2019 has been quite a year for Bryce Ball. The 6’6″ first baseman began his collegiate career at North Iowa Area Community College and transferred after two seasons and 21 dingers for the Trojans. He chose Dallas Baptist, where he picked up steam as a potential draftee behind a monster junior year. Ball smashed 18 home runs, hit .325, and had a 1.057 OPS in 63 games, which resulted in him being drafted in the 24th round by the Atlanta Braves.
He could have gone back to school for another year in hopes of being selected higher but instead signed with the Braves for $197,500. The organization optioned him to the rookie-level Danville Braves, and he’s already showing signs of being a steal.
In 37 games, the left-handed bat is putting up absurd numbers, continuing to build on the power that led to him being drafted. Ball has 13 bombs, resulting in a .710 slugging percentage and a 1.127 OPS, all of which are tops in the Appalachian League. He’s also hitting .328 – good for fourth in the league. In a not-so-small sample size, Ball is proving to be a prospect worth keeping an eye on heading into 2020.
Here is a video of him blasting a ball over the center-field fence:
Bryce Ball homer gives D Braves 6-5 lead over Bluefield bottom 6 pic.twitter.com/wfSfeG6NKI
— Tommy Dodson (@tommydodson51) July 28, 2019
There isn’t a more beautiful sound in the world.
The Braves have an elite farm system even with all the youth on their squad. However, it is incredibly top-heavy due to international restrictions. Outside of the top ten prospects or so, they are littered with more questions than answers. If Atlanta wants to stay World Series contenders for an extended period, as they did in the 90s, they will have to bank on late-round steals like Bryce Ball to pan out in the long run. So far, he’s off to an outstanding start. It will be interesting to see where the organization decides to start him next year in his first full season of professional baseball.