Mets vs. Braves: Shortstop Prospects

Continuing our comparisons between the Braves and Mets farm systems, we take a look at the crop of shortstop prospects in each system. Which system is deeper? Which prospects have the most power? The highest ceilings? Take a look at this comparison between the two rival NL East farm systems.

The Two Farm Systems: The quick summation of this positional comparison is -- there is no comparison. The Braves were lacking shortstop prospect depth even before dealing high-ceiling Nick Ahmed to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Justin Upton trade this offseason and now that the dust has settled Atlanta is pinning their hopes on essentially one high-upside shortstop prospect now; Jose Peraza. Now of course it helps that 23-year old Andrelton Simmons appears to have the position locked down for the next several years at the big league level.

Peraza, a 19-year old Venezuelan native, has a very high ceiling. The right-handed batter has excellent big league strike zone discipline, a solid small-ball game, and plus speed. He hit a combined .296 with 25 stolen bases in just 53 games between the Gulf Coast League and Danville Braves last season. The only thing that is lacking in his game is power -- always the last tool to develop -- but he does have the kind of frame that could put on some good weight in the coming years.

Outside of Peraza, however, Atlanta doesn't have much in the way of legitimate long-term potential shortstop prospects. 22-year old Elmer Reyes would be the next closest thing but he has yet to reach the high-A level and defensively he's more suited for second base than shortstop, not to mention his power-speed combination is below average too. He has the look of being more of an organizational type player.

It's not like the Mets are blessed with a whole bunch of high-ceiling shortstop talent either but at least they have a number of prospects who have the kind of bats to develop into potential big league starting middle infielders of some kind, including last year's first round pick Gavin Cecchini.

Cecchini doesn't have the one plus tool like Peraza has with his speed and defense, but his entire game is solid all around. He shows good hitting ability, decent plate discipline, good range and soft hands defensively, and a solid power-speed combination. He doesn't have an enormous ceiling but the projection to remain a steady contributor is certainly one of the best.

The same can be said of Phillips Evans, a 15th round pick out of high school in 2011. With great natural hitting ability, good strike zone discipline for a 20-year old, and average to perhaps above average power potential for a middle infielder, he has the chance to be an offensive-minded middle infielder. He's a bit thick in the lower-half though and some wonder if he will outgrow the position down the road. Still, he has the look of a Marcus Giles type offensively.

The only other middle infield prospect who projects to have enough bat and defense to potentially become a big league starter down the road is Daniel Muno, an 8th round pick out of Fresno State in 2011. He can hit from the right side, has impeccable big league plate discipline, can pile up doubles in a hurry, and has average to above average speed. He's solid defensively at shortstop although he's probably better suited at second base on a daily basis. Also able to play third, he projects more as a potential utility player right now.

The Mets have a few of those utility types outside of Muno, including Wilfredo Tovar, T.J. Rivera, and Matthew Reynolds. Tovar, a diminutive Venezuelan native, can really play defense at both shortstop and second base. He also swings a solid bat from the right side and has okay speed, but his power is way below average and that will limit his starting potential.

Rivera and Reynolds, a third round pick last year, both have the look of solid minor league shortstops but neither have the great range to be considered locks to play there in an everyday capacity at the big league level, but both offer a solid set of tools -- hitting, power, speed -- and defensive versatility that both could become viable big league bench players someday. Reynolds in particular has enough pop in his bat that he could have the ceiling of a starting second baseman if he could make that transition.

How Do They Compare In...

Power: Considering Peraza is the top Braves' shortstop prospect with not a lot behind him and his biggest weakness is his lack of power. The Mets simply have way too much depth here. Advantage: Mets

Hitting For Average: As good a hitter as Peraza projects to be, it's just not enough to overcome Cecchini, Evans, Muno, Tovar, Reynolds, Rivera, etc. Advantage: Mets

Defense: Peraza is scintillating on defense. In fact he's better than anybody the Mets have but it's not enough to fight off the combination of Tovar and Cecchini. There is a big dropoff after those three though. Advantage: Mets

Speed: There's Peraza from the Braves and then there's everybody else in a distant second. Advantage: Braves

Overall Potential: The Braves could wind up having the best shortstop among this group but it's tough to put all of your eggs in one basket. While the Mets' shortstop prospects could shift positions or become utility types, the bottom line is there are more of them. Advantage: Mets

Highest Ceilings: Jose Peraza (Braves), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Phillip Evans (Mets), Daniel Muno (Mets), Matthew Reynolds (Mets)

Best Power: Phillip Evans (Mets), Matthew Reynolds (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Daniel Muno (Mets), T.J. Rivera (Mets)

Best Average: Jose Peraza (Braves), Phillip Evans (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Wilfredo Tovar (Mets), Daniel Muno (Mets)

Best Defense: Jose Peraza (Braves), Wilfredo Tovar (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Phillip Evans (Mets), Matthew Reynolds (Mets)

Best Speed: Jose Peraza (Braves), Daniel Muno (Mets), Wilfredo Tovar (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Elmer Reyes (Braves)


