Let’s see how a handful of Atlanta Braves prospects are doing abroad
As any aspiring athlete will tell you, “There is no offseason.” For a handful of Atlanta Braves prospects, that adage is proving true.
The Braves have sent a total of 32 players to participate in off-season leagues this year. Several of these players will factor into the Braves’ 2018 plans.
Six of these players are Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
As 2017 comes to a close, let’s take a look at how one of MLB’s elite farm systems is performing. All stats are current as of 12/31/2017.
Arizona Fall League
In the Arizona Fall League, the top prospects proved why the Braves farm system is so ballyhooed. Top-ranked prospect Ronald Acuña (#6 in MLB) slashed .325/.414/.639 with 7 HR on his way to AFL MVP. This included a two-HR performance in the televised Military Appreciation Game. He will make his debut in Atlanta’s outfield sometime in 2018.
With his .300/.364/.657 slash line, Austin Riley (#9 Braves prospect) not only raised the eyebrows of multiple scouts, but also raised his prospect status considerably. Some concerns on his bat speed have been allayed, and he could be a Top 100 prospect in 2018. He will start the year in Mississippi, but should some time at the hot corner in Atlanta within the next 18 months.
#15 prospect Alex Jackson started out hot but his bat cooled considerably as the season went on. The polarizing catcher-turned-outfielder-turned-catcher still managed to smack five home runs and post an .826 OPS. Jackson’s re-emergence as a prospect has opened a lot of eyes, as he has shed the “bust” label. Like Riley, he should start the season in Mississippi, but any success will get him a quick promotion to AAA.
Southpaw Max Fried (#8 Braves prospect) posted a 0.88 WHIP, 11.08 K/9, and a sparkling 1.73 ERA. He proved dominant for most of the AFL season. Of the five earned runs he gave up during the AFL, four of them came during one start. He will contend for the Braves’ fifth starter role next season.
The results for the rest of Atlanta’s AFL contingent were mixed. Touki Toussaint (Braves #13 prospect) was plagued by walks and home runs en route to a 10.38 ERA. Josh Graham and Corbin Clouse both had ERAs hovering around 7, although both displayed some promise. Meanwhile, Jared James’ contributions in the outfield were valuable, but his .726 OPS didn’t shake the world.