Jeff sent a nice assortment of Braves, Seahawks and even a card of a local kid. Let's take a look at all the goodness coming from the sunshine state...
Two of the Braves prospects whose debuts I'm most anticipating are pitcher Tyrell Jenkins and outfielder Mallex Smith. Both are expected to start at AAA Gwinnett this year but will probably get the call at some point in 2016. Each also represent the more all-around athletic player the Braves are looking to put into their system, something they had gotten away from in recent years.
Atlanta considered pitcher A.J. Minter a first-round type of talent heading into the 2015 draft and were thrilled to choose him at number 75- despite the fact that he would miss the entire season due to undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. Minter had good success during his time with Team USA but it's hard to get excited about a guy whose collegiate career consisted of only 58 total innings.
Included in Jeff's PWE were two of many players that I have started collecting- only to give up on once they were traded. In the case of Bethancourt, I started seeing the writing on the wall well before his being traded and stopped collecting him. I wish the guy success in the future but his work ethic and focus needs a lot of improvement before that can happen.
Two of a few players returning from last year's roster, both of whom need to see improvements from last season. Freeman needs to stay healthy and prove that he can be an impact bat without much help surrounding him in the lineup, and Folty needs to improve his command if there is any hope of him being a starter at the major league level.
A strong rookie class this past offseason will overshadow the very promising performance put in by Seahawks return specialist/wide receiver Tyler Lockett, whose 51 catches and 6 touchdowns caught many by surprise. He also scored a touchdown on both a punt return and a kick return.
Tyler's rookie campaign was capped off with an appearance in the Pro Bowl game- not that anyone would have watched it, but cool nonetheless.
I'm sure Richard was flapping the mouth at some point during this play. I do like the looks of the Gridiron Kings, 2015 edition. Has that Topps Gallery look that I always liked.
Finally, Jeff also included this auto of local kid Shea McClellin of the Chicago Bears. Shea was born in my hometown and graduated high school about 14 miles southwest of us. He was drafted in the 1st round of the 2012 draft and played three positions (DE, outside linebacker, inside linebacker) under three different coaches during his four years in Chicago. Now a free-agent, it's a good possibility that McClellin, whose fifth-year option was declined by Chicago prior to the 2015 season, will be playing elsewhere in 2016. I'm not a fan of Leaf's products, but this is a very cool card of the former Boise State star.
Thanks again for all the great cards, Jeff. With the baseball season not too far off, I guess we will have plenty of time to watch some of these Braves prospects blossom. Hopefully the season won't be as bad as last year!