The Cardinal Nation Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nThe Two Farm Systems: The quick summation of this positional comparison is -- there is no comparison. The Braves were lacking shortstop prospect depth even before dealing high-ceiling Nick Ahmed to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Justin Upton trade this offseason and now that the dust has settled Atlanta is pinning their hopes on essentially one high-upside shortstop prospect now; Jose Peraza. Now of course it helps that 23-year old Andrelton Simmons appears to have the position locked down for the next several years at the big league level.
\r\n
\r\nPeraza, a 19-year old Venezuelan native, has a very high ceiling. The right-handed batter has excellent big league strike zone discipline, a solid small-ball game, and plus speed. He hit a combined .296 with 25 stolen bases in just 53 games between the Gulf Coast League and Danville Braves last season. The only thing that is lacking in his game is power -- always the last tool to develop -- but he does have the kind of frame that could put on some good weight in the coming years.
\r\n
\r\nOutside of Peraza, however, Atlanta doesn't have much in the way of legitimate long-term potential shortstop prospects. 22-year old Elmer Reyes would be the next closest thing but he has yet to reach the high-A level and defensively he's more suited for second base than shortstop, not to mention his power-speed combination is below average too. He has the look of being more of an organizational type player.
\r\n
\r\nIt's not like the Mets are blessed with a whole bunch of high-ceiling shortstop talent either but at least they have a number of prospects who have the kind of bats to develop into potential big league starting middle infielders of some kind, including last year's first round pick Gavin Cecchini.
\r\n
\r\nCecchini doesn't have the one plus tool like Peraza has with his speed and defense, but his entire game is solid all around. He shows good hitting ability, decent plate discipline, good range and soft hands defensively, and a solid power-speed combination. He doesn't have an enormous ceiling but the projection to remain a steady contributor is certainly one of the best.
\r\n
\r\nThe same can be said of Phillips Evans, a 15th round pick out of high school in 2011. With great natural hitting ability, good strike zone discipline for a 20-year old, and average to perhaps above average power potential for a middle infielder, he has the chance to be an offensive-minded middle infielder. He's a bit thick in the lower-half though and some wonder if he will outgrow the position down the road. Still, he has the look of a Marcus Giles type offensively.
\r\n
\r\nThe only other middle infield prospect who projects to have enough bat and defense to potentially become a big league starter down the road is Daniel Muno, an 8th round pick out of Fresno State in 2011. He can hit from the right side, has impeccable big league plate discipline, can pile up doubles in a hurry, and has average to above average speed. He's solid defensively at shortstop although he's probably better suited at second base on a daily basis. Also able to play third, he projects more as a potential utility player right now.
\r\n
\r\nThe Mets have a few of those utility types outside of Muno, including Wilfredo Tovar, T.J. Rivera, and Matthew Reynolds. Tovar, a diminutive Venezuelan native, can really play defense at both shortstop and second base. He also swings a solid bat from the right side and has okay speed, but his power is way below average and that will limit his starting potential.
\r\n
\r\nRivera and Reynolds, a third round pick last year, both have the look of solid minor league shortstops but neither have the great range to be considered locks to play there in an everyday capacity at the big league level, but both offer a solid set of tools -- hitting, power, speed -- and defensive versatility that both could become viable big league bench players someday. Reynolds in particular has enough pop in his bat that he could have the ceiling of a starting second baseman if he could make that transition.
\r\n
\r\nHow Do They Compare In...
\r\n
\r\nPower: Considering Peraza is the top Braves' shortstop prospect with not a lot behind him and his biggest weakness is his lack of power. The Mets simply have way too much depth here. Advantage: Mets
\r\n
\r\nHitting For Average: As good a hitter as Peraza projects to be, it's just not enough to overcome Cecchini, Evans, Muno, Tovar, Reynolds, Rivera, etc. Advantage: Mets
\r\n
\r\nDefense: Peraza is scintillating on defense. In fact he's better than anybody the Mets have but it's not enough to fight off the combination of Tovar and Cecchini. There is a big dropoff after those three though. Advantage: Mets
\r\n
\r\nSpeed: There's Peraza from the Braves and then there's everybody else in a distant second. Advantage: Braves
\r\n
\r\nOverall Potential: The Braves could wind up having the best shortstop among this group but it's tough to put all of your eggs in one basket. While the Mets' shortstop prospects could shift positions or become utility types, the bottom line is there are more of them. Advantage: Mets
\r\n
\r\nHighest Ceilings: Jose Peraza (Braves), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Phillip Evans (Mets), Daniel Muno (Mets), Matthew Reynolds (Mets)
\r\n
\r\nBest Power: Phillip Evans (Mets), Matthew Reynolds (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Daniel Muno (Mets), T.J. Rivera (Mets)
\r\n
\r\nBest Average: Jose Peraza (Braves), Phillip Evans (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Wilfredo Tovar (Mets), Daniel Muno (Mets)
\r\n
\r\nBest Defense: Jose Peraza (Braves), Wilfredo Tovar (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Phillip Evans (Mets), Matthew Reynolds (Mets)
\r\n
\r\nBest Speed: Jose Peraza (Braves), Daniel Muno (Mets), Wilfredo Tovar (Mets), Gavin Cecchini (Mets), Elmer Reyes (Braves)
\r\n
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