Danville Braves game report from 6/23/14

This was my second Danville Braves game in three days. The report from the previous game can be found here. This was my third trip to Johnson City, having seen two games there last year.

I won’t go over everyone who played in this game, as I covered most of the guys in the previous report. The box score for this game can be found here.

The guy I was most excited about seeing in this game was the starting pitcher, Andry Ubiera. He was a big international signing out of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, in 2010.

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Ubiera showed good control of his pitches, especially his fastball, which sat 90-92 mph, and touched 94 (from what I could see snooping on the scouts’ radar guns). What I really liked about Ubiera was his demeanor on the mound. He was laser-focused for every pitch, covered first base with determination, and attacked the strike zone while working well with his catcher.

Check out his setup on the left below–reminds me of how John Smoltz came set in his windup.

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I came away from this game very impressed by Ubiera. The Braves tried to put him at Rome to start this season, but he got hit hard, so they sent him back to extended spring training. He’s repeating Danville, having spent last season there, so I expect to see improvement. Though he’s still age-appropriate for the Appy League, having just turned 21.

What I didn’t get a photo of was his straight-on delivery. His arm slot is such that he hides the ball behind his head as he throws. That reminded me a little bit of how Craig Kimbrel hides the ball–an aspect of Kimbrel’s delivery that makes the ball hard to pick up while appearing faster to hitters. Ubiera has some of that in his delivery as well.

Several more prospects from this game after the jump.

The next pitcher into the game for the D-Braves was Carlos Salazar, Atlanta’s 3rd round pick from 2013 out of high school. The scouting reports said he threw hard, and indeed he was sitting 91-92 mph, with a little more in the tank. The report also said that he kind of hops off the mound in his delivery like Jordan Walden. You can see that in the picture on the right (though it was getting dark, so it’s kind of blurry).

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I liked Salazar. He’s a strong, stocky pitcher with strong-looking legs. So I guess it’s good that he uses his legs so much in his delivery. Because of the effort in his delivery, he probably profiles more as a reliever, which might hurt his prospect status.

The Braves’ pick after Salazar in last year’s draft was prep catcher Tanner Murphy. Baseball America liked him enough to rank him as the Braves No. 21 prospect in their 2014 Prospect Handbook.

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He looked decent to me. He’s got a compact frame and a strong base–a good catcher’s body, and one that should hit for power. He has a long swing that didn’t have excessive uppercut to it, and he showed his power by hitting a no-doubt home run over a pretty high left-center wall.

He’s got good tools, but I’ll probably wait to rank him on my prospect list until he’s put up some numbers in full-season ball. Both Murphy and Salazar are still just 19-years-old.

Below is Keith Curcio, 6th-rounder this season out of Florida Southern University.

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I liked him at the plate and in the field. He’s got go-get-it speed in center field, and a strong arm, which he used to nab a runner trying to stretch a single into a double. At the plate he has an aggressive approach that plays kind of small, just looking to get on-base any way possible. The Braves have already moved him up to Rome.

The shortstop in the game was the 6-foot-6 Codey McElroy, a 19th round pick this year.

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He’s a tall kid. His swing didn’t look terribly long, but perhaps a little slow and awkward… of course, that could be because he’s so tall. He looked fine in the field the few chances he had.

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