Atlanta Braves Offseason Stats Update

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Ronald Acuna
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Ronald Acuna /
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Atlanta Braves
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Australian Baseball League
It was just last year that Acuña earned the nickname The Answer To Everything while dominating the Australian Baseball League.  Will another Braves prospect earn such accolades in Oz this year?

Switch hitting Brett Cumberland rounds out the list of ranked Atlanta Braves prospects playing off-season ball.  The 24th-ranked prospect has been doing work for Melbourne in the Australian Baseball League.  Cumberland has logged time at catcher and in the outfield, which could indicate a new position for 2018.

Although positional uncertainty has always been a concern for Cumbelrand, the bat remains his carrying tool.  This trend seems to be continuing in the ABL, as he is currently at .294/.380/.541 with 5 HR.  His strikeout rate is somewhat alarming, currently sitting at 28%.

His ability to be hit by pitches remains intact, as he has been plunked five times in 100 plate appearances.  This comes after being hit 41 times (forty-one!) during the 2017 MiLB season.

Cumberland earned a mid-season call-up to Florida last year, and could continue to ascend if he keeps hitting.

Tyler Neslony, another bat-first Braves prospect, has also been flashing the lumber Down Under. Lovingly christened The Pony, Neslony’s .978 OPS is third amongst Braves prospects this off-season, behind only Acuña and Riley.  Though unranked, a case can be made for Neslony’s prospect status, as his .345/.433/.545 is not too shabby.

In addition to drawing more walks (9) than strikeouts (8), Neslony has at least one hit in 11 of his last 12 games, and 12 of his 15.  Neslony’s bat will lead him back to Mississippi to start 2018, but he could be a fourth outfielder in Atlanta by the end of next year.  He will need to improve his defense if he wants to be any kind of regular.

Elsewhere in the ABL, native Australian (and Rome Braves lefty) Jon Kennedy is 1-0, 4.26 ERA for Melbourne.  Former Braves farmhand Steve Kent, another Aussie by birth, is looking at a 1-4 record and 5.86 ERA for Canberra.