Apr 23, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Mallex Smith (17) signs autographs for fans before a game against the New York Mets at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Most everyone knows who Mallex Smith is, but after extending Ender Inciarte recently, the question around the game, and apparently in the Braves offices, became “where exactly does he fit?”
Mallex has elite speed, 80-grade on the 20-to-80 scouting scale, and he’s shown the ability to have high on base percentages at his stops in the minor leagues as well. However, he struggles with his routes in center field and doesn’t have a great arm in the outfield, which may lead to him playing left field long-term or being a center fielder that is less than stellar.
Offensively, he’s not a guy with a lot of power, but he does get on base well and has speed to burn once on the bases. He was starting to come around in the major leagues last summer when he was injured and missed significant time, so Braves fans really never got to see a lot of Mallex.
He’s certainly likable because of his all-out style, however.
Shae Simmons has been up and down for the Braves a few times, but not due to issues with his performance. Shae’s missed significant time in the last two seasons due to injuries and struggles in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.
While he would have been a top candidate for the Braves bullpen, Simmons likely would have been more of a 6th/7th inning depth piece in the bullpen, and he’s had health issues enough that the Braves may have been willing to take the gamble on letting him go.
Gohara is a left-handed pitcher that has really been getting a ton of helium this offseason after a big Arizona Fall League when he was popping triple digit fastballs from the left side. I ranked him as the #71 prospect in all of baseball recently in my top 125 for Call to the Pen. His write up is at the bottom of that link.
The Brazilian native Gohara pitched for the Northwest League and low-A Midwest League this year for the Mariners, and he tallied 69 2/3 innings, posting a 1.81 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and a 23/81 BB/K ratio.
Burrows is another left-hander that was drafted in the fourth round this season from the University of Alabama and looks to be on the fast track out of the bullpen. He made quite an impression this season.
He pitched this year for the advanced rookie Northwest League, and he showed very well there, pitching 20 games, throwing 24 2/3 innings with a 2.55 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and an 11/37 BB/K ratio.
I’ll have scouting reports in full on both Gohara and Burrows soon, so be looking for those, and it is very feasible that both will appear on my upcoming updated top 100 list, with Gohara likely figuring prominently.