Terdoslavich An Answer For M-Braves, M-Braves An Answer for Terdoslavich
The Mississippi Braves announced today that Joey Terdoslavich has been re-assigned to double-A from triple-A Gwinnett. Coming into 2012, Terdoslavich was expected to be the long-term answer at third base once Chipper Jones retired. As far as the Atlanta Braves are concerned, that’s still the plan, but there’s been a bump in the road for the young corner infielder out of Long Beach State.
Terdoslavich was named the 2011 Braves’ minor league player of the year after hitting .286 with 20 home runs and a ridiculous 52 doubles, breaking the long-standing Carolina League record for doubles in a season. This year he came in rated as the #11 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America, and with his extraordinary 2011 campaign, the Braves decided to accelerate his growth and give him the biggest test of his career, assigning him to triple-A out of Spring Training, skipping over double-A entirely. On top of that, they decided to move him from first base to third to transition into the post-Chipper era.
Most people in-the-know argue that double-A is the most important step a young hitter goes through in his career. Going from high-A to double-A is a big enough jump in talent, where you’re facing some of the top young pitchers in minor league baseball night in and night out. When you go to triple-A, you’re facing guys with good stuff but with great minds, the guys who have the thinking side, or “chess match” as I like to call it, of baseball down to a science. There’s a lot more to pitching than just throwing hard or having good movement; it’s knowing when to throw hard and when to change speeds and when to throw movement to keep hitters off balance.
Terdoslavich struggled in his first stint at triple-A, batting just .180 with 4 home runs, 20 RBIs, and 4 doubles in 53 games. If that were the only issue Terdoslavich might have been able to work it out in taking his lumps at triple-A, but his defense was far short of spectacular, making 22 errors in 50 games for a fielding percentage of .831 at third base.
Obviously the jump to triple-A was a bit too steep the first time around, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do it. It just means his progress will slow a bit. He can get back to his originally scheduled path, the one every player goes through. For Terdoslavich, this shouldn’t be looked at as a step down. It should be viewed as a necessary step in learning as a young ball player.
Coming from the M-Braves’ point of view, Terdoslavich should be able to make up for at least a fraction of the runs lost from Evan Gattis being on the disabled list and Andrelton Simmons going to the show. For the most part, the current five-game losing streak isn’t from not getting guys on base, but rather a lack of timely RBIs and some sloppy defensive play. While Terdoslavich’s defense at third base leaves a lot to be desired, he can at least help in the first category of driving guys in.
Terdoslavich is in Tuesday night’s lineup batting third and playing first base. Listen live as the M-Braves try to snap the five-game losing streak against the Huntsville Stars. The Vicksburg Toyota “Countdown to First Pitch” begins at 6:05 PM CT on 103.9 WYAB and online at MississippiBraves.com