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Ryan Langerhans & Brandon Jones

On Sunday, the Oakland A's acquired OF Ryan Langerhans for the ubiquitous PTBNL. From Oakland's POV, this makes sense as the price was right, and Langerhans can fill-in at every outfield position where the A's have an injured one.

From the Braves POV, the rationale is not as clear. Langerhans remains a good defensive outfielder who can play all three postions. Right field is not a concern with the Braves, but centerfield will be after Andruw Jones gets paid handsomely by another team next winter. Langerhans may not be a 140-game caliber center fielder, but he is certainly capable to split the duties with an ageless Kenny Lofton or some other one-year band-aid.

Obviously, the trade opens up more ABs for Royals cast-off Matt Diaz, and he is the immediate benefactor of the deal. However, I began to consider whether or not the Braves were getting ready to treat a current prospect the same way they treated two previous prospects, C Brian McCann and RF Jeff Francoeur. Each was called-up earlier than anyone envisioned from AA Mississippi.

That sent me to look at the Braves AA roster to see if there is anyone there who could merit a recall. two players stood out, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia and OF Brandon Jones. Saltalamacchia has an attractive batting line of 312/404/623, and Jones sports a 301/347/559 with the added bonus of 4 SBs and a postion that the Braves just dealt.

Jarrod Saltamacchia is the better known of the two players, but fantasy players should keep their eye on Brandon Jones. The combination of speed and power is too much to let pass. Saltalamacchia has the better OBP, Jones has the tools. Given the choice between the two, fantasy players should err on the side of tools. Here are Jones' minor league stats to help you become familar with him.

Year Team Lg Age Level Pos G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG
2004 Danville App 20 Rk of 57 209 35 62 6 5 3 33 4 2 23 33 0.297 0.366 0.416
2005 GCL Braves GCL 21 Rk of 2 8 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 2 0.125 0.125 0.125
2005 Danville App 21 Rk of 2 7 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.286 0.375 0.286
2005 Rome SAL 21 A of 43 156 37 48 12 3 8 27 4 1 29 29 0.308 0.423 0.577
2005 Myrtle Bch Caro 21 A+ of 17 60 7 21 4 0 0 5 0 1 9 9 0.350 0.437 0.417
2006 Myrtle Bch Caro 22 A+ of 59 226 27 58 10 3 7 35 11 6 25 49 0.257 0.329 0.420
2006 Mississipp Sou 22 AA of 48 176 18 48 9 3 7 25 4 2 15 38 0.273 0.326 0.477