Janas is a local kid who attended Lassiter High School as well as Kennesaw State University. His strikeout numbers are not eye-popping but he has been dynamite ever since the organization decided to move him to the bullpen. With the Braves selling pieces at the trade deadline, there will most certainly be an opening in the bullpen. Janas is the only reliever in AAA that sticks out currently, so he could at least get a taste of the big leagues this year.
Matt Wisler may need some time in AAA to refine his mechanics, Lucas Harrell is on the trade block, and Aaron Blair isn’t going to be back in Atlanta for a hot minute. Though Whalen has only made a couple starts in AAA, he has been sensational this season. If there’s an opening in the rotation in the final months of the season, it’s not too far-fetched to think he could get a shot.
The Braves re-acquired Dirks in the Bud Norris deal, and he has posted a 1.05 ERA in 30 appearances between two AA affiliates. We saw the team promote Mauricio Cabrera from Mississippi straight to the show, so don’t be surprised if the team gives Dirks a shot between now and the end of the season. This kid is going to be special in our bullpen.
Jason Hursh has struggled to live up to expectations after being a top prospect in the organization just two seasons ago, but he has made the most of his transition to the bullpen and has had a great 2016. He is in Mississippi, however, and the team may want him to work in Gwinnett for a while. Don’t be surprised if Hursh gets an opportunity, though.
Yes, every player on this list is a pitcher. That’s the reality with the current state of the farm system. Morris was acquired for Kelly Johnson and while he could likely use more seasoning at AAA, Morris has been solid in Mississippi. The Braves have no shortage of bullpen reinforcements coming up through the pipeline.
Honorable Mentions: The obvious names missing from this list are Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies. However, Ozzie was just getting his feet wet in Gwinnett before being called down and while Swanson has played well, he needs more time. These guys will eventually get called up to Gwinnett together, but there’s only a couple months left in a lost season. Perhaps they get called up for a taste when rosters expand, but Opening Day 2017 sounds much more realistic. Rio Ruiz is the only offensive prospect in AAA who really sticks out, but Opening Day also appears to be a better target date for him.