By Steven Whitaker @CoachStevenWhit on March 25, 2014
While we have reached the end of Spring Training, most teams are letting their main position players get their last at-bats before the regular season and most prospects are going back to their minor league camps. However, the Atlanta Braves have had their share of prospects that truly impressed during the spring. Most of the impressive players were not the top notch prospects from the system, but they made their statement this spring.
Ian Thomas is one of the few left-handed options that the Braves have that can help Luis Avilan in the bullpen. In his 10 innings pitched, he has struck out 13 and giving up only three earned runs. He's given up less than one hit per inning that he has pitched and has made himself a valuable asset to the system this spring. With Alex Wood needed greatly in the starting rotation, Thomas may start 2014 on the big league roster.
The year 2013 found Tommy La Stella as a highly thought of prospect in the organization. He cooled off at the end of his spring, hitting .255, La Stella showed great plate discipline, striking out only seven times with six walks. The Braves want him to take his time and progress over the next season. If his glove gets better as 2014 progresses, look for him to compete for a spot on the major league roster in 2015.
With almost half of the at bats as La Stella, Phillip Gosselin tallied just three less hits than his squad mate. Three of his nine hits went for extra bases, while hitting .360 with an OPS of .905. He didn't strike out a lot and he only walked once, so when he sees time in the major leagues, look for him to put the ball in play. If an injury occurs on the infield in 2014, Gosselin may be the guy to fill that bench position.
What a surprise Gus Schlosser has been for the Braves. In 13.1 innings, he has struck out 13 batters, while only giving up three earned runs. With injuries to the Braves' starting rotation, there is a chance that Schlosser could make a few starts for the team until Ervin Santana and Mike Minor can pitch for the team in April.
Steven Lerud has 11 hits in 25 at bats for the team this spring. While only one of those hits went for extra bases, he has three runs batted in. He has struck out eight times, which means when he makes contact, most of the time it has fallen. He has been very good behind the plate; he has thrown out a team high three runners, while only allowing six steals in his time. He has been the most impressive prospect and may see time in Atlanta in 2014.
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