I had a couple of recurring posts during the first go-around…hey, I did have 46 posts so it’s not like I never updated this blog…and one of those recurring bits was the Random Prospect of the Day. Generally, every weekend, I would get a random.org number, go to b-r, and alternate pitcher/position player to introduce myself and any sad bastard reading this blog to a (often unknown) player in the organization. Six times I did this. And 1 in 6 received the Walk-Off Walk Bump. Let’s see how the dirty half-dozen is doing. If you would like to see the original article with amazing information that you can’t find anywhere (except on google), each player’s article is linked.
Fun fact. When I wrote this article, I had his name copied-and-oh,so-ready-to-paste. Schlehuber went to the Carolina League All-Star Game after getting a small bump from me, but not near the bump I gave the second person in the series. Unfortunately for Schlehuber, he went to Mississippi this year and Christian Betancourt still doesn’t know what to do with his bat, leaving the Utah native to ride the pine. Not that he’s done much with his time. He is hitting just .218. Career .634 OPS over nearly 1500 minor league at-bats won’t get you any TOPPS Top Prospect cards (provided they still make those?).
“…but there’s little in the numbers to think Avilan is again putting his name into the hat for an opportunity, which is a shame considering how the Braves bullpen could really use an arm like his if he was getting similar results to his play at A-ball. There is some potential here. Just hoping it comes out. ” That was how I ended my article about Avilan. It seems – so far, at least – that the potential has come out. A couple weeks after I wrote my article, Avilan replaced an injured Jonny Venters in the bullpen. He hasn’t looked back since, becoming a more significant member of the staff. Of course, injuries have helped. In 66 games, Avilan has a 1.01 WHIP, though his K/9 numbers are lower than you would expect from a reliever throwing 95. He relies on getting the opposition to make outs, though he walks too many to be overly trustworthy, especially against righties. Still…Walk-Off Walk Bump established!
The second catcher of the series, Kennelly is also the first random prospect to be released. In early May, the Braves released the Aussie native after appearing in just five games in which he was 5 of 12 for the Gwinnett Braves. All told, he appeared in just seven games for the G-Braves during his time in the organization. Good news, though. The Reds added him on a minor league deal and he plays for their AA team, Penascola.
Yet another former farmhand. This series seems like it’s killing guys’ careers. Talley played for four teams last year in two different organizations. He was still kicking in the Braves organization in early July when I wrote about him, but a few weeks later, he was in the White Sox organization pitching for their low-A ballclub along with their rookie league squad. According to his twitter page, he is now a transmission engineer. Apparently, to get Avilan to the bigs, the Walk-Off Walk Bump demanded a sacrifice. Sorry, Matt.
Hey, cool, somebody actually progressed outside of Avilan. Unfortunately, Leonard still can’t really hit that well. Playing a solid defensive third base for the Gwinnett Braves, Leonard is homerless through his first 199 at-bats with a .609 OPS. I mean, you kinda expect more out of a corner infielder, right? If you could somehow merge Leonard’s glove with Chris Johnson’s bat, you would have a half-decent player. All-Star Break isn’t that far away. Procedure wouldn’t even need a trip to the DL.
Another poor soul, sent packing by the ugliness that is the Walk-Off Walk Sacrifice MACHINE! But I did warn about this one so it wasn’t a complete surprise. “The chances that Marshall is in the Braves organization in 2013 are minimal.” Marshall is playing for Southern Maryland of the independent Atlantic League this season and in 12 starts, he is 6-3 with a 1.46 WHIP.
There you have it. One major leaguer, one backup catcher in AA, and one third baseman who is a designated fielder. Oh, and two castaways and one retired pitcher who is now a transmission engineer. Well, at least Luis Avilan owes his career to me. That may come in handy.