We received some pretty devastating news yesterday when it was reported that the first two series of the season have been canceled after Major League Baseball and the player’s union were unable to reach a new CBA agreement before the 5 PM ET deadline. The season is officially delayed, and unfortunately, there once again doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. Who knows when Major League Baseball will be back, but until it returns, my focus will shift to the minor league season, which is scheduled to begin in about five weeks.
It might not be the same, but this is the perfect opportunity to get familiar with some of the Braves rising stars. It won’t be long before several of these prospects are in Atlanta full-time. I’ve covered many of them throughout this series and will continue to do so in detail leading up to the start of their season. If you missed any of the previous pieces in this series, click the links below.
I’m sure the Braves would like Ronald Acuna Jr. to man right field until he decides to hang it up. That may not be possible, given what he will likely cost if he ever tests the waters of unrestricted free agency, but regardless, this is where they want Acuna to play for the foreseeable future. He certainly has the athletic capability to play center in a pinch, but he looks like a natural in right with his cannon for an arm. Plus, coming off a torn ACL, the Braves likely want to keep him from roaming centerfield for as long as possible.
If Cristian Pache sticks in the majors with the Braves, he will play centerfield. That leaves the corner outfield spots for Drew Waters and Michael Harris. There’s likely only room for two of Pache, Waters, and Harris in the Braves outfield of the future, given Acuna’s standing with the organization, but who knows with the DH making its way to the National League.
There are several other outfield prospects that could end up making it to Atlanta, but Franklin’s the one I want to focus on. He crushed it in Rome last season, smacking 24 homers and 24 doubles. He’ll likely begin 2022 in Mississippi, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he made it to the bigs faster than a more highly-touted prospect like Michael Harris.