No demerits for the Braves’ landing of Demeritte

Travis Demerritte, the newest Brave. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP photo)

Travis Demeritte, the newest Brave. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP photo)

The Atlanta Braves just made the sort of trade you hoped they’d make in this lost season. They took two pitchers claimed off the scrap heap in May and turned them into a 21-year-old who can hit the ball over the wall, which almost nobody else in this organization can do.

It’s possible Travis Demeritte might never hit anything over any big-league wall, but if you’re the Braves, authors of 62 home runs in 100 games, this is heartening move. If you’re the Braves, just reading the words “Demeritte leads the California League with 25 homers” should yield a warm glow.

Granted, the Cal League is Class A. Granted, Demeritte served an 80-game suspension last year after testing positive for a PED-masking substance. But power isn’t easy to find — those teams that have it tend to hoard it — and almost impossible to find cheap. For the low-low price of Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez, the Braves landed a guy who was the Texas Rangers’ No. 1 pick in 2013, a guy with 25-homer seasons both before and after his suspension.

John Coppolella has made so many deft trades over the past two years that I’m not sure this makes his personal podium. (Swanson/Inciarte/Blair for Shelby Miller might forever be No. 1, and Touki Toussaint remains a strong No. 2.) That doesn’t, however, mean that this isn’t a dandy. Coppolella plied his pitching surplus into exactly the kind of prospect his refurbished farm system lacked. He seized on the division-leading Rangers’ desperation for arms — they have Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish and nothing else — and got a guy who graced the Futures Game two weeks ago.

I mentioned earlier in the week that the Braves, given their dearth of big-league talent, mightn’t be able to attract a top 10 prospect from any organization in a pre-deadline trade. As esteemed former colleague Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News notes, Demeritte was the Rangers’ 20th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com. No matter. The Rangers always have a strong farm system, and Demeritte of Winder-Barrow High fits a crying Braves’ need.

No, this isn’t a move for Jonathan Lucroy. That might never happen. But it’s a minor move that might — might, I said — yield a major reward. No demerits for this deal. Two thumbs up.

Further reading: Tim Lee brought the Braves to Cobb. Now he’s out of a job.

Reader Comments 0

24 comments
Mr_Snarky
Mr_Snarky

Sounds like a good deal to me. Nitpickers will always find something to complain about.

FOULBALL
FOULBALL

MR. BRADLEY DID NOT REPORT ALL THE K'S THIS KID HAD..AND AT "A" BALL THAT IS NOT A GOOD SIGN...

patriotdog
patriotdog

Don't you think Hart deserves at least a portion....a very large portion...of the Inciarte and Touissant trades?

Getthetruth
Getthetruth

MLB became just another entertainment option in 1994 when they couldn't figure out how to close out a season.  Fans were an afterthought. 


I haven't paid to attend a Braves game since that time, and I honestly haven't missed the sport.   I took my son (now grown) to college baseball games and other events.  I doubt that he will ever go to a Braves game on his own accord. If this trade increases their entertainment value, then good for us.  Otherwise - I could care less.

Rickster_
Rickster_

But I still hafta ask.... if the Braves' farm team is so great... why is this team so bad?

ErvinOliver
ErvinOliver

@Rickster_  Because their top, young players are still 2-3 years from gracing the big leagues.


DrTruth
DrTruth

Well, it's finally happened.  Braves Fans have now been conditioned to salivate when the smallest of crumbs are tossed our way.  How did Hart & Coppy accomplish this?  It was easy.


First, you take away all the MLB players who are fan favorites and replace them with minor league no-names.  Then you run the MLB team into the ground where losses are coming at the rate of 2X wins.  Then fans become so starved for success, that they only see the maximum upside in prospects acquired, just like the GM who trades for them.  Potential downside is ignored.  The fact that prospects are still just prospects until they prove otherwise is forgotten.


Of course the local Sports Desk has to be complicit in the scheme for it to work.  All news is spun positive.  The GM is worshiped like a god.  The fans are called "fair weather fans" if they don't buy into everything.  Meanwhile the MLB team goes from winning the most games in the NL from 2010-2014 to losing more games than any other MLB team from 2015-2016.


And the crowd goes wild when another team's 28th ranked prospect (according to BA) is acquired that was busted for PEDs a year ago and who strikes out 125 times out of 388 plate appearances in the California League.  We have become conditioned to accept that lottery ticket prospects, rehabs and draft picks are the best we can hope for.....And we should applaud with approval when another one is acquired.


The MLB Braves have a WAR value of 5.7 for the ENTIRE TEAM:  2.1 for all batters and 3.6 for all pitchers.  And still we trade for another high-risk prospect and everyone says, "Great move....please give us more!"


This is really sad.

UnconventionalWisdom
UnconventionalWisdom

The Cal League is a notorious hitters' league, but I checked the league leaders yesterday and the closest to his 25 HRs had 15. Will most likely hurt the Braves this season (big deal!!), but it's worth a shot. 

tyger
tyger

Finally some good Braves news...


Raised on Justice, Chipper, Andruw...

McGriff, Sheffied, Lopez...etc...


Power outage is deflating...boring even...


Been so long since they got anything right...

Even a prospect is exciting...

EMMC
EMMC

But there are Gattis' homers that we don't have!

DrTruth
DrTruth

@EMMC Then trade for Gattis.  We have a "surplus" of trading currency, right?

DrTruth
DrTruth

@Buschleaguer  True...But as a catcher, Gattis has a 1.0 WAR (baseball-reference.com).  Flowers has a 0.3 WAR, Recker a 0.3 WAR and AJ a -1.6 WAR.  Gattis has 9 more HRs than all 3 Braves catchers combined.  Would be nice if they'd trade Gattis for AJ, straight up (haha).

DrTruth
DrTruth

Can't we ever just trade for a "normal" prospect?  Why do they always have to be high-risk from the bargain bin?  Recovering from TJ surgery, recovering from herniated disk, recovering from back surgery, served 80-game PED suspension....


Strikes out in 33% of Plate Appearances in High Desert.  Was hitting .232 in A ball when busted for Lasix.  Another high-upside, high-risk prospect.  Wake me when he makes a contribution to the MLB team.

ErnestB
ErnestB

Getting a player with local roots may work out in more ways than one.  Perhaps he can move to left field (like Ron Gant) and provide a power bat in the outfield.  It might accelerate his move to the big club if that is done sooner rather than later.


Need to find a way to cut down on the strikeouts.  I can deal with that if he can increase his walks thus his on base percentage.

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

Not sure what the Braves are getting with this 'roid user.  One would think they'd stay away from this type. 

EvanComm
EvanComm

@ShovelPlease He got busted for a masking agent, not roids. What he was masking was likely something more recreational 

GT71
GT71

We'll see.  But a thumbs up from Bradley carries a ton of weight, so expect the kid to do well as Bradley's track record on this stuff is spectacular.

Gomez Addams
Gomez Addams

I, uh, well, that is, I agree!  Good move by the Braves.

Hesalive
Hesalive

Brett Cumberland is hitting. 

Braveschop
Braveschop

Awesome deal to add to our already rich farm system 

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Nice trade, makes sense filling an organizational need for power with a kid that has some upside potential. I'll reserve gushing fawning praise for the days when these guys prove themselves in a Braves uniform.