Despite the Atlanta Braves clearing payroll and shipping off their big names at the beginning of the 2015 season, the real rebuild began with the 2015 MLB Draft. They made a huge haul in that draft and they are starting to see the results with the majority of them playing an integral part in the surging first place Rome Braves fantastic second half run.
The Rome Braves have had a stacked team this season, with some of the bigger prospects in the organization playing a big part in their turnaround. The pitching staff has been phenomenal with names like Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard, Max Fried, Touki Toussaint and the recently promoted Patrick Weigel coming of age and showing that the talent seen in them may be more than potential. Austin Riley is maturing into the best third base prospect in the system while being arguably the biggest bat on the pipeline behind a huge second half.
Having taken in quite a few Rome Braves games this season, primarily to see the names above, a couple other prospects — though much lesser known — have shown steady improvement seemingly each and every time I visited State Mutual Field.
ROME, GA — Bryan Reynolds knows a lot about winning. As a member of the National Champion Vanderbilt roster that has seen a bevy of players make the successful jump to the pros like Dansby Swanson, Tyler Beede, Carson Fulmer, Walker Buehler, Vincente Conde and Jordan Sheffield, Reynolds was poised to add his name as the next great Commodore.
He has done just that in his brief professional career.
A.J. Puckett certainly paved an interesting road to the pros, one that may not have been heading into his junior season in high school. Since the Kansas City Royals drafted Puckett in the second round of the MLB Draft this past June, he is showing that he is well worth the investment, and the Royals were lucky he slipped to them.
Yesterday, our fantasy football experts brought you Part I of our fantasy draft prep, taking a close look at the MVP choices, top rookies and breakout performers we expect to play a role in 2016. Today we bring you Part Deux, taking a look at big comebacks, bigger busts and sneaky sleepers.
This season has seen some strong debuts thus far come out of the second round. The Atlanta Braves’ Kyle Muller and the Chicago White Sox’s Alec Hansen have been nothing short of sensational on the mound. The New York Yankees have a second baseman making some noise in the NYPL as Nick Solak is getting it done at the plate.
I’m old. I know I am old because working in the two industries in which I do — writing and then the restaurant business to make that extra jingle — I am surrounded by those younger than myself. I find myself often saying things that must sound like a foreign language as I have to explain what the heck I am talking about, like most recently when I interviewed Luke Dykstra — Son of Nails — and Wally Backman weeks apart and tried to explain how cool that was. I guess you had to be there. In 1986. Like I was.
Another one of those things was the USFL.
Fantasy football drafts are upon us. With many people’s first drafts (oh come on, you know you have more than one team) commencing this weekend, it is time for Wayniac Nation’s Third Annual Busts, Breakouts, Sleepers and MVPs Spectacular!
This year, we go in two parts. Part I will take a look at the MVP choices of our panel, the breakout candidates as well as the top rookies to choose from in 2016. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part II, featuring the top comeback candidates, biggest busts and everyone’s favorite, sleeper central!
The Boston Red Sox have a significant history of drafting right-handed pitchers in the first round this millennium. Eleven times since 2000, the Red Sox have invested their first-round pick (one of them, at least) on a young righty, and if you count Casey Kelly — who was drafted as an infielder and converted to a pitcher — you have a rounded dozen. The problem is none of them have really panned out as expected.
Michael Kopech is looking to change that trend, putting together an outstanding season in Salem.
John Sadak has a fun job. He is the voice of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, amongst many other announcing gigs. He has been on hand for an amazing transformation in the Yankees farm system, and has seen some of today’s stars at the big league level develop from question marks to the reigning AL Player of the Week.
He’s never been shy to talk Yankees prospects, as he brings an aspect to prospect talk little others can. He sees these prospects play every day, watching them grow in each at bat, or unfortunately sometimes never meet the lofty expectations that are placed upon them. This year, he saw a lot of positives.