This trade continues to look favorable for the Braves. Vizzy had another strong year as a late-inning reliever for the Braves. He’s still not quite the Closer(TM) that the Braves have thought they were trading for (twice). But he enters his age-28 season, Jim Johnson is no longer with the team, and until AJ Minter asserts his dominance over the 9th inning, Vizzy should have a hold on the closer role.
Banuelos was released in 2016, so there’s nothing more to report there other than he had a lackluster year for the Angels’ AAA affiliate. David Carpenter is out of baseball. Chasen Shreve continues to be an inconsistent but mostly effective reliever for New York, though even though Banuelos never worked, this was a risk worth making.
Kubitza is 27 and most likely will never appear in the big leagues again (short cup of coffee in 2015 didn’t go well), but Ricardo Sanchez still continues to both dazzle and disappointed. Now 20 years old, the Braves actually put him on the 40-man to protect him from Rule 5. So, yes, he’s been around long enough to need protection, but he’s still young enough to deserve his prospect status and intrigue in his left-handedness and high-90s fastball. Probably a reliever in the Braves’ plans, but he’s still just as valuable of a lottery ticket as he was 3 years ago.
The star of the show here is Touki, and he continues to be a top prospect the Braves are excited about. Now 21 years old, he struggled at A+, but after being promoted to AA, he pitched very well for a then 20 year old by putting in a 3.18 ERA in 7 GS with a 10.0 K/9 and low HR and hit totals. Still walking too many (5/9), but
The international bonus pool money was used to land Derian Cruz and Cristian Pache. Pache was ranked as the #57th prospect in all of baseball by Keith Law, and while his power is still almost non-existent, he is an exciting prospect who has 4 tools right now. If their young bodies can develop some power, both of these prospects could be exciting, especially Pache.
Gant and Whalen went on to new teams as a result of subsequent trades. Whalen had a real down year in Seattle’s system (6.58 ERA at AAA), and Gant had a mediocre year at AAA and was sub-replacement level for St. Louis at the big league level in 17 IP. Whalen is only 23, so he’s still intriguing, but Gant is 25 and the league may not be as tricked by his delivery as some thought it would be.