Not every one of these prospects can be a part of the future in Atlanta. The Braves have an overload of pitching in their farm system, and Allard is one that is going to have a hard time sticking in Atlanta.
The former first-round pick in 2015 got his first stint of major league action last season. Appearing in 3 games, Allard went 1-1 with a forgettable 12.38 ERA. Maybe the worst part about it was the fact that his control was not the problem, but rather a noticeable drop in velocity at an early age. The 21-year old southpaw got hammered by major league hitting, giving up three home runs and 19 total hits in just 8 innings.
Even in AAA, where he posted a 6-4 record and 2.72 ERA last year, his strikeout numbers were pedestrian. The ability for him to make batters swing and miss just isn’t there like some of the other Braves talented young prospects. There’s still a chance Allard goes on and has a stellar MLB career, but considering his trade value and the logjam the Braves have with starting pitchers, the likelihood of that happening in Atlanta is slim.
Make no mistake about it: Austin Riley is not a prospect the Braves are looking to move. Despite their overload of young pitching talent, the Braves lack many quality hitting prospects. Riley is the best of the group and comes in at #5 on the Braves’ prospect list according to MLB.com.
At 6’3″, 220 pounds, he’s the only MLB-ready power bat in the Braves system. Last year, he played in 108 games in the minor leagues, smacking 19 home runs and 30 doubles.
The problem is where he fits on the major league team. The Braves seem content with the play Camargo displayed in his first year as the full-time third baseman. Of course, the organization could try Riley out in the outfield given his overall athleticism and arm strength, or perhaps move Camargo to shortstop and deal Dansby Swasnon. However, if the right call comes around, the Braves certainly have the flexibility to move him.
In a potential blockbuster deal this offseason, which the Braves are almost certain to be a part of a couple, Riley is going to be a piece teams ask for in return. If the price is right, Atlanta might opt to suck it up and let go of their best offensive prospect.
Unfortunately, Luiz Gohara hit a little bit of a speed bump in his progression in 2018. He began the season with the Braves and pitched rather poorly over nine games before being placed on the bereavement list due to some rather sad family problems he experienced last season. When he returned, the Braves optioned him to AAA Gwinnett, where he clearly wasn’t the same dominant pitcher he was in 2017.
Here are his minor league stats from 2017 to 2018:
2017: 7-4 with a 2.62 ERA, and 147 strikeouts in 123.2 innings pitched
2018: 3-4 with a 4.94 ERA, and 55 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched
It also didn’t help Gohara finished the year on the 60-day disabled list. Between poor performance and injuries, selling on Gohara would definitely be selling low. He’s still a top 100 prospect in all of baseball and #7 in the Braves’ system according to MLB.com. He also has reportedly already lost about 35 pounds down at the Braves Spring Training facility according to David O’Brien. It may not be the ideal time to move him, but given the amount of pitching capital the Braves have, he could be included in the right trade.
Wilson was the surprise of the farm system in 2018. He began the year with the Florida FireFrogs in A+ ball. After dominating in 5 starts, posting a 2-0 record with a minuscule 0.34 ERA, he was quickly moved to AA Mississippi. From there, Wilson darted through the AA and AAA levels in a matter of months, starting in less than 20 games combined before receiving the call.
He went 1-0 with a 6.42 ERA in his three appearances with the Braves. His AAA numbers weren’t eye-popping either, despite going 3-0 his ERA still hovered over five. With that being said, for a guy who was in high school just a couple of years ago, his results were extremely impressive, but once again the Braves have plenty of arms. This could be a nice opportunity to sell high on a player who could be a couple of years away.
Like Riley, the Braves aren’t going to be looking to move Pache. The 19-year old has quickly exploded through prospect lists and landed on #6 inside the Braves’ system. And like I mentioned before, the Braves do not have a lot of positional prospects that are close to MLB-ready.
Pache is is the best defensive prospect in the system with speed to track down anything in the outfield and the arm to go with it. As a hitter, he’s shown solid contact throughout levels of the minor league’s and possesses unique speed that will put pressure on defenses.
If you had to choose who was more expendable between Pache or Riley, I would say Pache given the lack of power that currently exists in the Braves’ lineup. Riley could be a call-up that immediately plays a role in 2019. I don’t see that happening with Pache. The Braves may make a deal with a team looking for young outfield help like the Indians. In that case, Pache could be paired with one of the Braves top pitching prospects, making for quite an enticing package.