Following the trade for Matt Olson, the Braves farm system is a bit depleted, but they still have some talent at the top, and several prospects could find themselves helping out the major-league club at some point this season.
The Braves have a crowded outfield and Waters struggled last season, but if there is a significant injury at some point to an outfielder, I could see Waters getting the call. He’s still got one of the best hit-tools in the system, and I’m not ready to give up on him after one shoddy season. If he bounces back like I expect him to, I think we will see him at least once this season.
I’m not going to guarantee we see Elder in Atlanta this season, but I would place a nice wager on it if I could. In his first professional season, he made it all the way to AAA, where he was just as dominant. The Braves’ rotation is already thin; with an injury or two, they’ll almost be forced to turn to Elder for several starts. Even if everyone stays healthy for the entire season, which is highly unlikely, I still think Elder could end up joining the rotation.
Tarnok made some nice strides last season and should begin this year in Gwinnett. Based on how he pitches to start the season, there’s a chance he could get an opportunity before Elder.
The Braves bullpen is loaded, but you never know when the injury bug can strike. If it does, Wilson should be one of the first guys to get an opportunity. He was lights out in relief for the Stripers last season, holding opponents to just a .190 average against to go along with a 2.34 ERA.
Diaz might be a little further off than Wilson because of his age. He’s yet to reach AAA, but he’s another reliever who has put up absolutely silly numbers in the minors.
I included Harris, but I have him last on this list for a reason. Of all the prospects on here, he’s probably the least likely to make his major-league debut. However, crazier things have happened, and I do believe in Harris’ unbelievable talent. I could potentially see a scenario where he forces the Braves to move things around and make room for him, but it’s highly unlikely. I would say the chances we see Harris in the majors at any point this year are less than 5%.
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