Braves have seven in Arizona Fall League

Which Braves prospect will make a good impression this month in Arizona?

The Braves have seven players on the Surprise Saguaros roster in the Arizona Fall League.

Christian Bethancourt is the best prospect for the Braves in the AFL. He is a top catching prospect who split time between Rome and Lynchburg in 2011. Bethancourt has four hits in his first two games for Surprise.

Bethancourt hit .303 for Rome with four home runs and 33 RBI in 221 at bats. Then he went to the Carolina League and hit an impressive .271 with one home run and 20 RBI. Overall, Bethancourt hit .289 with five home runs and 53 RBI. He just turned 20 years old on September 2.

Switch-hitting outfielder Todd Cunningham is getting some at bats in Arizona. He hit .257 for Lynchburg this season with four home runs, 20 RBI, a .348 OBP and 14 stolen bases in 334 at bats.

And corner infielder Joe Terdoslavich will try to further impress after a great season in Rome. The switch-hitter had a .286 average with 20 home runs, 82 RBI and a .341 OBP in 483 at bats in the Sally League.

Big right-handed closer Billy Bullock will try to continue his good work after a solid season in Double-A Mississippi. Bullock, who was acquired from Minnesota for Scott Diamond in April, was 3-1 in the Southern League with 11 saves in 12 opportunities. Bullock had 65 strikeouts in 49.2 innings pitched. He pitched in one game with Triple-A Gwinnett.

Erik Cordier will continue his comeback from arm issues with the Surprise team. He was 5-8 in Gwinnett this past season in 19 starts. Cordier will need to improve his control, as he walked 51 batters in 86 innings in the International League in 2011.

Could the Braves have another solid arm for the Atlanta bullpen in 2012? Well, they'll test right-hander J.J. Hoover in the Arizona Fall League to see. Hoover switched to the bullpen in Mississippi and thrived. He had a 2.84 ERA in 12 starts, but then Hoover had a 1.33 ERA in 19 games out of the bullpen. He averaged a strikeout per inning, and the Braves really think Hoover cuold be an option next season.

And finally, first round pick Sean Gilmartin will get an audition on the big stage. Gilmartin, from Florida State, had a 2.53 ERA in five starts for Rome. Gilmartin had 30 strikeouts in 21.1 innings, with only two walks. Gilmartin had a rough start in his first appearance for Surprise, as he allowed three runs in three innings pitched.

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, GA and WCOH Fox Sports 1400 in Newnan, GA. Shanks is a columnist for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at and follow him on Twitter at

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