Atlanta Braves Prospect Rankings
By Rocco Minsk In this article we take a look at the Atlanta Braves farm system and rank its top prospects. This was previously one of the top farm systems in baseball and remains so even after the penalties assessed in the wake of the international bonus scandal which cost them a boatload of talent. As you can see from the prospects, the Braves system features a bevy of interesting pitching talent, including some that may not be high on fantasy owners’ favored lists due to strikeout rate concerns.
- Ronald Acuna – Everyone’s top Braves prospect, Acuna presents a compelling mix of power and speed and beckons as a potential superstar. He lit up the Arizona Fall League in further confirmation on what is to come and tore apart Triple-A as a 19 year old.
- Austin Riley – A fast rising prospect, Riley also excelled in the AFL, with a 1.021 OPS. He has a clear path to the third base job in Atlanta and hit his stride after his promotion to AA.
- Luiz Gohara – Gohara demonstrated his vast potential during his late season callup to Atlanta. While inconsistent, Gohara averaged 9.5 K/9 during his September stint and profiles as a top of the rotation pitcher.
- Mike Soroka – While Soroka does not have the K potential of Gohara, Soroka keeps the ball in the park and benefits from exceptional control. He may turn out to be one of those “better in real life than fantasy pitchers,” but profiles as a low ERA control type pitchers.
- Kyle Wright – The fifth overall pick of the 2017 draft, the big right hander will not need much seasoning to become major league ready and has benefited from increasing velocity. The question is how soon he gets the call given the Braves plethora of young pitching talent.
- Max Fried – I have Fried ranked higher than most as he has risen and fallen on the prospect list many times – it’s almost as if Fried has nine lives. While his surface numbers were awful in 2017, his peripherals were much better and this was Fried’s first full season back from TJ
- Kolby Allard – Allard is another version of Soroka who has the benefit of being a left hander. Will also keep the ball in the park with plus control and a killer curveball. The issue is that he is a flyball pitcher who thrives off keeping the ball in the park and that luck may not last.
- Joey Wentz – Braves prospects seem to have a propensity for not giving up home runs and Wentz is top of the heap, averaging .27 HR/9 with a 10.39 K/9 at A ball last year. One more year like last one and Wentz will be a fast riser up the prospect lists.
- Ian Anderson – I admit to not liking Anderson as much as other pundits due to his lack of command, although Anderson is still only 19 years old and the plus plus fastball covers up a lot of warts. I would like to see better command from Anderson before elevating his ranking.
- William Contreras – This is another player that I am higher on than most although I admit to giving him extra points for family pedigree (Wilson’s younger brother). Contreras showed exceptional plate discipline in the Rookie League and I believe that a power uptick will come as he progresses.