Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Minor League Set Week: 2015 Carolina Mudcats

Second Carolina Mudcats set of the day, but this one is the current issue from the team.  The Mudcats switched affiliations this year from the Indians to the Braves, so a totally new set of players and coaches to look at in this product.  The cards do not have as cool of design as the 2014 team set, but this is still a pretty solid design with the black and red design.  Same deal as the previous minor league sets, two players you should add to your collection, and one player who might be flying under the radar.  I promise not to pick a coach the rest of the week.

1.  Lucas Sims- Sims is the top rated pitching prospect in the Braves system.  The Mudcats game that I attended was Sims first start since returning from the DL.  The team was involved in a bus accident earlier in the season and Sims was injured in the wreck.  He gave up a bunch of runs in the start (thanks starting catcher), but he definitely has a lot of giddy up on his pitches.  I am guess that I will get to see Sims in another year or two when he rolls through Gwinnett.  Good arm, should turn out just fine with the Braves. still rates him as a top 100 prospect and Baseball Prospectus has him just outside the top 50 at 54th.

2.  Tyler Brosius- Little known Tyler Brosius fact: He was Russell Wilson's backup at NC State for a season.  His bio is still on their web page and he made a challenge for the starting job after Russell Wilson left to play baseball.  Mike Glennon (Buccaneers) won the starting job, Brosius quit and decided to play baseball full time.

So, I am picking Brosius because he is an NC State, but I am going to back it up with some numbers. Unlike Russell Wilson, Brosius came to NC State to just play football.  Wilson shuttled back and forth between the two teams before leaving the school after being drafted by the Rockies in the fourth round.  After two years of only playing football Brosius left NC State, transferred to Walters State (where's that?), and made himself eligible for the 2013 MLB Draft.  So, basically Brosius played in high school, took two years off, played a year of college baseball, and then went pro.  The Braves have used him as both a starter and relief pitcher, but he has settled into starting for the past year and a half.  This year in 5 starts he is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.33.  Considering he is in his third pro season, after one year of college baseball only, several Braves prospects sites point out the fact that Brosius, still only 23, is basically like a just drafted college senior.  

Under the radar- 

3. Matt Marksberry- Marksberry actually pitched in college about an hour away from my house at Campbell College.  You know the Camels.  Marksberry was drafted by the Braves in the 15th round of the 2013 MLB Draft and until last week was just lingering around in the lower Minors.  Lat year Marksberry was a starting pitcher.  This year he is a relief pitcher.  In 22 games with the Mudcats he was basically striking out a batter per inning and nobody was hitting him in the Carolina League.  The Braves promoted him all the way to Triple A Gwinnett about a week and a half ago.  So far this season Marksberry is holding left handed batters to a .074/.123/.093 slash line on the season.  That's one hit in 54 at-bats against Marksberry.  I watched Marksberry pitch Sunday for the Gwinnett Braves.  Pretty filthy stuff with lots of movement and velocity on his fastball reaching up to 93.  He seemed pretty excited to pitch here too.  

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