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Braves 2017 Mid-Season Top 30 Prospects

July 14th, 2017 at 3:58 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Mid-season Atlanta Braves prospect list time! The pre-season list can be found here, along with explanations of how I rank and grade.

I am getting a bit more cautious by dropping some ranks lower, but overall the system is still loaded with premium talent. With these writeups I’m not focusing on giving you scouting reports, for that please refer to the pre-season list, but instead these writeups are like a status report where I also explain why I’m moving a player up or down the list.

Graduating from the list were Dansby Swanson (1) and Luke Jackson (26).

Grade A+: This grade of a prospect is, and should be a rare grade. It represents a prospect who could one day be a superstar and a franchise cornerstone.

1. Ronald Acuna, OF â?? Previous rank: 14
I’ve warmed up nicely to the prospect pedigree of Acuna, as I jump on the Acuna-mania bandwagon. His five tools have finally been on the field for a significant portion of a season, and he has hardly slumped, even for a week â?? showing some amazing consistency, as well as power and speed and ability to hit for average and outfield armâ?¦ a full complement of tools that should produce a player who is a major force in the lineup every day. He’s zoomed through the system this year from low-A to double-A and now triple-A. The majors are not far off.

2. Ozzie Albies, 2B â?? Previous rank: 2
Albies has definitely rewarded the pre-season ranking of him as an A+ prospect. While he started off slow at triple-A, likely a remnant of returning from offseason elbow surgery, it only took a month for him to get back to his old self, then another month to kick it into high gear. He has enough upper level success under his belt to play in the majors now, so it should only be a matter of time (or trade deadline) before a spot opens up in Atlanta for him.

3. Mike Soroka, RHP â?? Previous rank: 7
He’s the Canadian reincarnation of Greg Maddux. Soroka vaults up here above Allard because of his consistently low walk rate, low HR rate, modestly low hit rate and high-enough strikeout rate. I feel like he’s kind of a throwback player too, in the way he goes deep into games. Half of his starts are quality starts, and he’s completed five innings in all but two starts.

4. Kolby Allard, LHP â?? Previous rank: 5
Much like Soroka, Allard is a premium pitching prospect and future top of the rotation stalwart. He’s just about even with Soroka, and most will probably rank Allard higher since he’s a lefty and was drafted higher. My inclination is that Soroka has separated himself slightly, but that takes nothing away from the bright future that Allard should have ahead of him.

Grade A: These are prospects who I believe will be first division players, and occasional All-Stars, while filling valuable roles on the team.

5. Kyle Wright, RHP â?? Recently drafted
This year’s top draft pick, and recipient of the largest bonus in club history, the Vanderbilt product enters the Braves system with high expectations. He has the potential for four plus pitches, and can already keep his fastball in the mid-90s late into games. With smooth mechanics and good control he is exactly what teams look for in top-of-the-rotation college arms.

6. Kevin Maitan, SS â?? Previous rank: 3
The team’s top international signing in 2016 out of Venezuela. Maitan was the wunderkind of last year’s international class, and has been dubbed by most scouts as a can’t-miss impact player. It likely won’t be long before he’s the organization’s top overall prospect.

7. Sean Newcomb, LHP â?? Previous rank: 4
In Newcomb’s handful of first-half MLB starts, we’ve seen the good and bad of young pitching. His fastball and curve have been on display, and unhittable when located well. But his penchant for issuing free passes has also surfaced. The good is still outweighing the bad, and it should be fun to watch as Newcomb tries to adjust as the league figures him out. This is the process with any young pitcher. During the last two years of the rebuild we’ve seen young guys like Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair fail to make the necessary adjustments, and have to return to the minors to figure things out. Newcomb may be no different, but the extra giddy-up on his fastball should help him adjust more effectively.

8. Luiz Gohara, LHP â?? Previous rank: 15
The bonus-sized Brazilian dominated high-A, then kept on dominating after his promotion to double-A. Like Newcomb, Gohara has that high-octane fastball that should help him overpower hitters as he moves up the ladder. Because he’s newer to the system, coming …

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Tags: Top Prospects

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