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McAuley: Midseason Top 30 Braves Prospects (1-10)

July 16th, 2017 at 12:42 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

My updated list of the Top 30 Atlanta Braves Prospects features several new faces and a brand new No. 1 overall prospect. Ronald Acuña has been one of the fastest rising stars in the minor leagues, vaulting to the dozens of spots on Top 100 lists for multiple publications. Acuña’s onslaught made him the undeniable choice to top the latest version of my list as well. For each prospect, you’ll find accompanying notes on his progress this season.

  • New to the list: Kyle Wright, Drew Waters, Abraham Gutierrez, Yunior Severino
  • Gone from the list: Dansby Swanson, Sean Newcomb, Jeremy Walker, Braxton Davidson
  • Biggest riser (position player): Ronald Acuña, up 11 spots from No. 12 to No. 1
  • Biggest riser (pitcher): Bryse Wilson, up seven spots from No. 26 to No. 19

As always, prospect hot sheets are a fluid situation and stock rises and falls for a variety of reasons. Performance, injuries and attrition shapes and reshapes the rankings throughout the year. Ultimately, these lists are an indicator of where these players stand at this particular time. Factoring the numbers along with individual tools and skill sets as well as scouting reportshelps determine how projectable they are, but the human element is very much in play here. That includes the evaluators and list makers who judge the players based on the aforementioned variety of criteria in order to stack them in some order. Thanks to a talent pool that seems to get deeper by the year, the Atlanta farm system makes this no easy task.

Let’s wrap up the list in Part 3 with the top 10 prospects on the list.

1.) Ronald Acuña | OF | Age: 19 | Previous Rank: 12

After an injury-plagued 2016 campaign, Ronald Acuña has been making up for lost time and then some this season. Rocketing through the Braves system at break neck speed, Acuña is leading the organization in batting average, hits and stolen bases and ranks in the top five in virtually every other offensive category in 2017. He opened some eyes across baseball with a trip to the All-Star Futures Game in July. That was followed by a promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he becomes the youngest player in the International League. Like many budding power hitters in today’s game, strikeouts sometimes come in bunches. However, that is the only real area of concern for Acuña. He will be challenged by advanced pitching in the International League, but has already proven himself to be up the task with aggressive promotions. With all five tools on display and his star on the rise, Acuña could reach SunTrust Park sooner than later.

2.) Ozzie Albies | 2B | Age: 20 | Previous Rank: 2

Shaking off a slow start only to catch fire in the month of May, Ozzie Albies is knocking on the door for Atlanta as the second half begins. The speedy middle infielder has taken to second base and is poised to join Dansby Swanson as Atlanta’s middle infield duo of the future.  A switch-hitter with an advanced hit tool and surprising power, Albies has routinely been among the youngest players at each level on his way through the system. In fact, Albies has yet to face a pitcher that is younger than him – something that is true for Acuña as well. A broken elbow suffered on a swing last September sidetracked Albies over the winter, but he’s found his way back to the form that allowed him to win the Southern League batting title at the age of 19 last season. A natural right-handed hitter, Albies has worn out lefties in 2017 while finding the sledding a bit tougher against right-handers. Regardless, he’s been swinging the bat well for the past two months and just represented Gwinnett in the Triple-A All-Star …

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Tags: Around The Big Leagues, Atlanta Braves, Braves, Braves Notebook, Sports, Top Prospects

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