The Major League Baseball season may be over, but a number of Atlanta Braves prospects have distinguished themselves in the Arizona Fall League. Christian Bethancourt, Joey Terdoslavich, and Sean Gilmartin have put up solid numbers in the short season of the AFL.
Bethancourt, a 20-year-old catcher who played in High-A Lynchburg this past season, hit .306 with 5 home runs and 13 RBI in just 19 games in the AFL. He also stole three bases and hit three doubles. Bethancourt is known for his superb defense, especially his throwing arm. His offense finally began catching up with his defense this past season, when he hit .289 with 5 homers and 53 RBI. Although Brian McCann is firmly entrenched as the catcher for the Braves, Bethancourt will perhaps provide the Braves with options down the road.
Terdoslavich started the AFL season red-hot, as he was hitting over .400 for a good portion of the season. He slowed down somewhat, but still managed to end the season with a .321 average to go along with 3 homers and 14 RBI. He also hit 6 doubles, 2 triples, and drew 13 walks in 22 games. Terdoslavich is a 23-year-old who has played first base most of his career, but he will move to third base this upcoming season. He hit .286 with 20 homers, 82 RBI, and 52 doubles in High-A Lynchburg this past season. Terdoslavich could be the eventual replacement for Chipper Jones after he retires.
Gilmartin, the Braves' first round draft pick in June, had a 4.34 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 29 innings. The 21-year-old left-hander from Florida State University rebounded from a couple of rocky starts to finish strongly. He ended the AFL season with five scoreless innings and six strikeouts. Gilmartin, who has been compared to Braves' lefty Mike Minor, will likely start the 2012 season in Low-A Rome or High-A Lynchburg.
The Arizona Fall League is a stepping stone for prospects and often predicts future success. In fact, 41 AFL alums played in the 2011 All-Star Game. Bethancourt, Terdoslavich, and Gilmartin may very well play a large role in the future of the Atlanta Braves.
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