It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Atlanta Braves’ main concern this offseason was signing their core players to long-term extensions. The one question that still lies on the minds of Braves fans is who’s next?
The first two names that are brought up in this discussion are pitchers Kris Medlen and Mike Minor. The question then becomes which one of these players do the Braves want to sign first?
Medlen, in his four seasons in the majors, has started a total of 61 games and appeared in 152 games. However, 2013 was his first season to start at least 30 games. What is most important about Medlen’s game is that he has some of the best control on the team’s staff. He only walked 47 men last year, ending the season with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.59.
These statistics aren’t all indicative of his success. Medlen gives the team a fierce competitor on game days, but he’s also a guy in the clubhouse who likes to play pranks and joke around with his teammates. He’s a player who will keep the team in most games that he pitches and will rely on his defense on a daily basis.
Minor, on the other hand, is a pitcher who can take over a game any time he takes the mound. 2013 was a breakout year for him, giving him his most wins (13), starts (32), innings (204.2) and strikeouts (181). The most important thing for him, though, is that he has consistently gotten better every season that he has been in the league. If he can continue his progress, or remain close to the same pitcher that he was in 2013, any team would be happy to have him in their starting rotation.
While Medlen would be good for most any rotations in the league, the Braves will probably go after Minor before any other player on the roster. He has the potential to be a more dominant pitcher on a day-to-day basis, and he also brings a left-handed arm to the rotation that is dominated by mostly right-handed pitchers.