The 2019 Minor League Season is officially over. Naturally, with success, Atlanta is seeing a lot of their top prospects graduate to the majors. As MLB teams get better, minor league systems thin out. In terms of depth, Atlanta remains in really good shape. However, this system is becoming less top-heavy, and that will continue as these guys graduate. All five of them could be in the majors by 2020 (even though I only think 2 will), but let’s take a look where MLB Pipeline ranks our boys.
#11: OF Cristian Pache (AAA)
2019 Stats: .277/.340./.462/.802, 36 2B, 9 3B, 12 HR, 61 RBI (AA/AAA)
Known for being potentially the best defensive player in the minors, Pache had a pretty good season with the bat. He’s been consistent numbers-wise at each minor league level, starting slow then heating up to get around a .275-.280 batting average. If he can be a guy who puts up these statistics in the majors while playing elite defense, he’ll be a key part of this outfield going forward.
#24: OF Drew Waters (AAA)
.309/.360/.455/.819, 40 2B, 9 3B, 7 HR, 52 RBI, 16 SB (AA/AAA)
Friend of the podcast and one of the biggest risers in this system came right out of our own backyard. After being named the Southern League MVP, Drew Waters kept raking in AAA and has little left to prove in the minors. Pache might have a bit of a higher ceiling, but I think Waters will be called up first. If he’s hitting at the start of 2020 like he is now – watch out. This kid will be coming for Rookie of the Year.
#32: RHP Ian Anderson (AAA)
2019 Stats: 3.38 ERA, 1.25 WHIP & 172 K in 135.2 IP. (AA/AAA)
These numbers are a bit misleading. Ian Anderson dominated AA in 2019 – 111 strong innings with only a 2.68 ERA and 147 out of those 172 strikeouts. He had a tough time adjusting to the hitting and new balls in AAA, but I think he starts strong in 2020 and gets some looks for the major league club if there’s an injury. He’s only got 24.2 innings in AAA, so he needs some seasoning.
#36: RHP Kyle Wright (AAA)
2019 Stats: 4.17 ERA, 1.26 WHIP & 116 K in 112.1 IP (AAA)
I’m shocked Wright didn’t take a tumble or completely disappear out of these rankings after his rough 2019. I’m a believer in his long term potential. He still has a lot of intangibles, but he has to work on his command and trusting his stuff. If he can build some confidence in AAA to start next season, he’ll be back with the Braves in no time.
#64: C Shea Langeliers (A/AA)
2019 Stats: .255/.310/.343./.652, 13 2B, 2 HR, 34 RBI (A)
Shea is listed as A/AA because he’s a likely candidate to start in Mississippi next season. The bat doesn’t look like anything spectacular so far, but his defense has been elite. He’s throwing out runners at a 41% clip, 1% higher than Yadier Molina’s career rate. If Shea can at least be average with the bat and learn how to manage a staff, he’ll be an invaluable piece to this club.