We’re finally cracking into the Top 10, and this system is flush with high-quality prospects ready to graduate. If you missed any of our previous entries, you can catch up here:
2021 Braves Top 30 Prospects List: 30-26
2021 Braves Top 30 Prospects List: 25-21
2021 Braves Top 30 Prospects List: 20-16
2021 Braves Top 30 Prospects List: 15-11
Jake Gordon’s List:
10. Bryce Ball (1B/OF, L/R)
A name that was getting some murmurs when the DH was announced for the NL, and after he was added to the player pool, there’s a lot to like about the 6’6, 240-pound ball. A friend of the podcast, he absolutely crushed in his first season of minor league ball and has a whippy swing that reminds me a lot of Cody Bellinger. In 62 games in 2019, Ball notched 18 doubles, 17 HRs, and 52 RBIs with a 1.023 OPS. He barely cracked MLBPipeline’s Top 20, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s Atlanta’s next top prospect when these guys start graduating if he can keep this up.
9. Tucker Davidson (LHP)
Another friend of the podcast, Davidson was never a super highly rated spect. However, his consistency at the highest level has put evaluators on notice. All he’s done is produce, and while his MLB debut was rocky (1.2 IP & 4 BB), I think his 2019 numbers are more indicative of what he can be. Spanning Mississippi and Gwinnett, Davidson posted a 2.15 ERA over 129.2 innings. He struck out 134 batters compared to 54 walks. I think he’s one of the more “ready” prospects in the system; his zippy fastball and bendy curveball should get him some extended looks in Atlanta in 2021.
8. Michael Harris (OF, L/L)
It was so disappointing that we were unable to watch Michael Harris in 2020. He could easily become a top prospect in all of the majors if 2021 is anything like 2019. Harris is a freak athlete, and the homegrown Georgia product has all of the tools to be great. He has a cannon arm, speed, and raw power that will be deadly if he can tap into it. Harris had a .917 OPS in Rookie Ball with 6 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, and 5 steals in 31 games. He is as toolsy as they come and could be the next elite Atlanta outfield prospect in line.
7. Braden Shewmake (INF, L/R)
When Braden Shewmake was selected in the 1st round, MLB talking heads and fans alike questioned the pick. However, Alex Anthopoulos proved once again that he knows what he’s doing. He didn’t pop much in 14 AA games, but Shewmake terrorized opposing pitchers in A ball. He can flat out hit, and his .862 OPS shows potential for some raw gap to gap projectability. Shewmake can also play all over the diamond, which only adds to his value. His pure contact hitting was his greatest strength coming out of Texas A&M, and he’s continued to build on it.
6. Shea Langeliers (C, R/R)
Shea is in an interesting spot. He’s a fantastic prospect, and he looked very sound defensively in his first professional action by hosing 41% of would-be base stealers. His .652 OPS could be a tad higher, but catcher is one of the most difficult positions to adjust to when making the professional leap. I think Langeliers will be a great MLB player, but I’m curious to see if he’s moved at any point with Travis d’Arnaud playing so well and a guy who will be talked about plenty in the Top 5 countdown tearing it up.
Chase Irle’s List
10. Jared Schuster (LHP)
Just breaking our top-ten prospects is the Braves first-round selection from the 2020 draft. Schuster was selected below slot value and was a bit of a surprising pick to many after a terrible season in 2019 for Wake Forrest. However, he was electric in the Cap Cod League, posting a 1.41 ERA in seven starts, and he was much better to begin his final college season before it was shut down. We could see him move a lot — up or down this list — based on how he looks in his first stint of professional ball.
9. Jasseel De La Cruz (RHP)
De La Cruz isn’t as hyped up as the other prospects you’ll find crack Atlanta’s top-ten, but he’s done more than enough to earn a spot this high up the rankings. He has electric stuff and has been effective at every stop so far in his minor league career. The last time we saw him, he posted a 3.25 ERA in 24 starts over three levels of the minors (A, A+, AA). De La Cruz was actually called up to the active roster last season but did not make his major league debut.
8. Tucker Davidson (LHP)
I must admit, I may have been a little too high on Davidson after his marvelous 2019 campaign, which saw him dominate in Mississippi and Gwinnett. I actually thought there was a good chance he would contribute to the major league team last season; however, he never received much of an opportunity, which is pretty telling given all of the Braves rotation problems. Davidson obviously wasn’t ready, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up on the major league roster permanently in 2021 — whether it be as a part of the rotation or the bullpen.
7. Braden Shewmake (INF, L/R)
Shewmake is a prospect that I was giddy to watch in 2020. Of course, 2020 made that impossible, but at least he spent the season apart of the 60-man taxi squad. Shemake hit the ground running after the Braves selected him in the first round of the 2019 draft, hitting .318 with a .389 OBP in Rome and earning a quick promotion to Mississippi. It shouldn’t be long before we see him manning the infield in Atlanta.
6. Shea Langeliers (C, R/R)
The other one of the Braves first-round picks from the 2019 draft barely misses out on cracking the top-five. Langeliers was selected ninth overall and hit a respectable .255 with two home runs in 54 games for Rome. He’s also looked very comfortable at the plate during spring training. If he can continue to improve in that area, the Braves will have their catcher of the future. Langeliers was drafted for his defense and is probably already good enough behind the plate to be in the majors.
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