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Atlanta Braves Top 30 Prospects: No. 19, Cory Harrilchak

19. Cory Harrilchak, OF
B/T: L/L 2011 Age: 24 Ht: 5'10" Wt: 175
2010: (A-)
60 G, .306/.380/.393, 10 2B, 3 2B, HR, 22 RBI, 18 SB, 24 BB, 24 K
(A+) 58 G, .269/.329/.406, 16 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 25 RBI, 4 SB, 21 BB, 45 K

Cory Harrilchak was selected by the Braves in the 14th round of the 2009 draft out of Elon. He was drafted as a toolsy outfielder with decent power and a good idea of the zone. So far as a pro, he has shown it all.

For some reason, Harrilchak was limited to Danville for 253 plate appearances in 2009, where he hit .324 with a .842 OPS, 27 walks and 22 strikeouts. As expected, he fared just as well in A- Rome to begin 2010, matching his walk and strikeout numbers and getting on base at a great clip. Power was the issue at Rome, as he had just a .393 SLG and .087 ISO. However, power can run thin in the Sally League, and the most important part was the on base numbers.

He got a call to A+ Myrtle Beach to end the season, where his on base numbers took a dive. His BB/K of 1.00 at Rome dropped to 0.47 at Myrtle Beach, going from a 9.6% BB% to 8.1%. But his power increased to a respectable number that shows the bat wasn't being knocked from his hands, and it showed his true gap power. Harrilchak's game is getting on base by working counts and getting walks, but his numbers at both levels showed a lot to me.

Harrilchak has the ability to get some steals, but he isn't a big threat. However, the speed translates to his skills in the outfield, where he plays some solid defense at all three positions. It's enough to make him a legit fourth outfielder based on defense, but for now the Braves are hoping for more.

Harrilchak has the zone discipline to help him succeed in the upper levels. He works walks and has solid pitch recognition, making him a polished college product. He shoots for the gaps well, which was shown at Myrtle Beach. By all accounts, he's also a great guy and one to root for. Playing at the age of 23 in 2011, Harrilchak should move along pretty well, and my guess is he will succeed in his first jump to AA. Expect him to be a contender for a Majors spot in a couple years, and not just as a fourth outfielder. I have no problem banking a lot on this guy, and with a good 2011, he will move up a lot on my list.

Three Things to Look For in 2011: 1) OBP 2) Gap Power 3) AA numbers
Destination in 2011: All at AA
ETA: Late 2012 or 2013
Ceiling: Starting Center Fielder
My Prediction: Starting Center Fielder

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.