Atlanta Braves 2017 Top 100 Prospects: #61-80

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 31: Sean Newcomb
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 31: Sean Newcomb /
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70. Drew Harrington, LHP, Florida

Born: 3/30/1995
2017 Stats: 15 G, 14 GS, 70 IP, 4.50 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 22/55 BB/K
Info: Harrington was the Atlanta Braves 3rd round selection out of Louisville, and he was good as a lefty college starter, and he showed well in his first exposure as a pro, throwing out of the bullpen. The Braves chose to put him into the rotation this year, and the results were fairly predictable. Harrington is a guy with two pitches, and while his change is quality, his fastball is average. Harrington projects as a very good LOOGY or an above-average lefty reliever against both sides, but as a pro starter, he needs at least one more pitch.

69. Brandon White, RHP, Rome/Florida

Born: 12/21/1994
2017 Stats: 36 G, 56 1/3 IP, 10 SV, 2.56 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 17/51 BB/K
Info: Back to back guys with the same name selected in the 2016 draft with the same first and last name, and this is the one that stuck, and it’s easy to see why. White really attacks hitters with a heavy fastball that works in the low-90s and a breaking pitch that can make guys look silly. He struggled after his promotion to Florida with location, and that led to some worse numbers at the high-A level. White’s a guy who gets very high marks for those around the team for the person he is and for his composure in good and bad times, and that should allow him to bounce back well, likely opening in Florida in 2018 and probably finishing 2018 in Mississippi.

68. Jeremy Walker, RHP, Rome

Born: 6/12/1995
2017 Stats: 27 GS, 138 1/3 IP, 3.97 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 30/100 BB/K
Info: Walker is a very interesting player. I had him pegged as the type of guy who could have a season much like Patrick Weigel had in 2016, with electric raw stuff that could leap forward with pro coaching. Instead, it seemed as if smoothing down Walker’s delivery flattened out his once-electric stuff. That forced Walker to be much more precise with his location, and by the end of the season, he was doing exactly that, but it did leave his raw stuff fairly hittable if he did miss his spots, and it left him without much swing and miss. I will be interested to see how Walker moves into year two and going forward, especially if pitching guru Dennis Lewallyn is back in Florida to work with him next season. There’s raw stuff here to be a tremendous asset for the Braves, but it wasn’t there in the same way in 2017 as he showed in pre-draft and after he was drafted in his first looks in the Braves system in 2016.

67. Bradley Keller, OF, Danville/Rome

Born: 12/15/1996
2017 Stats: .250/.311/.490, 226 PA, 8 HR, 3 SB, 15/75 BB/K
Info: Keller is a very raw player still, even after being drafted in 2015. Keller had success at the Danville level in 2017, but again, he struggled once he reached the Rome level. While all is not lost, and he’s just 21 going into 2018, Keller still hasn’t conquered Rome to help him start moving forward. He does have plenty of talent that could translate into an elite player on both sides of the ball with tremendous ability both offensively and defensively. Keller’s strike out rate has dropped down some in the last year, but it was still 33% (he struck out 38% in 2016), and that will be one big sign that he is making progress.

66. Matt Custred, RHP, Rome

Born: 9/8/1993
2017 Stats: 24 G, 38 2/3 IP, 1.16 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 15/48 BB/K
Info: Custred is a personal favorite, but he’s struggled to stay on the field and to keep his delivery on line. He’s 6’6″ and 240 pounds, and the mass of his body coming downhill toward the plate seems to frequently throw Custred off in his delivery and/or cause some minor injuries. In 2017 health was the big issue, as Custred did not throw in a game for 2 full months. While healthy, he was tremendous, though. His batting average allowed was the lowest he’s had in his three seasons in the Braves system. Custred works with a heavy fastball that sits in the mid-90s and a tremendous 12-6 curve that is incredible in that he can get nearly 20 MPH average velocity separation between the two pitches. If he can stay healthy, he could climb up the system ladder in a real hurry.

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