Atlanta Braves Top 10 Prospects Updated

The Braves have steadily fed their big league roster with talent from the minors but they continue to have the best prospect depth in the National League East.

Click here for the pre-season Top 10

1. Mike Soroka | RHP | AAA —> Although he’s not a flame-thrower, Soroka has everything you look for in a young pitcher — and future top-rotation arm. He still has a solid fastball in the 92-95 mph range, as well as two other above-average offerings. His control is above-average for his age and his command should be above-average in time. The biggest concern with the 6-5 hurler is his lack of durability and the shoulder issues that wiped out a good portion of his season. If healthy in 2019, he should be a solid contributor to the Braves’ rotation.

2. Ian Anderson | RHP | AA —> Like Soroka, Anderson has a three-pitch mix that should be better-than-average and his fastball ranges between 92-95 mph. The 20-year-old doesn’t have the above-average control, but it didn’t keep him from striking out 142 batters in 119.1 innings. He allows an average number of fly balls but did an excellent job of keeping balls in the park with just two homers allowed. Anderson has a solid pitcher’s frame and could a solid innings-eater as a No. 2-3 starter.

3. Kyle Wright | RHP | AAA —> Another starter with top-of-the-rotation potential, the fifth overall pick of the 2017 draft chewed through minor league hitters and reached The Show at the end of 2018. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and can work into the upper 90s. He has a potential for two above-average breaking balls and an average-or-better changeup. Like Anderson, Wright has a frame that hints at 200+ inning potential. His control and command still need polish.

4. Touki Toussaint | RHP | AAA —> Toussaint, 22, continues to be a bit of an enigma, although he did reach the Majors and had some success. He has the ability to work in the mid-to-upper 90s but threw more in the lower 90s late in the year with more emphasis on sinking the ball. He also showed above-average potential with his curve and changeup/splitter. Like the pitchers above, he has a solid pitcher’s frame and should be able to hold up over a full season and provide lots of innings. On the down side, he fights his delivery more than the others and struggles with both his command and control. He has mid-rotation potential as a starter or high-leverage potential as a reliever.

5. Austin Riley | 3B | AAA —> The first hitter to the make the list, Riley has a chance to be a plus hitter for both average and power, although he’ll need to trim the Ks to truly be effective as a hitter. In the upper minors, he’s benefitted from high BABIPs but he also hits a lot of line drives and has above-average raw power. His BB-K of 37-129 shows a need to tighten up his approach at the plate. He has the arm and enough athleticism to stick at third base. I see a future .250-.270 hitter with 25+ home run potential in his prime.

6. Cristian Pache | OF | AA —> Extremely raw, Pache will no doubt reach the Majors even if he doesn’t develop much more with the bat. He has exceptional value tied to his base running, arm and defensive skills. Those tools easily earn plus grades. Just 19, he’s already reached double-A so it’s hard to knock his offence too much. He needs to become more patient which will allow him to find better offerings to hit and drive. Pache also reportedly has excellent makeup, which should help him continue to develop.

7. Joey Wentz | LHP | A+ —> Wentz missed a good chunk of the year and the Braves have been pretty quiet about what his issues were so I’m a little hesitant to rank him this high. When healthy, he shows three above-average offerings, including a 92-94 mph fastball, with a strong pitcher’s frame. He could eventually feature three above-average offerings. A competitive player, he might be better suited to relief if his health issues continue to surface (He has battled arm issues in the past).

8. Luiz Gohara | LHP | AAA —> Gohara has perhaps the most electric stuff on his list with an upper-90s fastball and wipeout breaking ball. But he’s also the most likely to end up as a reliever due to his poor command and so-so changeup. His control isn’t as bad as his command but he gets hit around when he throws too many poor strikes. There are also concerns about his conditioning and he’s battled health issues.

9. Drew Waters | OF | A+ —> Selected in the second round of 2017, Waters already reached high-A ball at the age of 19. He’s quite athletic and has good speed, with the potential to steal 20-30 bases. He has shown excellent gap pop and could have some over-the-fence potential with some adjustments to his swing and a focus on hitting more fly balls. A switch-hitter, he currently shows more potential from the left side of the plate. Waters should have the ability to play all three outfield positions.

10. Bryse Wilson | RHP | AAA —> Wilson works in the 92-95 mph range with his heater and induces a healthy number of ground-ball outs. He also possesses good control and struck out 143 batters in 125.2 innings despite needing to make improvements on his secondary offerings. He has a burly build and will need to watch his conditioning as he matures. Just 20, he has a lot of time to continue to develop but he might be a reliever in the long term.

Just Missed:

Kyle Muller | LHP | AA —> A 2016 second rounder, Muller has moved more slowly than most of Atlanta’s top arms. He has a big, strong pitcher’s frame but has struggled with consistency and his velocity as a pro. He streamlined his delivery a bit in 2018 and had more success pitching at three levels and reaching double-A. He has the potential to have three average or better offerings. If the fastball comes all the way back, he could be a mid-rotation arm. If not, he has potential as a back-end innings-eater.

Kolby Allard | LHP | AAA —> Allard reached the Majors as a 21-year-old hurler but lacks the overall stuff to be a high-end starter. He has an excellent changeup with a promising breaking ball but his fastball is fringe-average and his command needs work. He might stick at the back end of a big league rotation but he might be best suited to work as a sixth/seventh-inning reliever.

William Contreras | C | A+ —> A young, athletic catcher, Contreras looks like a future big league back-up with just enough raw potential with the bat to maybe become a starter. He showed some pop in 2018 but he’s a very aggressive hitter and needs to play under a little more control at the plate.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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DustyColorado
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DustyColorado

If the Braves were to pull off a coup and acquire Wander Javier from the Minnesota Twins, where would you rank him here?

hipsterdoofus
Member
hipsterdoofus

Don’t know why he’s being downvoted, seems like a legitimate question.

pepper69fun
Member
pepper69fun

It’s just not a relevant question when examining talent currently in the Braves system. It’s just a strange and meaningless hypothetical. Worse, Fangraphs actually has an overall ranking RIGHT NOW that you could go read and have your answer. That’s why you are getting down votes. It was a silly question.

DustyColorado
Member
DustyColorado

These rankings are for fantasy and Marc Hulet’s rankings don’t get included in the overall Fangraphs ranks from Kiley and Eric. I want Marc Hulet’s opinion, for fantasy, on what the Braves system would look like with Wander Javier in it.

pepper69fun, do you agree with wcrickards that Wander would be ranked #1?

wcrickards
Member
wcrickards

Ugh, I had a post here, but I am deleting it because of my #1 rule of message boards: Don’t Feed the Trolls.

DustyColorado
Member
DustyColorado

All I read was the “#1” in your comment, which I assume was your answer to my question. And I agree. Thanks. #nomnom