Braves honor top Minor Leaguers

Braves honor top Minor Leaguers

ATLANTA -- Some of the Braves' most promising young prospects got the chance to take in Turner Field on Friday night, as the club honored its Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Year before the series opener with the Mets.

Among those present were shortstops Tyler Pastornicky and Andrelton Simmons, along with first baseman Joe Terdoslavich. Eleven other prospects were honored, including players already with the Braves, such as Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado.

Teheran was named the organization's Pitcher of the Year, and Terdoslavich is the Player of the Year.

"I've been here once before when I was in high school. We came up here for a tournament," Terdoslavich said. "Just to see it from the dugout, it looks a lot different. It's a great experience. I'm happy that they do this for the guys that have played well this year. It's awesome."

The switch-hitting Terdoslavich ranked near the top in the Braves' farm system in most offensive categories, and he broke a 65-year-old Carolina League record by recording 52 doubles in his first full season.

Pastornicky, meanwhile, was named Mississippi's Player of the Year. Most of the talk surrounding the 21-year-old has been not if but when he'll get his callup to the Majors.

"I hear it, but you can't even think about that," Pastornicky said. "I'm just trying to get better. When it's my time, it's my time. If not, I've just got to wait. Just trying to get better, and whenever they call my name, I'm going to be ready."

Pastornicky, who is ranked by MLB.com as the Braves' No. 8 prospect, said it's been difficult not to think about when he might receive his callup. He might have gotten it when the rosters expanded had he not injured his ankle and missed the final few weeks of the season with Gwinnett. He played in 27 games for Triple-A after spending most of the year in Mississippi.

"It's tough not to think [about it], especially when you come here," he said. "You can't start thinking about that. You've just got to keep going how you're going, and hopefully one day you get that call, and when you do, hopefully you're ready for it."

Simmons, the Braves' No. 9 prospect as ranked by MLB.com, was named the Lynchburg Hillcats' Player of the Year after being the only hitter in the Carolina League to record a batting average over .300. The .311 hitter and native of Curacao made his first trip to Turner Field as a preteen, when he visited with his little league team.

Simmons, who said that Andruw Jones was his favorite player growing up, was mostly known for his defense prior to his breakout season at the plate.

"I heard the positives and I definitely heard the negatives," Simmons said. "But I always knew I was capable of doing it. Just keep doing what I do until I make my adjustments, and it worked out pretty good."