Braves: Five candidates to be Atlanta’s next breakout prospect

Drew Lugbauer

Atlanta has seen a meteoric rise from their prospects in recent years, and it’s a testament to their drafting and development. Guys like Ronald Acuña Jr., Michael Harris, and Spencer Strider have set the minors on fire, and there’s a strong chance someone else will do it in 2022. Here are five names I have my eyes on:

OF Jesse Franklin V

I was a big fan of the Jesse Franklin pick in the shortened 2020 MLB Draft, and spoiler alert, there’s another draft class member on this list. Franklin missed time at Michigan due to injury, but it’s clear he had tons of raw power and potential. The Braves scooped him up with the 97th pick, and Franklin rewarded them with 24 doubles, 24 home runs, and an .842 OPS in Rome. I look for Franklin to keep tearing the cover off the ball — AA Mississippi will be a big test for him.

RHP Indigo Diaz

Depending on who you ask, Indigo Diaz has already broken out. However, he’s a name that some fans may not be familiar with. Diaz put up video game numbers in 2021 — a microscopic 1.00 ERA in Rome over 27 innings with 54 strikeouts and a 0.67 WHIP. He kept it up after a promotion to AA, posting a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings with 29 strikeouts and a 1.06 WHIP. He has closer of the future potential with his hard fastball.

SS Ambioris Tavarez

The main thing that sticks out to me about Tavarez is the tools — he is chock full of potential. Tavarez is a fantastic athlete with a strong arm, and he’s still growing into his body at 18-years-old. Don’t be shocked if he moves up the ladder quickly.

RHP Bryce Elder

I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryce Elder were one of the first guys brought up to Atlanta if injury strikes. He was part of that 2020 draft class, and he’s been just as fantastic as his teammate Spencer Strider. Elder dominated Gwinnett in 2021, posting a 2.21 ERA over 36.2 innings, surrendering a minuscule .143 batting average and posting a 1.04 WHIP. He might be able to give the Braves some strong innings right now if they need him.

SS Vaughn Grissom

After patiently progressing, Vaughn Grissom exploded in A-ball last season. He put up a .848 OPS in Augusta and followed it up with a 1.114 OPS after his promotion to Rome. Grissom can find gaps, steal bases, and play solid defense. His bat speed projects some decent power, and he’s a guy to watch as he likely moves up to Mississippi quickly.



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