Braves: Mahki Backstrom could be Atlanta’s next fast rising prospect

Drew Lugbauer

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Without a minor league season in 2020, we didn’t get any extra looks at Backstrom. However, even though he’s not listed on Atlanta’s Top 30 Prospect List, I think he could rise to the upper prospect tier before the 2021 season comes to an end.


2019 Stats (Rk): .300/.402/.457/.860, 5 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 1 SB (23 Games)


While this is a petite sample size in Rookie Ball, Backstrom has the swing and athleticism to be molded into an elite hitting prospect as Atlanta has done with so many other guys. While Freddie Freeman has first base locked down until his retirement (hopefully), the DH in the NL and LF may be in Mahki’s future. Backstrom was an 18th round pick by the Braves and just turned 19 years old. He weighed about 220 when he was drafted, but he looks to have put on some more muscle. Backstrom has been called “lumbering” by scouts when he runs, but at 6’5, he takes those long Freddie Freeman-esque strides around the bases. Besides all of that, his raw power cannot be ignored; it is similar to Austin Riley when he was making his way through Atlanta’s system.

From the left side, he’s a serious threat to go yard at any time if you listen to that bat pop. Cutting the strikeouts and making more solid contact is key, but a .860 OPS in Rookie ball is a high-quality start. It sucks he lost a season due to COVID, but it’s apparent he’s been taking a lot of hacks, and I’m very excited to watch him play in 2021 for the Braves. We’ve seen Atlanta take high school bats and develop them into big leaguers, and I think Backstrom is next. Don’t be shocked if this kid makes a name for himself sooner rather than later.

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