiping 5 bases. Lien has always been a high-risk, high-ceiling player, but his 2015 season has been nothing but a success so far. The 21-year-old is now hitting .292/.344/.424 on the season.