In the midst of some of the Braves worst baseball of the season, interest has shifted from possible playoff contention to the bevy of young prospects that will get their opportunities down the stretch of this season.
With Jaime Garcia shipped out of town, and Aaron Blair certainly not a permanent option, the Braves will turn Lucas Sims to start against the Dodgers. Sims is the 19th ranked prospect in the Braves system according to MLB.com and is 7-4 with a 3.75 ERA in just over 115 innings at AAA Gwinett.
Sims was once a top prospect in the Braves system, but the 2015 bus crash with the Mudcats and his control issues kept him from reaching the majors earlier. Despite his number 19 prospect ranking, he still possesses elite upside and can fill up the score sheet with strikeouts. He has 132 Ks in his 115.1 innings pitched this season.
The more surprising move was the organization opting to call up Ozzie Albies as well. It was just a matter of time before Albies, the number two prospect in the Braves farm according to MLB.com, saw major league action this season. However, with Phillips still on the roster, it is a little surprising it is coming so soon. Mark Bowman offered some clarity regarding the situation and made it clear that the Braves have been trying to move Phillips since the All-Star Break.
The switch hitting Albies is hitting .285 in AAA this season, and more impressively has 117 hits in just 97 games played. Albies is one of the best contact bat prospects in all of baseball and is even developing some power as he continues to grow with age. He has hit nine home runs for Gwinett this season. That is something that also happened to Jose Altuve, who Albies is often compared to. Now do not expect any Altuve numbers any time soon or perhaps ever from Albies, but they do have similar physical attributes and playing styles.
Losing eight of their last nine, the Braves playoffs chances are shot. The best thing for fans and the organization to look forward to is the development of their talented farm system. These are just the first of a lot new faces we will be seeing over the next two months, and their success is vital to how quickly this team can return to the playoffs.