Sent RHP Daniel Winkler to A+ Florida Fire Frogs on rehab assignment from A- Rome Braves.
Assigned C Jonathan Morales to AA Mississippi Braves from A+ Florida Fire Frogs.
Assigned 2B Omar Obregon to AA Mississippi Braves from A+ Florida Fire Frogs.
Released AA 1B Levi Hyams.
Released AA SS Reed Harper.
Assigned C Tanner Murphy to A+ Florida Fire Frogs from R Danville Braves.
Sent RHP Daniel Winkler to A+ Florida
After one rehab inning in Rome, Winkler’s minor league team went into its all-star break. To keep him active, the organization sent him up one level to join the Fire Frog bullpen. In his third season with the organization, Winkler has now thrown a total of 6 innings. A talented righty, Winkler has a fastball/slider combo that could be helpful to the MLB bullpen if healthy.
After a long comeback from a 2014 TJ surgery, Winkler made the 2016 Atlanta Braves roster out of spring training, and he was brilliant in the early going, pitching 2 1/3 relief innings, striking out 4 of the 8 batters he faced, and not allowing a run. A week into what was supposed to be his comeback season, he broke a bone in his elbow, requiring a different but just as devastating surgery.
Last night, in his first outing with Florida, Winkler pitched a shaky but scoreless inning, throwing 8 balls to 7 strikes, but allowing no runs.
Assigned C Jonathan Morales to AA Mississippi
The Braves are aggressive promoters, and after just 53 games of high-A ball, the team has promoted one of its better catching prospects to the high minors. Morales is slashing just .253/.300/.304, but he’s a solid defender, capable of framing, blocking pitches, and throwing out runners. A streaky hitter, Morales’ slash line was only .242/.280/.282 in late May, so the June adjustments at the plate may have expedited his call-up. Any time a top 30 prospect (Morales ranked 29th in OFR’s pre-season rankings) reaches AA, it’s cause for celebration. The jump from A+ to AA ball is perhaps the biggest in the minor leagues, and Morales’ promotion is a sign that his development is headed in the right direction.
Assigned 2B Omar Obregon to AA Mississippi
Obregon doesn’t have the prospect profile that Morales does, but he’s still a young (23) player with some potential usefulness. Obregon just kind of gets by as a hitter (.257/.315/.336 with Florida in 2017), but he has speed and flashes major league caliber defense at the keystone. With Travis Demeritte entrenched at 3rd and Dylan Moore struggling badly, Obregon should see significant time sharing the middle infield with Luis Valenzuela.
Released 1B Levi Hyams from AA Mississippi
The 599th pick of the 2012 draft, Hyams’ only offensive success beyond low-A came in his first stint in AA in 2015, when he slashed .274/.375/.390. Now 27, the power never developed enough to make his defensive profile work, and the hit tool cratered. In 2016 at AA, he slashed .237/.272/.370, and in 2017, it dropped to .189/.237/.200, prompting his release.
Released SS Reed Harper from AA Mississippi
The 763rd pick in 2013, Harper was always a subpar hitter once he got out of rookie ball. Like Hyams, it went from subpar to terrible in 2017, as Harper was hitting .121/.209/.138 at the time of his release, with a 30.4% K-rate.
Assigned C Tanner Murphy to A+ Florida
At A- Rome, Murphy had hit only .227, but thanks to a 17% walk rate, his OBP was a healthy .362. With catching prospect Jonathan Morales headed to the Southern League, Florida needed another catcher, so Murphy gets the call. Murphy is reportedly a strong defender, a leader, and a batterymate that pitchers love.