Monday, June 13, 2011

Empire State Braves Prospects: 6/14/11 (Draft Edition)

The MLB Draft played out this past week as each major league team looked for their next superstar. The draft saw 44 players with New York State high school or college connections chosen, including St. John's University product Joe Panik by the San Francisco Giants with the 29th overall pick. For a while it looked like the Braves would go New Yorker-less, but with their last pick in the 50th round, Atlanta selected Kevin McKague out of the United State Military Academy at West Point. The 6'5", 230lb McKague proved to be the last player with direct Empire State connections chosen in the 2011 draft.

Kevin McKague, a senior, served as both a right-handed closer and first baseman for Army. His 2011 season was derailed after just 12 games (3 pitching appearances) due to a back injury. Prior to that setback, he was actually a upper-round prospect. McKague features a mid-90s fastball with an above-average slider, sitting second on Army's all-time saves list. He also put up some strong numbers with the bat, posting 19 HR, 138 RBI and 39 doubles. Tim Hudson, anyone? McKague hasn't yet graduated and may play for Army again in 2012 after officially red-shirting following his injury this spring. Between that, and his military commitment, it will be interesting to see what happens with Kevin McKague and the Atlanta Braves.

Here's how the current Empire State Braves performed over the past week (6/7-6/13)...

Anthony Varvaro, RHP (Triple A - Gwinnett)
Varvaro experienced a small hiccup this past week, snapping his consecutive scoreless innings streak. He came in for the bottom of the 9th inning of a 0-0 game on Saturday and picked up the walk-off loss on three consecutive singles. Besides that game, Varvaro continues to see plenty of work. Along with Juan Abreu, he has thrown the most innings in relief for the Gwinnett staff this season.

This Week: 2 G (0-1), 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 2 BB
Season: 20 G (1-6), 1 SV, 30.2 IP, 2.93 ERA, 34 K, 21 BB

Cory Brownsten, C (High A - Lynchburg)
Brownsten was activated off the disabled list this past weekend and assigned to Lynchburg. He made the start on Sunday, seeing game action for the first time since April 17th when he was placed on the DL with an oblique strain. He didn't do much from the plate in his start, perhaps not surprising after not playing for nearly two months. He's one of three catchers on the Lynchburg roster, so hopefully he's able to get some playing time.

This Week: 1 G, 0-3, K
Season: 4 G, .143/.200/.214, 0 HR, 0 RBI

Dan Jurik, RHP (Low A - Rome)
Jurik made another start this past week for Rome and is seemingly still getting used to rotation duties. He allowed seven base runners over 4 IP and has started to experience some control problems as his walk rates slowly creep up. He also made a relief appearance on Monday, so we'll have to wait and see if he's again used out of the 'pen or remains in the starting rotation.

This Week: 2 G (0-0), 6 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 K, 3 BB
Season (Rome and Lynchburg): 11 G (0-0), 1 SV, 26.1 IP, 2.73 ERA, 25 K, 13 BB

Dave Filak , RHP (Rookie - Danville)
Filak was sent to Extended Spring Training a little over a week ago and is now listed on the Danville roster. Their season begins on June 21st, so hopefully Filak can get his season back on track once they kick off.

This Week: Extended Spring Training
Season (Rome): 11 G (2-5), 45.1 IP, 7.54 ERA, 32 K, 33 BB

Brendan Rowland, C/OF (Gulf Coast League)

Season Has Not Yet Begun

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