The Talking Chop staff all shared their thoughts on the proceedings of the offseason, with the general consensus being that we still have to wait and see what moves are to come, but with obvious excitement about the acquisition of Josh Donaldson.
Check out the newest installment of the 2019 Talking Chop Prospect List, which includes those ranked 13-18. One notable name coming in alarmingly low on the list is former first-round pick Kolby Allard, whose below average velocity has given many evaluators pause. Given his lucrative signing bonus and top billing among prospects as recently as last offseason, Allard was lauded as a future staple of the Braves rotation, but he no longer seems to fit that bill after a wildly uninspiring debut in 2018. Read more about Allard and other prospects inside.
Remember this guy? Patrick Weigel was among the top prospects in the Atlanta system prior to the 2017 season, but multiple tears in the UCL robbed the young right-hander of nearly two seasons. He underwent Tommy John surgery, and after sitting out all of 2018, Weigel is ready to rejoin the ranks this season. Check out his interview with Eric Cole, which includes loads of insight into the recovery process and what to expect in 2019.
In terms of where you were in 2017 versus now, have you noticed any differences in how your pitches are behaving after your recovery? Have you made any changes to your mechanics?
My pitches are pretty much behaving the same. I actually feel like I have a little bit more control now post-surgery because I don’t have that issue of moving my arm around and trying to find a delivery that doesn’t hurt. I’m finally healthy enough that I have a consistent delivery where it is just easier for me to repeat and find the strike zone. I noticed in my bullpens that I have had an easier time hitting spots. Mechanically, it is a little hard to say what I am doing over the phone or without showing video, but I would say that I have done some work on the takeaway from my glove. I know that I would take the ball way behind me and my arm would be really late getting up at foot strike. My arm would be behind which would cause it to flare outside of my body on the delivery and that puts a lot of stress on the elbow. We’ve done some work on cleaning that action up and making sure that the arm is up at foot strike and it is amazing how much easier it is when you are in the right positions and not trying to fight pain.
The addition of Terry Pendleton in 1991 was a turning point for the Atlanta Braves, as his union with a host of talented young players sparked a miraculous run of dominance for the organization. He would win National League Most Valuable Player that season, and help lead the Braves into the World Series. Now, after spending years on the coaching staff in Atlanta, Pendleton is set to be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame of Friday.
Though no Braves made the Top 10, William Contreras does receive recognition as one to “Keep an eye on” in 2019. The MLB Pipeline staff notes his strong performance a year ago and his considerable skills both at the plate and behind it.