January 2013

Teheran Makes MLB.com Top 100

Teheran No.31 in MLB.com Top 100 (Leslie Watts / Gwinnett Braves)

Teheran No.31 in MLB.com Top 100 (Leslie Watts / Gwinnett Braves)

Justin Upton’s press conference was not the only news in Braves Country, as last night MLB.com announced its Top 100 prospect list, placing one Atlanta farm hand on the list.

Julio Teheran came in at No.31, according to MLB.com draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo. The right-hander makes the list for second straight season after coming in fourth last year.

After a banner year in 2011 with the Gwinnett Braves, capturing the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher award, International League Rookie of the Year award and Atlanta Braves’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year award, Teheran was ranked the top right arm in the minors, according to Mayo. He dropped in on the countdown at No.4, ranking behind the Rays’ Matt Moore and Rookies of the Year Mike Trout (Angels) and Bryce Harper (Nationals).

His quick ascension to the top sparked attention from the all levels as he received an invitation to MLB Spring Training. During camp, he struggled through mechanical issues and lost out on the fifth spot to Randall Delgado.

He did not fare well in his second stint with the G-Braves. In 26 starts, he went 7-9 with a 5.08 ERA and 97 strikeouts in 131 innings. However, his numbers in 2011, 15-3 with a 2.55 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 144.2 innings, helped make Delgado dispensable for the Atlanta Braves this offseason, as they traded him away in a package to get Justin Upton.

Despite not ranking in MLB.com top 10 right-handed pitchers this season after being the top guy last year, the Braves Front Office believes he can flourish within the organization in 2013. He heads to Spring Training as the front-runner for the fifth and final spot in the Atlanta rotation.

The 22-year old looked great in the Dominican Winter League, posting a 3.23 ERA in seven starts for Licey. He allowed just two hits while completing 16.2 scoreless innings over his final three starts.

Teheran and the rest of the Atlanta pitchers will report to Spring Training in a few weeks, as baseball season is right around the corner. Don’t miss your chance to catch the action at Coolray Field, as the future stars of tomorrow start here. Gwinnett Braves open the season on Thursday, April 4th at 7:05 p.m. against the Charlotte Knights at Coolray Field. For more information on the G-Braves or Coolray Field, visit the website at Gwinnettbraves.com, facebook.com/GwinnettBraves1 and twitter.com/GwinnettBraves.

-JD

Medlen Withdraws From Classic

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Atlanta Braves right-hander and former Gwinnett Brave, Kris Medlen announced that he has withdrawn his name from the World Baseball Classic tournament.

Medlen, who is expecting his first child in the next few weeks, decided that time was not in his favor, so on Friday afternoon at Coolray Field in front of a handful of Braves fans, he announced that he would no longer participate in the classic.
Medlen, who began the season in the bullpen in 2012, was arguably the most dominant starting pitcher in the MLB down the stretch. He posted a 9-0 record with a 0.97 ERA, 84 strikeouts, 10 walks in 83.2 innings.

The 27-year old was disappointed in withdrawing his name, as he was one of few American players to take the plunge and commit early in the process. However, he admitted that he may have jumped the gun a little bit early and did not account for the birth of his child falling near his departure date.
Medlen will leave Team USA in a bind, as they will go into the classic with only three starting pitchers. R.A. Dickey, Derek Holland and Ryan Vogelsong will anchor the staff, as Team USA will try to win their first WBC title.

Despite Medlen’s disappointment of withdrawing late in the game, he has received support from the Braves organization, USA Manager Joe Torre and fellow players throughout the MLB.USA2

“You only have your first kid once,” said Atlanta Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez at the same Coolray Field event.

Medlen will return to his regular routine, preparing for Spring Training after the birth of his child.
The right-hander is a permanent mainstay in Gwinnett Braves history, as he was the first G-Braves pitcher to record a victory. To read more about his climb to the MLB and his history with the Gwinnett Braves, click here.

As Medlen prepares for the season, so do the Gwinnett Braves. They kick off the season Thursday, April 4th at 7:05 p.m. against the Charlotte Knights at Coolray Field. For more information on the G-Braves or Coolray Field, visit the website at Gwinnettbraves.com, or through or social media outlets at facebook.com/GwinnettBraves1 and twitter.com/GwinnettBraves!

