ATLANTA -- Now that Lucas Sims has made the successful jump to the Double-A level, the Braves right-hander will have a chance to compete against some of baseball's other top prospects during this year's Arizona Fall League.
Sims, the Braves' No. 7 prospect according to MLB.com, will be one of seven Braves Minor Leaguers who will play for the Peoria Javelinas when the AFL begins on Oct. 21. Atlanta's other representatives include outfielder Connor Lien, middle infielder Johan Camargo, catcher Joseph Odum and three pitchers -- Mauricio Cabrera, Daniel Winkler and Andrew Thurman.
Before being involved in bus crash with his Class A Carolina teammates in May, Sims was starting to show why the Braves selected him in the first round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. A hip injury suffered in the crash sidelined him for six weeks. But he earned a promotion to Double-A Mississippi in July and quickly made a successful adjustment to the enhanced level.
Sims has produced a 3.54 ERA and recorded 49 strikeouts in the 40 2/3 innings he has completed for Mississippi. During his past five starts, the 21-year-old right-hander posted a 1.55 ERA and limited opponents to a .153 batting average.
Though Mike Foltynewicz and Rio Ruiz were the heralded returns gained from the Astros in exchange for Evan Gattis in January, the Braves were also happy the package included Thurman, 23, the Braves' No. 18th prospect.
Camargo, the Braves' 20th-best prospect, is a slick-fielder shortstop who has shown some offensive improvement while playing for Carolina this season.
Cabrera hasn't garnered as much attention as the Braves have stocked their pipeline with many other highly-regarded young pitchers over the past year. But the 21-year-old right-hander, who ranks as Atlanta's 21st-best prospect, has continued to show he has the potential to be a reliable late-inning reliever.
Winkler missed all of this season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he will almost certainly begin next year in Atlanta's bullpen because of the requirements that accompanied him being selected in last year's Rule 5 Draft.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.