Before Lucas Sims was injured in the horrific bus crash early in the season, the Braves believed he was finally turning a corner. They had been impressed with his early-season performances with Carolina, despite somewhat ordinary numbers.
Then the crash happened, with several members of the Mudcats injured. Sims had a hip injury and missed a good chunk of the season.
When he returned, Sims did well for AA Mississippi after his promotion. And he continued his good work in the Arizona Fall League.
Sims made his last appearance in the AFL on Thursday.He pitched three innings and allowed one run on three hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. In Sims' six appearances in the AFL, he had a 2.12 earned run average, 13 hits allowed in 17 innings, four earned runs, three walks and 17 strikeouts.
It will be interesting to see if the Braves push Sims, who doesn't turn 22 until next May 10, to Triple-A Gwinnett. He had just nine starts in Double-A Mississippi, so the Braves may want him to return to the Southern League to at least start the season.
But Sims has re-emerged on the radar with his strong showing. His combined numbers for 2015, including his AFL work: 7-6, 4.02 ERA, 88 hits allowed in 109.2 innings, 49 earned runs, 57 walks and 117 strikeouts.
A year ago Sims was Atlanta's top prospect in a very weak farm system. That has changed with several trades that have brought in additional impressive prospects. But with Sims' strong work at the end of the season and now in the AFL, he is proving he is still a strong prospect for Atlanta's future rotation.
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