Bill Shanks talks about the B.J. Upton situation for the Braves.
Braves to send 7 to the Arizona Fall League
Here are the players from the Atlanta organization heading west: pitchers Brandon Cunniff, Ryne Harper, Nate Hyatt and Aaron Northcraft; also infielder Daniel Castro and outfielders Edward Salcedo and Kyle Wren.
Garey Ingram will serve as the Javelinas’ hitting coach.
Cunniff was signed by the Braves a year ago out of the Frontier League. He pitched in 20 games in 2013 with Lynchburg and had a 1.99 earned run average. This year Cunniff returned to Lynchburg to start the season and did not allow an earned run in nine games. He was then promoted to Double-A Mississippi and has a 2.17 ERA in 32 games. Cunniff is a right-hander who stands 6-0 and weighs 185 pounds.
Harper is a 6-3, 215-pound right-hander who has spent the entire 2014 season in Mississippi. He’s 8-5 with a 2.69 ERA in 46 games, with one save. He’s allowed 67 hits in 73.2 innings, with 24 walks and 93 strikeouts. In his 146 minor league games, Harper has a 2.20 ERA. Harper was Atlanta’s 37th round pick out of Austin Peay in the 2011 draft.
Hyatt has a 2.98 ERA in 34 games with Lynchburg. He’s got 65 strikeouts in 57.1 innings with three saves. Last season in Lynchburg Hyatt had 12 saves and had 55 strikeouts in 46.2 innings. Hyatt was the Braves’ 13th round pick in the 2013 draft out of Appalachian State.
Northcraft has struggled since being promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett. He has a 6.23 ERA in 12 games (11 starts), with 83 hits allowed in 60.2 innings. In his 13 games (12 starts) in Double-A, Northcraft was 7-3 with a 2.88 ERA. Atlanta’s 10th round pick in the 2009 draft now has a 3.87 ERA in 635.1 minor league innings.
Castro is hitting .282 between Lynchburg and Mississippi this season, with four home runs, 52 RBI and nine stolen bases. Castro has mainly played shortstop but also a few games at second base. The Braves signed Castro out of Mexico in 2009 and he spent a few seasons in the Mexican League.
Salcedo has spent the entire 2014 season in Triple-A. He’s hit .211 with 10 home runs and 42 RBI in 346 at bats. The Braves moved Salcedo to the outfield in midseason. He made eight errors in 44 games in right field. The Braves would like to see Salcedo get more work in the outfield to see if that’s his future home.
Wren was Atlanta’s eighth round pick in the 2013 draft out of Georgia Tech. He’s hit .282 between Lynchburg and Mississippi this season with 44 stolen bases in 128 games. Wren’s combined on base percentage is .345 this season.
Ingram is Gwinnett’s hitting coach and is finishing his fifth season in the Atlanta organization.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at http://www.foxsports1670.com/. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and e-mail him at email@example.com.
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