-JD

Ready Holds Presser, Fredi Fields Questions

Randy Ready fields questions (Credit: Sherik Hodge)click photo to access video

Randy Ready fields questions (Credit: Sherik Hodge)click photo to access video

The Gwinnett Braves held a press conference on Thursday afternoon to introduce their new Field Manager Randy Ready.

In front of local media and front office staff, Ready officially took over as the new skipper of the Gwinnett Braves. Ready will replace Dave Brundage, who left the organization after six seasons with the Braves. Brundage will oppose his former squad, as he has taken over as Field Manager for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs of the International League.

North Johnson, Fredi Gonzalez and Randy Ready pose for picture (Credit: Sherik Hodge)

North Johnson, Fredi Gonzalez and Randy Ready pose for picture (Credit: Sherik Hodge)

Ready, who last served as the minor league hitting coordinator for the Texas Rangers, has managerial experience, spending six seasons with the San Diego Padres organization. He posted a career 489-466 record, while leading the San Antonio Missions, Double-A affiliate, to a Texas League championship in 2007. After the 2008 season, Ready earned the Pacific Coast League’s “Best Manager Prospect” by Baseball America for his work with the Portland Beavers, Triple-A affiliate.

Ready was eager to take over the podium, fielding questions from various reporters, while smiling from ear-to-ear. The thirty minute conference was light hearted and fun, as all looked ready to start the season. Ready will head to Spring Training as soon as pitchers and catchers report to Lake Buena Vista, FL in the middle of February.

Prior to the press conference, Ready joined Jim Powell, play-by-play announcer of the Atlanta Braves and Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez for a special luncheon. Various season ticket holders and potential clients gathered in the Home Plate Club of Coolray Field for a Q&A with Powell and Gonzalez. The trade news in Atlanta took over the majority of the discussion, as Gonzalez fielded questions about his new left fielder, Justin Upton, while talking about some of the departures from his current club..

Gonzalez answers questions (Credit: Sherik Hodge)click photo to access video

Gonzalez answers questions (Credit: Sherik Hodge)click photo to access video

All in all, it was a great day to be at Coolray Field. With the beginning of the season approaching, Ready is up for the job. Gwinnett kicks off the season Thursday, April 4th at 7:05 p.m. against the Charlotte Knights at Coolray Field. For more information on the G-Braves or Coolray Field, visit the website at Gwinnettbraves.com, or through our social media outlets at facebook.com/GwinnettBraves1 and twitter.com/GwinnettBraves!

-JD

All Things Five

Anniversary MarkHard to believe, but the 2013 International League season (and our home opener at Coolray Field) is just 85 days away!  With April 4 quickly approaching, we’re starting to lift the curtain on some of the things you can expect to see for the upcoming season of Gwinnett Braves Baseball.

The first major announcement occured this morning with the launch of the Fifth Season campaign and logo (pictured left).  Celebrations of the anniversary season include a new alumni Bobblehead Series and brand new 5-Pack Plans.  The series of five bobbleheads features G-Braves who have gone on to stardom in Atlanta, including Brandon Beachy, Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel and Kris Medlen.  Conveniently, you can purchase tickets to all five bobblehead giveaway nights in the Bobblehead Pack, one of the four 5-Pack Plans that were rolled out in today’s announcement.

The 5-Packs also include a Fireworks Pack (all five dates are Friday Fireworks nights), a Best 5 Games Pack (our most popular games including Opening Night on April 4 and July 4) and a Silver Sluggers Pack (five day games).  Reinforcing the five theme, each 5-Pack starts at just $50.  You can get more details and buy online as well by visiting gwinnettbraves.com/5pack.

To add to the excitement of Season Five, gwinnettbraves.com is hosting a look back at some of the great players that have played for the G-Braves in the team’s first four seasons.  Expect to read up on guys like Barbaro Canizares (this week’s feature), Matt YoungTodd Redmond and Mauro Gomez in addition to the likes of Freeman, Kimbrel and others.  A new “5th Season Friday” feature will debut each Friday through the end of March. 

Is that enough fives for you yet?  Me neither.  As if the baseball gods had a hand in it, the G-Blog was announced as the 55th most visited ProBlog on the MLBlogs Network for the past year.  Fifth place would have been more fitting, but it’s an honor to finish near the middle of the Top 100 in our first year.  You can check out the entire list over at mlblogs.mlblogs.com.

Give yourself a high-5 for reading this post and head over to gwinnettbraves.com for more on the 2013 season!

-DL

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